Agilent announces new memory tester News & Analysis 9/29/2000 Post a comment PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Agilent Technologies Inc. here has expanded its line of automatic test equipment, rolling out a system for use in testing high-speed non-volatile memory devices.
Featuring a tester-per-site architecture, the V4400 NVM Test System from Agilent is a general-purpose wafer-sort and final test system designed for use in testing non-volatile memories, embedded devices, and specialty ICs.
Motorola sues former chip boss Ruiz for recruiting executives News & Analysis 9/28/2000 Post a comment SCHAUMBURG, Ill.-- Motorola Inc. today announced a lawsuit against the former president of its semiconductor business, Hector de J. Ruiz, alleging that he has broken a contract by recruiting Motorola chip executives to join Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Last January, Ruiz surprised the industry and Motorola by deciding to join AMD as president and chief operating officer.
Singapore's SSMC fab running wafers 90 days after tool installation News & Analysis 9/27/2000 Post a comment SINGAPORE -- Just 90 days after the first chip-processing tools were installed, the silicon wafers have begun running through a new joint-venture fab set up here by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) and Philips Semiconductors. The new foundry venture--called Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co. Pte. Ltd. (SSMC)--is now qualifying its processes and aiming to ramp production to full capacity by in 2002.
Schlumberger test handler cuts costs with new thermal control technology News & Analysis 9/25/2000 Post a comment SAN JOSE -- Schlumberger Ltd.'s Test & Transactions division today announced a new semiconductor test handler that enables IC testing at multiple temperature settings with a single insertion of devices into systems. The company said its new single-insertion, multi-temperature (SIM-T) handler addresses a growing need for higher reliability of chips.
Test-equipment makers start to board PC buses News & Analysis 9/22/2000 Post a comment After two decades of dominance, the venerable general-purpose interface bus (GPIB) is starting to show signs of losing ground to PC-based bus technologies that are inching their way into the test-equipment market.
Chip gear index rises in August with $3 billion in tool orders News & Analysis 9/22/2000 Post a comment SAN JOSE--The year-and-a-half recovery in semiconductor equipment spending continued a little stronger than expected in August, with the book-to-bill ratio for North American-based suppliers rising slightly. Orders for chip-production tools hit a record three-month average of $3 billion in August, which nudged up the book-to-bill to 1.24, said the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) trade group here.
Tegal calls TEL's court win 'a legal technicality,' appeals patent ruling News & Analysis 9/21/2000 Post a comment PETALUMA, Calif. -- Tegal Corp. today accused Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) of trying to "sneak by" on a legal technicality in a U.S. patent suit involving dual-frequency etch technology. Tegal also said is appealing a recent U.S. court ruling that found TEL's A-IEM 65DI and 85DI oxide-etch systems did not violate one of the company's basic patents.
TI sets $5 target for ROM-based Bluetooth chip set in high volumes News & Analysis 9/19/2000 Post a comment DALLAS--Texas Instruments Inc. here has introduced a new low-cost chip set for Bluetooth wireless connections using a new 0.18-micron baseband controller, which contains a fully integrated software stack in read-only memory. The ROM-based controller eliminates the need for a separate flash memory device in Bluetooth system designs.
TEL declares victory in Tegal suit over etch technology News & Analysis 9/19/2000 Post a comment TOKYO -- Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) today said it is free to continue selling and servicing its advanced oxide-etch equipment to North American wafer fabs after a U.S. district court ruled that the company's systems did not infringe upon patents held by Tegal Corp. of Petaluma, Calif.
Toshiba creates encoding/decoding DSP for music players News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment TOKYO --Toshiba Corp. today announced development of a new digital signal processor (DSP) series for digital audio players that can perform both signal encoding and decoding functions. The ability to encode and decode files will greatly simplify transfer of music between digital audio systems, said Toshiba.
Infineon aims integrated line driver/analog frontend at ADSL ramp News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment MUNICH -- In a move to fill out its "one-to-shop" for digital subscriber line (DSL) systems, Infineon Technologies AG today introduced a single-chip line driver/analog frontend device for asymmetric DSL modems. The new 80-pin chip boosts integration and cuts power consumption in ADSL systems, which are beginning to grow in high volumes, said the Munich-based company.
Atmel to buy U.K. fab from Siemens, inks supply contract worth $1.5 billion News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment LONDON -- Confirming earlier reports of a pending deal, Atmel Corp. today announced an agreement to acquire a closed wafer fab from Siemens AG in North Tyneside, England. In addition, Atmel also disclosed a framework-purchasing pact with the German systems maker, which has agreed to buy about $1.5 billion of products during the next four years. San Jose-based Atmel said it will install processes and equipment for CMOS, BiCMOS and silicon-germanium products, using 8-inch wafers and 0.18-micron te
National steps up 'information appliance' MPU push with three platforms News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Two years ago, National Semiconductor Corp. went out a bit on a limb by aggressively promoting concepts and much of its chip strategy based on so-called information appliances. It sounded great, but often few in the market and in the press knew exactly what National was aiming at, but those times are changing, according to the company. So confident is National Semiconductor in the information appliance movement that today it is launching three new processor platforms.
Startup rivals Atheros, Radiata launch CMOS radio chips for 5-GHz wireless LANs News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- The race to build a better radio-on-chip for high-speed wireless data networks is heating up. Atheros Communications Inc. here today unveiled what it claims is a true radio-on-a-chip, or "RoC", in a two-chip solution that uses standard CMOS processes, without the need for a separate power amplifier made with more expensive gallium-arsenide or silicon-germanium technologies. Atheros' announcement comes at the same time when rival-startup Radiata Inc. in San Jose, is disclosin
Hyundai licenses FormFactor's MicroSpring for DRAM wafer-level packaging News & Analysis 9/18/2000 Post a comment LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Aiming to revolutionize the way ICs are tested and assembled in chip packages, FormFactor Inc. here today announced its first technology licensing pact with a major DRAM maker--Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd.--which plans to use the company's MicroSpring contacts on processed wafers to lower costs and boost yields in backend manufacturing steps. Seven-year-old FormFactor claims to be the only company to offer a complete wafer-level packaging and testing solution that
Atmel rolls out single-chip DAB processor for digital radios News & Analysis 9/15/2000 Post a comment HEILBRONN, Germany--Atmel Corp. today announced a single-chip baseband processor for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radios. The European unit of Atmel here said the new IC U2739M processor is the industry's first one-chip decoder, featuring full decoding rate capability.
Quake aims to shake up optical network arena with faster ICs News & Analysis 9/14/2000 Post a comment OTTAWA -- Quake Technologies Inc. here today announced plans to enter the market for optical networking ICs with the development of physical-layer devices for high-speed communications applications. The five-month-old company said it will offer mixed-signal ICs capable of supporting 10-gigabit-per-second and higher-speed networks based on Ethernet, Infininband, Fibre Channel and Sonet/SDH applications.
Mitel plans to add 400 chip engineers in Ottawa News & Analysis 9/14/2000 Post a comment OTTAWA--Mitel Corp. today announced plans to add 400 semiconductor engineers in its fast-growing chip division, and the company said it will invest $20 million to make room for the expanded workforce at its headquarters here.
Rambus adds suit in Germany against Infineon News & Analysis 9/14/2000 Post a comment MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Rambus Inc. here on late Wednesday said it has filed a lawsuit in Germany accusing Infineon Technologies AG of infringing upon its synchronous DRAM patents, following similar suits filed in Europe against Micron Technology Inc. and Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. The suit is part of an growing battle over Rambus' patent claims for SDRAM and double data rate memories.
Atmel reportedly interested in closed Siemens fab in U.K. News & Analysis 9/13/2000 Post a comment SAN JOSE -- Atmel Corp. is reportedly negotiating with Siemens AG of Munich to acquire the company's closed DRAM fab in North Tyneside, England. According to press reports in the U.K., Atmel is interested in buying the facility, if it can line up tax incentives from the British government and negotiate an acceptable price. In San Jose, Atmel officials won't comment on the reports.
Taiwan to buy nearly one-fourth of world's chip gear in 2000 News & Analysis 9/13/2000 Post a comment TAIPEI -- Taiwan is the place to be for suppliers of semiconductor equipment, as the island's chip makers are projected to procure nearly one-quarter of the world's production gear in 2000. In total, Taiwan's chip makers are expected to spend a staggering $8.9 billion on wafer-fab equipment in 2000, up 98% from $4.5 billion in 1999, according to new figures released here today during the first day of the Semicon Taiwan trade show.
NEC licenses Rambus patents, expands alliance for 1,066-MHz RDRAMs News & Analysis 9/13/2000 Post a comment MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- While legal battles intensify with other chip makers, Rambus Inc. here announced a new licensing pact with NEC Corp., covering controversial patents for synchronous DRAMs and double data rate (DDR) memories. Rambus said the new agreement also expands its alliance with NEC to include development and marketing of next-generation, 1,066-MHz Direct Rambus DRAMs.
Tessera to offer sub-licenses for Toshiba's wire-bonded microBGA News & Analysis 9/12/2000 Post a comment TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. today announced that Tessera Inc. will act as its exclusive licensor of wire-bonded chip packaging technology based on Tessera's microBGA format. The agreement is the first time that Toshiba has appointed another company to exclusively offer its packaging processes to the rest of the chip industry.