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posted in November 2001
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TEL enhances prober to handle mix of 200- and 300-mm wafers
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
TOKYO -- In a move to increase flexibility and throughput in wafer-test operations, Tokyo Electron Ltd. today announced an enhanced version of its P-12XL prober, which adds a new sort loader, semi-automatic probe card changer, and an improved wide area probe polish feature.
Tessera says ITC won't review finding against Sharp in patent case
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- Tessera Technologies Inc. today said the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied a request from Sharp Corp. for a review of an initial determination by an administrative law judge, who found Sharp in violation of chip-scale packaging patents held by Tessera (see Sept. 26 story).
ATE, IC-packaging gear, and other tool segments hit hard in Q3, says SEMI
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- It's safe to say that the chip-equipment market was terrible in the third quarter of 2001, especially for suppliers of back-end gear, according to statistics from the Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI) trade group here. Shipments and bookings for all chip-equipment segments were depressed in the third quarter of 2001, but the back-end segments like testers and IC-packaging tools were especially hit hard. In some cases, shipments of automatic-test equipment (A
Electronics industry may finally have hit bottom
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
The long-awaited bottom of the industry downturn may finally have been reached, if recent financial statements issued by key companies are any indication. A host of companies, including Dell, Flextronics, and Intel, have confirmed their earlier forecasts for the current quarter, a refreshing change from previous quarters, when revenue and earnings projections were routinely downgraded as the market continued to deteriorate.
Dainippon Screen teams with IMEC to develop ultra-clean processes for fabs
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
LEUVEN, Belgium -- Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co. Ltd. of Japan and the IMEC research group here announced plans to collaborate in the development of ultra-clean processes for wafer fabrication. The goal is to create new single-wafer cleaning steps that will be four-to-five years ahead of process requirements in the chip industry.
Sematech warns of bottleneck for 157-nm lithography
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
While semiconductor industry officials in California upped the ante for advanced IC production technology with the rollout of the 2001 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors on Thursday (Nov. 29), a gathering of mostly U.S.-based researchers warned a group of Taiwanese chip manufacturers that numerous obstacles jeopardize a smooth transition to implementing 157-nanometer lithography.
Analog Devices says digital audio IC removes analog processing from stereo players
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
NORWOOD, Mass. -- Analog Devices Inc. today announced a new integrated audio IC aimed at replacing low-cost analog systems designs with new digital processing capability that increases sound quality in consumer automotive and home stereo players.
Government to go ahead on IP acquisition tax relief
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
The government's decision to go ahead with the introduction of tax relief on acquisitions of intellectual property could stimulate more deals, but is also likely to bring changes to how it is traded.
Sirenza claims 25 million-unit milestone in SiGe products
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Sirenza Microdevices Inc. today said it has now shipped over 25 million products, based on high-performance silicon-germanium (SiGe) process technology. The SiGe chips--including a range of radio-frequency (RF) devices--are fabricated by Atmel Corp., which is supplying foundry services to Sirenza.
Communications ICs will recovery slowly after 30.6% drop this year, says report
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
SCOTTSDALE, Calif. -- Worldwide revenues for communications ICs will plunge 30.6% to $28.8 billion in 2001 compared to $41.5 million in 2000, and chip sales in this troubled sector will not exceed last year's record until 2004, according to a new forecast from IC Insights Inc.
Silaria begins beta testing its software for code compaction
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
Irish processor-core developer Silaria has gone into beta testing with the first phase of its software for reducing the amount of space that programs take up.
DRAM could end up in a price trap following a fall in memory prices
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11/30/2001   Post a comment
DRAM producers could end up being caught in a price trap following the precipitous fall in memory prices this year, making it almost impossible to charge more than the bare minimum for devices.
Toshiba, ISE integrate TCAD tools into manufacturing environment
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. today announced it has collaborated with ISE Integrated Systems Engineering AG in Switzerland to become the first chip maker to directly integrate technology computer-aided design (TCAD) into a manufacturing environment.
Lattice prepares to enter FPGA fray
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
Altera Corp. and Xilinx Inc. may soon be looking over their shoulders at Lattice Semiconductor Corp., which is planning to join the FPGA fray sometime next year. The company's newly appointed president Steven Laub called FPGAs "a natural extension for us, both customerwise and technologywise."
Fujitsu to close Gresham flash memory fab
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
Fujitsu Ltd. today announced its decision to cease production operations at its Gresham, Oregon semiconductor manufacturing facility, Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc (FMI), by the end of January 2002, and to close the plant and liquidate its assets.
SiGen announces shipments of 'ultra-thin' SOI wafers for advanced ICs
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
CAMPBELL, Calif.--Silicon Genesis Corp. here today announced it has begun production of new "ultra-thin" silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers with device-layer thicknesses in a range of 15-to-50 nanometers for fully-depleted substrate CMOS transistors.
2001 technology roadmap packs some 'unexpected' surprises
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- While it may not be a complete surprise that IC technology continues to accelerate faster than expected, there are some unanticipated conclusions in the new 2001 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), which is scheduled to be formally presented to the chip industry here today.
IDT wants partners for speed to market
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
IDT, the Californian communications IC developer, is seeking to increase the number of partnerships it enters into.
Roadmap for chipmaking puts CMOS alternatives into mainstream
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
The international committee working on the roadmap for the semiconductor industry for the next 15 years has decided to look at alternatives to conventional CMOS transistors as the brick wall that threatens the current approach to scaling looms closer.
Three-terminal superconducting transistor future for QTs
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11/29/2001   Post a comment
An Anglo-Italian research group is looking for low-temperature superconductor application areas for its Quatrans (Quasiparticle Trapping Transistors or QTs).
Price parity evades DDR market
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
Boise, Idaho -- It turns out that Micron Technology's vow to sell DDR modules at parity with single data rate SDRAM DIMMS was a "campaign promise." When double data rate chips suddenly became scarce and DDR started selling at a nice premium over SDRAM, guess who is no longer selling at parity?
Rambus court cases begin to overlap
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
The interlocking nature of separate Rambus Inc. SDRAM patent cases was expanded when Federal Judge Ronald Whyte of the San Jose, Calif., district court ordered the memory design firm to provide Hynix Semiconductor Inc. all the discovery materials on Rambus uncovered by Micron Technology in a separate case in Wilmington, Del., federal court.
Alchemy rolls out processor with 66-MHz PCI controller and Internet peripherals
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
LAS VEGAS--At the Microsoft Windows Embedded Developers Conference today, Alchemy Semiconductor Inc. today launched its second integrated processor for communications and networking applications. The new Au1500 is based on a 32-bit RISC core from MIPS Technologies Inc. It includes PCI interface, on-chip memory controllers, and Internet access peripherals.
Fairchild Semiconductor expects to meet guidance
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. confirmed its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2001, calling for revenues to be flat to 5% down sequentially from the third quarter.
Hynix claims all but two Rambus patents dismissed in lawsuit
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- Hynix Semiconductor Inc. today said a U.S. district court in California has dismissed all but two patent claims out of 400 filed by Rambus Inc. in a dispute over DRAM technology rights.
Pentium 4 shortage expected to last until January
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
A recent shortage of Socket 478 Pentium 4 microprocessors has analysts and PC component makers wondering whether Intel Corp. dropped the ball in its planning or if it is trying to manipulate customers into using more expensive, high-end chips.
Pipelined A/D and Quadrature transceiver simplifies set-top box design
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
The name set-top box, because of its usual location, is used for many related types of devices. Some simply allow a television set to become the user interface to the Internet. Others allow a TV to receive and decode digital television broadcasts. Others combine a Web browser with email, an Internet picture phone, video-on-demand, TV picture-in-picture, interactive TV, and other features. Analog Devices' engineers suggest a front-end topology that supports a wide variety of these configurations.
Dual-output converter supports digital-camera applications
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
Digital cameras require a low-power negative rail, in addition to a 15V positive rail, both from a battery cell. LTC shows a charge pump circuit that does the trick.
Applied says new CVD chamber extends silicon-dioxide in gates below 100-nm node
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Enabling the development of next-generation devices, Applied Materials Inc. here today introduced a new technology that promises to extend the life of traditional gate-oxide structures in chip designs down to 0.10-micron and below.
Zilog plans to file for bankruptcy protection after securing debt deal
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11/28/2001   Post a comment
IC group Zilog's rescue plan took a step forward this week as a clutch of its largest debt holders struck a preliminary agreement to convert most of their interest into shares.
Power Control in CDMA Cellular Systems
Design How-To  
11/28/2001   Post a comment
Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a viable cellular-system alternative to both frequency-division multiple access (FDMA) and time-division multiple access (TDMA) technologies. Aly El-Osery and Chaouki Abdallah of the University of New Mexico discuss a power control technique for CDMA systems to increase battery life and improve cellular performance.
New techniques re-time data signals for plesiochronous communication
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
In large systems, where designs are typically partitioned into two or more subsystems, clock distribution becomes prohibitively complex. Each subsystem may have its own local clock. The intra-system interfaces require data transmitted synchronously from one subsystem, to be re-timed or synchronized to the local reference in the receiving subsystem. A communications expert examines some techniques for doing this well.
Alcatel says 0.35-micron high-voltage technology will boost automotive IC integration
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
BRUSSELS -- Alcatel Microelectronics here today announced a new 0.35-micron high-voltage IC technology, which is capable of integrating mixed-signal blocks, logic, embedded 32-bit microcontroller, and circuits with up to 80-volt functionality for automotive applications.
ATI and Nvidia set sights on integrated graphics ICs
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
In a move to expand their respective territories by offering PC OEMs a greater range of options, ATI Technologies Inc. and Nvidia Corp. are turning their attention to the underserved integrated graphics IC market. With Intel Corp. as a formidable opponent, the companies are banking that their successes in the discrete graphics sector will translate into new classes of performance in the embedded space.
Micron and Infineon to launch RLDRAM next year
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
BOISE, Ida. -- The new Reduced Latency DRAM for networks and communications will launch production late next year, beginning a long life cycle through 10-gigabit/sec and OC-765 optical generation systems, according to a just-released roadmap.
Ibis ships SOI wafers with ultra-thin silicon for fully-depleted devices
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
DANVERS, Mass.-- Ibis Technology Corp. today announced it has begun shipping ultra-thin silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, called Advantox MLD-UT, based on a modified low-dose (MLD) process developed by IBM Corp.
Intel snares flash design wins in set-top box market
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
Intel Corp. today said its flash memory technology has been adopted by four major set-top box OEMs.
Korea, Europe, Taiwan lead chip equipment sales lower in Q3, says SEMI
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- Worldwide semiconductor equipment sales dropped 20.2% sequentially in the third quarter to $5.63 billion from $7.07 billion in Q2, according to new market statistics released today by the SEMI trade group here.
Passive component group Epcos is catching up to market leader
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
Passive component group Epcos claims to have seen a revival in orders during the July-September quarter.
Micron opens fab to develop 300mm wafers
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
BOISE, Idaho -- Micron Technology on Monday dedicated a new $350 million development fab here that eventually will produce the memory firm's first pilot production of 300mm wafers.
Cirrus taps Chartered as preferred mixed-signal foundry in multi-year pact
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11/27/2001   Post a comment
AUSTIN, Tex. -- Cirrus Logic Inc. here today announced it has designated Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. as its preferred silicon foundry for mixed-signal ICs under a new multi-year manufacturing agreement.
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