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Wednesday 1st January 2003
SEMI reports the North American equipment manufacturer book to bill ratio for July at 1.16 (preliminary). The three-month average booking figure is $1.15bn and the billing figure is $995mn. The bookings are 50% up on July 2001 and the billings 17% down. June's book-to-bill was 1.26 (final).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IQE reports Q2 sales at GBP6.357mn, compared with GBP13.158mn last year. The net loss was GBP52.3mn. Last year a net profit of GBP0.621mn was made in the same period. The company wrote off GBP33.866mn in
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Infineon Technologies and LSI Logic have made a joint development agreement (JDA) to share existing intellectual property (IP), to develop new IP and to collaborate on the design of integrated circuits for hard disk drive (HDD) applications. Infineon and LSI Logic expect that initial products resulting from the JDA will be available beginning in H2 2003.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore Technologies (ST) has undertaken to subscribe for its 60.5% pro-rata entitlement of a Chartered Semiconductor rights offering. There has recently been speculation that the state-run ST was seeking to disengage from its semiconductor investments such as the Chartered foundry operation and the packaging and test company STATS. ST is Chartered's largest shareholder.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing foundry announced a joint technology agreement with IMEC, Europe's leading independent R&D centre for microelectronics. As a result, Chartered will be offering a 0.18micron silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS manufacturing capability by H2 2003. Chartered is joining IMEC's Industrial Affiliation Program on 0.18micron BiCMOS. This aims at technology optimised for low power, low noise RF applications in the 2-5GHz range. A preliminary process design kit is due from Chartered in Q3 2003. Pilot production is expected by the end of that year.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing foundry announced a joint technology agreement with IMEC, Europe's leading independent R&D centre for microelectronics. As a result, Chartered will be offering a 0.18micron silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS manufacturing capability by H2 2003. Chartered is joining IMEC's Industrial Affiliation Program on 0.18micron BiCMOS. This aims at technology optimised for low power, low noise RF applications in the 2-5GHz range. A preliminary process design kit is due from Chartered in Q3 2003. Pilot production is expected by the end of that year.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
TSMC is planning a $1.1bn construction of a 200mm 0.25micron facility in China, according to a letter of intent signed with Shanghai's Sonjiang district government. Production would begin in September 2003. Over eight years, TSMC could invest $10bn in the fab.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Microchip Technology has completed its acquisition of a semiconductor manufacturing complex in Gresham from Fujitsu Microelectronics for $183.5mn in cash. Microchip expects that initial hiring will reach approximately 60 people during pre-production phases. Over time, Microchip believes it could employ 360 people as the Gresham facility reaches high volume manufacturing capacity over the next five to six years.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Trikon Technologies, the Welsh process equipment manufacturer, has announced that it will reduce its staff numbers by 20% as part of a payroll reduction programme. Details of the cuts were discussed with staff at the end of August and will be finalised by September 30, 2002. The aim is to reduce quarterly operating costs by $4mn a year. Nigel Wheeler, president and CEO, said that the present poor market conditions with no visible recovery were the key factors in the decision. The cuts will affect all areas of the company with 400 staff worldwide.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) is to
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The DoD smartcards began rolling out in October 2001 to provide 4mn civilian and military employees and certain contractors with a single standard means of physical identification in access to buildings and computer networks. The cards are produced by SchlumbergerSema.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Honeywell's Electronic Materials business has been awarded US patents on sputtering target technology (Nos.6,323,055 B1, 6,331,233 B1 and 6,348,139 B1). A new tantalum refining method designed to reduce impurities such as molybdenum, tungsten and niobium is covered by No.6,323,055 B1. A process for fabricating tantalum sputtering targets with a uniform texture throughout the material and no textural banding is covered by No.6,331,233 B1. This patent also covers thin films of tantalum made from the sputtering targets using this method.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
World chip sales were $11.7bn in July, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation. This represents an 8% improvement on July 2001, the first year-on-year increase since February 2001. However, the increase is based on a 37.4% year-on-year increase in the Asia-Pacific region, with sales in July 2002 at $4.26bn. This hides declines in the other regions - 4.3% down in Europe, 3.4% down in the Americas and 4.0% down in Japan. European sales were $2.16bn in July 2002.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics claims that environmental conservation and recycling saved it $29m in absolute terms. The breakdown was $5m saved in energy bills, $4.5m in water costs and $19.5m in chemicals. The company plans to be carbon dioxide neutral by 2010. This is to be achieved by reducing total energy consumption by 5% a year for each $1m of added value, adopting alternative and renewable energy and taking part in reforestation programmes. These results are part of ST's latest corporate environmental report, in which ST repeats its belief that
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Asyst Technologies is moving to outsource most of its manufacturing operations to Solectron under a five-year supply agreement. Solectron will assume operational control of most of Asyst's manufacturing operations, which will be transitioned to Solectron's facilities in North America and Asia over the next six to 12 months. In addition, Solectron will buy from Asyst about $20mn of inventory to support production. Asyst's remaining $20mn of inventory consists primarily of finished goods and spare parts.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
MEMSCAP is shipping samples of low-port count photonic switches and variable optical attenuators (VOAs), aimed at the metro and access levels of the telecoms network. The switch samples are in evaluation at major customer sites. They are the first products out of MEMSCAP's fully automated, high-volume MEMS fabrication facility in Bernin, France. Insertion losses range from 0.5dB to 1.0dB, with a switching speed of 1msec. The foundry is equipped to handle both 150mm and 200mm wafers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Axcelis Technologies has completed its acquisition of Tritek International's semiconductor equipment division in China (Bulletin 442, July 22, 2002). Tritek's semiconductor equipment division will become part of Axcelis Technologies China, bringing the total China workforce to 40 people. Tritek is one of China's leading semiconductor equipment distribution and support firms.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Philips Electronics and Intersil plan to jointly develop a reference design based on a Philips chipset and Intersil laser driver for DVD+RW/+R (DVD+ReWriteable/+Recordable) drives. The reference design for both PC and standalone DVD recorders will support 4X record speeds, and has the potential to support speeds up to 12X. With DVD recorders based on this reference design, consumers will have the ability to create 4.7GByte video or data DVDs in fewer than 15 minutes, twice the speed of existing DVD recorders, claim the companies. The reference design will be offered to a broad range of DVD+RW manufacturers, including Philips.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
ASML order activity has slowed, according to reports in the Financial Times. Machines due to ship in H1 2003 have been hit by the scale back. ASML says its customers are taking a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
A US district court has denied a Therma-Wave motion for a preliminary injunction against Boxer Cross in a patent infringement case (Bulletins 437, June 17, 2002; 430, April 30, 2002). The court noted:
Wednesday 1st January 2003
In-Stat/MDR reports that 109m image sensors worth $1.2bn were shipped in 2001. This represents a unit increase from 2000's of just under 100m. Revenues are flat with 2000's $1.2bn. The company expects that 2004 will be the year that CMOS image sensors take over from charge-coupled devices (CCD) as the leading electronic image technology in terms of units. CCDs are expected to lead in revenues beyond 2006.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Intel is expecting Q3 revenues to be slightly below the mid range of its previous guidance of $6.3-6.9bn. The range has been narrowed to $6.3-6.7bn. Microprocessor units sales are at the lower end of seasonal patterns, but Flash memory is in line with expectations.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
German high performance BiCMOS foundry start-up Communicant Semiconductor Technologies and its technology partner Innovations for High Performance microelectronics (IHP) claim best-in-class SiGe:C BiCMOS. A ring oscillator constructed in the technology has achieved a 4.2ps gate delay. Earlier this year, IBM reported SiGe ring oscillators with measured time delays of 4.3ps (Bulletin 421, February 25, 2002).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
An Aixtron Tricent MOCVD reactor has been installed at the University of Magdeburg's new cleanroom facility for non-volatile memory material research. Magdeburg and Aixtron plan joint research activities on new precursors and related physical properties for the materials strontium bismuth tantalate (SBT) and lead zirconium tantalate (PZT) for future non-volatile ferroelectric memory (FeRAM) applications. Such memories would combine the ultra-fast read/write times of DRAMs with the non-volatile properties of EEPROMs.

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