Palomar Technologies’ Process Development and Prototyping Services (PDPS) is to use the FeinFocus FOX-160.25MFT x-ray inspection system for the inspection of advanced components, materials and packaging technologies.
Robert Bosch of Germany has ordered an Omega fxP cluster etcher from Trikon
Technologies. The tool will be configured with Trikons M0RI, GPE gas phase
chemical etching and DSi deep silicon etch modules. The fxP cluster etcher
will be installed at Boschs Reutlingen fab that specialises in the
manufacture of automotive sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems
IBM researchers (Science, May 2, 2003) have observed polarised infrared
optical emission from a carbon nanotube ambipolar field effect transistor
(FET). Electrical measurements suggest that the emission arises from
radiative recombination of electrons and holes simultaneously injected into
the undoped nanotube.
Infineon Technologies Emerging Technology Labs team has developed a fault-tolerant, self-organising embedded microcontroller network, which, coupled with sensors and LEDs, can be integrated into industrial or commercial textiles.
The CellularRAM co-development team of Cypress Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies and Micron Technology announced availability of 32Mbit CellularRAM devices for wireless handsets. Samples are available in both asynchronous and burst modes.
In-Stat/MDR expects an upturn in the semiconductor industry during H2 2003 resulting in 16.7% revenue growth to $164.2bn. Further growth is expected in 2004 and 2005 with 2006 beginning the next cyclical downturn.
While International SEMATECH expects to be able to advance the maturity if low-k dielectrics in time for the industry’s modified schedule, the consortium’s interconnect director believes that new approaches will achieve even better results.
Infineon Technologies plans to force the pace on its corporate restructuring for a "return to the profit zone and sustained success", according to Dr Ulrich Schumacher, Infineon’s president and CEO.
The company has set up an "Impact(2)" as a follow-up to the Impact cost-cutting initiative launched in summer 2001, which led to savings amounting to EUR2.8bn. Impact(2) will optimise corporate processes and structures for further cost reductions of EUR500mn – with EUR50mn coming in the current fiscal year. The lion’s share will be financially effective on an earning before interest and tax (EBIT) basis in the next fiscal year. A major contribution will be made by relocation of individual business units as well as by outsourcing of various functions to external service providers.
Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) announced the first mass-production of 50mm gallium nitride (GaN) substrates. Monthly production capacity has started at 200, and will increase to 500 by October 2003.
Hynix Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics are to co-operate in the development and long-term supply of NAND flash memories. DRAM technology and low-cost production capability will come from Hynix. ST will supply broad system application capabilities and its customer base. Jointly developed products will be ready for mass production sometime in H2 2003 beginning with a 512Mbit device. The first products will be manufactured in Seoul, Korea, but the agreement includes provisions for mutual sourcing.
Coherent Holding is making a tender offer to the shareholders of Lambda Physik for the 39.6% (5.25mn) of the outstanding shares that Coherent does not already own. Lambda Physik produces excimer lasers used in deep ultraviolet lithography (KrF, ArF, F2).
Coherent is offering EUR9.25 cash for each ordinary share of Lambda representing a premium of 46% over the closing price of Lambda shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on April 17, 2003, and a premium of 71% over the last 30-day average closing price.
Sony is to invest a total of JPY200bn ($1.7bn) over the three years 2003-2005 to install a semiconductor fabrication line for a 65nm process on 300mm wafers. The line will be used to manufacture the new microprocessor code-named "Cell" aimed at broadband internet networking applications as well as other system LSIs, by Sony’s Computer Entertainment business (SCEI). Of the JPY200bn, JPY73bn will be invested in FY2003.
Instalment of a new semiconductor fabrication line for building chips with 65nm process on 300mm wafers will be initiated in SCEI’s Fab2 in Isahaya City, Japan. Test production will begin using the new fabrication line, gradually moving on to mass production. This will include a 65nm embedded DRAM process.
SCEI has worked with IBM and Toshiba since the spring of 2001 on the development of the new microprocessor and on advanced semiconductor process technologies. Research and development of digital signal processing technologies for broadband applications are also being conducted.
For reasons both economic and ergonomic, full interbay and intrabay automated materials handling systems (AMHS) are a requirement for 300mm wafer processing. However, initial “evolutionary” approaches to AMHS underestimated the increased complexity of 300mm material handling. Gerald L Goff and Ann Wilkey of Asyst Technologies explore the latest advances in AMHS that have emerged as a result of “lessons learned” during the initial ramp of the first 300mm IC production facilities
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Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley US National Laboratory have produced single crystal gallium nitride nanotubes of inner diameters ranging from 30nm to 200mm (Nature, April 10, 2003).
TSMC announced new production data on its 0.13micron processes as well as a status report for 90nm. More than 230 product designs have been taped out to TSMCs 0.13micron processes and more than 100,000 0.1micron wafers shipped to date.
Semico Research believes that for many applications multi-chip system-in-packages (SiPs) will be preferred over system-on-chips (SoCs). The market researcher predicts that SiP contract packaging revenue will increase from $82.0mn in 2002 to $747.9bn in 2007, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.6%
Tessera is claiming the world’s first chip-scale packaging technology for integrated radio frequency (RF) module production with its Pyxis platform. The technology builds upon Tessera’s microBGA package while integrating various other features such as flip-chip, integrated passives in silicon and on polyimide, as well as novel electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. Along with a new licence, Tessera is offering a full suite of RF services, design tools and libraries.
ASM International (ASMI) has reached a settlement agreement with Genus concerning patent litigation pending between them. Under the terms of the agreement, ASM has the right to immediately appeal the US District Court’s claim construction rulings on ASM’s US patents Nos.6,015,590 and 5,916,365 relating to atomic layer deposition (ALD).
ASM Internationals European subsidiary has shipped its first A4ALD vertical
furnace for its proprietary Atomic Layer CVD (ALCVD) to a customer. The
batch system was installed and qualification of the first process was
Theoretical calculations from Belgiums Universite de Liege suggest a lower
limit to the useful thickness of ferroelectric layers (Nature, April 3,
2003). The researchers modelled a BaTiO3 thin film between two electrodes
(SrRuO3). The electrodes in short circuit lost their ferroelectric
properties below a critical thickness of six unit cells (24Angstroms). The
scientists say that dipoles at the ferroelectric-metal interface create a
depolarising electrostatic field.