TriQuint Semiconductor has completed a 1100m2 test facility in Tianjin,
China. Sawtek, a TriQuint subsidiary, will operate the plant, providing
assembly, test, mark, tape and reel support for cellphone products.
TriQuint began construction on the facility in November 2002.
Mattson Technology has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Wet
Products division to SCP Global Technologies, a wet processing equipment
provider. The sale is subject to certain conditions with closure due Q1
2003. As part of the transaction, Mattson Technology will retain the
rights to all future royalty and settlement payments under a legal
agreement with Dainippon Screen Manufacturing.
JMAR Technologies is to reorganise and sell some operations. JMAR
Research, JMAR/SAL NanoLithography, and JMAR Semiconductor will be merged
into one corporation with three divisions (Research, Systems and
Microelectronics, respectively). JMAR Precision Systems - a motion and
metrology equipment manufacturing operation - will be sold.
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers have developed a method for growing conducting polymers called Surface Polymerisation of Ion-Assisted Deposition or SPIAD (Journal of the American Chemical Society, online since February 6 and in print March 5, 2003).
French microsystem supplier MEMSCAP announced a global reorganisation "in order to better adapt and react to the market evolution". The company is hoping to achieve positive earnings before interest and tax from Q4 this year.
The Europractice IC Service has launched a service that it says reduces
the minimum for fabrication costs by a factor of up to ten. The new
[email protected] programme will enable universities and research laboratories
worldwide to fabricate very small designs at a cost of a few hundred euro.
Infineon Technologies and Saifun Semiconductors of Israel have set up Infineon Technologies Flash GmbH & Co. KG to develop Flash memory products. The joint venture has plans to integrate DRAM and Flash expertise. Infineon Flash stems from the Ingentix joint venture set up in 2001 by Infineon and Saifun. Infineon now holds 70% of the joint venture with headquarters in Dresden, Germany. As a result it is expected that 40 new jobs will be created in the area.
DRAM companies have been announcing chips and modules compliant with the double data rate 400Mbits/sec (DDR400) specification. Among the chip manufacturers with DDR400 products are Germanys Infineon Technologies, South Koreas Samsung and Hynix and Japans Elpida (former joint venture of NEC and Hitachi).
Researchers from Munich-based universities and from German chemical company Covion have developed a class of electroluminescent (EL) polymers that can be patterned in a way similar to standard lithography photoresists (Nature, February 20, 2003). In other words, the polymer is spin coated onto a substrate and then photographically patterned and processed.
Shipley opened a $30mn advanced technology centre in Massachusetts dedicated
to the development of lithography, interconnect, low-k dielectric and other
critical materials needed to produce the newest generations of
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Intel plans to convert its 200mm Fab 12 to 300mm production. The facility is located in Arizona. Costs for the conversion project are estimated at $2bn. Construction work is due to begin in H1 2004 with production scheduled for late 2005. The converted fab will start up production on 65nm process technology.
University of California Santa Barbara scientists (Nature, February 6, 2003)
have developed a photovoltaic device based on a Schottky diode structure
(metal-semiconductor rather than semiconductor-semiconductor junction).
Osram Opto Semiconductors has produced its first optical pumped
semiconductor (OPS) disk laser prototype. The company says that for the
first time its developers have achieved an 8W optical output power with an
optical pumping power of 19W at a wavelength of 980nm.
Agilent Technologies has agreed to buy the intellectual property and certain
other assets of Pixel Devices International, a developer of complementary
metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors.
Upon the close of the transaction, Pixels key employees will join Agilents
Semiconductor Products Group, including PDIs chief technical officer Boyd
Epitaxial wafer foundry IQE is to cut a further 60 jobs from its staffing,
bringing the total to 250. The majority of the redundancies will be at IQE
(Europe). The company reports that sales revenues for Q4 2002 are likely to
be approximately 5% below the GBP5.6mn reported in the previous quarter.
Toshiba has developed high-frequency silicon germanium (SiGe) RF transistors
that achieve a 0.52dB noise level - the lowest currently available in a SiGe
transistor, it is claimed. The transistors are produced on an expitaxial
Fairchild Semiconductor will supply US optical networking supplier OMM with micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) wafers under a long-term production agreement. OMM produces MEMS-based all-optical switching modules.
Samsung Electronics has become a new shareholder in the Symbian operating system (OS). The OS is designed for handheld devices and was originally developed for the Psion electronic organiser. Since then Symbian has been promoted for smartphones, with backing from companies such as Nokia, Ericsson/Sony Ericsson and Motorola.