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.
STMicroelectronics has developed a three-axis linear accelerometer aimed primarily at applications in handheld terminals. The device combines a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensor and an interface chip in a single package.
Microsystem producer Corning IntelliSense and Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector are collaborating on a US Air Force Research Laboratory/ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (AFRL/DARPA) sponsored programme on RF MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) improvement.
An IC design and software development centre has been set up in Rabat, Morocco, by STMicroelectronics. The decision to set up the centre expands on ST’s existing Moroccan presence from package, assembly and test.
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).
Infineon Technologies is to make seven presentations to the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2003) next week (February 9-13, 2003) in the USA. Infineon’s topics include bio-sensor array chips, flexible organic circuits and smart textiles. The company is also presenting new developments in high-speed communications chips (SiGe and CMOS), and the results of two joint research projects in memory chip design (ferroelectric RAM and SRAM).
The European Unions Competitiveness Council has agreed the creation of a Community Patent, based on a compromise from the Greek presidency. Discussions go back to 1975 when member states signed the "Luxembourg Convention". As reported earlier (February 28, 2003), one of the main differences concerned whether a central patent court would be established.