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Wednesday 1st January 2003
VLSI Research puts the global equipment market book-to-bill ratio at 1.24 in June. Billings were at $2.56bn and bookings were at $3.17bn. May's book-to-bill figure was 1.16 and the company is expecting 1.38 in July. For IC sales, the market researchers have three-month average bookings at $11.2bn and billings at $9.5bn for a ratio of 1.18. The July estimate is 1.50 ($14.5bn/$9.7bn). Front-end capacity utilisation is given as 83.0% in May and 87.7%, with projections for 88.7% in July.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Infineon Technologies reports revenues of EUR1.4bn for the quarter ended June 30, 2002. This represents a 10% increase on the previous year. Net losses were EUR76m, an improvement on 2001's EUR371m. The company is expecting
Wednesday 1st January 2003
A warning to over-optimistic nanotechnologists comes from the world of basic research where Australian scientists have produced measurable violations of the
Wednesday 1st January 2003
NanoInk has released its first
Wednesday 1st January 2003
European silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer producer Soitec is in the process of accepting the complete tool set needed to produce 300mm wafers at its Bernin II facility in France. The toolset includes ion-implantation, bonding, chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) and metrology tools. Twelve production lines with a capacity of 1.2mn wafer starts per year are planned for installation at the new facility. These will be used for the production of 300mm and 200mm SOI wafers. Production in this new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to commence before the end of the year, with the first line due for qualification in November.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
KVH Industries has signed an agreement with ABB's High Voltage business to cooperate in the development of a new fibreoptic current sensor. The agreement follows a series of joint research projects during which the companies explored the feasibility of using fibreoptics to measure current in high-voltage power lines. The new fibreoptic sensors have been designed for more accurate energy metering and wider bandwidth and improved safety over conventional technologies.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
DuPont has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ChemFirst for $408mn. ChemFirst supplies electronic chemicals and materials to the semiconductor industry. The company has 480 employees and primary manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, Texas, Ohio, California, Scotland and Japan. The semiconductor fabrication materials businesses include EKC Technologies and ChemFirst Electronic Materials. ChemFirst's electronic materials business segments will become a part of DuPont Electronic Technologies in the DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies sector.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
EV Group (EVG) has completed installation and qualification of its automated EVG 850 SOI production wafer bonding system at Analog Devices' SOI (silicon-on-insulator) fab in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Analog Devices is expanding its SOI wafer production capacity to meet demand for thick film SOI wafers. Applications of the substrates include MEMS and power devices.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Vishay Intertechnology's Siliconix subsidiary and Fairchild Semiconductor International have settled a US patent infringement lawsuit brought by Siliconix against Fairchild. The suit alleged that certain Fairchild products infringe two Siliconix patents that relate generally to power trench metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) products. As part of the settlement, Siliconix granted Fairchild a license to the two patents.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
SEMI announced its preliminary book-to-bill ratio of 1.28 for the North American semiconductor equipment industry in June. Bookings of $1.16bn were up 59% up on June 2001. Billings were $906mn, down 33%. May's final book-to-bill is 1.28. The figures are now compiled by David Powell Inc, an
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics reports Q2 net revenues at $1.53bn, slightly down on Q2 2001's $1.59bn. Net income was $104.7mn, compared with last year's $154.5mn. President/CEO Pasquale Pistorio comments:
Wednesday 1st January 2003
AMD, Infineon Technologies, and UMC plan to collaborate on the development of common high-volume 65/45nm logic manufacturing platforms for 300mm wafers. Initial work for the joint development program will take place at a UMC facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan. With this initiative, Infineon expands upon an existing agreement they have with UMC to develop 130/90nm process technology and will join the process development programme AMD and UMC announced earlier this year targeted for the 65nm and 45nm nodes.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Texas Instruments has a new silicon-germanium (SiGe) complementary bipolar-CMOS manufacturing process (BiCom-III) that increases speeds up to 3x over other currently available complementary bipolar processes. The new SiGe process is claimed as the industry's first to integrate both NPN- and PNP-type bipolar transistors. This reduces noise by 50% noise for operational amplifiers and other high-performance mixed signal products. The process also used silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and deep trench isolation. The 0.4micron emitter NPN and PNP transistors are rated at 30kV and 10kV, respectively.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
US magnetic memory developer Micromem has been approved for funding by a non-profit research funding agency to support a proposed research collaboration with a university. The funding is conditional upon signing of a collaboration agreement among Micromem, the agency and a university. Further, Micromem will have to match the external funding. No shares will be issued.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IBM's 300mm semiconductor facility in New York state (East Fishkill) has been opened. The $2.5bn investment will house both development and manufacturing. Work on prototype customer designs has begun and the facility is on-schedule to begin volume manufacturing later this year. The new facility covers an area of 12,000m2 and is designed to support the creation of chips with circuits smaller than 100nm.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
MEMSCAP has agreed to buy substantially all of the business and assets of JDS Uniphase's Cronos MEMS business unit. The French microsystems company will be JDS Uniphase's exclusive supplier of MEMS-based products. As part of the agreement, JDS Uniphase has provided MEMSCAP with initial purchase commitments for products and services.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
AMD, Fujitsu and Saifun Semiconductors have agreed to cross-license patents and technology, settle all pending litigation and collaborate in the development of future generations of non-volatile memory (NVM) technology. As part of the collaboration, AMD and Fujitsu will also take an equity stake in Saifun.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Filtronic has closed the 75mm compound semiconductor fab at its US Filtronic Solid State subsidiary in California. The operation will now run fablessly using Filtronic's UK facility in Newton Aycliffe to produce devices. The UK group is hoping the UK fab will break even by May 2003, dependent on the success of its customer M/A-COM in the wireless handset switch market. The failure of this opportunity would see Newton Aycliffe lose more than GBP1mn a month for the rest of the financial year (to May 31, 2003).
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Korean epiwafer company EPIPLUS has started high volume GaN-LED production using a 19x50mm close-coupled showerhead (CCS) MOCVD system from UK equipment supplier Thomas Swan Scientific Equipment. EPIPLUS was set up in May 2000 and is a lead company in an epiwafer technology development programme sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. The Korean company moved to new buildings in early 2001, and started commercial production of epiwafers in the second half of that year. EPIPLUS now manufactures a product range including 100mm and 150mm InGaP/GaAs and AlGaAs/GaAs HBT epiwafers and blue and green GaN-based LED epitaxial wafers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation reports world IC sales at $11.351bn in June 2002 (three-month moving average). The European share was $2.145bn, down 14.3% on last year. Asia Pacific managed year-on-year growth of 29.5% to $4.169bn. The Americas market shrank 10.9% to $2.585bn and Japan was 25.9% down at $2.452bn.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
UMC reports Q2 net sales of TWD18.58bn resulting in net income of TWD4.45bn. These compare with net sales of TWD15.00bn and a net loss of TWD1.85bn in Q2 2001. The capital spending budget is to be cut from $1.6bn to $1.3bn
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Researchers at Infineon Technologies have developed a technique to solder different types of chip together to form a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Actel and Infineon Technologies are to jointly develop Flash memory field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions for production in a 0.13micron process. The work will build on Actel's Flash-based ProASIC FPGA family and Infineon's process technology. New market segments will be investigated such as smartcards, automotive, industrial controls and mobile communications. The deal expands on a 1997 Flash process development and manufacturing agreement between the companies.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Scientists at IBM and Nion R&D have improved the resolution to the sub-Anstrom level in electron microscopes by reducing aberration effects. The resolution performance is about 20 times the wavelength of the 120keV electrons. The team combined seven new sets of magnetic lens designed by computers to correct for spherical aberrations. The work was based on a VG Microscopes' HB501 STEM with the addition of a quadrupole-octupole aberration corrector. The four quadrupoles are separated by three octupoles. The researchers believe this is the smallest resolution achieved so far for direct electron imaging, although a posteriori processing of high energy electron scattering has resulted in higher resolution. High energy can result in beam damage of the target. The new microscope assembly was used to image gold atoms on a carbon substrate.

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