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Wednesday 1st January 2003
US DRAM company Micron Technology held its first ever European summit in London, UK, on July 10. Steve Appleton - chairman, CEO and president - pointed with pride to Micron's US patent record in 2001, coming second only to IBM. In effect, this makes Micron the No.1 in semiconductor patents, he argued, since many of IBM's patents are not IC related. [The US Patent and Trademark Office puts Micron (1643) at No.4 internationally, after IBM (3411), NEC (1953) and Canon (1877). So, Micron is the No.2 company from the UNITED STATES. The No.1 ranking for a semiconductor company still stands. Bulletin 415, January 14, 2002.]
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics has started volume deliveries of its ST19XT34 secure microcontroller that can receive Universal Serial Bus (USB) certification for use in smartcards and tokens. The device integrates both USB and standard ISO 7816 interfaces. The USB interface includes full clock recovery, eliminating the need for external components such as clock crystals and pull-up resistors. The USB interface can communicate at speeds greater than the traditional smartcard ISO 7816 standard.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
ChipMOS Technologies (Bermuda) claims development of a new high-speed wafer test technology for probe testing 32 in parallel DDR (double data rate) DRAMs at 200MHz clock rates and 400Mbit/sec data rates. The development project was financially supported by the Taiwanese government. The technology was developed using Teradyne's Probe-One Memory Test System, TEL's P12XL Prober, and FormFactor's BladeRunner technology area array probe cards. ChipMOS now has a pilot line for 200mm and 300mm wafers in place.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The transaction should be finalised within the next 60 days, subject to completion of certain conditions. Upon completion of the transaction Amkor intends to repay all of a $97m term loan under its secured bank credit agreement. A $100m revolver agreement will remain in place. Dongbu has also agreed to buy 12m newly issued shares of ASI. With these transactions, Amkor's ownership interest in Anam Semiconductor will be reduced to approximately 22%.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Alcatel Optronics has sold its Netherlands operation in a Management Buy Out (MBO). The non-telecom MEMS and planar design software operation was the result of two start-ups bought by Kymata prior to its being acquired in its turn by Alcatel Optronics. The new entity, called C2V, is independently owned and financially supported by Greenfield Capital Partners, a Dutch private equity firm. A C2V team will be dedicated to Alcatel Optronics for a one and a half year period on a planar design R&D programme.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Gartner Dataquest is looking forward to growth in the wafer fab equipment market with 5.3% growth year-on-year expected in Q3 with revenues reaching $5.2bn. The whole year, however, will show a decline of 20% from $23.7bn in 2001 to $18.9bn this year. Semiconductor capital spending for 2002 is expected to be $35.3bn, down 20.9% on 2001's $44.6bn. The foundry sector will account for much of the increased spending this year. Lack of demand and overcapacity are still slowing the market with spending focused on new technology. Next year, capital spending is expected to reach $47.3bn, 34% up. Equipment buying will be worth $26.9bn, up 42.1%.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Taiwan's two leading foundries report their June sales report. TSMC's sales were TWD15.615bn, up 83.4% on June 2001. UMC also substantially improved on 2001 with TWD6.711bn in revenues, up 58.4%. Half year sales were up 21.5% at TSMC (TWD79.972bn) and down 20.4% at UMC (TWD30.739bn).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Air Products and Chemicals Electronics Division's Schumacher unit is to serve as global master distributor of three new liquid chemical vapour deposition (CVD) precursors from Dow Corning (Z4MS, ZTOMCATS and Z2DM). The new products are multifunctional silicon source liquids specifically designed for thin film dielectric deposition processes for passivation, etch stop, hard mask and copper diffusion barrier films. The new alliance builds on an agreement between the companies under which Air Products serves as the worldwide master distributor of Dow Corning's Z3MS CVD precursor (trimethylsilane), which is used instead of silane or tetraethyl orthosilicate-based CVD materials.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
A bleak beginning to the Semicon West show in California was provided courtesy of Intel's Q2 results. The company is to cut expenses by $2.1bn in Q3 with 4000 people set to lose their jobs. Further, capital spending for the year is to be reduced from $5.5bn to $5.1-5.2bn, The 2002 R&D budget will be $100m less at $4.0bn from $4.1bn. Q3 revenues are expected to be $6.3-6.9bn.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The US National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) has launched a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
International SEMATECH (ISMT) and the State University of New York (SUNY) University at Albany-SUNY (UAlbany) plan a joint five-year $320m programme on next generation lithography. The letter of intent calls for negotiations to start immediately on the formation of a strategic alliance - to be known as International SEMATECH North (ISMTN) - to conduct R&D on advanced lithography infrastructure for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) processes. The programme would be managed by International SEMATECH and housed in UAlbany's 300mm wafer facility. A final agreement on the strategic alliance is hoped for by the end of Q3 this year.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Microchip Technology has executed an agreement to acquire a semiconductor manufacturing complex in Gresham OR from Fujitsu Microelectronics for $183.5m.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Philips Electronics is to sell its x-ray analytical business to UK-based Spectris for a total amount of EUR150m. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary consultation procedures with trade unions and works councils and clearance by the competition authorities. The takeover is expected to take place later this year. The business will be renamed PANalytical as part of Spectris' Process Technology sector.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IBM has agreed to work with the packaging and assembly companies on its latest Surface Laminar Circuit (SLC) flip chip substrate and packaging development. Three companies apart from IBM are taking part - Amkor, ASAT and ASE. These companies will be enabled to provide flip chip design and assembly services. IBM will support their efforts with substrate design along with electrical, mechanical and thermal modelling.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Wafer cleaning tool company SEZ Group has received an order worth CHF4.8m for multiple spin-processors from a European 300mm consortium. The 304s will be used for backside film removal and decontamination including bevel clean. The tool orders are the first for SEZ from this fab. Delivery is scheduled for the current business year.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Rambus has licensed its RaSer serial link technology to Intel for use in Ethernet network applications. The Rambus RaSer 1-3.125Gbits/sec technology includes hard macro physical layer interface cells that can be integrated in ASIC or ASSP controller chips.
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
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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.
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.

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