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Wednesday 1st January 2003
German plasma etch equipment supplier ASYNTIS has raised EUR2mn in first round of financing with venture capital company Earlybird. Dr Berthold Kegel, CEO and co-founder of ASYNTIS, reports:
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Fujitsu Microelectronics has exercised its option to accelerate the sale of its Gresham wafer fab to Microchip Technology to August 2002. One of the remaining closing conditions is the qualification of the facility under Oregon's Strategic Investment Program. Microchip has made a definitive agreement to buy the Gresham semiconductor manufacturing facility from Fujitsu Microelectronics for $183.5mn (Bulletin 442, July 22, 2002).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Communicant Semiconductor Technologies has named the company's chairman and co-founder, Dr Abbas Ourmazd, as interim CEO. This follows the resignation of Dr Klaus Wiemer (Bulletin 437, June 17, 2002). Ourmazd previously served as scientific director of the Innovations for High Per-formance microelectronics (IHP) organisation that supplies many of the leading edge process technologies for wireless and broadband communication to be used by Communicant. The company says it will be announcing additional senior appointments in the coming months.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Ibis Technology has been granted a Korean patent for its MagScan magnetic scanning technology used in Ibis' oxygen implanters for SIMOX silicon on insulator (SOI) wafers. MagScan provides a method for scanning a high current beam quickly (150Hz) and with a very precisely controlled waveform. This technology enables improved uniformity in the final wafers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has ordered an atomic layer deposition (ALD) system from US company Genus. The company is looking to reach a customer base of 12-14 by year-end. The IME is Genus' tenth customer. The tool will be used for advanced capacitor and gate dielectric applications and is scheduled to ship before year-end.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Standard & Poor's semiconductor equipment equity analyst expects that chip-equipment industry order rates will decline in the second half of 2002, but that a recovery will resume in 2003.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Austrian cleaning toolmaker SEZ reports H1 net sales at EUR65.8mn, compared with EUR97.8mn in 2001. The net loss for the half year is EUR1.4mn. In 2001, a net profit of EUR15.4mn was made. Order intake increased to EUR74.1mn compared with EUR68.9mn, but backlog is down at EUR40.1mn from EUR61.9mn for the same time last year. The company management is assuming that there will be no
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Rockwell Scientific and UMC have successfully developed a readout integrated circuit (ROIC), the HAWAII-2RG, for the infrared detectors used by astronomy focal plane arrays (FPAs).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Intense Photonics has closed a GBP10.5mn series B funding round. Cazenove Private Equity led the round with a syndicate containing first round investors, 3i and ACT Venture Capital, together with two further European venture capital funds, FNI Venture Capital and TTP Ventures. Intense Photonics will use the funds to accelerate the development of its product range and strengthen its marketing effort.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
As part of IQE's
Wednesday 1st January 2003
PDF Solutions is working with Israeli foundry Tower Semiconductor to achieve best-in-class yield and performance on a 0.18micron CMOS process. The work is to be carried out at Tower's new 200mm Fab 2 facility. PDF's technology aims at enabling quick analysis of the complex interactions between manufacturing processes and designs.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
August Technology has terminated its May 2002 purchase agreement with Semiconductor Technologies and Instruments (STI) (Texas) and ASTI Holdings Limited (Singapore) to acquire the Texas-based STI wafer inspection business. August Technology says it terminated the agreement
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
SEMI reports the North American equipment manufacturer book to bill ratio for July at 1.16 (preliminary). The three-month average booking figure is $1.15bn and the billing figure is $995mn. The bookings are 50% up on July 2001 and the billings 17% down. June's book-to-bill was 1.26 (final).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IQE reports Q2 sales at GBP6.357mn, compared with GBP13.158mn last year. The net loss was GBP52.3mn. Last year a net profit of GBP0.621mn was made in the same period. The company wrote off GBP33.866mn in
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Infineon Technologies and LSI Logic have made a joint development agreement (JDA) to share existing intellectual property (IP), to develop new IP and to collaborate on the design of integrated circuits for hard disk drive (HDD) applications. Infineon and LSI Logic expect that initial products resulting from the JDA will be available beginning in H2 2003.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore Technologies (ST) has undertaken to subscribe for its 60.5% pro-rata entitlement of a Chartered Semiconductor rights offering. There has recently been speculation that the state-run ST was seeking to disengage from its semiconductor investments such as the Chartered foundry operation and the packaging and test company STATS. ST is Chartered's largest shareholder.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing foundry announced a joint technology agreement with IMEC, Europe's leading independent R&D centre for microelectronics. As a result, Chartered will be offering a 0.18micron silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS manufacturing capability by H2 2003. Chartered is joining IMEC's Industrial Affiliation Program on 0.18micron BiCMOS. This aims at technology optimised for low power, low noise RF applications in the 2-5GHz range. A preliminary process design kit is due from Chartered in Q3 2003. Pilot production is expected by the end of that year.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing foundry announced a joint technology agreement with IMEC, Europe's leading independent R&D centre for microelectronics. As a result, Chartered will be offering a 0.18micron silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS manufacturing capability by H2 2003. Chartered is joining IMEC's Industrial Affiliation Program on 0.18micron BiCMOS. This aims at technology optimised for low power, low noise RF applications in the 2-5GHz range. A preliminary process design kit is due from Chartered in Q3 2003. Pilot production is expected by the end of that year.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
TSMC is planning a $1.1bn construction of a 200mm 0.25micron facility in China, according to a letter of intent signed with Shanghai's Sonjiang district government. Production would begin in September 2003. Over eight years, TSMC could invest $10bn in the fab.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Microchip Technology has completed its acquisition of a semiconductor manufacturing complex in Gresham from Fujitsu Microelectronics for $183.5mn in cash. Microchip expects that initial hiring will reach approximately 60 people during pre-production phases. Over time, Microchip believes it could employ 360 people as the Gresham facility reaches high volume manufacturing capacity over the next five to six years.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Trikon Technologies, the Welsh process equipment manufacturer, has announced that it will reduce its staff numbers by 20% as part of a payroll reduction programme. Details of the cuts were discussed with staff at the end of August and will be finalised by September 30, 2002. The aim is to reduce quarterly operating costs by $4mn a year. Nigel Wheeler, president and CEO, said that the present poor market conditions with no visible recovery were the key factors in the decision. The cuts will affect all areas of the company with 400 staff worldwide.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) is to
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The DoD smartcards began rolling out in October 2001 to provide 4mn civilian and military employees and certain contractors with a single standard means of physical identification in access to buildings and computer networks. The cards are produced by SchlumbergerSema.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Honeywell's Electronic Materials business has been awarded US patents on sputtering target technology (Nos.6,323,055 B1, 6,331,233 B1 and 6,348,139 B1). A new tantalum refining method designed to reduce impurities such as molybdenum, tungsten and niobium is covered by No.6,323,055 B1. A process for fabricating tantalum sputtering targets with a uniform texture throughout the material and no textural banding is covered by No.6,331,233 B1. This patent also covers thin films of tantalum made from the sputtering targets using this method.

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