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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Seiko Epson and Cambridge Display Technology have agreed to form a joint venture company to offer technologies and services using ink-jet deposition for manufacturing light emitting polymer (LEP) displays. The deal comes after several years of joint development work involving the two companies. The new venture plans to produce an ink jet printing machine with Epson's print head. The inks will be produced from formulations specified by CDT for these heads. The new company is to be called
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Infineon Technologies is to buy Ericsson's core microelectronics business (MIC) for EUR400m in a share based deal, after reports of discussions last week (Bulletin 436, June 10, 2002). Approvals are pending, and closing is expected during summer 2002. MIC is one of the world's largest manufacturers for high end power amplifiers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The Institute for System Level Integration (Livingston, Scotland) and Lancaster University's Centre for Microsystems Engineering plan to jointly develop an international group specialising in design-for-test and reliability engineering. Both system-on-chip and microsystems (MEMS) are to be considered. The group will concentrate on research programmes, teaching, training activities and consultancy projects. Particular concerns will be manufacturing costs and quality of highly integrated, miniaturised electronic systems.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Korean foundry Dongbu Electronics has set up a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IXYS has managed to get an injunction against it stayed in the US appeals court. The injunction was granted to International Rectifier against IXYS MOSFETs that were found to infringe patents. The dispute was begun in 2000 (Bulletin 342, July 10, 2000). Late last year International Rectifier was found guilty of infringing IXYS power module patents in a separate action dating from late 2000 (Bulletin 364, December 12, 2000).
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
The opto-device division of Hitachi's Semiconductor and Integrated Circuit (SIC) group is to be transfered to Hitachi's OpNext subsidiary. The transfer is anticipated to be effective October 1, 2002. The transaction will cover the opto-device division of SIC as well as the opto-electrical device development and manufacturing team and fabrication facilities from Hitachi Tohbu Semiconductor.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
In-Stat/MDR is looking forward to better times for the handset semiconductor market - in 2006.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics is to supply critical components for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) being constructed by CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC will smash extreme high energy particles to investigate fundamental particle theories such as the
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Clare Micronix, recently acquired by IXYS (Bulletin 437, June 17, 2002), claims to have the industry's first standard product driver for cholesteric liquid crystal display (Ch LCD) panels. The new display driver IC, the MXED401, targets the emerging non-volatile reflective LCD market, specifically bi-stable and multi-stable Ch LCDs. The device is manufactured in a high voltage (30V) CMOS process. Samples are due to be available in gold-bumped die form next month.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Scientists at Princeton University are proposing direct imprint of nanostructures in silicon as an alternative to photolithography and etch (Nature, June 20, 2002). The team calls its new technique laser assisted direct imprint (LADI). An excimer laser pulse (308nm, 20ns) melts a thin surface layer of the silicon and a quartz mould is embossed into the resulting liquid. Structures with a 10nm resolution have been created. The embossing time is less than 250ns.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
French microsystems producer MEMSCAP has relocated its registered French headquarters, and all Grenoble-area facilities, to its new production site located in Bernin, outside of Grenoble. Last week, management and design teams moved to the new offices, joining the production staff, who have been on-site since December 2001. The company now operates in 13,520m2 of space. The official inauguration of the site will be held at a later date.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Communications IC producer TriQuint Semiconductor has acquired assets from IBM's wireless phone chipset business. TriQuint is taking over design, development, marketing and sales of certain standard and custom IBM semiconductor products used in wireless phones and other communications applications. IBM will continue to manufacture the components for TriQuint. The products being transferred to TriQuint include voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), receivers and wideband CDMA chipsets, all based on silicon germanium process technology. TriQuint will assume related product assets and be granted assignments and licenses to associated intellectual property. The transaction is expected to close by the end of June 2002. TriQuint will make an initial payment of $22m to IBM, with subsequent adjustments contingent upon business volumes.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Fujitsu and Toshiba have agreed to explore comprehensive collaboration on system-on-chip (SoC) solutions at 100nm and finer. The companies will establish several joint working groups to investigate collaboration in areas such as standardisation of design and development platforms and silicon technology; co-development of processor cores and other intellectual property; and joint development of advanced large-scale integration (LSI) for communications and other fields. The two companies may later seek to expand the partnership, including the possibility of integrating operations. The companies have previously worked together - for example on the fast channel RAM (FCRAM) high-speed memory.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
A "key customer" for Entegris has completed conversion to wafer carriers made from a proprietary blend of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and carbon fibre.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
SEMI produced its May book-to-bill figures for the North American semiconductor equipment industry. Bookings were $1.08bn and billings $0.862bn, giving a ratio of 1.26. The bookings were up 50% up on May 2001 and billings down 41%. April's book-to-bill was 1.22. VLSI Research confused matters for some by releasing its own
Wednesday 1st January 2003
US high tech company Motorola announced job reductions of 7000 people worldwide. The cut backs are due to hit all business segments and are designed to lower costs for manufacturing, R&D, sales and admin. The charges associated with the reorganisation are valued at $1.9bn. A total accounting charge of $3.5bn for this and other measures, including write-offs, is to be made. Total headcount by the end of the year is set to be 100,000 workers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IXYS subsidiary Clare has a 125mm Si wafer foundry service for high voltage IC (HVIC), micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) and silicon on insulator (SOI) products. In particular, Clare is making available 330V BCDMOS SOI-based HVIC process technology, MEMS fabrication with and without integrated HVIC circuitry, and thick film SOI wafers with and without lateral high voltage trench isolation. These capabilities are qualified and currently in production. Clare supports a fully integrated Cadence design environment for the HVIC process. Process and materials specifications, capabilities, design rules and qualification data are also available.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo engineering scientists report a ballistic magnetoresistance effect of 3150% at room temperature (Physical Review B, July 1, 2002). The researchers used electrodeposited nickel nanocontacts to produce devices with switching fields of a few hundred oersteds. The effect compares with the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect used in hard disk drives of less than 100%. One of the researchers, Harsh Deep Chopra, predicts that BMR devices could create storage capacities of a terabit per square inch. The detector could also be used in scientific studies of magnetism and to enhance the resolution of scanning probe microscopes.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
ASML opened a $72m North American Training Center near its US headquarters in Tempe AZ. The 10,000m2 facility is equipped with Class 100 cleanroom space, 23 classrooms and three computer labs. The centre is expected to bring more than 4000 visitors to the area during its first year of service. The facility is designed to train more than 16,000 people per year when it reaches full capacity. A team of 31 instructors will offer 145 courses on track and lithography tools, including those used in 300mm manufacturing.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics completed purchase of Alcatel Microelectronics (Bulletin 429, April 22, 2002). As part of the EUR390m cash transaction, the two companies are to cooperate on joint development of digital subscriber line (DSL) chip-sets that will also be made available to the open market. ST has also completed the sale of Alcatel Microelectronics' mixed-signal business activities to AMI Semiconductor. The transaction covers Alcatel Microelectronics' mixed-signal ASIC business and development groups, including two fabrication facilities located in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and the associated process technologies.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
FEI has joined the Damascus Alliance industry consortium of equipment suppliers founded by Novellus Systems, Lam Research and SpeedFam-IPEC in 1998 for copper dual damascene manufacturing promotion. An FEI DualBeam metrology system has been installed at the Customer Integration Center at Novellus' Silicon Valley campus.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
NanoPierce Technologies's subsidiary ExypnoTech (Rudolstadt, Germany) intends to supply smart RFID labels to Schreiner LogiData, a subsidiary of Schreiner, under a declaration of intent agreement. Schreiner and NanoPierce Card Technologies have collaborated since November 2000 in evaluating and testing NanoPierce's NCS (NanoPierce Connection System) technology for the production of smart labels. As a result, Schreiner LogiData is to begin using smart inlays from ExypnoTech in the autumn of 2002.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Mattson Technology and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing (DNS) have amicably resolved their legal disputes with a comprehensive, global settlement. The terms include termination of all outstanding litigation between the companies and cross licenses of patents related to certain aspects of wet immersion processing systems. The settlement agreement calls for DNS to pay $40m to Mattson for past damages, including partial reimbursement of legal fees, related to sales of certain wet processing products in the US.

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