The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics show world sales of ICs at $11.37bn
in May, down 10.5% year-on-year. Asia Pacific showed an increase of 22.4% to
$4.16bn. Europe was down 20.6% at $2.24bn. The Americas and Japan were down
21.0% at $2.65bn and 25.9% at $2.33bn, respectively.
Worldwide silicon demand will amount to a surface area of 2.58km2 (3997m
square inches) this year, according to VLSI Research. Next year this will
increase to 4.60km2. In 2001, 2.41km2 of silicon were sold, according to
VLSI. In terms of wafers, 118m were sold in 2001 and this year's expectation
is for 120m. Next year, 138m are due to be shipped. By 2007, 300mm wafers
are expected to account for 46% of silicon demand, with 200mm supplying 36%.
The recession in the telecoms sector was underlined last week with Bookham
Technology announcing it is to close two out of its four manufacturing
sites. Facilities in the UK (Swindon) and USA (Maryland) are to close.
Philips Electronics has developed a new Flash memory option for its
0.18micron baseline CMOS process, CMOS18. The new CMOS18-FFLV (Fast-Flash,
Low-Voltage) option offers memory densities approaching 1Mbit/mm2. Philips
claims that CMOS18-FFLV implements the smallest area Flash memory blocks in
Shipley Europe has opened a GBP3m distribution centre in the UK. The storage
area contains nearly 7000 pallet spaces, including more than 1000 in
temperature controlled zones dedicated to sensitive photoresists for
semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing. Construction began in
July last year, and the centre opened for business in April 2002.
TriQuint Semiconductor reports that it has completed two acquisitions - the
Infineon Technologies' gallium arsenide and IBM's wireless phone chipset
businesses (Bulletins 431, May 7, 2002; 438, June 24, 2002).
The first transaction includes development and marketing activities with 60
former Infineon employees. TriQuint will not acquire the manufacturing
operations, but rather enter into an interim supply agreement with Infineon.
Frankfurt-based Covion Organic Semiconductors has signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) for co-operation in organic semiconductor materials with
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). The agreement
covers future R&D project development and co-operation in chemical
engineering, innovative materials and opto-electronic devices with ITRI
divisions and centres in Taiwan. Covion says it is the only company offering
both small molecule and polymer light emitting materials on a commercial
scale for flat panel display and opto-electronic applications.
ASM International has been granted US patents on its low-k dielectric PECVD
(plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition) film deposition technology
(Nos.6,352,945, 6,383,955 and 6,410,463).
Tominori Yoshida, product manager of ASM's Low-k Modules group, reports:
A Texas-based epitaxial wafer supplier, GlobiTech, has been qualified to
produce isotopically pure silicon-28 epitaxial wafers using silicon-28
trichlorosilane. Isotopic material developer Isonics has agreed to work with
GlobiTech to supply silicon-28 wafers. Isotopically purified silicon-28 has
60% higher thermal conductivity than natural silicon and can reduce the self
heating of ICs.
If Gartner Dataquest is to be believed, the 1 billionth PC was shipped in
April 2002. The market researchers expect the next billion mark to be passed
in 2008. This seems a tall order, but Dataquest says the industry will
receive a boost when there is
German mixed-signal test equipment maker SZ Testsysteme reports a renewed
recession in the past three months. Customers have postponed orders for Q3
into the next financial year. Sales of EUR25m are expected,
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
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
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.
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%.
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.
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%.
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).
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.
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
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.