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Wednesday 1st January 2003
World chip sales were $11.7bn in July, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation. This represents an 8% improvement on July 2001, the first year-on-year increase since February 2001. However, the increase is based on a 37.4% year-on-year increase in the Asia-Pacific region, with sales in July 2002 at $4.26bn. This hides declines in the other regions - 4.3% down in Europe, 3.4% down in the Americas and 4.0% down in Japan. European sales were $2.16bn in July 2002.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics claims that environmental conservation and recycling saved it $29m in absolute terms. The breakdown was $5m saved in energy bills, $4.5m in water costs and $19.5m in chemicals. The company plans to be carbon dioxide neutral by 2010. This is to be achieved by reducing total energy consumption by 5% a year for each $1m of added value, adopting alternative and renewable energy and taking part in reforestation programmes. These results are part of ST's latest corporate environmental report, in which ST repeats its belief that
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Asyst Technologies is moving to outsource most of its manufacturing operations to Solectron under a five-year supply agreement. Solectron will assume operational control of most of Asyst's manufacturing operations, which will be transitioned to Solectron's facilities in North America and Asia over the next six to 12 months. In addition, Solectron will buy from Asyst about $20mn of inventory to support production. Asyst's remaining $20mn of inventory consists primarily of finished goods and spare parts.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
MEMSCAP is shipping samples of low-port count photonic switches and variable optical attenuators (VOAs), aimed at the metro and access levels of the telecoms network. The switch samples are in evaluation at major customer sites. They are the first products out of MEMSCAP's fully automated, high-volume MEMS fabrication facility in Bernin, France. Insertion losses range from 0.5dB to 1.0dB, with a switching speed of 1msec. The foundry is equipped to handle both 150mm and 200mm wafers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Axcelis Technologies has completed its acquisition of Tritek International's semiconductor equipment division in China (Bulletin 442, July 22, 2002). Tritek's semiconductor equipment division will become part of Axcelis Technologies China, bringing the total China workforce to 40 people. Tritek is one of China's leading semiconductor equipment distribution and support firms.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Philips Electronics and Intersil plan to jointly develop a reference design based on a Philips chipset and Intersil laser driver for DVD+RW/+R (DVD+ReWriteable/+Recordable) drives. The reference design for both PC and standalone DVD recorders will support 4X record speeds, and has the potential to support speeds up to 12X. With DVD recorders based on this reference design, consumers will have the ability to create 4.7GByte video or data DVDs in fewer than 15 minutes, twice the speed of existing DVD recorders, claim the companies. The reference design will be offered to a broad range of DVD+RW manufacturers, including Philips.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
ASML order activity has slowed, according to reports in the Financial Times. Machines due to ship in H1 2003 have been hit by the scale back. ASML says its customers are taking a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
A US district court has denied a Therma-Wave motion for a preliminary injunction against Boxer Cross in a patent infringement case (Bulletins 437, June 17, 2002; 430, April 30, 2002). The court noted:
Wednesday 1st January 2003
In-Stat/MDR reports that 109m image sensors worth $1.2bn were shipped in 2001. This represents a unit increase from 2000's of just under 100m. Revenues are flat with 2000's $1.2bn. The company expects that 2004 will be the year that CMOS image sensors take over from charge-coupled devices (CCD) as the leading electronic image technology in terms of units. CCDs are expected to lead in revenues beyond 2006.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Intel is expecting Q3 revenues to be slightly below the mid range of its previous guidance of $6.3-6.9bn. The range has been narrowed to $6.3-6.7bn. Microprocessor units sales are at the lower end of seasonal patterns, but Flash memory is in line with expectations.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
German high performance BiCMOS foundry start-up Communicant Semiconductor Technologies and its technology partner Innovations for High Performance microelectronics (IHP) claim best-in-class SiGe:C BiCMOS. A ring oscillator constructed in the technology has achieved a 4.2ps gate delay. Earlier this year, IBM reported SiGe ring oscillators with measured time delays of 4.3ps (Bulletin 421, February 25, 2002).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
An Aixtron Tricent MOCVD reactor has been installed at the University of Magdeburg's new cleanroom facility for non-volatile memory material research. Magdeburg and Aixtron plan joint research activities on new precursors and related physical properties for the materials strontium bismuth tantalate (SBT) and lead zirconium tantalate (PZT) for future non-volatile ferroelectric memory (FeRAM) applications. Such memories would combine the ultra-fast read/write times of DRAMs with the non-volatile properties of EEPROMs.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Manganese-doped gallium phosphide has been found to be ferromagnetic above room temperature (Physical Review Letters, September 2, 2002) in work carried out with collaboration between the University of Florida and Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories. The ferromagnetic property peaks at 3atomic%. While low temperature behaviour suggests ferromagnetism up to a Curie temperature of 385K, the experimental value is 270K (below 0C).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) has filed an application regarding plans for a fab investment project in Mainland China. The application was filed with the Investment Committee of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. After obtaining government approval, the company plans to establish a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary in Mainland China, for the purpose of building a 200mm fab in the Songjiang Science Park in Shanghai and to provide foundry services in Mainland China.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Advanced Photonix' board of directors has unanimously rejected an unsolicited and conditional takeover offer from OSI Systems. OSIS is a direct competitor of API. The board is reviewing appropriate steps designed to insure that the company can maintain its independence. Advanced Photonix supplies silicon-based electro-optical products and designs to OEMs. Products include patented Large Area Avalanche Photodiode (LAAPD) and FILTRODE detectors, as well as PIN photodiodes.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
AMD and UMC plan to jointly develop advanced process control (APC) technology for 300mm semiconductor manufacturing. APC aims at minimising costs, maximising productivity, ensuring consistent high quality and facilitating real-time adjustments to the manufacturing process for improved yields. APC techniques include run-to-run control (RtR) and fault detection and classification (FDC). RtR minimises process drift and variation by providing real-time, automated feed-forward and feedback adjustments to process tools. FDC reduces wafer losses by monitoring and proactively shutting down complex tools before machine drift can adversely affect device yields.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
STMicroelectronics has made a multi-year, multi-generation license agreement with embedded memory developer Virage Logic. ST has licensed Virage Logic's entire portfolio of embedded memory technology and embedded software tools for its future 90nm and 65nm and current 0.13micron logic processes. Virage Logic is to expand its embedded SRAMs, ROMs and non-volatile memory platforms for both 90nm and future 65nm products targeted for ST's 300mm Crolles II fab in France. STMicroelectronics has already successfully taped out 90nm memory products from Virage Logic.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Compound annual growth rates for microcontroller unit shipments is expected to be 11.32% in the period 2001-2006, according to In-Stat/MDR. Revenue CAGRs is expected to be 1% as a result of price erosion. The devices are expected to meet increasing competition from system on chip products.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
The Taiwan foundries reported net sales figures for August. TSMC achieved 50% growth on 2001 with TWD13.544bn. UMC's sales were at TWD6.413bn, up 64% year-on-year.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Fairchild is pushing a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Corning has received a patent for a photoblank substrate material specific to the 248nm and 193nm microlithography technology nodes.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Parthus Technologies has licensed its phase lock loop (PLL) intellectual property (IP) to the 1st Silicon (Malaysia) foundry. As the first phase of the agreement, 1st Silicon will verify the Parthus PLL IP in silicon using a test chip containing multiple PLL instantiations designed to exercise the extremes of the design range. Further verification will be completed through simulations using an automated test bench designed to test all valid PLL configurations in 1st Silicon's 0.25micron and 0.18micron CMOS process technologies. PLLs are used in clock synthesis cores. Software will be available to 1st Silicon customers through the Parthus website in October 2002.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Tokyo Electron's Arizona subsidiary (TAZ) has settled its claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and other claims against Hummel Machine and Tool Company and certain affiliated parties in the US courts. Hummel manufactured machine parts from TAZ designs for the Eclipse machine under a non-disclosure agreement for many years. In the lawsuit, TAZ alleges that Discreet Industries stole TAZ's designs for replacement parts used in TAZ' Eclipse single wafer PVD tools and corrupted TAZ's confidential supplier network. In the settlement, Hummel admits liability and agrees to pay a substantial royalty on the parts to TAZ. Further, Hummel admits breaching the non-disclosure agreement and using confidential information to make parts for Discreet Industries. The court has accepted the settlement. Hummel will continue to make Eclipse machine parts based on TAZ designs only for TAZ.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Infineon Technologies has a five year plan (Agenda 5-to-1) to be among the top four IC manufacturers by 2007. In its five business groups, the company has set the target of being among the top three - and top two in terms of profitability. The company wants to be number one

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