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Wednesday 1st January 2003
AMD, Infineon Technologies, and UMC plan to collaborate on the development of common high-volume 65/45nm logic manufacturing platforms for 300mm wafers. Initial work for the joint development program will take place at a UMC facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan. With this initiative, Infineon expands upon an existing agreement they have with UMC to develop 130/90nm process technology and will join the process development programme AMD and UMC announced earlier this year targeted for the 65nm and 45nm nodes.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Texas Instruments has a new silicon-germanium (SiGe) complementary bipolar-CMOS manufacturing process (BiCom-III) that increases speeds up to 3x over other currently available complementary bipolar processes. The new SiGe process is claimed as the industry's first to integrate both NPN- and PNP-type bipolar transistors. This reduces noise by 50% noise for operational amplifiers and other high-performance mixed signal products. The process also used silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and deep trench isolation. The 0.4micron emitter NPN and PNP transistors are rated at 30kV and 10kV, respectively.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
US magnetic memory developer Micromem has been approved for funding by a non-profit research funding agency to support a proposed research collaboration with a university. The funding is conditional upon signing of a collaboration agreement among Micromem, the agency and a university. Further, Micromem will have to match the external funding. No shares will be issued.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
IBM's 300mm semiconductor facility in New York state (East Fishkill) has been opened. The $2.5bn investment will house both development and manufacturing. Work on prototype customer designs has begun and the facility is on-schedule to begin volume manufacturing later this year. The new facility covers an area of 12,000m2 and is designed to support the creation of chips with circuits smaller than 100nm.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
MEMSCAP has agreed to buy substantially all of the business and assets of JDS Uniphase's Cronos MEMS business unit. The French microsystems company will be JDS Uniphase's exclusive supplier of MEMS-based products. As part of the agreement, JDS Uniphase has provided MEMSCAP with initial purchase commitments for products and services.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
AMD, Fujitsu and Saifun Semiconductors have agreed to cross-license patents and technology, settle all pending litigation and collaborate in the development of future generations of non-volatile memory (NVM) technology. As part of the collaboration, AMD and Fujitsu will also take an equity stake in Saifun.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Filtronic has closed the 75mm compound semiconductor fab at its US Filtronic Solid State subsidiary in California. The operation will now run fablessly using Filtronic's UK facility in Newton Aycliffe to produce devices. The UK group is hoping the UK fab will break even by May 2003, dependent on the success of its customer M/A-COM in the wireless handset switch market. The failure of this opportunity would see Newton Aycliffe lose more than GBP1mn a month for the rest of the financial year (to May 31, 2003).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Korean epiwafer company EPIPLUS has started high volume GaN-LED production using a 19x50mm close-coupled showerhead (CCS) MOCVD system from UK equipment supplier Thomas Swan Scientific Equipment. EPIPLUS was set up in May 2000 and is a lead company in an epiwafer technology development programme sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. The Korean company moved to new buildings in early 2001, and started commercial production of epiwafers in the second half of that year. EPIPLUS now manufactures a product range including 100mm and 150mm InGaP/GaAs and AlGaAs/GaAs HBT epiwafers and blue and green GaN-based LED epitaxial wafers.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation reports world IC sales at $11.351bn in June 2002 (three-month moving average). The European share was $2.145bn, down 14.3% on last year. Asia Pacific managed year-on-year growth of 29.5% to $4.169bn. The Americas market shrank 10.9% to $2.585bn and Japan was 25.9% down at $2.452bn.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
UMC reports Q2 net sales of TWD18.58bn resulting in net income of TWD4.45bn. These compare with net sales of TWD15.00bn and a net loss of TWD1.85bn in Q2 2001. The capital spending budget is to be cut from $1.6bn to $1.3bn
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Researchers at Infineon Technologies have developed a technique to solder different types of chip together to form a
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Actel and Infineon Technologies are to jointly develop Flash memory field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions for production in a 0.13micron process. The work will build on Actel's Flash-based ProASIC FPGA family and Infineon's process technology. New market segments will be investigated such as smartcards, automotive, industrial controls and mobile communications. The deal expands on a 1997 Flash process development and manufacturing agreement between the companies.
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
Scientists at IBM and Nion R&D have improved the resolution to the sub-Anstrom level in electron microscopes by reducing aberration effects. The resolution performance is about 20 times the wavelength of the 120keV electrons. The team combined seven new sets of magnetic lens designed by computers to correct for spherical aberrations. The work was based on a VG Microscopes' HB501 STEM with the addition of a quadrupole-octupole aberration corrector. The four quadrupoles are separated by three octupoles. The researchers believe this is the smallest resolution achieved so far for direct electron imaging, although a posteriori processing of high energy electron scattering has resulted in higher resolution. High energy can result in beam damage of the target. The new microscope assembly was used to image gold atoms on a carbon substrate.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
The cornerstone for the Communicant Semiconductor Technologies fab development is to be laid this week (August 14) in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is to attend. The company plans to be at the leading edge of the development of mixed-signal foundries with technology for truly modular carbon-doped silicon germanium and BiCMOS processing (Bulletins 372, February 12, 2001; 411, December 3, 2001; 423, March 11, 2002; 427, April 8, 2002; 437, June 17, 2002).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Novellus Systems has agreed to buy all outstanding shares of SpeedFam-IPEC in a stock-for-stock merger. Novellus will also assume all of SpeedFam-IPEC's 6.25% Convertible Subordinated Notes due 2004, totaling $115mn. The transaction is valued at $220mn. Speedfam-IPEC produces chemical mechanical planarisation (CMP) systems. The acquired company will become a new product group for Novellus. SpeedFam-IPEC has worked with Novellus on copper interconnect processing as part of the Damascus Alliance. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to formally close in Q4 2002 following SpeedFam-IPEC shareholder approval. Novellus shareholder approval is not required.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Novellus Systems has won an appeal court decision upholding its position in a lawsuit filed by Semitool on August 10, 1998, alleging patent infringement. Semitool claimed that Novellus' SABRE and SABRE xT copper deposition systems infringed its US patent Nos.5,222,310 and 5,337,708. The appeal court upheld a 2000 ruling that Novellus Systems had not violated the Semitool patents (Bulletin 329, April 3, 2000).
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Metron Technology and Cabot Microelectronics have modified their distribution agreement. Cabot Microelectronics will assume direct distribution of its products in Europe, Singapore and Malaysia effective from June 1, 2003. Metron will continue to distribute Cabot's products in Israel.
Wednesday 1st January 2003
SEMI released its wafer area shipment data for Q2. The total came to 0.821km2 (1.273bn square inches), a 29% improvement compared with 0.637km2 in 2001. The polished sector increased from 2001's 0.472km2 to 0.610km2. Expitaxial increased to 0.172km2 from 0.134km2. Area shares remained roughly constant at 74:21:5 (polished:epi:non-polished).
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Wednesday 1st January 2003
BOC reports results for its semiconductor BOC Edwards business in the nine months to June 30, 2002, as GBP502.4mn turnover and GBP17.1mn operating profit. The result for the same period of 2001 was GBP689.4mn and GBP73.8mn, respectively. The Q3 results were GBP185.4mn turnover (GBP185.7mn in 2001) and GBP9.1mn operating profit (GBP13.6mn). The company reports
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Researchers at Oxford University's Physics Department have developed an improved version of their
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Intel revealed details of its new 90nm process, claimed as
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.

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