Brooks-PRI Automation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire motion
and machine control technology company Berkeley Process Control. The
purchase will be in exchange for 614,374 Brooks-PRI shares. These shares are
subject to adjustment depending upon the performance of Berkeley in the
quarter ended December 31, 2002. The deal is expected to close by calendar
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Robotic Vision Systems is exploring the sale of its Semiconductor Equipment
Group and has started discussions with a number of interested parties. The
Semiconductor Equipment Group has businesses covering 3-D inspection of
assembled ICs and defects and wafer bump metrology. Discussions have not yet
entered into the price negotiation stage.
Tokyo Electron (TEL) is implementing reorganisation of its software
development division on October 1, 2002. The operations of TEL's Advanced
Software Engineering department will be transferred to Tokyo Electron
Sapporo, a software development subsidiary. Further, the trade name and
other corporate profiles of Tokyo Electron Sapporo will become Tokyo
Electron Software Technologies.
Fairchild Semiconductor has opened a Package and Technology Knowledge Center
in South Korea. The centre will research new packaging materials to improve
thermal and mechanical performance and develop new assembly techniques.
Nanomix has closed a $9mn Series B financing round led by Apax Partners and
Sevin Rosen Funds. The company has integrated nanotube electronics on a
four-inch silicon wafer and performed lab-scale prototyping of a
high-density hydrogen storage system. The company plans to produce chemical
sensors aimed at industrial gas leak detection, medical monitoring and
industrial process control. The leak detection sensors are expected to reach
the market in H2 2003. Nanomix is also developing high-density hydrogen
storage alternatives for the emerging fuel cell industry.
Taiwan memory producers ProMOS Technologies and Powerchip Semiconductor are
following TSMC's lead and have announced plans to build fabs in Mainland
China (Bulletin 450, September 16, 2002).
The Taiwan government has restricted the number to three fabs that can be
built on the Mainland by its local companies before the end of 2005. The
government is also demanding that Taiwan companies build 300mm on the island
and run them at mass production levels before applying for Mainland
Samsung Electronics has announced its 90nm logic process technology, which
will be used to fabricate high capacity memory chips. Samsung is claiming to
be the first company to possess the technology for 90nm. There is a long
list of other companies with 90nm in various stages of development (Bulletin
446, August 19, 2002).
This year's winner of the European Semiconductor Start Up Award has quickly moved from strength to strength and is setting in motion events that are normally confined to more mature companies. David Ridsdale travelled to Dublin and discovered that common sense and a solid plan has provided Xsil with a solid beginning
XinTec of Taiwan has ordered a full production line from EV Group (EVG), including an EVG 640 200mm production mask aligner and an EVG 150 automated resist coating system for advanced wafer level chip scale packaging (CSP).
A EUR3.5mn research program devoted exclusively to OVPD (Organic Vapor Phase Deposition) technology for organic LED (OLED) display applications has been granted by the German Ministry of Research and Education to a group of researchers headed by Aixtron.
Lambda Physik is to invest up to EUR5mn until 2004 in the development of 157nm laser technology for microlithography. Up to 38% of the development and research expenses for the European 157nm microlithography consortion will come from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Amkor Technology is expanding its MicroLeadFrame capacity to more than 75mn
units/month by Q4, 2002. When introduced in 1999, the packages production
reached a 1mn units/week three months after qualification.
Lambda Physik is to invest up to EUR5mn until 2004 in the development of
157nm laser technology for microlithography. Up to 38% of the development
and research expenses for the European 157nm microlithography consortion
will come from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
A EUR3.5mn research program devoted exclusively to OVPD (Organic Vapor Phase
Deposition) technology for organic LED (OLED) display applications has been
granted by the German Ministry of Research and Education to a group of
researchers headed by Aixtron.
The Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA) and JEDEC have produced a
Foundry Process Qualification Guideline. The standard is the work of the FSA
Foundry Process Qualification Subcommittee and the JEDEC JC-14.2 Wafer Level
Silicon-on-insulator design specialist SOISIC (Silicon on Insulator Systems
and Integrated Circuits) has produced CMOS/SOI-Xpert, claimed as the first
commercially available characterisation product integrating all SOI
power rated at 30W and 60W have been released to production with 85W and
125W parts are targeted for released in October. Spectrian is currently in
the process of completing system evaluation of these devices.