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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Singapore's ST Assembly Test Services (STATS) confirms its previous
guidance, based on its current outlook, of sequential revenue growth of
5-10%, Q3/Q2. The company also says it has no need nor any plans for
additional financing this year.
X-ray metrology tool producer Bede Scientific made its third profit warning
this year. It says that interim losses will be worse than expected. Sales to
June 30 will be in line with expectations, but this was not sufficient to
cover costs and investments in the short term. The company has had
difficulties converting customer interest into signed orders. Official
figures are due on September 26.
SEMI's book-to-bill ratio for the North American semiconductor equipment
industry was 1.14 in August. Orders came to $1.12bn and billings were
$981mn. These figures represent a 57% increase and a 14% decrease on August
VLSI Research puts August's book-to-bill for the world semiconductor
equipment industry at 0.92. This consists of $2.13bn in bookings and $2.32bn
in completed sales. The sales were 10% down and the bookings 25% up on
August 2001. For IC production, the August book-to-bill is put at 0.92 -
$9.35bn in bookings and $10.19bn in sales. IC capacity utilisation was 86.7%
in August, compared with July's 84.8%.
iSuppli has produced a 2001 league table for ASIC suppliers. Top dog is IBM
with revenues at $2.296bn. Fujitsu is number two with $1.209bn. Third place
goes to LSI Logic with $1.122bn. The top European company was
STMicroelectronics at No.9 with $322mn.