Mitsubishi Electric is reported to be in merger talks that could result in
its DRAM operation being put into the Elpida joint venture between NEC and
Hitachi. Mitsubishi is also talking with other IC producers.
Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates has taken further actions to
restructure its business and reduce costs. Included in the company's actions
is a reduction of its worldwide workforce by 15% to 1370 people.
Axcelis Technologies announced additional workforce reductions, affecting
155 positions worldwide - 7% of the employee base. Axcelis estimates that
these actions will save the company $12mn annually. The company is also
implementing supply chain initiatives for an additional $10mn annual saving.
With the addition of this recent action, Axcelis has eliminated 473 jobs
bringing its worldwide total employment to 1825 people, down 21% since the
peak of the last cycle.
ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (ASMC), an analogue, power
and smartcard wafer foundry in Shanghai, China, will provide customers with
end-to-end solutions from wafer fab to wafer sort, packaging, final test and
distribution in China, as well as to the global market.
Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) is to transfer its
all-copper, 0.13micron HiPerMOS7 (HiP7) technology to Tower Semiconductor's
200mm Fab 2 facility, under a transfer and licensing agreement
Brooks-PRI Automation says that a leading European semiconductor
manufacturer has ordered its integrated Computer Integrated Manufacturing
(CIM) software for a 300mm fab in Europe. The IC producer has also selected
Brooks-PRI as its standard for CIM systems for all its future 300mm fabs.
Thermal processing system producer BTU International will use Cimetrix's
CIM300 and CIMConnect fab communications software in its integrated wafer
bump reflow thermal systems. BTU recently completed total integration of
their tool into a 300mm fab with the inclusion of Cimetrix software in 12
weeks. CIM300 supports the SEMI standards E39, E40, E87, E90 and E94 and can
be used with existing GEM interfaces.
PHS MEMS is to provide volume manufacturing of Microlab's line of high
performance RF MEMS switches (MagLatch). Microlab has been using its own
pilot fabrication line to develop products and produce samples.
Toshiba's System LSI division has bought multiple Integra FLEX test systems
from Terdayne. Toshiba will use the Universal Slot architecture of the
Integra FLEX to configure device test coverage for a wide range of low-cost,
high-volume devices including mixed signal LSIs.
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).
XinTec is an exclusive joint venture partner of Shellcase in the
Asia-Pacific region, offering wafer-level CSP technology and service in
Taiwan. This EVG order represents follow-on business.
MEMC Electronic Materials has responded to a comment in the Wall Street
Journal by saying that it has not filed for bankruptcy protection. In Q2
2002, the company reported net income available to common stockholders of
$6.0mn, after cumulative preferred stock dividends
Analog Devices (ADI) claims the world’s first MEMS-based gyroscope. The company says that it is the first commercially available device to integrate both an angular rate sensor and signal processing electronics onto a single piece of silicon.
Nanosys has taken out an exclusive licence for semiconductor nanowire-based nanolaser technology from the University of California. The research on which the licence was based was conducted by Dr Peidong Yang, Scientific Founder of Nanosys. The lasers were developed by growing zinc oxide (ZnO2) nanowires on sapphire substrates (Science, June 8, 2001). The nanowires form laser cavities with diameters varying between 20-150nm and lengths up to 10microns. In the Science paper, optical excitation resulted in surface emission of laser light with a wavelength of 385nm and a linewidth less than 0.3nm.
Motorola has produced a single-chip assisted global positioning system
(A-GPS) receiver small enough to fit into a wristwatch called Motorola
Instant GPS. The chip was produced on IBM's 0.25micron silicon germanium
(SiGe) technology. The companies worked together to integrate IBM's
technology to optimise the design. IBM plans to manufacture the new GPS
chips for Motorola.