Review of the week: manufacturing, testing

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Government policy
Hoping to solve the current chip shortage situation in the world, the US Department of Commerce late last month, launched a “request for information (RFI)” initiative, which involved sending questionnaires to various semiconductor companies. The U.S. government is asking all parts of the supply chain – producers, consumers, and middlemen – to voluntarily share information about inventory, demand, and delivery dynamics. The goal of RFI is to understand and quantify where bottlenecks may exist in the semiconductor supply chain.

TSMC, Samsung and others apparently received questionnaires. But the move sparked an uproar in Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere. Chipmakers are reluctant to share sensitive data with the government or anyone else, according to a report by Bloomberg. For example, TSMC does not intend to provide confidential information about its customers, according to a report by Taipei Hours.

For some time now there has been an acute shortage of chips in industry, especially in the automotive sector. Automakers have been forced to shut down their lines because they don’t have enough chips. In response, chipmakers are adding more manufacturing capacity, but they’re just not moving fast enough.

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China recently rolled out a strict policy on the use of electricity that will impact the entire country. “Many listed companies have had to partially or completely shut down their factories. The constraints on the use of electricity not only affect manufacturers, but also extend to electricity for residents of certain areas. Electrical constraints are expected to continue for the remainder of 2021, ”said Chase Li, analyst at DSCC, in a recent blog. “Fabric, fiber and leather manufacturing, construction (glass, concrete and steel) and petrochemical refineries are the areas most affected. The screen production plants are not yet affected.

Many areas could extend the electrical constraints until the end of 2021. The first indirect impact could be an increase in the price of metals. Chemicals and other products can be affected. High-tech companies have also been impacted. Here is more on the problem of CNN. And here is another article from the BBC.

Chipmakers
For some time now, Samsung has been developing a 3nm transistor based on a new generation technology called gate-all-around (GAA). At its annual foundry forum this week, Samsung announced plans to develop a 2nm GAA transistor. Samsung’s first 3nm chip designs are slated for the first half of 2022, while its second-generation 3nm technology is expected in 2023. 2nm is slated for release in 2025.

In addition, Samsung has also deployed a 17nm finFET process. Samsung’s 17nm finFET offers up to 43% area reduction, 39% better performance, or a 49% increase in power efficiency over the 28nm process.

“We will increase our overall production capacity and lead the most advanced technologies while pushing silicon to scale and pursuing technological innovation by application,” said Siyoung Choi, president and head of the Foundry business at Samsung. . It remains to be seen, however, when Samsung officially announces its new US fab. This plant should be located in Texas.

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GlobalFoundries filed a registration statement on form F-1 with the United States Securities Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed initial public offering of its ordinary shares. The number of common shares to be offered and the price range of the proposed offering have not yet been determined. GF has applied for the listing of its ordinary shares in the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “GFS”.

Qualcomm and SSW Partners, an investment partnership, have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Veoneer for $ 37.00 per share, which represents a total equity value of $ 4.5 billion. Veoneer, a provider of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) hardware and software, terminated its previous acquisition agreement with Magna.

General Motors and Wolfspeed announced a strategic supplier agreement to develop and deliver silicon carbide (SiC) power device solutions for GM’s future electric vehicle (EV) programs. Wolfspeed’s SiC devices will enable GM to install more efficient EV propulsion systems. Besides, shout officially changed its name to Wolfspeed.

Navitas Semiconductor, a supplier of gallium nitride (GaN) power integrated circuits and its partner Acquisition of living oak, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, provided some updates regarding its proposed business combination, which values ​​the combined entity at a pro forma net worth of $ 1.04 billion.

Neurolame, a developer of data acceleration solutions, has secured $ 83 million in Series B funding, bringing total invested capital to $ 110 million. The investment was led by Corner businesses with the contribution of Intel Capital, and supported by current investors StageOne Ventures, Grove Ventures and Marius Nacht. Additionally, technology companies, including MediaTek, Pegatron, PSMC, UMC and Marubéni, also provided funding during this cycle. NeuroBlade has developed a new data analysis architecture that eliminates major bottlenecks in data movement by integrating the function of processing data inside memory, better known as in-memory processing (PIM). ).

Fabulous tools
Bruker has received orders for two Avance Neo 1.1 GHz NMR systems from US academic institutions funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF provided the funds to establish the Advanced NMR (NAN) network, which is designed to power nuclear magnetic resonance technology. NAN is a consortium whose objective is to establish a distributed network of ultra-high field NMR spectrometers. These systems are designed to tackle important and diverse scientific problems.

Hideyuki Tsutsumi, vice-president of PHONE Korea, has been appointed president of TEL Korea. Yoshiaki Horii, the former president of TEL Korea, has become a senior advisor to the unit.

Materials
The University of Arkansas received $ 17.87 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and operate a national silicon carbide R&D facility. The facility, which will be located at the University of Arkansas, will provide opportunities for prototyping, proof-of-principle demonstrations and device design. It will be the only accessible manufacturing facility of its kind in the United States, meaning that its facilities and services will be available to external researchers. NSF funding will cover infrastructure, equipment, technology installation and upgrades to existing facilities to accommodate new equipment.

from Taiwan I TRY and Oxford Instruments signed a cooperative research project on the development of next-generation compound semiconductors. This agreement is expected to complement the R&D capabilities of both parties and will help develop a new industrial chain for compound semiconductors in Taiwan.

Rare element resources announced the finalization of negotiations with the US Department of Energy for providing approximately $ 21.9 million in government funds for the engineering, construction and operation of a rare earth separation and processing demonstration plant in Wyoming.

Market research
Total smelter sales are expected to reach $ 107.2 billion in 2021, an increase of 23% that would match the record growth rate set in 2017, according to IC Insights. “Total foundry sales this year are expected to exceed $ 100 billion for the first time and continue to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11.6% through 2025, as total foundry sales are expected to reach $ 151.2 billion, ”according to IC Insights.

Global telecommunications investments – the sum of investments in wireless and wireline telecommunications – remain on track to grow 5-10% in 2021, according to Dell’Oro Group. “Healthy end users, combined with competitive dynamics and improving operator revenue trends, are driving operators to accelerate investments across multiple technologies and regions,” said Stefan Pongratz, Dell’Oro Group Vice President .


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