TSMC, MediaTek climb in IC R&D spending ranking

TaiwanTAIPEI–Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC台積電) and MediaTek Inc.(聯發科) moved up in a ranking of top research and development spenders in the semiconductor industry, according to a report released Tuesday by market research firm IC Insights. TSMC’s 15 percent R&D spending increase in 2014, along with a decline in spending at Toshiba Corp. and STMicroelectronics NV, helped the Taiwanese company climb two slots to fifth place in the annual ranking.


MediaTek’s Operating Revenue Hits High With Net Profit

TaiwanTaiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek published its financial report for the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2014. According to the report, the company achieved operating revenue of NTD213.063 billion, which was about CNY42.3 billion, in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 56.6%; and it achieved net profit of NTD46.399 billion, which was about CNY9.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 68.8%.


Digitimes Research: Global IC foundry output value to rise 12% in 2015

TaiwanOutput value for the global IC foundry industry is forecast to reach US$54.8 billion in 2015, up 12% from US$49 billion in 2014, according to Digitimes Research. IC demand for 4G smartphones will fuel the foundry sector’s 12% output value growth in 2015, despite several unfavorable factors such as decelerating tablet sales, the continued-slow growth in PC shipments, and an overall slowdown in the growth of smartphone shipments, said Digitimes Research.


Samsung to adopt 20nm process for over 50% of its DRAM output in 2015, say sources

KoreaSamsung Electronics began mass production of DRAM memory using 20nm process technology in 2014. The node technology will be adopted by the vendor for more than 50% of its overall DRAM output in 2015, according to industry sources. Meanwhile, fellow DRAM companies SK Hynix and Micron Technology are both gearing up for their technology transition to 20nm in 2015, said the sources. Nevertheless, the actual output of 20nm chips from the two vendors will depend on the development of their production yield rates.


TSMC Will Build Semiconductor Factory In Taiwan

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited announced on its website that the company will invest over NTD500 billion, which is about USD15.9 billion, to build a new plant to meet the ever-growing demands for chips. The new plant will be located in Central Taiwan Science Park and it is currently undergoing an environmental impact assessment.


Samsung mass-produces 14-nano processors

KoreaSamsung Electronics has started mass-producing mobile processor chips using a finer 14-nanometer FinFET technology, which will dramatically strengthen its semiconductor productivity. “Samsung is ready to ship Exynos 7 Octa mobile application processors to our major clients. This chip is the industry’s first to be produced using a 14-nanometer FinFET process on a three-dimensional (3D) transistor structure,” Samsung said in a statement.


Cricket Semiconductor commits $1 billion for India’s first analog chip plant

IndiaBHOPAL: US based Cricket Semiconductor will invest $ 1 billion to set up India’s first analog electronic chip making plant in Madhya Pradesh. “Today we have signed MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Madhya Pradesh government to set up an analog semiconductor wafer fabrication plant with an investment of about $ 1 billion (over Rs 6,000 crore),” Cricket Semiconductor Chief Executive Officer Lou Hutter told PTI.


One in three smartphones using MediaTek chips: firm

TaiwanTAIPEI–MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan’s leading integrated circuit designers, said Thursday that due to an increase in its smartphone chip shipments, the company has estimated that one in three smartphones in the global market uses its chips. In 2014, smartphone chip shipments of the Taiwanese IC designer topped 350 million units, up more than 50 percent from a year earlier, in reflection of strong global demand.


Vietnamese chip-makers face uphill battle as foreign-made chips still preferred

VietnamHoang and his colleagues must overcome challenges, he said, to launch their “made-in-Vietnam” chips on the commercial market. “We have to make 30 different products using the SG-8V1 chip, just to show Vietnamese businesses used to buying foreign-made products how Vietnam-made chip can be used in their products,” he said. Hoang said Vietnam’s electronics industry has remained unchanged over the last 40 years, and is still primarily an “assembling industry”.


Qualcomm may face probe into business practices in South Korea

KoreaJust days after settling with the Chinese government over claims it abused its market dominance, Qualcomm may be investigated in South Korea over the same issue. South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is considering an investigation into Qualcomm’s business practices, the Wall Street Journal reported, but did not provide additional details. A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment.


Inotera, Nanya report decreased revenues for January

TaiwanDRAM chipmakers Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology have both reported sequential decreases in consolidated revenues for January 2015, due to falling DRAM prices. Consolidated sales at Inotera slid 2.5% on month to NT$6.74 billion (US$213 million). The figure also represents a decline of 6.6% compared to the same period in 2014Inotera indicated that the result for January 2015 might be revised as its major customer was unable to provide final pricing figures before the January sales results were published.


TSMC vows to ramp up investments into central science park

TaiwanTAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC, 台積電) announced that it will invest NT$500 billion in the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) to expand manufacturing, creating 5,000 job opportunities in the process.  TSMC is expected to introduce today’s most advanced 10-nanometer manufacturing process in the planned expansion.


SK hynix, Toshiba to jointly develop chip tech

JapanSK hynix agreed with Toshiba of Japan to jointly develop nano imprint lithography (NIL) technologies, the company announced Thursday. “SK hynix has entered into an agreement with Toshiba on joint development of NIL. Engineers from the two firms will start development of core technologies for the process at Toshiba’s complex in Yokohama, Japan,” said SK spokeswoman Park Seong-ae in a statement.


Toshiba, Einfochips to develop chips for Google’s Ara modules

JapanAHMEDABAD: Techno major Toshiba in collaboration with Gujarat-based Einfochips will provide chips for Google’s revolutionary modular smartphone project, ‘Ara’, a senior company executive said here today.  “Google is designing modular smartphones in which different modules can be assembled as one smart-phone,” said senior vice president and chief technology officer, Toshiba, USA, Shardul Kazi.


TSMC to offer InFO-WLP technology for 16nm chips, eyeing Apple orders

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will have its backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology ready for 16nm chips, eyeing orders for Apple’s A10 processors, according to industry sources. TSMC with its 20nm process successfully grabbed orders for Apple’s A8 processors. Samsung Electronics had been the exclusive supplier of processors to Apple before TSMC joined the supply chain.


India, Singapore in pact to set up chip-making units here

SingaporeBENGALURU: As India gets closer to setting up two semiconductor wafer fabrication plants, Singapore companies are looking at setting up manufacturing units here and tap into large engineering talent in the country. To speed up such activity , India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) is signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) with an objective to establish and develop trade and technical cooperation between the electronics and semiconductor industries of both the countries.


MediaTek remains world’s No. 3 supplier of smartphone chips in Q3

TaiwanTAIPEI–Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc., a major supplier of handset chips to Chinese brands, remained the world’s third-largest supplier of smartphone application processors in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.  Based on Strategy Analytics’ estimates, Qualcomm Inc., Apple Inc., MediaTek, Spreadtrum Communications Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. featured in the top-five smartphone applications processor (AP) spots in the July-September period, with their rankings remaining unchanged from the previous quarter.


Samsung bets big on 3D NAND chips

KoreaSamsung Electronics, the world’s top memory chip producer, is betting big on three-dimensional (3D) NAND flash memory chips. These chips are used in the next-generation solid state drives (SSDs) for corporate servers and data centers. An advantage of 3D NAND chips is they require a more relaxed geometry process than planar NAND. In one-dimensional NAND, cells run out of electrons as they scale down the micron trail.


Samsung Dropping Qualcomm Snapdragon For Galaxy S6

KoreaQualcomm has changed the estimated amount of Snapdragon 810 sales following the loss of a “large customer” – most likely Samsung – after reported trouble meshing with the Galaxy S6. Reports started circulating around a week ago that Samsung would drop the Snapdragon 810, following Qualcomm’s decision not to make a custom version for the Galaxy S6.


Inotera reports record revenues and profits for 2014

TaiwanDRAM chipmaker Inotera Memories has reported net profits of NT$52.91 billion (US$1.7 billion), or NT$8.32 a share, on consolidated revenues of NT$82.57 billion for 2014. Both figures marked record highs. Strong earnings in 2014 narrowed significantly Inotera’s accumulated losses to NT$390 million as of the end of 2014, and boosted its cash position to about NT$37 billion, the company disclosed.