TAIPEI, Taiwan — On course to enjoy the largest growth in regional semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials capital expenditures for 2014-15, Taiwan will bring this investment energy into focus on Sept. 3-5 at SEMICON Taiwan 2014. SEMICON Taiwan 2014 is expected to be the largest ever in its 19-year history, featuring 1,340 booths and reaching over 40,000 attendees and exhibitors at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall (南港展覽館).
TAIPEI–Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., and MediaTek Inc. ranked as the three largest research and development spenders among the manufacturers listed on Taiwan’s main board and the over-the-counter (OTC) market in the second quarter of his year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Citing statistics, the MOEA said that the TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, spent NT$13.6 billion (US$453 million) in R&D expenses during the April-June period, topping R&D spending rankings among Taiwan’s listed manufacturers.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has informed Taiwan-based IC design houses that its production capacity for the fourth quarter of 2014 is almost fully booked, and urged vendors which are short of production capacity to book wafer orders in advance, according to industry sources. While the supply of wafers at TSMC is tight for the third quarter, the nearly sold-out wafer production for the fourth quarter at TSMC has placed most IC design houses in a dilemma as to whether they should queue up at TSMC for capacity.
Wafer foundry houses reportedly have been seeking cooperation with cooling module makers looking to apply cooling solutions into chips during the manufacturing process. So far the cooperation is still at an early stage and no substantial results have been achieved, according to sources from cooling module players. The sources pointed out that by packing more and more functions, mobile devices are creating heavy burdens on their processor chips and increasing power consumption. To resolve the resulting heat issue, the wafer foundry houses are considering placing cooling solutions directly into the processors.
Apple pioneered the use of 64-bit processors in smartphones, but Nvidia claims its 64-bit Denver chip will be even faster when it appears in devices later this year. Nvidia shared a few more details about Denver at the Hot Chips conference in Silicon Valley on Monday. It’s calling it “the world’s first 64-bit ARM processor for Android.” Denver will be used in a 64-bit version of Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chip. It will have four Denver CPU cores and 192 Kepler graphics cores, which Nvidia says will provide PC-like performance for laptops, tablets and high-end smartphones. Like Apple’s A7 chip, Denver is based on the ARMv8-A architecture.
A number of semiconductor firms, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Micron Technology, Globalfoundries and Toshiba, are likely to participate in an open bid for taking over an idle 12-inch fab owned by ProMOS Technologies, according to industry sources. The 12-inch fab, located in Taichung Science Park (TSP), has been idle since March 2013 after ProMoS sold the bulk of production equipment of the fab to Globalfoundries. But the fab has completed the construction of its cleanroom and can resume operations if production equipment is reinstalled, said the sources.
Qualcomm and MediaTek reportedly are each holding a new round of negotiations with United Microelectronic Corporation (UMC) in order to gain an additional capacity for 28nm chips made using its PolySiON process, according to industry sources. Tight production for 28nm chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Globalfoundries’ plan to shift to its HKMG process have forced the two chipset solution vendors to seek additional capacity at UMC, the sources explained.
More than 10 China-based IC design houses and IC design service companies have placed 28nm chip orders at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), indicating the strengthening competitiveness of China-based IC suppliers, according to industry sources. China-based IC design houses that have tapped TSMC for 28nm foundry capacity include HiSilicon Technologies, Spreadtrum Communications, Rockchip Electronics, Allwinner Technology and RDA Microelectronics and Datang
This is the fourth generation of Intel CPU which is used for desktops, laptops and mobile phones, said CT Lau, Director of Intel Products Vietnam’s assembly and test factory. Intel expects that by the end of this year, 80 percent of its CPU for desktops provided for the world market will be made in Vietnam. Intel began production in Vietnam in June 2010 with chipsets for laptops and mobile devices. It later launched Atom SoC (System on a Chip) in late 2013.
Huawei Technologies recently made an investment in XMOS, a British fabless semiconductor company and leader in intelligent multicore microcontrollers. This marks the Chinese telecom device maker’s first equity investment in a British technology company. Apart from Huawei, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH of Germany and Xilinx Inc. from the U.S. also participated in the strategic investment round. The three companies invested a total of USD26 million in XMOS. XMOS’ valuation during this round of financing reached over USD100 million; however, XMOS gave no comment on the rumor.
On the request of MediaTek, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will supply MediaTek with wafer starts 10% more than what the chipset maker expected to receive in the third quarter of 2014, according to industry sources. In view of MediaTek’s growing share in the global entry-level to mid-range smartphone solution market, and the need to maintain a high order visibility at TSMC, the offering of more 28nm production capacity to MediaTek is an important strategy for the Taiwan-based foundry house, said the sources.
Apple is expected to become the largest client for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) as the Taiwan-based foundry house has begun to ramp up production of A8 processors and is likely to continue to fabricate the vendor’s A9 CPUs in 2015, according to industry sources. Although TSMC appears to have lost Qualcomm’s 14nm chip orders to Samsung Electronics, TSMC will win Apple’s A9 processor orders with its 16nm process, explained the sources.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) should support MediaTek with its technology and production capacity to counter the alliance between Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm in order to prevail in the 14/16nm segment. TSMC chairman Morris Chang admitted recently that TSMC will lose out to competitors in the 14/16nm process segment in terms of market share in 2015 before regaining its leading market position in 2016-2017.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will lose out to competitors in the 14/16nm process segment in terms of market share in 2015 but will regain its leading market position in 2016-2017, according to TSMC chairman Morris Chang. 16nm products will account for a single-digit ratio to TSMC’s overall revenues in the third quarter of 2015, Chang estimated.
MediaTek has announced its first 64-bit-enabled 8-core 4G solution, the MT6795, targeting the high-end 4G smartphone segment. The launch of the MT6795 comes almost two quarters ahead of schedule as MediaTek originally planned to release the 8-core chip at the end of 2014. The MT6795, built using a 28nm process, clocks at 2.2GHz and comes with MediaTek’s CorePilot technology to deliver multi-core processor performance and thermal control. The MT6795 also supports dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz.
China-based smartphone vendor Huawei is likely to be the first client for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 16nm FinFET process node, according to industry sources. The 16nm chip, designed for smartphone application, is developed by Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon Technologies and is expected to debut in early 2015, said the sources. In addition to the wafer foundry orders, Huawei has also decided to utilize TSMC’s backend CoWoS (chip on wafer on substrate) packaging process for the 16nm chips, the sources added.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) plans to speed up the development of its 10nm process to fend off competition from Samsung Electronics, which reportedly has landed 14nm FinFET chip orders from Qualcomm, according to industry sources. TSMC and Samsung are currently competing fiercely in the development of FinFET process, with the Korea-based foundry house utilizing a 14nm process and TSMC a 16nm node. Both the 14nm and 16nm processes are scheduled to enter volume production in early 2015.
IC design house MediaTek in early 2014 set target shipments of 15 million APs (application processors) for 4G smartphones, and is confident of reaching the goal due to expected large demand in the China market in the second half, according to the company. MediaTek targets China-based smartphone vendors for its 4G APs.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Market capitalization of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, hit a record high Wednesday after the stock steamed ahead amid optimism over its earnings outlook. TSMC rose 3.52 percent to close at the day’s high of NT$132.50 with 51.46 million shares changing hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The buying spree took place on optimism over the chip-maker’s earnings prospects.
SINGAPORE: Taiwan semiconductor firm MediaTek on Tuesday (July 1) unveiled plans to invest another S$250 million in Singapore by 2020 in a sign of continued confidence in the city-state’s electronics industry. Economic Development Board (EDB) Chairman Leo Yip said MediaTek’s expansion – along with investments announced by firms such as Realtek and International Rectifier earlier this year – showed that Singapore’s semiconductor industry remained globally competitive.