TSMC hopes to build wholly-owned 12-inch fab in China

TaiwanTSMC would prefer to set up its own 12-inch wafer fab in China, and management is evaluating the feasibility “aggressively,” according to the Taiwan-based contract chipmaker. There is no time-frame for when TSMC would build a 12-inch fab in China, said the company during an April 16 investors conference. TSMC has been advised by some of its major clients to set up 12-inch wafer facilities in China, and believes that having a local fab for advance-node manufacturing in the region could help it accurately grasp customers needs, the chipmaker indicated.


Spreadtrum, Rockchips team up with Intel to take on MediaTek

China.gifAfter lagging behind its rivals in chip development for mobile devices, US chipmaker Intel has been gearing up to assign more resources to enter the low- to mid-range mobile communications chip turf by joining forces with Chinese counterparts, Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald reports. In turn, a move by Intel to cooperate with Spreadtrum Communications and Fuzhou Rockchips Electronics is expected to help the two Chinese integrated circuit designers take on competition from Taiwan-based counterpart MediaTek in the mobile communications chip market.


TSMC controls over half of global foundry market: Gartner

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) remained the world’s largest semiconductor foundry by taking more than half of the global market in 2014, according to tech research firm Gartner. The revenues of the worldwide semiconductor foundry market grew 16.1% in 2014 to US$46.9 billion, Gartner said in a report published on Monday. Among the top players, TSMC’s market share improved to 53.7% last year from 49.8% in 2013, and its sales increased by US$5 billion to US$25.18 billion due to the success of its advanced process 28 nanometer (nm) and 20nm technologies, Gartner said.


Qualcomm gets back to business after record fine in China

ChinaUS chipmaker Qualcomm is making every effort to minimize the negative impact of its record fine of US$975 million for antitrust violations in China, reports Sina’s tech news portal. The reports said Qualcomm’s first mission is to begin collecting royalties in China again, as many clients delayed their royalty payments due to the then unsettled antitrust investigation which may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.


Digitimes Research: China foundry houses to optimize specialty processes for IoT

ChinaChina-based foundry houses, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), XMC and Huahong Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing, are expected to focus on developing specialty processes for producing chips for IoT applications, according to Digitimes Research. The development trend is emerging since the IoT application market is regarded as one of the promising sector by China-based IC design houses and the IC parts for IoT applications or wearable devices, including MCUs, embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) chips, sensors, analog and power management (PWM) ICs, are not necessary to be built by 20nm or more advanced processes, said Digitimes Research.


China market: Xiaomi to rely more on Leadcore for supply of chipset solutions, says report

ChinaXiaomi Technology is likely to rely more on China-based Leadcore Technology for the supply of low-cost chipset solutions for the production of entry-level LTE smartphones as a means to ramp up its shipments in 2015, according to a China-based OFweek.com report. Xiaomi launched recently its entry-level model, the Hongmi (Red Rice) 2A, which is powered by Leadcore’s quad-core L1860C processor and sports 4.7-inch display.


TSMC aiming to start production of 10-nm chips by 2016: CEO

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor contract manufacturer, has set a goal of beginning mass production of chips on the 10-nanometer technology by the end of 2016, Mark Liu, its president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday in California. TSMC last year won huge orders for Apple’s next-generation mobile device processors, which had previously been awarded to Samsung of South Korea.


Digitimes Research: Samsung semiconductor capex to reach record high in 2015

KoreaSemiconductor capital spending by Samsung Electronics is expected to reach an all-time high of US$15 billion in 2015, making the company’s capex the world’s highest in the semiconductor industry for the sixth straight year since 2010, according to an estimate of Digitimes Research. Meanwhile, SK Hynix’s capex is expected to stay flat at US$5.1 billion in 2015 as compared to the previous year. Samsung’s capex for system ICs in 2015 will reach US$4 billion compared to US$2.9 billion in the previous year, mainly to finance the commencement of its Line-17 fab in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and a continued build-up of its 14nm production capacity at its plant in Austin, Texas.


MediaTek announces attaining of sales goal for the first quarter

TaiwanTAIPEI, Taiwan — MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan’s leading integrated circuit designers, reported Thursday that it had attained its sales target for the first quarter of the year, largely on the back of a sharp increase in its March revenues.  The company reported first-quarter consolidated sales of NT$47.54 (US$1.53 billion) billion, well within its estimate of NT$45.5 billion to NT$49.9 billion.


TSMC to construct Fab 15 Phase 5 facility starting May

China.gifTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will break ground for the fifth phase construction of its 12-inch wafer plant in central Taiwan in May, according to industry sources. TSMC will complete the installation of cleanroom facilities at the new facility in May 2016, followed by volume production at the end of the year, said the sources. The Fab 15 Phase 5 facility will be mainly for the manufacture of chips using TSMC’s 10nm process technology, the sources noted.


Global 2014 semiconductor revenues rise 7.9%, says Gartner, from TW

TaiwanWorldwide semiconductor revenues totaled US$340.3 billion in 2014, a 7.9% increase from 2013 revenues of US$315.4 billion, according to final results by Gartner. The top-25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenues increased 11.7%, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. The world’s top-25 semiconductor vendors accounted for 72.4%of total market revenues, up from 69.9% in 2013, said Gartner.


More deals ahead? China fund buys Silicon Valley chip maker

ChinaChina’s aggressive new policy to expand its semiconductor industry is worrying U.S. chipmakers, many of which are based in Silicon Valley, and raising potential national security concerns as it begins to acquire U.S. tech companies.  The world’s largest market for integrated circuits, China is expected to spend up to $100 billion on both domestic investments and acquisitions abroad to grow its semiconductor industry by more than 20 percent annually over the next five years.


SEMI reports 2014 semiconductor materials sales of US$44.3 billion, from Taiwan

TaiwanThe global semiconductor materials market increased 3% in 2014 compared to 2013, while worldwide semiconductor revenues increased 10%, according to SEMI. Revenues of US$44.3 billion mark the first increase in the semiconductor materials market since 2011. Total wafer fabrication materials and packaging materials were US$24 billion and US$20.4 billion, respectively, said SEMI. Comparable revenues for these segments in 2013 were US$22.7 billion for wafer fabrication materials and US$20.4 billion for packaging materials.


Spreadtrum looks to expand shipments for smartphones in 2015, says chairman

ChinaChina-based Spreadtrum Communications expects to enjoy significant growth in shipments for 3G and 4G LTE smartphones in 2015, according to company chairman and CEO Leo Li. Sales generated from the company’s smartphone solutions are set to account for more than 40% of its overall revenues during the year. Spreadtrum shipped about 200 million smartphone chips in 2014, said Li, adding that it has specialized in the design of low- to mid-range smartphone chip solutions.


Southeast Asia to See Spending of USD19 billion for Semiconductor Equipment and Materials by 2016

MalaysiaPenang, Malaysia, Apr 6, 2015 – (ACN Newswire) – Programme information is now available on the inaugural SEMICON Southeast Asia, which will run from 22-24 April at SPICE in Penang. The event, organised by SEMI, a global industry association, features an expanded programme and larger audience base focusing on Southeast Asia communities in the semiconductor and microelectronics sector. SEMI estimates spending of US$19 on semiconductor equipment and materials in the Southeast Asia region for 2015 and 2016.


TSMC unit Xintec to list on OTC market

TaiwanTAIPEI–Xintec Inc. (精材), an integrated circuit packaging services subsidiary of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), will list on Taiwan’s over-the-counter (OTC) market on March 30.  It has set an issue price of NT$42 (US$1.34) per share for the 30 million new shares to be put on the market and hopes to raise NT$1.26 billion. After the new share issuance, Xintec’s paid-in capital will increase by NT$300 million, based on each share’s par value of NT$10, to NT$2.68 billion.


More deals ahead? China fund buys Silicon Valley chip maker

China.gifChina’s aggressive new policy to expand its semiconductor industry is worrying U.S. chipmakers, many of which are based in Silicon Valley, and raising potential national security concerns as it begins to acquire U.S. tech companies. The world’s largest market for integrated circuits, China is expected to spend up to $100 billion on both domestic investments and acquisitions abroad to grow its semiconductor industry by more than 20 percent annually over the next five years.


Digitimes Research: Samsung expected to see increasing orders on 14nm process

KoreaQualcomm’s next-generation application processor (AP), the Snapdragon 820, is expected to outsource to Samsung Electronics using a 14nm node, which the Korea-based foundry house has demonstrated as a proven process as showcased by the performance and power consumption of its14nm EXynos 7420 CPU developed in house, according to Digitimes Research.


M31 offers low-voltage and low-power physical IP solutions for TSMC 55ULP targeting IoT

TaiwanM31 Technology has announced the availability of its low-voltage and low-power physical IP solutions on TSMC 55nm ultra-low power process technology. The platform provides system-on-a-chip (SoC) designers with significantly competitive low-power advantages for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, said the silicon IP provider. M31’s IP products on TSMC 55nm ultra-low power process technology include “High Density Standard Cell Library,” “General Purpose Standard Cell Library,” “One Port Register File SRAM Compiler,” “Single Port SRAM Compiler,” “Dual Port SRAM Compiler,” “Two Port SRAM Compiler,” and “Via ROM Compiler.”


IC demand from China picking up, say Taiwan firms

TaiwanIC demand from China’s smartphone market is showing signs of a pick-up, as inventories at non-Apple vendors ease, according to sources at Taiwan-based IC design houses. Strong sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 devices in China resulted in excess inventory levels at other mobile device brands in the fourth quarter of 2014, the sources said. However, inventory digestion is near its end, the sources observed.