Digi TImes — MediaTek has announced an enhanced strategic collaboration with Micromax Informatics, India’s leading handset player. The partnership aims to accelerate 4G accessibility and fuel faster smartphone adoption in India’s rapidly growing market, the chip provider said. MediaTek disclosed that as part of its India roadmap, the company announced the availability of its Helio-series SoCs targeted at high-end smartphones; and the intention for Micromax to become the first Indian brand to launch a device on the new Helio platform using the Helio X10.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Mobile chipmaker Mediatek said it plans to expand its research and development team in the country on the back of strong growth in India, one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets globally. MediaTek, which works with domestic handset makers like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, and has some 500 people across R&D and a design centre in Bangalore, plans to add “a few hundred” people over the next 1-2 years.
Digi Times — The recent inventory adjustments in the semiconductor industry have nearly come to an end, and the possibility is high for the industry to swing back to a seasonal growth cycle shortly, according to George Liu, director of sensor and driver business development at TSMC. Companies and market analysts have been revising their outlook for the 2015 semiconductor market growth, due to weak market demand resulting in higher-than-expected inventory levels in the industry.
Digi Times — China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund reportedly has targeted Globalfoundries for acquisition in order to allow China to secure 14nm FinFET foundry process technology in a fast manner, according to sources from Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. China-based Hua Capital Management, which manages the national semiconductor industry investment fund on behalf of the central government, has approached Globalfoundries for possible cooperation through an investment bank, said the sources.
Want China Times — Cima NanoTech, a US-based developer of transparent conductive film solutions, announced Tuesday that it has entered into a joint venture with Foxconn Technology Group to deliver components for large format touch screens. The two companies will sell Cima NanoTech’s proprietary Sante ProTouch modules through Cima Touch, the company formed under this joint venture, Cima NanoTech said in a statement.
Digi Times — More consolidation efforts are needed in Taiwan’s IC-design industry in order to cope with increasing global competition, according to sources at local IC design houses. Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) recently made a tender offer to buy up to 25% of outstanding shares of rival Silicon Precision Industries (SPIL).
Forbes — Two years ago China’s Tsinghua Unigroup was nothing more than an obscure state-backed company peddling scanners and herbal medicine drinks. But a reported deal to buy U.S. chipmaker Micron Technologies for $23 billion has brought it into the spotlight. Tsinghua Unigroup, 51% owned by state-run Tsinghua Holdings, is still in talks with Micron, despite the steep national security concerns the deal faces.
Digi Times — Taiwan’s top court has ruled in favor of TSMC in a trade secret case against Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D at TSMC. Liang has been accused of revealing TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced process technology to Samsung Electronics. The Supreme Court on August 24 maintained the determination made by the second-instance court, prohibiting Liang from working for Samsung in any form until December 31, 2015.
Digi Times — The China government will support local IC-design companies’ development in the MCU, CPU,FPGA, MEMS and memory chips sectors through acquisitions during its current five-year economic plan running from 2015-2020, accordingto Digitimes Research. Since most China-based IC-design houses engaged in MCU, CPU, MEMS and memory products are at their infant stages at present, it is an established policy of the China government to provide financial support to local IC companies to acquire related businesses globally for capacity ramps or technology upgrades.
Digi Times — TSMC would not comment on Advanced Semiconductor Engineering’s (ASE) recently-announced bid to take up a major stake in Siliconware Precision (SPIL), according to the contract chipmaker. As high as 90% of the backend production demanded by TSMC’s fabless clients is designated by the customers, the foundry said. TSMC is working with both ASE and SPIL, it added.
Digi Times — Foundry chipmaker TSMC has been actively pursuing 16nm FinFET chip orders in order to gain a majority of market share in the FinFET segment starting 2016, according to market sources. While securing a portion of Apple’s A9 chip orders, TSMC with its 16nm FinFET node has also obtained orders from AMD, Avago, Broadcom, HiSilicon Technologies, LG Electronics, MediaTek, Nvidia and Xilinx. The foundry is looking to aggressively ramp up its market share in the FinFET segment, the sources indicated.
Digi Times — China-based IC foundries including Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) and Huali Microelectronics (HLMC), and backend firms such as Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology (JCET) and Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics (NFME) are soliciting orders from Taiwan’s fabless IC firms, according to industry sources.
Digi Times — The production value of memory chips in Korea totaled KRW1.313 trillion (US$12 billion) in the second quarter of 2015, increasing 1% from the previous quarter, affected mainly by a low bit growth of DRAM and NAND flash chips from SK Hynix, according to Digitimes Research. Additionally, server-use DRAM products became the primary product line for SK Hynix for the first time in the second quarter as sales of its PC-use DRAM chips suffered a significant decline as compared to a quarter earlier.
Digi Times — China-based HiSilicon Technologies and Spreadtrum Communications have been aggressively hiring engineering talent at their local offices in Taiwan, according to industry sources. Both HiSilicon and Spreadtrum already have R&D teams in Taiwan, said the sources. Located in Hsinchu, HiSilicon’s Taiwan office has a team of almost 500 R&D engineers engaged in the development of handset chip solutions, the sources indicated.
Want China Times — MediaTek lost its title as the most profitable integrated circuit designer in terms of earnings per share (EPS) in Taiwan in the first half of this year in the wake of slowing global demand for smartphone chips, according to figures released Saturday. Smartphone chips serve as the largest revenue source for MediaTek, accounting for more than 60% of the IC designer’s total sales.
Korea Times — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that it has succeeded in mass-producing 256-gigabit (Gb) VNAND Flash memory chips for the first time. The company said the mass production of 256 Gb VNAND chips, which have higher energy efficiency, productivity and a larger capacity, will help it expand its customer base from personal consumers to enterprises and data centers worldwide.
Digi Times — TSMC has maintained that volume production and ramp of its 16nm process is proceeding smoothly in line with its schedule, amid media speculation indicating the foundry is seeing a cutback of 16nm chip orders from Apple. Apple is requesting price cuts from its A9 chip suppliers Samsung Electronics and TSMC, which already have their 14/16nm FinFET process capacity ready for the chip that will be featured in new iPhone models slated for launch in the second half of 2015, according to industry sources.
PRNewswire — SHANGHAI: Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (“SMIC”; NYSE: SMI; SEHK: 981), China’s largest and most advanced semiconductor foundry and one of the world’s largest foundries, today announced its 28nm process technology that is used for manufacturing Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processors, has been successfully adopted into mainstream smartphones. This marks a significant step in the commercial usage of 28nm core chips, and a new era of advanced mobile phone chip manufacturing in China.
Digi Times — Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi Technology are expected to increase adoption of in-house-developed ARM-architecture application processors (APs) in their own-brand smartphones. Huawei’s subsidiary IC designer HiSilicon Technologies has improved its technological capability and Xiaomi has obtained licenses from China-based Leadcore Technology to develop own-use APs, according to Taiwan-based IC design houses.
Leading mobile phone chip suppliers have seen the impact of a price war that has led to consolidation in the sector, according to Shanghai’s China Business News. Taiwan-based chip designer MediaTek recorded a 13% year-on-year sales decline and a 49.2% drop in net profits when reporting its second-quarter results, while US-based Qualcomm saw sales and net profit drop 14% and 47%, respectively, during its fiscal third quarter, the paper said.