Samsung Electronics extended its lead over Intel during the first half of 2018, growing its worldwide semiconductor sales 36% from a year earlier, while Intel posted an increase of 13%, IC Insights reports. Of the top 15 chip vendors, measured by revenue, seven gained more than 20% from the first six months of 2017, and five of the top suppliers are in the memory chip market, it was noted.
Hejian Technology (Suzhou) can proceed with a $365 million initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, a move cleared by shareholders of United Microelectronics. Chi Tung Liu, UMC's chief financial officer, told shareholders the IPO funds will be used to upgrade the foundry's existing wafer fabrication lines, purchase new production equipment and search for research and development talent.
European researchers report development and testing of a graphene-based phase modulator that tops silicon-based phase modulators in performance. The graphene device could have a profound impact on implementation of 5G cellular communications and optical networks, while also reducing mobile technology's carbon footprint, they say.
Nvidia's new $499 GeForce RTX cards will run on the company's new Turing architecture, which provides real-time tracing and AI capabilities. The company reports that with this architecture, the card can deliver 4K HDR gaming at 60 frames per second.
Researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology came up with a transistor consisting of a solitary silver atom. The team gelled an aqueous silver electrolyte with pyrogenic silicon dioxide to produce an electrolyte gel containing the transistor, perched between two tiny metallic contacts.
Presentations at the annual Hot Chips conference in Silicon Valley are focused on the security of chip and computing architectures, in the wake of revelations this year on the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in many processors. Microsoft and Google each proposed hardware security architectures that could eliminate the need to patch such cybersecurity flaws.
Hermann Hauser, a co-founder of Arm Holdings, sees China ending the US dominance of the worldwide semiconductor industry. With Arm's sale to Japan's SoftBank Group in 2016, he laments that the UK's "only globally relevant [semiconductor] company is not European anymore."
The 3D NAND flash memory market has a new entrant, China's Yangtze Memory Technologies, as the incumbent suppliers continue their progress to stacking 96 layers and 128 layers in one memory chip, Mark LaPedus writes. TechInsights' Jeongdong Choe says, "It's a race for the highest number of stacks."
Worldwide mobile DRAM revenues reached about $8.87 billion in the second quarter, a record for the market, DRAMeXchange estimates. Thanks to an increase in smartphone production, particularly in Android-based models, mobile DRAM bit shipments and average selling prices rose in Q2, the market research firm said.
Power management chips will go through significant changes in the next two years to meet the low-power demands of such applications as automotive electronics, data centers and industrial automation, says Kong Lingmei of Texas Instruments. Lower power consumption is also being driven by the internet of things, smart home appliances and other applications, Kong adds.
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