Phillip LoPresti, president and CEO of Everspin, discusses spin torque magnetoresistive random-access memory technology in this interview. "MRAM is a nonvolatile memory that provides the aspects of a working memory like SRAM and DRAM," he says.
The Trump administration's executive order mandating a government investigation into intellectual property theft is chiefly aimed at China, while Korea doesn't have as much of a problem with US chipmakers, this analysis notes. The acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor testing equipment, by a Chinese government-controlled investment fund may be in jeopardy if the US government sees national security issues involved.
DRAMeXchange reports the tight supply conditions for DRAMs lessened during the second quarter, in comparison with the first quarter of 2017. Worldwide DRAM sales grew 16.9% in Q2 to $16.5 billion, the market-research firm estimates, as average selling prices for PC and server DRAMs were up more than 10% from Q1.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers report developing an alternative method for separating a layer of graphene from its substrate without using chemicals that leave behind a residue in the process. This could promote the use of clean graphene in flexible transparent electronics, they say.
The introduction of the next-generation iPhone will answer a question: Did STMicroelectronics provide the Apple handset's near-field communication chip, or did the incumbent supplier, NXP Semiconductors, prevail in the design? The pending acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm may have been a factor in Apple's choice of NFC chips, Junko Yoshida writes.
Semiconductor manufacturers are concerned about quality issues in process-critical components for their wafer fabrication equipment, as a bad part could affect chip yields, Mark LaPedus writes. Norm Armour of Micron Technology says, "Sub-components have a major impact in facility systems, which in turn affects fab equipment performance."
Nvidia displaced MediaTek as the third-largest IC design company in the world, measured by revenue, during the second quarter, the Topology Research Institute reports. MediaTek and Marvell Semiconductor posted second-quarter revenue that was down from a year earlier, the institute notes.
Qualcomm has acquired Scyfer, an Amsterdam University spinoff, to tap into the Dutch company's capabilities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, computer-aided health care and computer-human interaction. "We are researching broader topics, such as AI for wireless connectivity, power management and photography," Qualcomm's Matt Grob said.
Zhao Weiguo, chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup, stands in the corner of the group's Spreadtrum Communications as the unit faces increasing competition from JLQ Technology and other designers of mobile chips. He noted that Tsinghua Unigroup has spent more than $1.5 billion during the past three years supporting Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics to stay competitive in the development of 5G wireless communications.
Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands report the creation of a device with a bilayer of graphene and boron nitride that demonstrates greater spin transport efficiency at room temperature than seen before. The device's strong spin signals have potential uses in spin-based logic gates and transistors, they say.
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