The semiconductor industry must resort to collaboration, consolidation and continuous innovation to grow and prosper, Thomas Caulfield of GlobalFoundries told an audience at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "Our semiconductor industry is at a crossroads; it's struggling," he said.
Consolidation in the semiconductor industry has created bigger chip companies that are more vulnerable to patent litigation, says Jean-Christophe Eloy of Yole Developpement. Wi-LAN and Acacia Research are among the most aggressive patent-licensing companies, the market research firm says.
Corporate leaders in Japan are concerned about what will become of the information technology related to Toshiba's planned sale of its semiconductor business, particularly if the buyer is from China.
Intel this year will start fabricating chips with 10-nanometer features, placing 100.8 million transistors on a square millimeter of silicon. It also announced the availability of a low-power 22nm FinFET process for foundry customers.
Rutgers University researchers report combining graphene and boron nitride crystal on a substrate, instead of silicon dioxide, to provide a way to keep microchips from overheating. Rutgers professor Eva Andrei said, "This solution doesn't have moving parts, and it's quite efficient for cooling."
Tsinghua Unigroup has lined up $21.8 billion in funding from China Development Bank and China's Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund for worldwide expansion of operations. The chipmaker may use the money for acquisitions and other purposes.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International wants to make internet of things devices with its mature process technology. The foundry currently provides a 55-nanometer process for IoT chips and will be adding low-power 65nm and 90nm processes for IoT applications.
Shipments of Intel's Optane solid-state drives for PCs will commence April 24. Based on the 3D XPoint memory devices, Optane SSDs will make PC booting twice as fast and boost internal data storage performance by a factor of 14, it was said.
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