Foxconn Technology Group, one of the world's largest contract electronics manufacturers, is changing into more of a technology services provider to address market requirements for electric vehicles, digital health and robotics, using 5G/6G mobile communications, artificial intelligence and advanced semiconductors, says Young Liu, Foxconn's chairman. Speaking at an investors conference, Liu noted that Foxconn will not produce EVs, but it will provide chassis and other modules as part of an EV technology platform.
ASML CEO Peter Wennink says manufacturers of high-end microchips will provide robust demand for his company's lithography systems and other semiconductor production equipment next year, while memory vendors are less likely to buy IC gear in 2020. "Logic is strong, that will extend into 2020, we don't see any relief of that pressure," he said at an investment conference.
Researchers at Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Technology report their development of a potassium-ion battery design. "We showed that electroactive organic materials can pave the way for a new generation of electrochemical energy storage devices combining the advantages of metal-ion batteries and supercapacitors," said Pavel Troshin, the research group leader.
NXP Semiconductors unveiled the NXP NCJ29D5 ultra-wideband chip that would enable smartphone users to unlock vehicles with their phones. Meanwhile, BMW is working with the Car Connectivity Consortium to develop the next-generation Digital Key 3.0 specification with UWB technology.
Rambus brought out PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 intellectual property that is said to be compatible with PCIe 4.0, 3.0 and 2.0. The Rambus PCIe 5.0 offering includes a high-performance digital controller core from Northwest Logic, a recent acquisition by Rambus.
Advanced packaging technology is being incorporated in next-generation chip designs to meet the requirements of artificial intelligence and other applications, Brian Bailey writes. Prasad Subramaniam of eSilicon says, "As these devices become more complex, it is not possible to implement them in a single chip because their content exceeds the reticle size."
Custom applications and next-generation chip architectures are making IC design and verification more difficult in considering power issues, this analysis notes. Gordon Allan of Mentor, a Siemens Business, says, "When we add low power into the requirements, we're basically modifying the operation of the entire chip's functionality for a completely orthogonal purpose, saving power, and the best power-saving algorithms are quite intrusive."
Worldwide sales of optoelectronics, sensors and actuators, and discrete semiconductors will increase 1% this year to $83.5 billion, IC Insights estimates, citing the slowing global economy and the US-China trade war. The O-S-D market grew 9% last year and 11% in 2017.
Inphi agreed to acquire eSilicon for $216 million in cash and the assumption of debt; the transaction is expected to close in this quarter, pending regulatory approval. Synopsys will purchase eSilicon's embedded memory and interface intellectual property business; financial terms weren't disclosed.
Wind River will work with Xilinx to create a high-performance platform for developing safe and secure autonomous vehicles, pairing Wind River's automotive software with Xilinx's versal adaptive compute acceleration platform. Meanwhile, the chip design company brought out the Xilinx Automotive (XA) Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC 7EV and 11EG devices for advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous driving applications.
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