Silicon carbide-based devices are in high demand for electric vehicles and other power applications, outstripping supply of SiC chips and wafers, Mark LaPedus writes. Cree is pumping $1 billion into efforts to boost its SiC fabrication and wafer capacities, while developing a 200-millimeter wafer fabrication facility for SiC production.
With the pending $740 million sale of Avera Semiconductor, its application-specific integrated circuit business, GlobalFoundries is re-emphasizing its core foundry business, especially in 5G infrastructure and base stations, this analysis notes. GlobalFoundries announced deals this year to offload select assets to ON Semiconductor and Vanguard International Semiconductor.
To resolve the issue of greater resistance of copper and silicon in ever-shrinking chip dimensions, scientists in South Korea are demonstrating how a combination of graphene and amorphous carbon could boost the device concentration of graphene and enhance the 2D carbon material's electrical characteristics. Graphene boasts electric conductivity 100 times greater than copper and electron mobility 100 times better than silicon.
Toshiba reports having nine high-current photorelays that carry UL 508 certification. The devices can be used in building automation and industrial applications.
Richard Gottscho, Lam Research's executive vice president and chief technology officer, talks about controlling variability and cost in fabricating microchips with 3-nanometer dimensions and even smaller features in this interview. "There is no doubt in my mind that 3nm will happen," he says, while questioning whether 1.5nm and 1nm devices will be realized.
Qualcomm must renegotiate its agreements and pricing models and accept seven years of oversight, a federal judge ordered, ruling that the company violated antitrust rules by using its market power to charge excessive fees on patent royalties. Judge Lucy Koh wrote that Qualcomm "strangled competition" and criticized its policy of demanding a share of smartphone prices.
The Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents American chip companies, is calling for the governments of China and the US to reach a trade agreement that will benefit both countries. "We are troubled by the recent setback in US-China negotiations and the escalation of tensions on both sides, but remain hopeful a mutually beneficial agreement is still within reach," SIA President and CEO John Neuffer said in a statement.
The semiconductor industry historically has not experienced a sales downturn that lasted for more than three quarters, prompting IC Insights to predict the current revenue decline will end during the third quarter of 2019. The US-China trade war, however, presents an unpredictable "wildcard" for the near future, the market research firm notes.
Redpine Signals brought out the RS9116N-DBT chip for internet of things applications in the smart home, a market that has proved elusive for leading semiconductor vendors. The chip is built around an Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller with enhanced security and features a number of wireless protocols, including Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi and 802.15.4. with Thread stack.
Intel wants to accelerate artificial intelligence workloads on silicon photonics and issued a paper on how to realize the concept of optical neural networks. Researchers at the chipmaker turned to using a Mach-Zender interferometer to demonstrate a suitable architecture for that field.
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