Industry News
Semiconductors
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/15/2021

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is trying to add as much production capacity as it can under the circumstances, yet the world's largest foundry predicts microchip shortages will go on into next year. Meanwhile, TSMC reports a prolonged power outage at Tainan Science Park disrupted production of microchips with 40-nanometer features on Wednesday.

4/15/2021

China last year rose to the top spot in acquiring semiconductor manufacturing equipment, surpassing Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, SEMI says. ASML CEO Peter Wennink said restricting sales of his company's advanced lithography systems to Chinese customers is not a good move. "I believe that export controls are not the right way to manage your economic risks if you have determined that there is an economic risk," Wennink noted.

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Wennink
4/15/2021

The worldwide automotive industry is making a transition to emphasizing production of electric vehicles, yet the status of EV battery technology could be a limiting factor, this analysis notes. "In a conservative scenario, we expect lithium-ion battery demand to increase at least tenfold between 2020 and 2030," said Logan Goldie-Scot of BloombergNEF.

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National Public Radio
4/15/2021

Dell Technologies and Nvidia are collaborating with University of Cambridge researchers to develop multi-tenant, bare-metal servers to offer high-performance computing. The university is using 400-plus Dell PowerEdge C6520 servers with Intel's third-generation Xeon Scalable processors, along with more than 80 PowerEdge XE8545 servers based upon Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia chips.

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ZDNet
4/15/2021

Chunghwa Precision Test Technology reports receiving orders for its latest probe cards to complete IC probing for system-on-a-chip devices going into television sets. The company's NS50 series probe cards boast a fine pitch of 50 microns.

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DigiTimes
4/15/2021

Gallium nitride's wide bandgap makes it useful for power conversion applications, yet the technology is constrained in comparison with silicon, Katherine Derbyshire writes. "GaN on silicon is easier to manufacture and economically attractive -- larger wafers can support more devices at approximately the same per-wafer cost -- but the large thermal expansion and lattice mismatch between GaN and silicon leads to cracking and high defect levels," Derbyshire notes.

4/14/2021

Members of Congress and industry organizations representing a wide variety of technology enterprises are calling on the Biden administration to fairly implement and fund the provisions of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act. "The halted production lines for consumer technology, auto manufacturers, truckers and other critical industries due to a semiconductor shortage further highlights the pressing need to act quickly and fund the enacted bipartisan provisions," the congressional letter stated.

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Bloomberg, Electronics360
4/14/2021

Microsoft introduced the Surface Laptop 4, giving buyers the option of choosing a computer with a processor from Intel or Advanced Micro Devices. The laptop comes in two models, 13.5 inches or 15 inches.

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CNBC
4/14/2021

Chairman Satoshi Tsunakawa has replaced Nobuaki Kurumatani as CEO of Toshiba, a development that may roil the possibility of a hefty buyout for the troubled company. CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm that once employed Kurumatani, may make a buyout offer to Toshiba's board and management, valued at more than $20 billion. Bloomberg News reports KKR may also bid for Toshiba.

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Bloomberg
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Toshiba
4/14/2021

Apple is urging the US Securities and Exchange Commission to require entities regulated by the agency to disclose how their customers and their products may contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which play a crucial role in climate change. Lisa Jackson, a vice president of Apple and a former US environmental regulator, says her company "believes that the SEC should issue rules to require that companies disclose third-party-audited emissions information to the public, covering all scopes of emissions, direct and indirect, and the value chain."

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Reuters