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Articles about Semiconductor

Samsung 60nm 1Gb DDR 2 DRAM chip and DIMM

Samsung issues 'deep apology' to cancer-hit semiconductor workers

Samsung has officially apologised to over 200 semiconductor workers who suffered from leukaemia and other cancers – for which their families blame the Korean firm. The company has also promised to compensate "affected" workers and their families, according to local news agency Yonhap. "Several workers at our production …
The Register breaking news

Scientists demo light-controlled semiconductor

US boffins have documented a transition from metal to semiconductor that can be controlled by exposure to light. The researchers, from Washington University in St Louis, created a thin film of gold nanorods coated with zinc oxide. The result: with no illumination, the gold/zinc oxide mix conducted electricity as a metal, but …

We're NOT DOOMED after all: Global semiconductor sales post record 2013

The PC business may be imploding and large chunks of the global economy may still be struggling, but you wouldn't know it from last year's worldwide semiconductor sales – they topped $300bn for the first time in history, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). For the full year, the industry raked in $305.6bn …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Feb 2014
Comparison between ThruChip Communications' ThruChip Interface (TCI) and through-silicon via (TSV)

Semiconductor boffin: 3D NAND don't need NO STEENKIN' TSVs

Chip analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis took exception to several issues raised in a recent 3D NAND story, and El Reg storage desk asked him a few short questions for clarification. He provided a few short answers that did just that - and here they are. El Reg: Are there TSVs (through-silicon vias – vertical electrical …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2014
racks of Fujistu lettuce

Why are Fujitsu and Toshiba growing lettuce in semiconductor plants?

Fujitsu’s foray into growing lettuce is not meant to be a revenue stream, but rather a necessary step in convincing farmers to start utilising ICT, the tech giant’s boss has told us. Which is just as well, as the clean-room grown lettuce the IT giant unveiled last week will produce revenues of $3.8m this year, according to our …
Joe Fay, 22 May 2014

Apple snaffles low-power wireless firm Passif Semiconductor

Apple has acquired a privately-held low-power Bluetooth specialist called Passif Semiconductor. Not a lot is known about the company, which Business Week describes as a manufacturer of “switch-based wireless transceivers with low power consumption and a small footprint” that was incorporated in 2007. It's also known that the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2013

FIGHT! Semiconductor heavyweights debate government's role, gloves come off

At this week's normally staid International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), during a discussion of government's role in the development of technology, voices were raised and numbers were tossed about as debate grenades. The dispute took place during the audience Q&A of a panel session discussing the future of the …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Feb 2014

Global slowdown bites Japan's semiconductor crowd

There was more bad news for Japan’s beleaguered semiconductor industry on Thursday as it emerged the country’s big name chip suppliers were hit hard by a global slow down in the second quarter which saw worldwide sales plunge by over $2bn from the previous year, according to analysts. Bean counters at IHS iSuppli said global …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Aug 2012

Fujitsu says sayonara to semiconductor biz, thousands of staff

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu has been trying to eject its semiconductor business for a number of years, and has finally had enough of the drag it puts on its revenues and earnings. To that end, Fujitsu will spin out its chip business into partnerships with consumer electronics conglomerate Panasonic and rival Taiwan Semiconductor …
channel

Rambus drops $35m for Unity Semiconductor

Rambus is spending $35m (£22.13m) in cash to buy Unity Semiconductor and get into the post-NAND memory business. Unity is involved with CMOX resistive RAM technology, said to combine DRAM speed and NAND non-volatility. It hopes to produce a 1 terabit chip by 2014. Unity's people will be joining Rambus, putting an end to any …
Chris Mellor, 07 Feb 2012
fingers pointing at man

Chip sales sag says semiconductor seller survey

Thanks to the flooding in Thailand and other macroeconomic issues, chip sales fell by 3.1 per cent last November to $25.13bn, according to statistics from the Semiconductor Industry Association. Those figures are a three-month moving average running from September through November, compared to sales from the same period on 2010 …
GlobalFoundries Fab 8

Things that make you go hmm: GlobalFoundries hires ex-IBM chip fabber

A former IBM exec who oversaw chip fabrication has been hired by GlobalFoundries, the company that's rumored to be buying IBM's chip fabrication wing. Henry DiMarco, a longtime Big Blue employee, has moved to GlobalFoundries as vice-president of site construction and facilities, to help out on the construction and " …
Jack Clark, 10 Jul 2014
qubit

Boffins cage qubits inside superconducting silicon

Boffins at the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute think they're on the verge of creating qubits (quantum bits) that could be fabricated using technologies close to today's silicon techniques. The JQI group wants to create a blend of superconductor-style qubits and semiconductor qubits: superconducting wires and …
The Register breaking news

Plastic semiconductor makes solar cells more efficient

It sounds paradoxical, but reducing the amount of energy captured in a silicon solar cell can make it more efficient, according to University of Texas researchers. The research by chemist Xiaoyang Zhu addresses the problem of “hot electrons” – electrons created in a silicon solar cell that are too energetic to be useful and are …
The Register breaking news

Laser used to cool semiconductor

Lasers heat things up, right? – unless you happen to hit upon the right resonance, in which case it seems you can use lasers to cool things down. laser_cooled_semiconductor Koji Usami carries out the experiments at the Quantop laboratories at the Niels Bohr Institute. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute In an announcement that …

TI acquires National Semiconductor for $6.5bn

Texas Instruments has agreed to purchase rival National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion, a deal would combine two of the world's largest chip makers. TI said the pact would expand its portfolio of analog chips, processors that create a bridge between the worlds of analog and digital. Whereas digital chips can only handle 1s and …
Cade Metz, 04 Apr 2011
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Apple: First cult to lead world in semiconductor spending

Apple has become the world's largest OEM buyer of seminconductors, leaving both Hewlett-Packard and Samsung in the dust, according to industry research outfit IHS iSuppli. In 2010, iSuppli says, Apple spent $17.5 billion on semiconductors, a 79.6 per cent increase from the $9.7 billion is spent in 2009. That year, the company …
Cade Metz, 08 Jun 2011
Handshake

Fujitsu and Panasonic about to walk down LSI aisle

Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic are ready to jointly launch a new chip company this autumn as part of the duo’s plans to merge their LSI businesses, according to reports. The new venture will have ¥50 billion (£294m) in funding, with Fujitsu chipping in ¥20bn, Panasonic ¥10bn and the Development Bank of Japan stumping up the …
Phil Muncaster, 15 Apr 2014

Chinese chipsters promise 64-bit ARMs for cheap Android slabs

Chinese cheap'n'cheerful chip designer Allwinner has boasted that its first 64-bit ARM system-on-chips for tablets will in punters' hands by the end of 2014. Allwinner said in a statement on Wednesday that the new components will be based on the ARMv8-A architecture and will include support for 4K video and hardware H.265 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
No Sale

NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all

IBM's hopes of unloading its loss-making semiconductor division to GlobalFoundries have reportedly been dashed, with GlobalFoundries refusing to budge on price. Word that Big Blue was planning to sell off its chips business first surfaced in February, when the company retained investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help it put a …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014

Apple now spends more on chips than top three PC makers combined

In case you were wondering whether the PC industry is still in a slump, the numbers are in on semiconductor purchasing in 2013 – and once again, the biggest spenders weren't PC vendors. According to the latest figures from market research firm IHS iSuppli, Apple and Samsung again topped the list of the biggest semiconductor …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jan 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

Fabless semiconductor firm Marvell has fired the opening volley in its appeal of the record-breaking $1.5bn judgment against it in its ongoing patent dispute with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). "No patent infringement judgment for more than a billion dollars has ever received this Court's imprimatur, and the $1.535 billion …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
LED

Boffins build bendy screen using LEDs just THREE atoms thick

A team of scientists at the University of Washington (UW) have created the world's thinnest LED that is both flexible and stackable, making a new class of handheld devices and light-driven processor chips feasible. LED Team shine light on single layer LEDs ... a plane of the 2D lights "These are 10,000 times smaller than the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2014

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

Seagate and LSI are off the hook for infringing Taiwanese firm Realtek’s semiconductor patents after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Realtek can't enforce its rights without a local presence. Realtek had accused Avago-owned LSI and Seagate back in 2012 of violating its patent on a way of making an …
Suitcase bulging with cash

Atmel buys more IoT capability

Atmel, best known as a maker of microcontrollers and capacitive touchscreens, is expanding its Internet of Things footprint with the acquisition of low-power wireless chip designer Newport Media. Newport Media started out life shipping TV system-on-a-chip (SOC) devices, and during 2012 and 2013 branched out into 802.11n, 802.11b …
Fujitsu F-07C Windows 7 phone

Fujitsu says SAYONARA to smartphone chip JV

Fujitsu has decided to end its aspirations to be a smartphone semiconductor player after dissolving a joint venture with NEC and NTT just 18 months after its launch. Access Network Technology Limited was established by Fujitsu in August 2012, with the firm taking a majority 52.8 per cent stake. Its Fujitsu Semiconductor …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014

TSMC sole supplier of Apple's A8? NO WAY, says Samsung, US TOO

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may not have the exclusive contract to fab Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A8, after all, as had previously been suggested. Last week, China's Commercial Times reported that TSMC had ramped up production of the new chip and that it would replace Apple's erstwhile …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2014

Bangable poster firm Novalia makes printed 'leccy keyboard

The Cambridge company Novalia is working to launch a printed keyboard in the next year. What makes it special is a process which allows x-y printing, which means much more speedy production of the 'boards. Both layers are printed at the same time While the Cambridge-based company has previously shown devices with discrete …
Simon Rockman, 04 Feb 2014

Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

Samsung has confirmed sluggish sales of smartphones and tablets combined with efforts to shift the stock mountain that cast a shadow over Europe, denting group sales and profits for calendar Q2. The Korean chaebol has been out of step with falling market demand and as exclusively revealed by The Channel back in May, Sammy UK …
Paul Kunert, 31 Jul 2014

Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu

A study of the public-facing web servers run by some of the world's largest firms has suggested only three per cent of the machines have been fully protected against the OpenSSL vulnerability known as Heartbleed. The research, carried out by security specialists at Venafi Labs, examined 550,000 servers belonging to 1,639 …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2014
acer

Acer names Jason Chen as its white knight

Acer has named the man it thinks can dig it out of the hole created by the collapsing PC market. Jason Chen, currently the senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), steps into the CEO and president's chair on January 1st, 2014. Chen doesn't have a high profile …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2013

You can put away the microscope – you can see Acer's profit from HERE (for a change)

Red ink was again conspicuously absent from Taiwanese device slinger Acer’s second quarter numbers, despite continued sale slippage. The biz turned in a net profit of NT$486m (£9.6m, $16.1m) for the calendar quarter versus a net loss of NT$343m (£6.77m, $11.3m) a year ago when it had stumped up for rising DRAM prices and …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2014
tumbling dice

IBM bets the farm on big data in annual report

IBM is utterly focussed on big data and analytics as its future growth engines, according to its annual report published over the weekend. But the company has hedged a little on the future of its semiconductor and hardware businesses. Available here, the least-brochure-like bits are to be found in the A Letter from the Chairman …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Mar 2014
Our happy travellers surrounded by armed police at LAX

New BOMB detect-o-tech 'could give sniffer dogs competition': TRUE

Researchers working on a new type of bomb detector technology have made the rather underwhelming boast that their kit "could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition". “Bomb-sniffing dogs are expensive to train, and they can become tired,” said study co-lead author Ren-Min Ma, one of the boffins who came up with the …
Lewis Page, 21 Jul 2014

First 'production-ready' EUV scanner laser-fries its guts at TSMC. Intel seeks alternative tech

A recent test of the next-generation chip-etching technology known as extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) has come a cropper at chip-baking giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Coincidently, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy has confirmed to The Reg a report that his company has joined up with Dutch …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Feb 2014
Money image

Intel told to PUT A SOC IN IT: Fill our kit with chips, says Panasonic

Intel has notched up another customer for its fledgling Foundry business as it tries to make money out of its manufacturing and engineering expertise besides x86 processor sales. The world's most valuable chip manufacturer said on Monday that Panasonic's audio-visual gear will make future system-on-chips (SoCs) in Intel's …
Jack Clark, 07 Jul 2014
Ocean

20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has issued a statement reporting that, tragically, 20 of its employees were aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which appears to have crashed into the South China Sea. At the time of writing, the jetliner, which was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur carrying 239 passengers and crew, is …
Team Register, 09 Mar 2014

Unisys cozies closer to Intel, 'sunsets' proprietary processor

Unisys is hastening the retirement of its proprietary – and geriatric – mainframe processor, beginning with 12 new ClearPath systems based on Intel Xeon processors. "Continuing the ongoing evolution of the ClearPath family to an open architecture based on Intel x86 processors," the company said in a statement, "the new models …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Jun 2014
Crossbar RRAM

New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Flash is at a crossroads. It cannot keep shrinking dies because, beyond a certain point, NAND cells produce too many errors, are slower to respond and have a shortened working life. Yet a University of Michigan professor's research may hold the key to the future of flash storage technology. Flash foundry suppliers are working on …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2014

Bloodied Samsung's profits down 25% as it clings to mobe crown

Samsung issued unaudited earnings guidance for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday – and although it once again pulled in an impressive pile of coin, all is not going as well as was hoped for the world's biggest smartphone maker. The company said it now anticipates revenues of around 52.0 trillion South Korean won …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Boston U claims LED patent, files against tech giants

Boston University, which last year assessed the cost of “patent trolling” in the American economy at $US29 billion, has fired its litigation gun at a slew of tech companies – including Apple. Since October 2012 – incidentally the month in which its cost-of-trolling research was released – the university has been filing lawsuits …
Inside the Google Lab where surgeons prepare the human/dog experiment

IBM's $3bn bet on next-gen computers: Carbon nanotubes, neuro chips

IBM boffins have been given a tidy $3bn cash pile to solve a problem that lurks not too far in our future. That problem is the imminent breakdown in conventional chip operation and chip materials as we shrink transistor gates from today's 14nm process size to 10nm and 7nm. At around 7nm, which most industry observers expect we …
Jack Clark, 09 Jul 2014
barney

MIPS maneuvers for world+dog adoption with open source foundation

A new open source non-profit foundation dubbed prpl (pronounced purple) has been set up in an effort to promote the use of the MIPS architecture in everything from data centers to individual devices. The foundation is the brainchild of Imagination Technologies, which acquired MIPS in February 2013. Imagination has signed up …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2014
Broadcom

Broadcom: If no one buys our modem biz, we'll DITCH IT

Chipmaker Broadcom is moving out of the mobile modem business. The company has announced that if it can’t sell its cellular modem division, the operation will be shuttered. The news has been greeted with glee by financial types, who point to the $600m the company expects to save as a result of the move. The Broadcom share price …
Simon Rockman, 03 Jun 2014

Report: IBM to peddle its chip wing

IBM is rumored to have retained Goldman Sachs to help it put a price on its semiconductor division. The news was reported by the Financial Times on Thursday afternoon, California time, and follows IBM's long-expected announcement of the sale of its server division to Asian electronics giant Lenovo. At the time of writing …
Jack Clark, 07 Feb 2014

Intel and pals shrink their semis by $600m as demand droops

Semiconductor factories hit the brakes to avoid heaps of unwanted chips piling up after demand for components shrank. Bean counter iSuppli reckons the major manufacturers acted swiftly to prevent expensive backlogs of baked silicon forming: the average number of days between producing inventory and selling it declined five per …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2013

Decades ago, computing was saved by CMOS. Today, no hero is in sight

The general chair of the SC13 supercomputing conference thinks the semiconducting industry has reached a tipping point more radical – and uncertain – than it has gone through in decades. "We've reached the end of a technological era where we had a very stable technology," Bill Gropp, Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science at …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Nov 2013
Zhang Xinzhu

Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

A Chinese academic has been booted from a government antitrust advisory committee amid allegations he accepted payouts from Qualcomm in exchange for giving testimony favorable to the company in an ongoing monopoly probe. State-run media outlet China News Service reported on Wednesday that Zhang Xinzhu, director of the Research …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014

Indian DEITY hands down new manufacturing subsidy plan

India's Department of Electronics and Information Technology – which cheerfully uses the domain name deity.gov.in – is making a play to bring more electronics manufacturing work to the sub-continent. India and the Department established a Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) in 2012, offering to rebate up to 25 per …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2014
What car shall I drive today?

Look what's screeching into the Internet of Stuff: SELF-DRIVING CARS

Semiconductor maker Freescale is a notable player in embedded processing for the automotive industry, among other things, so it was perhaps no great surprise to find various car components on its stand at the Future World Symposium this week in London. Freescale's hybrid game at play Freescale's hybrid game at play By …
Bob Dormon, 02 May 2014