Articles about Semiconductor

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D-Link gets new chair

A new chairman will soon lead D-Link as Roger Kao steps down. John Hsuan has over 20 years experience in the sector and is an honorary deputy chairman at Taiwan’s first semiconductor company, UMC. ® Register Vulture logo - grey
Katyanna Quach, 28 Apr 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

About a year ago, we asked you to pray for AMD. It's working. AMD has announced a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer that will churn out server processors using mini-Chipzilla's technologies in the Middle Kingdom. It also said it will bank about $1.5bn from three new games console chips over the next three or four years …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016
Close up of etched silicon

ARM Holdings gives the thumbs-up, reports revenue and licensing uptick

Chip designer ARM has reported revenue and profit increases in Q1, with its shares trading up despite a moody FTSE 100 this morning. Q1 2016 saw a year-on-year dollar revenue rise for ARM at 14 per cent (22 per cent in £) when its results were posted today. Pre-tax profits of £137.5m are an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year …
Sony's Xperia Z5

Killer Japan quake jolts Sony factories to a halt

Sony says that it will be resuming production at several of its largest Japan manufacturing facilities following a series of devastating earthquakes in the region, though some other factories remain offline. The Japanese electronics giant said that its Kumamoto Technology Center semiconductor manufacturing plant has been …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2016
Micro:Bit photo

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

First look The BBC Micro:Bit will start rolling out to all year-seven pupils in the UK from this morning. What the kids will receive is a matchbox-sized single-board computer with 256KB of flash and 16KB of RAM, manufactured by element14. Yes, you read that right, the same amount of RAM as the Acorn-designed BBC Micro Model A of 35 …
Dominic Connor, 22 Mar 2016

Former Intel CEO Andy Grove dies, aged 79

Former Intel CEO Andrew Grove has died, aged 79. Grove's story is in many ways an American classic. Born András István Gróf in Hungary in 1936, Grove was Jewish. He and his mother survived World War Two by hiding under assumed identities. His family then fled the failed Hungarian revolution of 1956, which saw the Soviet Union …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2016

Hand in hand, TSMC, ARM head to 7nm server chip land

ARM and TSMC today announced they are working together to make chips featuring 7nm FinFETs a reality. This follows on from their work on 16nm and 10nm FinFETs. Taiwan-based TSMC describes itself as "the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry," and it churns out chips for the likes of Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm, Apple, …
Chris Williams, 15 Mar 2016
A Chinese laundry on the back streets of Shanghai

SEC: Qualcomm hired relatives of Chinese officials to seal biz deals

Qualcomm has coughed up some cash after it was accused of bribing Chinese officials by giving their relatives plum jobs. The California chip designer today settled out of court with US financial watchdog the SEC for $7.5m. The deal ends an embarrassing investigation into claims the company broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices …
Chris Williams, 02 Mar 2016
Network Functions Virtualisation

NFV players push their wares to mobile operators at MWC

MWC16 Among the new phones, chargers, VR headsets and big-booth-photo-shoots* that dominated the Mobile World Congress media agenda this week, there's also been a slew of network function virtualisation (NFV) announcements. Cisco's hopped on board, announcing an NFV solution built out of Cisco UCS Servers, Nexus switches, and a " …

Hijack wireless mice, keyboards, with $15 of kit and 15 lines of code

Fake wireless computer mice and keyboards can be used to compromise laptops from up to 100 metres away using the portable peripherals from at least seven big vendors including Logitech, Microsoft, and Amazon, software engineer Marc Newlin says. The attacks target the typically cleartext and insecure communications between a …
Darren Pauli, 24 Feb 2016
Graphene on glass schematic

A glass of soda-and-lime is the straight dope for graphene

Researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in the United States have turned up an unexpected property of common glass: it makes a good substrate for graphene-based electronics in applications like solar cells and touch-screens. While graphene has had “wonder-material” status for a few years now, it's difficult …

ARM pumps fist as profits soar, warns of weaker hand in 2016

Chip designer ARM once again posted bumper annual results, with profits up 31 per cent to £414.8m on revenue of £968m, up 22 per cent. During the year the company shifted 14.8 billion ARM-based chips, up 16 per cent on 2014. But the company warned that increased economic uncertainty during 2016 "may influence consumer and …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2016
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Imagination Tech's chief Hossein Yassaie quits, shares slide

One of the longest-serving tech chiefs in the world, Imagination Technologies’ CEO Sir Hossein Yassaie, has stepped down, with non-exec director Andrew Heath filling his shoes as interim chief. Yassaie headed the British semiconductor company for 18 years. After establishing a global toehold with its PowerVR (formerly …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2016
Counterfeit FTDI USB-to-serial adapter chips

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Semiconductor company Future Technology Devices International (FTDI), which in 2014 was caught out bricking products built using knock-off chips, has again been accused of fooling around with device drivers. Back in October 2014, the company shipped a device driver that checked the authenticity of USB chips claiming to be FTDI …
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Samsung: Is gadget lust still a thing in 2016? Nope

Samsung Electronics has forecasted weaker smartphone and tab sales for 2016 amid concerns consumers’ gadget lust is waning - well, if there’s no compelling reason to upgrade, folks don’t upgrade. “[We are] expecting challenges in 2016 to maintain earnings due to a difficult business environment and slowing IT demand,” the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016

We've all suffered hangovers, but Qualcomm's right now is something epic

Qualcomm makes running a top-tier semiconductor business look like hard work. The Snapdragon system-on-chips it designs are used all over the place in smartphones, smart TVs, cars, gadgets, you name it. This should be easy street for Qualy, and yet it's slipping over in the winter ice. Let's go over the numbers first. On …
Chris Williams, 28 Jan 2016
Sony logo

Sony slurps Altair Semiconductor to make 'things' sing

Sony has put US$212 million on the table to buy LTE silicon vendor Altair Semiconductor. The Israeli chip developer runs the gamut from 200 Kbps low-power (and low-cost) Internet of Things comms chips up to 450 Mbps chipsets for base stations, mobile Internet and motor vehicle applications. In December, the takeover target …
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400 jobs to go as Texas Instruments calls time on chip fab in Scotland

Texas Instruments is to shutter its semiconductor plant in Scotland with the ultimate loss of 400 jobs, the company has confirmed. Staff were this afternoon informed by the chip maker about the plans to “phase out our manufacturing facility in Greenock” that are set to happen “over the next three years”. TI issued a statement …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
DRagon

China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs

China is making more moves as it tries to set up an indigenous and patent-protected semi-conductor chip capability. Xu Jinghong, the chairman of Tsinghua Holdings, said in a Davos World Economic Forum interview that Tsinghua wanted to buy two semi-conductor manufacturing companies. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD Aaron …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2016

Hey, Intel and Micron: XPoint is phase-change memory, right? Or is it? Yes. No. Yes

Comment So, is XPoint memory phase-change memory ... or not? An IM Flash Technologies co-CEO just gave a strong signal it might be phase-change, but doubt remains as Intel and Micron have kept their secret process ingredient hidden. IMFT is the Intel/Micron joint venture to manufacture flash chips in Lehi, Utah. Guy Blalock and Keyvan …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2016

Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Microcontroller gurus Atmel look set to be acquired by Microchip – and not by the UK's Dialog Semiconductor. Atmel, a $3.3bn business based in San Jose, California, designs and makes simple and low-power AVR, ARM and 8051-compatible chips for all sorts of electronic gadgets and gizmos. It is probably best known to people as …
Chris Williams, 15 Jan 2016
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

Intel aims for PC-style position in drones, robots and wearables

CES 2016 The need to control not just the processor itself, but the whole surrounding software and connectivity platform, was very clear in Intel’s launches and keynotes a last week's Consumer Electronics Show. While the PC and smartphone processors or SoCs have been premium products, in semiconductor terms, in the IoT the hardware …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jan 2016

2015 chip market battered by everything bar earthquakes and nuclear war

Worldwide semiconductor sales slid last year, as chipmakers were hit by sliding currencies, slumping PC shipments, and supply gluts in key markets. Gartner’s just published take on the 2015 semiconductor market shows overall revenues slipping 1.9 per cent to $333.7bn. Just to really rub it in, this compares to 2014’s 7.9 per …
Joe Fay, 07 Jan 2016
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MediaTek to spin out Ethernet biz – reports

Fabless semiconductor design house MediaTek is continuing its "focus on the core business" strategy, with reports in Asia suggesting it plans to spin off its Ethernet chip operations this year. The company's Ethernet switches mostly target the home broadband router market, a segment that makes up a relatively small chunk of …
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Supermicro's ability to enable should worry IBM and Lenovo

Sysadmin's 2015 review part 3 With 2015 drawing to a close and 2016 about to begin, it's time to reflect on the fact that the world never stops changing. The tech industry certainly constantly changes, and so here's one sysadmin's final view of the industry's movers and shakers. In part one (link here) I took a look at Amazon, Oracle and Microsoft. In part …
Trevor Pott, 31 Dec 2015
Toshiba

Toshiba denies NAND exit report with 'no decision made' comment

Giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, currently restructuring in the wake of a huge accounting scandal, has denied media reports that it intends to pursue a flash foundry spin-off. The Japan Times has reported (citing sources) that the flash foundry business could be set up as a separate subsidiary owning the Yokkaichi plant in …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2015

Samsung shoves IT arm into connected cars, hires new hands

South Korean conglomerate Samsung is setting up new organisations including a car tech component team, and rejigging some of the leadership as the company prepares for winter in tech land. The annual structural re-org this time around is to “pre-emptively respond to business uncertainties”, the company stated. The fundamental …
Paul Kunert, 10 Dec 2015

Meet ARM1, grandfather of today's mobe, tablet CPUs – watch it crunch code live in a browser

Pics Chip geeks have produced an interactive blueprint of the ARM1 – the granddaddy of the processor cores powering billions of gadgets today, from Apple iPhones to Raspberry Pis, cameras, routers and Android tablets. The peeps behind the fascinating blog visual6502.org normally reverse-engineer chips by pulling the silicon out of …
Chris Williams, 28 Nov 2015

Qualcomm huffs and puffs at Korean competition probe

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm disclosed on Wednesday that it has been accused of violating South Korea's competition law. The company could be hit with fresh antitrust charges, following the publication of a case examiner's report penned by officials at the South Korea Fair Trade Commission. Qualcomm said in a statement that it …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2015
Fairchild logo

Remember Fairchild? It's still around, and worth $2.4bn in takeover cash

Fairchild Semiconductor, a company synonymous with the rise of Silicon Valley, has agreed to a $2.4bn acquisition offer. Arizona-based ON Semiconductor said it would pay $20 per share in an all-cash offer to acquire Fairchild and create a combined company targeting the mobile, automotive and industrial chip markets. "The …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2015

Game of Photons: Boffins make ICE with FIRE

Laser refrigeration, that counter-intuitive application of the technology, has taken an important step towards reality, with scientists from the University of Washington chilling water by 36°F (20°C). That's enough of a change, in normal real-world conditions, for the research team led by assistant professor of materials …
Milhouse Van Houten

Your 30-second guide to why Samsung is acting all Smugsun today

Samsung is getting a nod of approval from investors and analysts as the electronics giant has revealed gains in its mobile, semiconductor, and consumer electronics operations. The South Korean firm said its Android phone business managed to grow its sales figures in its third quarter of 2015, raising hopes that further gains …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2015

Micron’s had its chips … and expects even more. Thanks Intel!

Intel’s Dalian flash fab news was taken to mean bad things for the Intel Micron flash partnership and XPoint activities. Well, not necessarily so, according to a Micron insider to whom we spoke. Intel announced it would pump up to $5.5bn into converting an existing chip-set fab in Dalian in China into a 3D Flash semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2015
Dolby Vision display (left), standard display (right)

No 4King way: Dolby snuggles its high-def TV tech into MStar SoCs

Dolby Laboratories seems to be one step closer to pushing its version of High Dynamic Range into the TV ecosystem, with a collaboration announced this week with mega smart TV player MStar Semiconductor, which said it would deliver a Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD SoC to go into TVs next year. This fits in with our assertions at …
Faultline, 16 Oct 2015

$65m write-down, ARM chips ship: A 90-second guide to Planet AMD

Intel punchbag AMD wrote down the value of its computer chip stockpile by $65m in the third quarter of 2015 after it couldn't flog some of its older inventory. Meanwhile, the processor designer will, for the first time, ship "modest" numbers of its 64-bit ARM-compatible server chips in the final three months of this year. …
Chris Williams, 16 Oct 2015
Nvidia GeForce

US trade watchdog rules Sammy, Qualcomm DIDN'T infringe Nvidia's IP in patent WAR

Nvidia has suffered a major setback in its patent case against Samsung and Qualcomm, after a US regulator – in a preliminary decision – cleared the companies of any wrongdoing. On Friday, graphics chip maker Nvidia said that it would seek a full review from the International Trade Commission, in light of the ruling. The ITC's …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Oct 2015
Micron PCIe SSD

Micron pulls up its flash SOCs, slurps up Tidal

The Non-Volatile Memory Express technology wave is rising and Micron has bought Tidal Systems, an early stage NVMe PCIe controller developer. Tidal Systems, which is developing system-on-chip (SOC) controllers for flash, was founded in 2013 by CEO Mike Lee and Dr Cody Wu, an former distinguished engineer at SandForce, the SSD …
Chris Mellor, 09 Oct 2015
ZFS_Appliances

Oracle ZFS appliance sales hit $1 billion

Oracle blogs it’s sold more than a billion dollars’ worth of its ZFS appliance, with almost 15,000 systems installed by more than 5,000 customers. It is “currently one of the fastest growing products within the Oracle Server and Storage Systems business unit.” Sounds impressive, particularly with EMC saying it has sold a …
Chris Mellor, 09 Oct 2015

TRANSISTOR-GATE-GATE: Apple admits some iPhone 6Ses crappier than others

Apple has confessed that some iPhone 6Ses have worse battery life than others because their processors are made by two different chip bakers. The Cupertino giant said in a statement on Thursday that the handsets using TSMC-built 16nm A9 processors will have a slightly longer battery life than those powered by Samsung-built …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Oct 2015
sony semiconductors

Sony prepares to lop off semiconductor biz

Sony is reorganizing its devices division, and spinning off its semiconductor business. The Japanese electronics giant said that on April 1, 2016, Sony Semiconductor Solutions will begin operating as its own business with manufacturing, R&D, and sales operations. The new business will continue to operate as part of the Sony …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Oct 2015
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Thanks for the memory: XPoint put under the analyst microscope

Semiconductor market researcher Jim Handy of Objective Analysis has produced an 80-page report looking into what XPoint memory is, how it could be used and what its prospects are. XPoint memory was unveiled by Micron and Intel in July to general amazement. The pair claimed it was 1,000 times faster than NAND, ten times denser …
Chris Mellor, 23 Sep 2015
Boy slurps watermelon. Credit: Shutterstock

Dialog Semiconductor gobbles Atmel for $4.6bn, with 'synergies' on the way

UK-based chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor is to acquire US chip firm Atmel for $4.6bn (£3bn) in a cash and stocks deal. The acquisition will create a company with a combined value (annual revenues) of $2.5bn, or £1.6bn. In 2014, Dialog posted sales of $1.15bn (£740m), up 28 per cent on 2013; while Atmel's full-year results …
Kat Hall, 21 Sep 2015
John von Neumann and the IAS computer

Long-memoried boffins re-invent 1950s ferroelectric tech

A new memory technology which harks back to the 1950s is to be launched by the Ferroelectric Memory Company (FMC), a commercial venture being spun out of the Technical University of Dresden’s nano and micro-laboratory (NaMLab). NaMLab specialises in dielectric materials for semiconductor devices and focuses on the application …
Simon Rockman, 17 Sep 2015
Chips

'Soft' market will make Imagination's profits droop, warns firm

British chipmaking biz Imagination Technologies has posted a profit warning for its next financial quarter, blaming "softness" in the chip market. "The semiconductor sector in general had a weak June quarter but the industry expectation is for this to improve in the second half of the year," it said in its interim update for …
Kat Hall, 16 Sep 2015
Qualcomm

Qualcomm goes freestyle: Snapdragon 820 will support unlicensed spectrum

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 will support carrier aggregation with unlicensed spectrum – LTE-U, part of the new X12 LTE modem – which allows operators to combine unrestricted spectrum with their own licensed holdings to get more bandwidth. While the Snapdragon 820 isn’t expected to ship until the middle of next year, it is …
Simon Rockman, 15 Sep 2015
Toshiba MQ03ABB300

Is Toshiba mulling asset sales? HDD, TV businesses in the frame

Comment Toshiba is in trouble and could be about to exit the PC and disk drive businesses. The company is still suffering badly from a massive accounting scam, which overstated profits for seven years, and it has just reported a lousy quarter with losses of $91m. Masashi Muromachi became Toshiba’s new president (chief executive) in …
Chris Mellor, 14 Sep 2015
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In brief: Android security updates, FireEye hushes infosec bod, Feds blab UK school IT vuln

Vulture nybbles Google has emitted its first monthly batch of security updates for the latest version of Android – as promised in early August. The web giant vowed to regularly release fixes for vulnerabilities after it was rocked by the Stagefright bug that affected potentially hundreds of millions of devices. The first patch batch is …
Team Register, 12 Sep 2015

Witness Apple's iPhone-iPad extravapalooza here in our no-hate zone

Commentary Gooooood morning, Pacific America. Today is at last the great day. From 10am today, 1700 UTC, Apple will reveal the new era-defining machinery that will power our lives into the future. Our excitable cousins in the UK are not like us here in San Francisco, California. While we hold hope, they hold scorn. This is now a no-hate …
Chris Williams, 09 Sep 2015
Reinhard Ploss CEO

Infineon CEO admits auto-chip biz may be a takeover target

Former Siemens chip company Infineon may find itself on the shopping list of a bigger semiconductor company, thanks to its strength in automotive. Consolidation and specialisation has been the order of the day in the semiconductor industry, with fewer companies for each type of component. Where once there were a dozen or so …
Simon Rockman, 01 Sep 2015
Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan Supreme Court rules former TSMC exec leaked chip secrets to Samsung

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly won a lawsuit against a former employee over claims that he leaked details of the chip fabber's 28-nanometer process technology to archrival Samsung. As a result of the judgment, Liang Mong-song, a former top R&D man at TSMC, has been barred from working for …
Neil McAllister, 25 Aug 2015