Articles about Semiconductor

Close up of etched silicon

Brit chip bods ARM quietly piling up cash. Softbank will be happy

Cambridge-based processor design business ARM has posted substantial revenue and profit increases for the months in the runup to the Brexit vote. The company being bought by Japanese megacorp Softbank for £24.3bn, though Softbank has promised that this will be a Brexit in ownership only. ARM will retain its "senior management …
Multi-level burger too big to eat. Photo by Shutterstock

Get yer gnashers round 64-layer 3D NAND, beam WDC and Toshiba

Western Digital, via its acquired firm SanDisk, along with Toshiba, has started pilot production of 64-layer 3D NAND. These third generation BiCS3 chips are being fabbed at the Yokkaichi, Japan facilities, operated in a joint venture between WDC and Toshiba. Currently Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D V-NAND chips. 64 layers is …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jul 2016
A plate of horderves

Cavium revenue, losses rise

Networking semiconductor outfit Cavium has reported rising revenue for Q2 2016, but its losses are widening. Its revenue for the quarter was US$107.2 million, up 2.1 per cent on the same period last year and up 5.2 per cent from Q1 2016. However, losses are up. The company announced GAPP net loss of $7.4 million, up from $3.8 …

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …

Intel and pals chuck money at another Fibre Channel killer

+Comment Kazan Networks just got $4.5m A-round funding from Intel, Samsung Ventures and Western Digital Corp for its storage array access acceleration technology. So what? So Fibre Channel and iSCSI external array access are poised to be devastated by NVME over Fabrics (NVMeF) and Kazan is developing a hot little ASIC number that it …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2016

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
Newsroom

Semiconductor $s to fall

Worldwide semiconductor spending is forecast to shrink by 0.7 per cent to $64.3bn, according to the data druids at Gartner. Economic instability, inventory excess, and crappy demand for PCs, tablets and mobile phones over the past three years have taken a toll on growth prospects. ® Newsroom
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016
Softbank_structure

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Updated British semiconductor designer ARM is about to be acquired by Japan's SoftBank. The New York Times reports the deal is imminent. The FT has put a value on the deal: US$32.4bn. That's a premium of about $10bn over ARM's market capitalisation. SoftBank is a sprawling company that operates a telco in its Japanese home but is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Qualcomm's China JV licences ARMv8-A for server CPUs

Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology, the joint venture between Qualcomm and China's Guizhou Province, has advanced its ambition to build ARM-based server silicon by licensing the ARMv-8-A architecture. Guizhou province has set itself up as a centre of excellence for big data and internet infrastructure. Top-tier Chinese telcos …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
graphene

Much more Moore's Law: Wonder-stuff graphene transistor trickery

Scientists have developed a way to “chemically grow” transistors that are only a few atoms thick in a bid to give poor old battered Moore's Law another reprieve, according to new research published in Nature Nanotechnology. Packing more transistors on a microchip becomes increasingly difficult as shortening the distance …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Jul 2016

China really wants to get its hands on Idaho's 3D NAND tech

China is looking to license 3D NAND technology from Micron. Beijing wants to free itself of dependence on US, Korean and Japanese memory technologies by building its own, indigenous capability. A report in Chinese-language publication Commercial Times, referenced by DigiTimes, says Tsinghua Unigroup is allying with Wuhan …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
Micron_16nm_NAND_wafer

Etch a stretch: 3D NAND layer cake flop leads to 'string stacking'

Backgrounder Adding 3D NAND layers is butting up against aspect ratio limitations in the chip production process, which will limit the number of layers. String stacking is a technology that could provide an escape from this aspect ratio trap. Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D NAND, its third generation product; that’s the equivalent of 48 …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016

Boffins slap quantum dots on diamonds to create mutant nanomaterials

Researchers have found a new way to speed up the process of doping nanomaterials by adding quantum dots to tiny diamonds, which could advance electronics and quantum computing in the future, according to a paper published in Nature Communications. Nanomaterials have properties that are useful in electronics. Electrons travel …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Jun 2016

Marvell's fave vendors sniff latest pair of SoCs

Marvell Semiconductor is sampling its Armada 7000 and Armada 8000 system-on-chips (SoCs), based on the ARM Cortex-A72 architecture. Marvell reckons the SoCs are good for appliances from SOHO up to data centres, with dual- and quad-core versions, and are in the hands of "tier 1" vendors' design teams. The centrepiece of the …
wireless

German boffins smash records with 37km wireless spurt at 6Gbps

A team of German scientists has managed to establish a 6Gbps wireless link over a distance of 37 kilometers using newly developed antennas and receivers. The Advanced E Band Satellite Link Studies team established a connection between a base station and the town of Wachtberg using hardware with monolithically integrated …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2016
hdd_head_stack_648

Seagate ready for the HAMR blow: First drives out in 2017

Seagate is reducing its manufacturing capacity while still focusing on high-capacity disk drives for cloud and hyper-scale storage of unstructured data. This means it needs higher capacity drives, requiring new read-write head technology. It is a high-technology, nano-scale, clean room manufacturing process, and drive read- …
Chris Mellor, 12 May 2016
Undergroundarts.co.uk http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-79884p1.html

Boffins flip the unflippable: Meet the latest storage extender contender

A team of international researchers from the University of Nottingham has found a new material – copper manganese arsenide – which could be the future of computer storage, according to a study published in Science. Using a semiconductor as a template, a thin film of CuMnAs(copper manganese arsenide) crystals was grown on the …
Katyanna Quach, 12 May 2016

Cavium snubs MIPS, picks 64-bit ARM for next-gen network SoCs

Cavium – the brains behind the chips in big-brand networking products – has plumped for the ARM architecture over MIPS in its next-generation network processors. It's a sign that more and more serious networking gear is likely to be ARM powered rather than MIPS in future. The Octeon-TX family of system-on-chips, announced …
Chris Williams, 02 May 2016
hands waving dollar bills in the air

If the Internet of Things will be SOOO BIG why did Broadcom just quit the market?

Cypress Semiconductor has made Broadcom an offer too good to refuse: US$550 million in cash for its wireless Internet of Things business unit. The deal covers the whole kit-and-kaboodle: Broadcom's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee Internet of Things product lines, its WICED brand and developer community, and the relevant …

Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Intel has thrown in the towel on smartphone processors after losing round after round against the ARM architecture – the dominant brains of the mobile world. Intel today scrapped the development of its Atom processor codenamed Broxton, which was aimed at powering high-end smartphones and tablets. Broxton was expected to …
Chris Williams, 30 Apr 2016
shutterstock_225964027-pizz

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. ® shutterstock_225964027-pizz
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
open_door_648

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 …
shutterstock_184661174

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 …
Sorry we're closed

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
sale_648

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