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Articles about Semiconductor

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

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 …
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 …
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
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 …
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

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

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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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 …

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

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

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
Caltech's phased array chip

Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Caltech researchers have demonstrated a chip they hope will one day let smartphones act as projectors. Instead of the light sources, image and lenses needed for a traditional projector, the Caltech chip uses an optical phased array (OPA) to create a projected image from a single laser diode – along the way eliminating the need …
The Register breaking news

Intel nabs mobile GPS business of moribund ST-Ericsson

Seeking to bolster its position in the mobile chip business, Intel has snapped up the GPS mobile navigation division of failed semiconductor partnership ST-Ericsson for an undisclosed sum. ST-Ercisson announced the sale on Tuesday without naming the buyer, but Reuters later reported that an Intel spokesperson confirmed Chipzilla …
Neil McAllister, 28 May 2013

So long, Samsung! TSMC is fabbing Apple's A8 chip, insiders claim

The next generation of Apple's custom system on a chip (SoC) for mobile devices will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) rather than Samsung, and so will several other chips to be used in the forthcoming iPhone 6, a report has claimed. According to Taiwanese financial newspaper Commercial Times, …
Neil McAllister, 06 Mar 2014

Avago Technologies chomps up LSI for BEELLLIONS - in CASH

Christmas has come early for LSI investors. Avago Technologies is buying LSI for $6.6bn – and they're paying cash. Avago; who they? A former HP spin-out, Avago is jointly headquartered in Singapore and San Jose. Avago Technologies was once the semiconductor products part of HP, which was separated out as Agilent Technologies and …
Chris Mellor, 16 Dec 2013
Roughly 150kg of gold

Europe floats DIRTY ORE plan, rights groups scoff: It's VOLUNTARY?

The European Commission has released a draft for a programme to regulate the use of conflict materials. The EC said that its plan includes measures which would seek to restrict groups from trading in valuable minerals in order to fund armed conflicts. The package would bring a certification which would require importers in the …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Mar 2014

DARPA hands IBM £3.4m to develop SELF DESTRUCTING CHIPS

The American miltary's mad boffin department DARPA has commissioned IBM to design microchips that can simply "vanish" after being used. After the embarrassment of special forces troops leaving behind a “stealth” helicopter during the US operation to kill Osama Bin Laden, America has a strong interest in making sure its tech …
Jasper Hamill, 05 Feb 2014
Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung's at it AGAIN: SHATTERING profit records, that is

Samsung Electronics has pushed profits to yet another record, jumping 26 per cent in the third quarter, but had to rely on recovery in the chip market to do it. The Korean chaebol has had a string of strong quarters as its Galaxy mobes powered to the top of the Android table and it joined Apple at the head of the smartphone …

Extreme ultraviolet litho: Extremely late and can't even save Moore's Law

To save Moore's Law, not only will the semiconductor industry need to move to not-yet-ready-for-prime-time extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), it will also have to make a costly switch from the current 300mm wafer manufacturing standard to 450mm. So said Mark Thirsk, managing partner of semiconductor industry consultancy Linx …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Oct 2013
Samsung 60nm 1Gb DDR 2 DRAM chip and DIMM

Samsung set for compensation talks over staff death claims

Samsung looks close to concluding a six-year dispute over conditions in the firm’s chip plants, which have been blamed for scores of worker deaths from leukemia and other diseases. The Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry (SHARPS), which represents the ill workers and family members, held …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Jan 2013
Boy in steampunk fancy dress, with hat, mechanical monocle, waxed moustache, cravat and Bavarian-type jacket

A steampunk VDU: How would it work and what would it look like?

Boy in steampunk fancy dress, with hat, mechanical monocle, waxed moustache, cravat and Bavarian-type jacket A steampunk VDU? Yes, I can do that Many Reg readers are fans of steampunk Sci-Fi, and so we hope you relish this little challenge posed on El Reg Forums by John Smith 19, a gold badge commentard. If you know Charles …
Drew Cullen, 26 Oct 2013
homeless man with sign

Global semiconductor sales forecast slashed

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) yesterday cut its forecast for growth in global sales of semiconductors in 2008, blaming price pressure in the memory sector. It said chip sales were now expected to grow 4.3 per cent, to $266.6bn, significantly down from the trade group’s November forecast of 7.7 per cent. The SIA, …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jun 2008
IBM 'through-silicon via' stacked chips

ARM cores leg it into body of Big Blue, rub shoulders with Power network chips

IBM has announced it is licensing a basket of processor designs from ARM for its network equipment division. The new deal means Big Blue can make use of ARM's Cortex-A15, Cortex-A12, Cortex-A7 and Cortex-M4 cores, as well as the ARM Mali-450 graphics processing unit. These are aimed at beefy phone and tablet chips, and IBM wants …
Iain Thomson, 25 Oct 2013
chart

Semiconductor sales rise 5.3% in July

Sometimes, the good news is that things are getting less bad. So it seems to be with the semiconductor industry. According to a report from the Semiconductor Manufacturing Association today, worldwide chip sales hit $18.2bn in July, up 5.3 per cent sequentially from the $17.2bn level set in June. If you like to look at the …
The Register breaking news

Semi-suckalicious semiconductor sales

Chip sales took it on the chin in November, according to a new report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), with sales dipping 9.9 per cent worldwide when compared to November of 2007. The news is worse if you're in the Europe or the US - European sales were down 13.9 percent while the US absorbed a hefty 19.5 per …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Jan 2009
arrow pointing up

National Semiconductor to lay off 1,725

National Semiconductor announced Wednesday that it would immediately lay off 850 employees and follow those layoffs with an additional 875 over the next "several quarters" as the company closes two plants: one in Suzhou, China and a second in Arlington, Texas. The layoffs, which will total 26 per cent of the analog and mixed- …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Samsung spaffs $3.9bn on chip factory in TEXAS

Samsung's has announced that it will be spending $3.9bn upgrading its iPhone chip-making factory in Austin. The South Korean firm said it had finalised the deal after talks with state government officials in Texas. Samsung announced the plans last week, and got the governmental go-ahead last night, according to a report from …
Anna Leach, 20 Dec 2012

Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables

Three recent reports point to a glowing future for smartphones, tablets, and that nascent and still somewhat ill-defined category known as "wearables." There has been talk recently among some of the chattering classes that smartphone growth may be stalling, but the analysts at Strategy Analytics see things differently. "The …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2014
globalisation

Japanese quake shakes semiconductor biz

Chip makers and the computer and electronic suppliers that depend on them are only now beginning to sort out the effect that the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan will have on their businesses. At the moment, the disaster has not caused huge supply problems for the makers of key processor, graphics card, and memory …
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla takes wraps off 25 DOLLAR Firefox OS smartphone

Ever in search of the next few billion people who will access the internet for the first time in the coming years, Mozilla has unveiled a reference design of a smartphone that it says could sell for as low as $25 (£15). The entry-level prototype running Mozilla's Linux-and-HTML-based Firefox OS was unveiled at the Mobile World …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Japan's Renesas set for £1.6bn rescue plan

Ailing Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics is set to receive a ¥200bn (£1.6bn) investment boost to help prop up the company, the majority of which will come from the government, according to new reports from the Far East. The state-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) will plough around ¥150bn (£1.2bn) in for …
Phil Muncaster, 15 Oct 2012
Primary Data home page

Fusion-io founders' stealthy startup: We uncloak THIS YEAR... but don't expect product

Primary Data, the stealthy storage virtualisation startup set up Fusion-io's founders, has scored more cash and says it will come out of stealth later this year. After resigning from Fusion-io, CEO David Flynn and marketing head Rick White set up Primary Data and received $50m of B-round funding in October last year. There are …
Chris Mellor, 19 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

US spies' crazytech branch asks chip firm for 8-BIT-PER-CELL memory

The blue-sky researchers who work for the US intelligence branch have handed a contract to magnetic semiconductor firm Crocus Technology to develop memory that stores a whopping 8-bit-per cell memory to help keep the United States' intel secure. IARPA, the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, has commissioned …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2013
Samsung's mass-produced 3D vertical NAND ((V-NAND) chip

NAND flash chips to beat shrink wrap cash trap with 3D stack

Stacked 3D NAND chips will make up the majority of the flash chip market by 2017, eclipsing today's dominant chip-shrinking tech as flash makers cram ever-greater capacities into a smaller footprint, according to beancounters IHS. The tech analysts have produced a chart showing stacked or 3D NAND taking up just over two-thirds …
Chris Mellor, 09 Oct 2013
3GSM Qualcomm VGA

Jury smacks Qualcomm for UNLAWFUL TECH in iPhone, Galaxy chips

Wireless comms firm ParkerVision has seen its shares soar today after a jury ruled that chipmaker Qualcomm had infringed its patents in a million-dollar trial over mobile phone chips used in iPhones and Galaxy devices. The federal jury decided that Qualcomm had infringed on ParkerVision's intellectual property, finding that none …