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 …

TSMC touts IoT as semiconductor growth engine

Taiwanese chip fab TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co) reckons its Next Big Thing is going to be, you guessed it, the Internet of Things. The vendor, whose contract customers (such as Apple) make it a powerhouse of IC manufacturing, expects demand for microcontrollers, image sensors, WiFi and Bluetooth sensors will …
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

Blocks and Files 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

ISSCC 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
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 …

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 …

IBM: Please, take our chip unit. We'll give you $1.5 billion

Big Blue is going to become slightly less Big and Blue by paying Global Foundries $1.5bn to take on its chip-making business, according to multiple media reports. The giant's retreat from hardware continues following the transfer of the X86 server business to Lenovo. Bloomberg and others reported an IBM statement saying it is …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014

Toshiba plans chippery with mere 0.5V power slurp by 2017

Toshiba is getting ready to announce a low-power semiconductor technology it says will hit the market in scale in 2017. Lower power is something of a holy grail in the world of chips: it means less heat to dissipate away from transistors. That in turn lets devices be clocked at higher speeds (because higher clock speeds increase …
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
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 …

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
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 …
AMD CEO Lisa Su

So long, Rory: AMD board names Lisa Su president and CEO

AMD president and CEO Rory Read has stepped down, effective immediately, to be succeeded by fellow AMD exec Lisa Su. Read, who has served as AMD's chief exec since August 2011, will stay on with the company in an advisory role, but only through the end of 2014. "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such a talented …
Neil McAllister, 08 Oct 2014
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
Google and Microsoft

Frisky patent WAR: Samsung seeks to BLOCK Nvidia graphics chips from US market

Samsung Electronics's battle with chip maker Nvidia deepened on Friday, after the South Korean outfit filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission. It wants the regulator to block Nvidia from touting its graphics chips on the US market. As spotted by Bloomberg, the USITC's website showed that Sammy's gripe had …
Team Register, 23 Nov 2014

Glasgow boffins: We can now do it, Captain. We DO have the molecular storage power

If the number of electrons on flash storage is getting too few for reliability then use molecules for bit storage instead, and that's exactly what Glasgow uni boffins have gone and done it. Smarty-pants at the university Schools of Chemistry and Engineering, working with Rovira i Virgili University, Spain, have created clusters …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 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 …

Vendors coalesce around 'MGBase-T' 2.5/5 Gbps Ethernet

The move beyond gigabit Ethernet is gathering pace, with a cluster of vendors gathering around the IEEE standards effort to help bring 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps speeds to the ubiquitous Cat 5e cable. Members of the MGBase-Talliance include Aruba Networks, Broadcom, Brocade, Delta Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor, Pulse Electronics …

If you can't beat 'em: Intel seeking stake in Chinese chipmaker Spreadtrum – report

Ever eager to gain ground in the mobile chip market from such rivals as Broadcom and Qualcomm, Intel is reportedly considering a substantial investment in Chinese smartphone chipmaker Spreadtrum. Reuters reports that Chipzilla is close to announcing a deal with the firm, citing anonymous sources. No specific figures have been …
Neil McAllister, 26 Sep 2014
Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core-plus-one ARM processor

Nvidia blasts sueballs at Qualcomm, Samsung – wants Galaxy kit banned

Nvidia claims to hold patents on core graphics processor technologies found in mobile phones and tablets, and is suing Qualcomm and Samsung as a result. The graphics chip giant has filed lawsuits against the two semiconductor goliaths, seeking damages and an injunction blocking US sales of what Nvidia claims are the companies' …
Neil McAllister, 04 Sep 2014

Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of Patent WAR! Samsung strikes back at Nvidia

Samsung Electronics has counter-sued graphics processing units (GPU) manufacturer Nvidia for alleged infringement of its chip-related patents. Nvidia filed a patent lawsuit against Sammy and semiconductor and wireless tech giant Qualcomm in September, alleging the companies used its patented GPU technology without proper …
Kat Hall, 12 Nov 2014
UNSW's Michelle Simmons

Oz quantum researcher to head new journal

Prominent University of New South Wales quantum physicist Michelle Simmons has been tapped to take the reins of a new open access quantum physics publishing venture from Nature, as part of a partnership between the journal house and UNSW. Called npj Quantum Information, the journal is one of Nature's partner series, and the …
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

Singapore plots photonic future with new research institute

Singapore is to boost its footprint in photonics research, slinging $SGD80 million (USD$64 million) at a collaboration between the Nanyang Technical University (NTU) and the UK's University of Southampton. The University of Southampton says the NTU's new Photonics Institute will conduct work from basic research up to engineering …

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
Counterfeit FTDI USB-to-serial adapter chips

FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on

Chipmaker FTDI has pulled a driver from Windows Update that could brick devices containing knockoff versions of its USB-to-serial bridge chips, but says it won't back down on its aggressive anti-counterfeiting stance. Earlier this week, hackers from various hardware forums began noticing that FTDI's latest driver would set a USB …
Neil McAllister, 24 Oct 2014

Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard

Cisco is buddying up with three semiconductor companies to push Cat 5e and Cat 6 connections beyond the gigabit mark, to bring the Ethernet world into line with speeds on the table from future WiFi network standards. The Borg, along with Freescale, Xilinx and Aquantia, has looked at enterprise cabling and found it wanting: while …

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
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
French fries

Samsung, Apple soap opera drama: Korean giant WILL churn out chips for iPhones, iPads

Apple and Samsung have fought bitterly in the courtroom when it came to patents, but the two firms are still prepared to do business: namely the buying and selling of chips. Earlier this year, Apple reportedly decided to drop Samsung as its manufacturer of A-Series system-on-chip processors used in iPads and iPhones. Instead, …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2014
Space X Dragon in Orbit

Billionaire's pet DRAGON SPLASHES DOWN off Pacific Coast

Vid The "Dragon" private space podule - which delivered cargo to the International Space Station - has returned to Earth five weeks after its mission began. SpaceX's Dragon capsule was expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean, around 265 miles west of the Baja peninsula, within the next hour. ISS 'naut Reid Wiseman tweeted …
Team Register, 25 Oct 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Hot DRAM! Samsung splurges $15 BILLION on Korean chip fab

Samsung Electronics has decided to spend a massive $15bn building a memory fab in South Korea. Samsung is the world’s largest DRAM chip maker, followed by Micron and SK Hynix. It also leads the NAND chip market, being ahead of Toshiba, SanDisk, Micron and SK Hynix. Toshiba and SanDisk are partners in flash fabrication. The new …
Chris Mellor, 06 Oct 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 …
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
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 …
management regulation2

Worst. Comic. Book. Ever. Marvell's Chipman defeated by France in another patent battle

Marvell Semiconductor must reach into its pockets once again, having lost another patent-infringement lawsuit. This time around, the victor was France Telecom, which sued Marvell in 2012 for infringing its patent on certain error-correction algorithms used in CDMA wireless networking, which licensed under the goofy name Turbo …
Neil McAllister, 03 Oct 2014
Fraud image

BIG trouble in Big China: Samsung cops it RIGHT in the wallet

Analysis Competition from Chinese smartphone makers has mashed Samsung's China sales, resulting in a warning from the Korean company that its third quarter earnings would drop by 60 per cent when compared with the previous year. We’ve seen how Xiaomi, whose CEO fashions himself on Steve Jobs, is more of a threat to Samsung than Apple. …
Simon Rockman, 07 Oct 2014
LG Nuclun mobile SoC

LG taps TSMC to bake its first-ever mobile chip

South Korea's LG Electronics has announced its first self-made mobile system-on-chip (SoC), along with plans to debut the chip in a new smartphone to be released within the week. Nuclun (LG says it's pronounced "NOO-klun," somewhat like how Americans pronounce "nuclear") is an eight-core application processor based on ARM's big. …
Neil McAllister, 25 Oct 2014
Engineers making quantum devices at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW: Credit: Australian National Fabrication Facility

UK boffins: We'll have an EMBIGGENED QUANTUM COMPUTER working in 5 YEARS

Oxford boffins have vowed to have the largest quantum computer ever made up and running within five years and help Blighty regain its place at the top of the tech world. The government has announced the creation of four "Quantum Technology Hubs" which will collaborate to build a small device called the Q20:20. Sadly, this won't …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Nov 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

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
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