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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 …

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

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

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
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

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 …
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 …

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 …
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
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 …

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
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 …

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
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
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 …
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
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
Fraud image

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

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

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
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket prepared fro launch in 2002. Pic: United Launch Alliance

Chip titan Micron shows off Elpida-fattened bottom line

US semiconductor chipper Micron has boosted its memory and flash business revenues with its purchase of Rexchip and Elpida, announcing record fourth quarter and fiscal 2014 year revenues. Fourth quarter revenues were $4.23bn, six per cent more than the previous quarter and, the Elpida boost kicking in, 49 per cent higher than …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 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
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

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
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 …
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