Items tagged with semiconductors

Samsung today announced that it is ready to start producing semiconductors based on its 8-nanometer FinFET Low Power Plus (LPP) manufacturing process. The company's newest process node provides up to 10 percent lower power consumption compared to its 10nm LPP process, and also takes up 10 percent less space due to a narrower metal pitch, Samsung stated in a press release. "With the qualification completed three months ahead of schedule, we have commenced 8LPP production," said Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "Samsung Foundry continues to expand its process... Read more...
When it comes to electronics, semiconductors make the world go round. This has been true for many decades, though future generations will own devices with different physical makeups than those that are in use today. That includes a potential move away from silicon. In what could be a glimpse into the future, electrical engineers at Stanford have identified a pair of ultrathin semiconductor materials that are every bit as good (and perhaps better) than silicon. Those materials are called hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide. Like silicon, these materials can "rust" in a way that is conducive... Read more...
We might be reaching a point where mid-range smartphones are good enough for most people. That may seem like a double-edged sword for Qualcomm, which just announced its new Snapdragon 450 processor for such devices, but there is still room at the high-end for things like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), artificial intelligence, and other tasks that push the limits of today's mobile processors. Meanwhile, mid-range devices are about to get a performance boost.The Snapdragon 450 is the first mid-range processor to be built on a 14-nanometer FinFET process. Compared... Read more...
The memory chip wars are heating up. Just four months ago, Western Digital kicked off pilot production of the industry's first 64-layer 512-gigabyte (Gb) 3D NAND flash memory. While it will take some time to reach mass production status, that's exactly where Samsung is now at with its 64-layer 256Gb Vertical NAND (V-NAND) chips, which were an industry-first back in January. Volume production of 64-layer 256Gb V-NAND flash memory means more availability for high-performance storage solutions in multiple categories, including server, consumer PC, and even mobile. Samsung says it has been working... Read more...
Foxconn is attempting to acquire Toshiba's semiconductor business though it is not going at it alone. According to multiple reports, both Apple and Amazon have joined forces with Foxconn to grab a piece of the sale, with each company offering up an untold amount of financial backing to help push the deal through.It is also said that Taiwan's Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision, has partnered with Sharp in its bid. Foxconn acquired Sharp last year in a deal worth in the neighborhood of $3.5 billion."Foxconn can confirm that we have submitted a bid for Toshiba's chip business with a number of... Read more...
IBM has teamed up with semiconductor equipment suppliers and manufacturing bigwigs GlobalFoundries and Samsung to develop a new process for building silicon nanosheet transistors. This new process paves a path to 5-nanometer, with the subsequent "fingernail-sized" chips packing a staggering 30 billion transistors inside. Hooray for keeping Moore's Law intact. Image Source: Connie Zhou via IBM "This announcement is the latest example of the world-class research that continues to emerge from our groundbreaking public-private partnership in New York," said Gary Patton, CTO and Head of Worldwide R&D... Read more...
In the high stakes game of semiconductors, technologies related to processor nodes are closely guarded secrets as companies try to trump one another with die shrinks and other advances in silicon research and development. As you might imagine, espionage can be a problem. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) believes it was an issue with a former employee who it accuses of stealing 28nm trade secrets.TSMC believes an ex-employee identified only as Hsu stole information about the company's 28nm process technology when he was being head hunted for employment at Shanghai Hueli Microelectronics... Read more...
The word from South Korea is that Samsung plans to invest $6.98 billion (8 trillion South Korean Won) into extending its high-tech semiconductor production lines. Specifically, Samsung is looking to remain on the cutting edge by making supplemental investments into its 10-nanometer production lines while building out new facilities capable of producing 7nm semiconductors.Samsung has some empty space located in Hwasung-si that it plans to fill with equipment than can fabricate 10nm chips. It has already ordered the necessary machinery from major domestic and foreign partners. The investments will... Read more...
Samsung today announced that it has begun mass producing its Exynos 9 series 8895 application processor (AP), the first processor chipset built on an advanced 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process. It is expected that the Exynos 8895 will find its way into one of the versions of Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, which is slated to arrive sometime after Mobile World Congress. According to Samsung, the move to a 10nm FinFET process node comes with an improved 3D transistor structure that allows for up to a 27 percent bump in performance while consuming 40 percent less power compared... Read more...
Samsung has some big decisions to make. The company finds itself in the midst of a reorganization effort following its global recall of Galaxy Note 7 handsets, and where it goes from here is very much up in the are. Behind closed doors, the company is said to be considering a split, and now it's being reported that Samsung is likely to spin off its foundry business division.The news from South Korea, Samsung's home territory, is that it will shake up its System LSI division in order to grow its semiconductor business and become a leaner outfit. If the reports are true, Samsung will separate its... Read more...
Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has inked a definitive agreement to purchase NXP Semiconductors in a deal valued at around $47 billion. The board of directors of both companies gave unanimous approval for the acquisition, which will see Qualcomm buy all of NXP's stock at $110 per share, an 11.5 percent premium over NXP's closing price on Wednesday. Should the deal receive regulatory approval, Qualcomm will be in position to become a major player in the fast growing connected car market. NXP is a leading chip maker in the automotive industry with mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for in-vehicle infotainment,... Read more...
Advanced Micro Device's tally for its fiscal third quarter reached just $1.3 billion. That represents a jump of 23 percent from the same quarter a year prior on strong demand for its semiconductors used in game consoles, and it beat out what analysts were expecting. That's the good news. The bad news is that it wasn't enough for AMD to pull a profit. Just the opposite, AMD's loss for the quarter climbed to $406 million, or $0.50 per share, more than doubling the $197 million loss, or $0.25 per share, it posted in the third quarter for 2015. It's also a big swing from the $69 million profit ($0.08... Read more...
Shrinking semiconductors to 10-nanometers is no easy task—just ask Intel, which pushed back the release of its 10nm Cannonlake architecture until 2017. Samsung, however, is having better luck with it. The South Korean outfit announced on Monday that it has begun mass product of system-on-chip (SoC) products based on its 10nm FinFET technology. Samsung is leading the charge in FinFET production, at least in mobile. It mass produced the first FinFET mobile chips back in January of last year, and now it's leading the charge with 10nm FinFET production. This isn't lost on Samsung, which is all too... Read more...
It's a pretty remarkable thing that, for the most part, Moore's Law has been accurate for over 50 years, helping to set the pace for processor design for several decades. However, Moore's Law is in serious trouble of being broken if, as a group of researchers predict, transistors stop shrinking within the next five years. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) recently put the final touches on its 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), a collaborative report that surveys the technological hurdles and opportunities for the semiconductor industry through 2030. In it... Read more...
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