Cypress Semiconductor has closed its $100mn acquisition of FillFactory, a Belgium-based spin-off from the European IMEC research centre (Bulletin 538, June 23, 2004). Cypress expects FillFactory's active-pixel CMOS image sensor technology to effectively double its sales into the cell phone market - where Cypress already sells low-power memories - and to augment its penetration of additional market segments, including digital still cameras (DSCs) and automotive.
ASM International (ASMI) has completed acquisition of Genitech, a semiconductor equipment supplier based in South Korea, for $5.2mn in cash and $4mn in ASMI common shares (Bulletin 529, April 28, 2004). ASM will also pay up to $9.2mn in cash over the next five years, depending upon the achievement of performance targets.
Intel says that it has reach two significant milestones in the development of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography (13.5nm). The company has installed the world's first commercial EUV lithography tool and set up an EUV mask pilot line to move from research into the development phase. Intel is targeting EUV technology for high-volume manufacturing in 2009.
Sharp has developed two solar powered lighting systems - an illuminating solar panel and a solar street light. The panel integrates long-life, energy-efficient, high-intensity light emitting diodes (LEDs) with thin-film, 'see-through' solar cells into a single solar module. The street light combines solar cells with high-intensity LEDs and eliminates the need for underground or overhead wiring work.
Seiko Epson and NGK Insulators have jointly developed what is claimed as the smallest gyro-sensor of its kind in the world based on quartz crystal technology. The move is the first step for Epson in looking for uses beyond the conventional quartz crystal oscillator timing-device market. The XV-3500CB angular velocity sensor is scheduled to enter volume production in December 2004. Epson describes the device as its “first salvo in a battle to expand the scope of its quartz crystal device business”.
ASML Holding's supervisory board intends to appoint Eric Meurice as president and CEO of the company, effective October 1, 2004, subject to notification of a shareholder general meeting to be scheduled on August 26, 2004. As CEO, Eric Meurice succeeds Doug Dunn, who will remain with ASML up to year-end to ensure a smooth transition.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has established a working group to consider industrial standards for micro fuel cell for use in portable products, including notebook PCs and mobile phones.
Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has signed an agreement with Clariant to buy AZ Electronic Materials, for EUR338mn (CHF518mn). The acquisition will be made through a combination of equity provided by The Carlyle Group and debt financing by Mizuho Corporate Bank. The acquisition is expected to close in autumn 2004, and is subject to approval by competition authorities.
Fab construction company M+W Zander has received a EUR20.75mn follow-up order for expanding Siltronic's Freiberg Fab 300-2 crystal growing and wafer production facility. Siltronic will be able expand its production from 75,000 to 150,000 wafers a month. Installation of process equipment will start as early as November 2004. Hook-up installation is planned by March 2006.
Renesas Technology is to use Robert Bosch's FlexRay communication controller intellectual property (IP) in a microcontroller for automotive communication applications. The first device to be developed will be based on the high-performance M32C family core. Renesas also plans to use FlexRay in its SuperH (SH-2) and M32R families to target power train and adaptive cruise control (ACC) applications.
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Philips Electronics advanced MIFARE DESFire contactless chip technology to enable secure smart card access to its facilities. The smart cards will be deployed to agency employees and contractors for immediate identity authentication. Philips says that its MIFARE DESFire V0.6 is the first chip solution currently compliant with the US Government Smart Card Interoperability Specification (GSC-IS).
EV Group (EVG) has shipped an EVG850 production bonder to a new US customer, Umicore Semiconductor Processing (USP) in Massachusetts. The EVG850 features EV Group's low-temperature, plasma-bonding technology.