AMD has changed the way it will function as a company with the acquisition of ATI in Taiwan. The announcement by AMD Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz means that AMD moves beyond the role of microprocessor manufacturer and will now offer a range of silicon solutions across a wide range of applications. The move will also enable AMD to have more control of IC manufacturing pricing along the silicon food chain. Not all analysts were applauding the move as the industry begins to work out the implications.
ARC International announced it has opened the industry's first comprehensive training centre for configurable processor technology. Based in Hsinchu (the capital of Taiwan's multi-billion dollar semiconductor industry).
Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that it received a record $17 million in second quarter 2006 orders for its automated Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). Customers placing orders included those from the semiconductor and data storage industries.
Several leading worldwide photomask manufacturers have selected Veeco's automated AFMs for metrology needs at 45nm and below. Applications for the tool include measurement of critical dimension & 3D metrology on a variety of mask materials (such as MoSi, chrome-on-glass, and resist), and for high-resolution defect review for photomask repair.
Veeco also sold several AFMs to its hard drive industry customers to be used for 3D metrology steps in the development of advanced perpendicular recording heads. Veeco's Auto AFMs provide non-destructive imaging capability which is not currently being satisfied by existing metrology technologies. In addition, the strong second quarter orders also included a system sold for CMOS Image Sensor Technology, where Auto AFM provides in-line measurement for height and width, enabling higher resolution, lower cost image sensors.
Jeannine Sargent, Executive Vice President, Veeco Metrology, commented, "In addition to being used as accurate 3D reference metrology systems in the semiconductor fab, automated AFMs are now finding new applications, such as in photomask manufacturing and in the production of CMOS image sensor technologies, where existing metrology technologies are inadequate. AFMs are also being used by all leading hard disk drive manufacturers for critical measurements required in the production of their next generation perpendicular recording heads."
Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that it received an order during the second quarter of 2006 for its new NEXUS Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Multi-Target Sensor tool from a leading manufacturer of thin film magnetic heads. Veeco's NEXUS PVD multi-target system is used to deposit high-quality, extremely uniform, thin film multi-layer stacks and will be used by the customer to manufacture high areal density Tunneling Magneto-Resistive (TMR) heads.
Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd. announced the qualification of its 65-nanometer (nm) low power process technology manufactured in the company's state of the art 300mm dedicated logic fab. As the consumer handheld device market continues on its phenomenal growth path, the cost efficiencies and power/performance advantages associated with this technology node will enable electronics manufacturers to meet consumers' demand for greater multi-media functionality.
The Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) and The SPIRIT Consortium announced a strategic partnership and cross-membership agreement to facilitate tighter collaboration designed to improve the productivity of the total system-on-chip (SoC) design flow. The two organizations will work together to coordinate technical roadmaps, targeting consistency of data shared among OpenAccess and Open Modeling efforts provided by Si2 and IP-XACT specifications provided by The SPIRIT Consortium. The organizations will also coordinate an integrated architecture that takes advantage of the highly complementary technology offerings. Technical details will be coordinated through the many common members of both organizations.
SRI International announced it is collaborating with United States-Mexico Foundation for Science to develop a strategy for capturing the opportunities offered by the growing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) market and the MEMS R&D capabilities in the state of Puebla, Mexico.
Cadence Design Systems, Magma Design Automation Inc. and Extreme DA, with support from ARM, Virage Logic Corporation, and Altos Design Automation, announced their collaboration to accelerate the creation of a standard statistical analysis library format under the Open Modeling Coalition of Si2. This open statistical library format will be based on current source models. In addition to enabling interoperability between design tools and methodologies for 65-nanometer (nm) design and below, the intent is to create a comprehensive solution that will eliminate the need for designers to support multiple library formats -- a time-consuming and costly undertaking that introduces errors into the design process and delays the delivery of complex integrated circuits (ICs).
;Teradyne, Inc. announced Vimicro International Corporation of Beijing, China has selected the J750 as its major device test platform and purchased multiple systems for engineering and production test of multi-media processors.
The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced its latest Sponsor Member: HP. The Forum also added three Associate Members in July, bringing total membership to 85 organizations. The Forum recently unveiled its technology architecture, which will serve as the foundation for interoperable NFC products and services.
Sierra Design Automation, Inc announced that Fujitsu Limited is deploying Sierra Pinnacle for its 90nm and 65nm designs. Sierra Pinnacle is now a part of Fujitsu's design methodology and addresses the requirements of high end designs, including high capacity, high performance and multiple design modes/multiple process corners.
Applied Wave Research, Inc. (AWR(R)), and Pulsic Ltd., Bristol, England, announced that Pulsic's Lyric Automatic Routing system is now integrated into AWR's Analog Office 2006 design suite for analogue and radio-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) design. Through the Analogue Office OpenAccess open standard data access interface (API), interconnects represented by the unique Analog Office Intelligent Net(TM)2 (iNet2) technology can now be automatically routed in Pulsic's full-featured, automatic, constraint-driven, shaped-based Lyric Automatic Routing system. The new solution enables high-frequency analogue, RF, and mixed-signal designers to access the Pulsic routing system without leaving the Analog Office design environment, saving design time, increasing accuracy, and speeding designs to final tape-out.
Nanometrics Incorporated has completed its acquisition of Accent Optical Technologies, Inc. Accent Optical is a supplier of overlay and thin film metrology and process control systems to the global semiconductor manufacturing industry. The transaction was approved both by Accent Optical's and by Nanometrics' shareholders at their respective special meetings.
Blaze DFM, Inc. announced that it has strengthened its relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to include TSMC support for Blaze MO optimization software. The two companies have developed Blaze MO design kits and are working together to make this technology available for evaluation.
SEQUANS Communications has raised US $24 million in a new round of equity financing. The round was led by Kennet Venture Partners, a private equity firm that provides growth equity to technology businesses in Europe and the US. SEQUANS' existing investors, Add Partners, Cap Decisif, T-Source, SG Asset Management and Vision Capital, also participated in the round.
EV Group (EVG) and Brewer Science have announced that they are co-developing a solution for the handling of ultrathin wafers that will allow high-temperature advanced packaging processes using a temporary wafer bonding system. ;
e2v technologies plc ("e2v", the "Company" or the "Group"), announced that its subsidiary, e2v technologies S.A.S., has conditionally agreed to acquire Atmel Grenoble S.A.S. ("Atmel Grenoble") for a total consideration of US$140 million (approximately £76 million) in cash subject to a post-completion adjustment based upon the level of net working capital in Atmel Grenoble at completion (the "Acquisition").
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced that it has begun mass producing an 8-Gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory device, providing a much larger and more affordable storage density for consumer and mobile applications such as mobile phones, MP3 players and gaming consoles.;The high-density MLC (multi-level-cell) memory is being produced with 60-nanometer (nm) process technology - the smallest used today. ;