Credence Systems plans to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and maximise productivity with the consolidation of three separate manufacturing facilities into one located in Hillsboro, Oregon. As a result, two former NPTest facilities in California will be closed.
ASML announced details of a fourth customer in the tough Japanese market. Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI) has ordered ASML's TWINSCAN lithography system for 300mm production. MEI manufactures consumer products under the Panasonic brand. The sale marks a milestone in ASML's expansion within the Japanese market, which traditionally has been dominated by local lithography companies, namely Nikon and Canon.
The US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is predicting record chip sales in 2004 of $214bn, an increase of 29.5% on 2003. By 2007, IC revenues are expected to reach $259bn. This last figure is expected to come through essentially a flat market next year, 6.3% growth in 2006 and a 14.2% increase in 2007.
AMD and Fujitsu's joint Spansion Flash memory subsidiary has presented a three-year vision and strategic road map, outlining plans to scale its MirrorBit technology to 8Gbit densities on 65nm lithography to meet the demands of the entire Flash market - from wireless handsets and embedded systems to detachable cards and USB drives.
IC packaging services supplier STATS ChipPAC has expanded its die stacking technology to include two leadframe based performance packages - an Exposed Pad Thin QFP (TQFP-ep) and a Quad Flat No Lead (QFN) format.
European company IQE announced it has secured a major outsourcing contract to supply a leading North American RF Component Manufacturer with epitaxial materials for its RF based components used in mobile handsets. The agreement, which is effective from 1st November 2004 and is for a minimum term of two years 's was awarded to IQE's North American subsidiary.
Only 69% of contract electronics manufacturers believe they will be fully compliant with European Union (EU) environmental legislation by the July 2006 deadline prescribed by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives, according to research by Technology Forecasters (TFI) and components distributor Avnet Electronics Marketing.
A team of scientists from Philips and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft claims the world first growth of III-V semiconductor nanowires on germanium and silicon substrates (Nature Materials, November 2004). The scientists believe that this is an important step towards the integration of the superior high frequency and optoelectronic properties of III-V semiconductors with the huge silicon technology base of the semiconductor industry.
Infineon Technologies is using an innovative "chip-sandwich" technique that involves face-to-face interconnection to design chip card ICs for use in mobile communications. One aim is to offer more than 100 times the memory capacity of today's chip cards, while just doubling the chip's area. The new chip card ICs will not only deliver significant performance boosts, the company says, but will enable new applications for mobile phones and smart cards.