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.
Amkor Technology has signed definitive agreements to acquire Unitive, based in North Carolina, and to obtain a majority interest of 60% in Taiwan-based Unitive Semiconductor Taiwan Corporation (UST), a joint venture between Unitive and various Taiwanese investors.
Under the heading "Response from IBM", Science magazine (July 16, 2004) has published a letter criticising an earlier article on the company's fab cancer litigation ("Beset by lawsuits, IBM blocks a study that used its data", May 14, 2004).
Researchers at the University of Erlangen in Germany hope to open “a broad vista of possible semiconductor applications for diamond” using a new doping method (Nature, July 22, 2004). Rather than introduce chemical impurities, the scientists evaporate C60 molecules (“Bucky balls”) onto a hydrogen-terminated diamond surface, inducing a subsurface hole accumulation and a significant rise in two-dimensional conductivity.
Tegal has been granted two US patents for nano layer deposition (NLD) of conformal thin films for barrier, copper seed and high-k dielectric applications (Nos. 6,689,220 and 6,756,318). Applications are seen in advanced microprocessor and memory device production.
UK IC producer Zetex Semiconductors has bought Escend Technologies' design-win management enterprise software for semiconductor and electronic component manufacturers. Zetex supplies analogue semiconductors for signal processing and power management. The software is designed to help achieve growing revenues, improved global tracking of business opportunities and customer support during the design-in cycle.
UK etch tool company Surface Technology Systems (STS) has received an order to supply TSMC with a cassette to cassette high-rate ASEHRM plasma etch system. The system will be installed into an existing 150mm line at TSMC Fab 2 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. STS sees the sale as being an early indication that TSMC is looking to micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) production as a likely future market sector.
Under the heading "Response from IBM", Science magazine (July 16, 2004) has published a letter criticising an earlier article on the company's fab cancer litigation ("Beset by lawsuits, IBM blocks a study that used its data", May 14, 2004). The letter comes from Scott R Brooks of IBM's Systems and Technology group.
Atmel has extended its Dresden design centre in Germany by adding 32 new highly skilled engineers to the 12 designers who have been part of the Atmel team for the last three years. Atmel has also increased the size of its location and is building up a new laboratory.