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.
Dainippon Screen's semiconductor equipment operation has received a license for patent rights from Philips Electronics concerning Marangoni wafer drying technology. The technique is to be used in the drying units to be installed on DNS batch cleaning systems.
BOC Edwards has completed installation of FabWorks32, a fabwide vacuum and exhaust management monitoring system, at the new 300mm Infineon chip manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany. The network can be viewed across the Infineon LAN, allowing LAN users to view the system by accessing the internet browser on a PC. The state of some 1500 pumps can be viewed on the system.
BOC Edwards has established a joint development programme with the IMEC European research centre in Belgium. The programme focuses on the application of supercritical CO2 (scCO2) cleaning processes for the manufacture of next-generation semiconductor devices.
European companies Soitec and ASM International claim a major breakthrough in their joint development effort to combine the speed/performance benefits of strained silicon with the power/performance benefits of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology with "wafer level" strain.