Toshiba has used advances in process technology and design optimisation to reduce individual pixels in its latest CMOS image sensor camera module from 5.4microns to 3.75microns. This allows approximately 330,000 signal pixels to be arranged in a 492x660 array on a single chip with a 4mm optical format.
Philips Electronics and IBM have joined in an initiative to develop customer systems for radio frequency identification (RFID) and smartcard applications. The key end-application areas that the companies plan to address are RFID solutions for supply chain management, retail and asset management, as well as smartcard solutions for finance, e-government, transportation and event ticketing.
Novellus Systems announced the appointment of Dr Sasson (Sass) Somekh as president. As president, Somekh will assume the primary role in driving new product development and product line business units.
The US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released the 2003 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The collaborative document explores key issues and trends in semiconductor technology reaching 15 years into the future – up to 2018. The new ITRS was developed with contributions from more than 900 participants.
Europe’s IMEC microelectronics research centre is extending its long-term collaboration with ASML to immersion lithography. An industrial affiliation programme (IIAP) on 193nm liquid immersion lithography will run in parallel with IMEC’s 157nm lithography IIAP.
STMicroelectronics has been awarded the Best Industrial Renewable Energy Partnership as part of the European Commission’s Campaign for Take-Off for Renewable Energy Awards 2003. ST received the prize for its programme to achieve 15% renewable energy by 2010.
MEMC Electronic Materials agreed to join IMEC’s research on high-mobility layers and advanced source/drain engineering. The company will join the IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program (IIAP) that targets solutions in scaled planar devices.
Infineon Techologies is preparing "strategic options" for its fibre optic business that would involve it becoming a separate legal entity. Infineon is looking for potential partners "to maximise the value of the business".
Philips Electronics announced a new low-voltage, low-power EEPROM option for its 0.18micron CMOS18 process, targeting demand for higher storage capacity and greater flexibility for smart card, consumer, communications and automotive applications.
The Crystal Growth Laboratory group of the Autonoma University of Madrid is looking for companies or research institutes interested in equipment for the preparation of single crystals with high melting point. Collaboration could include licence agreements, marketing, information exchange or training.
The European Union and the USA are on the verge of agreement on the Galileo and GPS satellite radio navigation systems. Discussion on cohabitation between the EU’s Galileo and the American GPS systems began four years ago.
Infineon Technologies has expanded its activities in China, setting up an IC design centre and an associated subsidiary. Infineon Technologies Xi’an is located at the Xi'an High-Tech Park. The new design centre will focus on developing applications for communications, automotive and industrial electronics. Infineon will also work with two local universities.
Systems on Silicon Manufacturing (SSMC) plans to spend $250mn in 2004 on capacity expansion that will increase output to 33,000 200mm wafers per month in the near-term with a larger increase in the future.
Engineers from Lasertechnik Berlin (LTB) have produced a spectrometer based on an echelle grating that can measure a minimal linewidth of 20fm (2E-14m) full width and half maximum (FWHM) at a wavelength of 193nm (1.93E-7m). LTB Lasertechnik says that this surpasses its own record of 60fm.
Nikon says that it sees no major hurdles blocking the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) systems. The company plans to start full-scale product development in 2004. A system is due for launch by 2006. The tool will be targeted at mass production of 45nm DRAMs and 32nm microprocessors.
Sportswear producer O’Neill Europe has joined with Infineon Technologies on a joint product development project for ‘wearable electronics’. Based on O’Neill’s specifications, Infineon has developed a chip module suitable for integration into a snowboard jacket. This technology enables Bluetooth mobile phone and MP3 player use. The product, called "THE HUB", will be part of O’Neill’s 2004/05 winter collection.
France’s CEA-Leti Advanced R&D Centre has bought a Rudolph Technologies S300-ultra metrology system. The tool will be used on the Nanotec 300 programme - a consortium involving STMicroelectronics, Philips and Motorola. Nanotec 300 focuses on developing 300mm processes that will transfer to production at 45nm. Nanotec 300 will use the S300-ultra for measuring the ultra-thin transparent films required for advanced gates including thin oxides and high-k dielectrics.
Infineon Technologies has introduced a 512Mbit Flash memory chip based on a technology called TwinFlash. The NAND compatible chip was developed by Infineon Technologies Flash - a joint venture of Infineon Technologies and Saifun Semiconductors. Initial production has started at Infineon's 200mm DRAM facility in Dresden, Germany.
The semiconductor units of Philips Electronics and Samsung Electronics launched a Universal Home Application Programming Interface (UH-API) initiative. This will allow independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators and device vendors to create middleware and application software on top of semiconductor-based systems. Philips and Samsung plan to invite other companies to participate in enhancing and deploying the UH-API specification throughout the consumer electronics industry.