IBM reports that it has developed the first transistors using strained silicon directly on insulator (SSDOI) technology. The company says that the process provides high performance while eliminating manufacturing problems. IBM also claims to be the first to combine two different underlying silicon layers that simultaneously maximise the performance of the key transistors used in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Both technologies aim at improved currents and removing the need for such rapid shrinkage of devices.
Sir David King, the UK’s chief government scientist, opened the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre on September 11, 2003. The facility consists of cleanroom and workshop facilities. The centre will first be used to build sensitive detector components for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) under construction at the CERN particle physics research centre in Switzerland.
Virtual Silicon and IMEC EUROPRACTICE IC Services have extended their partnership to include 130nm semiconductor intellectual property (SIP). The SIP from Virtual Silicon is for use in Europractice's multi-project wafer and low-volume ASIC services. Products included in the agreement are standard cells, basic I/O, PLL, application specific I/O (LVDS, SSTL2, PCI-X, USB 1.1, HSTL and PCI 2.2) and memory.
Bookham Technology has completed execution of a major cost reduction initiative four months ahead of the original target. The initiative involved consolidation of its two main wafer fab facilities, following the acquisition of the Nortel Networks Optical Components businesses (NNOC).
Intel has increased the low-end of its Q3 revenue expectations even compared with an estimate issued on August 22 (Bulletin 496, August 27, 2003). Revenues are now forecast in the range $7.6-7.8bn, compared with August 22’s $7.3-7.8bn.
Labour representatives have walked out of a meeting where STMicroelectronics informed them of its plans to migrate at least half of its European and US 150mm wafer production either to finer geometry 200mm wafer fabs or to the company's 150mm fab in Singapore.
KLA-Tencor and Carl Zeiss Microelectronic Systems have established an alliance on next-generation photomasks for the 90nm and below technology nodes. The joint-development is aimed at providing the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution available to detect, review and disposition defects on advanced reticles. The companies plan to fully integrate reticle inspection, testing, metrology, review and defect dispositioning.
The Electromagnetics Laboratory (ITHE) of the Rheinisch Westfaelische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen has ordered an Aixtron AIX 200/4 RF-S system to research gallium nitride on silicon applications.
Hynix Semiconductor says that it is in talks aimed at selling its non-memory business to US financiers Citigroup. By selling non-core businesses to reduce crippling debt and losses, Hynix hopes to stave off bankruptcy. Citigroup has signed a letter of intent to buy the operation, according to Hynix. The non-memory business unit accounts for about 20% of sales.
austriamicrosystems has won a multi-$mn contract to design and supply an embedded processor with ultra low-power analogue ICs from Philips Oral Healthcare, a subsidiary of Philips. The application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) will be used in Philips Oral Healthcare’s next generation of Sonicare toothbrush.
Chinese foundry services company CSMC Technologies has entered into an arrangement with Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing for equipment purchase, technology licensing, operational assistance and customer referrals. In return, Chartered will receive cash payments and an equity stake in the Chinese foundry currently specialising in 150mm wafer production.
Infineon Technologies has shipped the first samples of its 1Gbit double data rate (DDR) Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) to key customers. The devices are fabricated using the company's 110nm CMOS process resulting in a chip of area 160mm2 – claimed as the industry's smallest to date.
ASM International intends to enter into a long-term co-operative agreement with the University of Helsinki to jointly develop atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology. At the same time, staffing at ASM’s Finnish subsidiary will be reduced by about 20 to 25 people as part of earlier announced restructuring plans of ASM's front-end operations.
Philips Electronics is licensing Memory Stick technology from Sony. Philips will use the technology in its Nexperia portfolio of programmable silicon on chip (SOC) and system solutions for multimedia applications.
Oxford University's Isis organisation is seeking partners to commercialise
research on filling carbon nanotubes with metals and metal compounds. The
research comes from Oxford's Department of Inorganic Chemistry.
Hynix Semiconductor has completed development of its 1Gbit DDR2 memory chip.
Sampling will begin in early 4Q 2003 with full-scale volume production
coming on-line by early 2004 to coincide with the release of Intel's DDR2
supporting PC chipset.