Global semiconductor sales grow as the industry embraces IoT and blockchain technology

Data provided by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) indicates that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached USD 40.16 Billion for the month of August 2018, representing an increase of 14.9% when compared to the August 2017 total of USD 34.96 Billion. Global sales in August 2018were 1.7% higher than the July 2018 total of USD 39.49 Billion. The semiconductor industry is one of the fastest growing industries of the technology sector. According to Stratistics MRC, many semiconductor companies are beginning to embrace IoT to drive new revenue and growth models. Squire Mining Ltd. (OTC: SQRMF), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE: TSM), Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT), Qorvo, Inc. (NASDAQ: QRVO), Entegris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTG)

According to a recent report by Accenture, the semiconductor industry is the most bullish sector when it comes to the integration of blockchain within their industry and the impact of artificial intelligence. “Throughout the industry’s complex supply chain, blockchain simplifies business operations leveraging semiconductor chips and related technologies,” said Syed Alam, a Managing Director in Accenture Strategy who leads Accenture’s Semiconductor practice. “This faster traceability will improve companies’ business operations and accelerate delivery of their products to market – while enabling them to do so at lower costs. Semiconductor companies can also use blockchain to create, scale and manage technology-based collaborations and redefine future business transactions.”

Squire Mining Ltd. (OTCQB: SQRMF) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: SQR). Just earlier today, the company announced breaking news that, “Ennoconn Corporation (“Ennoconn”) as our hardware manufacturer for next generation mining systems to mine Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin and other associated cryptocurrencies. Ennoconn is a leading industrial motherboard designer and total hardware system solution provider headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan and listed on the Taiwan stock exchange (TPE:6414). In 2007, Foxconn Technology Group, the largest “Electronic Manufacturing Service” company in the world, became the majority shareholder of Ennoconn, forming a strong strategic alliance in embedded system and electronic manufacturing.

On August 21, 2018, Squire announced that AraSystems Technology Corp. (“AraSystems”), a subsidiary of Squire, had entered into a provisional non-binding agreement with a major global technology assembly company. This company, now revealed to be Ennoconn, will assist in the design and assembly of our next generation mining rig at such time as a working prototype of our debut ASIC chip is completed.

On October 3, 2018 Squire announced the successful completion and testing of its FPGA working prototype microchip, with early results of the terahash-to-energy consumption ratio, indicating that the final ASIC chip and mining system has the potential to reduce operational costs by up to 40% for enterprise mining facilities.

● This cost reduction was estimated by one leading enterprise mining group to be worth up to $60M per year in savings to their operations alone.

● The final ASIC chip and mining system together are expected to provide up to a four times improvement in the performance of mining the blockchain, a process that enables miners to be paid, thereby increasing the return on investment, and profit, for miners. Such calculations are based on comparisons with the majority of current generation mining machines operating inside enterprise facilities around the world.

Following this success, the Company has signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding with Ennoconn and funded work to commence Phase 1 design and development of AraSystem’s next generation mining system in collaboration with its partners in Taipei, Taiwan and in Seoul, South Korea. Definitive documentation will be entered into following delivery of final specifications and data sheets to Ennoconn later this month.

Squire’s engineers are currently working with Ennoconn to design and develop AraSystem’s mining rig which will house the debut ASIC chip currently under development by the Company’s subsidiary AraCore Technology Corp (“AraCore”), in conjunction with GaonChips and Samsung Electronics (see news releases dated September 25 and October 3, 2018). In turn, Ennoconn will be responsible for mass assembly of the mining rig once all design, development and testing work has been completed.

A prototype of the mining rig along with full specifications of the AraCore ASIC chip are expected to be presented at the CoinGeek Conference in London on November 28 – 30, 2018, with presales expected to commence on or around that date. Significant interest has already been expressed by several of the industry’s largest enterprise mining companies, which currently host hundreds of thousands of mining machines in their facilities across the world.”

‘We are very pleased to be partnering with the skilled engineers at Ennoconn, one of the world’s leading electronic manufacturing companies,’ stated Simon Moore, Executive Chairman and CEO of Squire. ‘As we launch our next generation mining rig with a suite of proprietary innovations, it’s imperative that our manufacturing partners have the talent, experience and capacity to not only deliver unique hardware, but also deliver best in class quality. We believe Ennoconn will help ensure the production of an exceptional mining rig for the marketplace,’ he said. Further, Mr. Moore noted, ‘based on initial interest from the sector, the potential for significant sales and the subsequent revenue for Squire is on track in the coming year which would make Squire and its partners a noteworthy industry provider of crypto mining hardware and next generation innovation on a global scale.’

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE: TSM) is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry segment’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IPs, design tools and reference flows. TSMC recently announced the initial availability of its Open Innovation Platform® Virtual Design Environment (OIP VDE), which enables semiconductor customers to securely design in the cloud, leveraging TSMC OIP design infrastructures within the flexibility of cloud infrastructures. OIP VDE is the result of TSMC collaboration with TSMC OIP design ecosystem partners and leading cloud providers to deliver a complete systems-on-chip (SoCs) design environment in the cloud. TSMC OIP VDE’s first implementations of digital RTL-to-GDSII and custom schematic capture-to-GDSII flows are via partnerships with TSMC’s inaugural Cloud Alliance partners, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cadence, Microsoft Azure, and Synopsys. In TSMC’s enablement of OIP VDE, both digital and custom design flows have been validated in the cloud, along with OIP design collateral-including process technology files, PDKs, foundation IP, and reference flows. To ensure low barriers to entry and high technical support levels, Cadence and Synopsys act as the focal point helping customers to set up VDE and providing first line support.

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) is a developer of materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Applied Materials recently celebrated the 20th anniversary and 5,000th shipment of the Producer® platform, a manufacturing system that helps make virtually every chip in the world. The Producer platform was launched in July of 1998 to help enable chips to run faster by changing their wiring from aluminum to copper, which is a better conductor. The transition was needed by the industry to drive the performance and power improvements associated with Moore’s Law, but it also required many additional steps that could have made the progress unaffordable. To help, Applied Materials designed every element of the Producer platform to give customers the highest performance at the lowest possible operating cost. “With the landmark Producer platform, Applied achieved something that had never been done before on this scale: create a highly flexible architecture that can support multiple technology generations and still remain incredibly productive,” said G. Dan Hutcheson, Chief Executive Officer of VLSIresearch. “Today, the Producer platform continues to allow chipmakers to imagine and build chips in entirely new ways. Congratulations to Applied Materials on this impressive milestone for one of the most important process systems in the semiconductor industry.”

Qorvo, Inc. (NASDAQ: QRVO) recently introduced a new System in Package (SiP) that enables dynamic, simultaneous support for Zigbee® 3.0, Green Power, Thread and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This new SiP integrates Qorvo power amplifier technology providing 20 dBm output, which is especially important for U.S. smart home applications. The Qorvo QPG6095M is a fully integrated SiP for ultra-low power wireless communications. It is BLE 5.0 and Zigbee 3.0 platform and product certified, and offers Green Power energy efficiency. This SiP also extends range and battery life and enables robust interference mitigation. The QPG6095M delivers optimized connectivity throughout the home, eliminating the need for complex mesh architectures and unnecessary battery consumption in intermediate devices. The QPG6095M blends Qorvo’s power amplifier (PA) technology with a multi-standard, multi-protocol chip. Its level of integration and performance benefit product designers by lowering development costs and speeding time to market. Cees Links, General Manager of Qorvo’s Wireless Connectivity business unit, said, “This new SiP is another example of Qorvo’s commitment to combining and leveraging RF technologies to improve the consumer’s connected experience. Developers can now deliver BLE, Zigbee and Thread simultaneously with more range and reliability, and reduce concerns about future compatibility.”

Entegris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTG) is a developer and provider of specialty chemicals and advanced materials solutions for the microelectronics industry and other high-tech industries. Entegris, Inc. recently released the next generation EUV 1010 Reticle Pod for high-volume IC manufacturing using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Developed in close collaboration with ASML, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chip-making equipment, Entegris’s EUV 1010 is the first to be qualified by ASML for use in the NXE:3400B and beyond. As the semiconductor industry begins ramping EUV lithography for the high-volume manufacturing (HVM) of advanced technology nodes, keeping EUV reticles defect-free is more demanding than ever. Entegris’s EUV 1010 Reticle Pod is now fully qualified by ASML for their latest generation scanner having demonstrated outstanding protection of the EUV reticles, including against the most critical particle challenges. As a result, Entegris’s EUV 1010 enables customers to safely transition to smaller and smaller line widths, as needed for the most advanced lithography processes.

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