World News



Semi growth outlooks less rosy for 2011

Outlooks for 2011 semiconductor growth aren't quite as optimistic as they were just a few months ago. IC Insights has halved its projection to 5% (vs. 10%), with only the OSD segment (optoelectronics, sensors, and discretes) remaining flat. IDC also has lowered its 2011 forecast, to the floor of its previously projected 6%-8% range, and tweaked down its outlook for global MPUs (9.3% vs. 10.3%) after seeing shipments and revenues decline -4% in 2Q11. Those overall forecast adjustments are more in line with the 5.4% the WSTS and SIA have been predicting, even with a -2% decline in 2Q11 chip sales. (Back in June iSuppli slightly raised its outlook to 7%.)

Worldwide semiconductor sales by region, based on a 3-mo. moving average. (Source: SIA, WSTS)

What's putting a damper on 2011 outlooks? Macroeconomic headwinds, ranging from the Japanese March 11 disaster to Middle East unrest to continued economic uncertainty in the US and Europe. GDP growth has been slowing for about a year, notes IC Insights, though 2H11 should be "moderately better" thanks to Japan's rebound and rebuild from the March 11 disaster, lower gas prices, and tax breaks.

Note that these forecasts, as of press time, do not include any long-term impact from the S&P's Aug.5 downgrade of US credit rating, nor similar action looming against some EU nations. IC Insights' end-of-July update predicted US and EU debt crises would "lessen" in 2H11 to help its outlook???but that was before the S&P's move, which spawned a subsequent week of multi-hundred-point volatility in major financial markets worldwide.


Photoresist revenues will grow at about 5% for the next several years, says Techcet Group, which says consolidation is long overdue among resist suppliers, and EUV may be the last straw.

Intermolecular has inked a deal with GlobalFoundries to use its combinatorial technology on R&D for semiconductor manufacturing lines covering 45nm down to 14nm.

Avantor and SACHEM have developed a new selective etch chemistry that doubles as wafer cleaner.

Ajit Manocha has been appointed interim CEO at GlobalFoundries; both CEO Doug Grose and COO Chia Song Hwee are stepping aside.

Surging gold prices???especially given recent US and EU economic turmoil???are accelerating an increase in Cu wire shipments, says Techcet.

A trio of companies dominates the $3.3B set-top box IC market, which is expected to flatten out over the next few years, says ABI Research.

Silicon semiconductor wafer growth was nearly flat year-over-year in 2Q11 says SEMI, noting the "impressive" unbroken supply chain in the aftermath of the Japan earthquake,.

Cypress Semiconductor and UMC say they have produced working silicon on 65nm SONOS flash.


A temporary stand-in process used in solvent cleaning being started up for the first time was behind a June fire at Intel's Fab 22 facilities in Chandler, AZ.

Brazil has given CEITEC the green light for the nation's first chip fab.

KLA-Tencor has joined SEMATECH's lithography defect reduction program, housed at the U. of Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), to collaborate on several areas of EUV lithography.

Veeco has dropped its CIGS tool business, saying it hasn't generated returns soon enough.

Georgia Tech researchers have used zinc oxide nanowires to create a new type of piezoelectric resistive switching device, which can be used to build self-powered nanoelectromechanical systems.

Two execs with Varian ties have new gigs: former CEO Garry Rogerson is the new CEO at Advanced Energy, while current VSEA exec Stan Yarbro is now a FSII board member.


SMIC has appointed Tzu-Tin Chiu as its new CEO, replacing David Wang who resigned in July. Chiu most recently was president/CEO of Hua Hong NEC. Samsung has widened its lead on in the NAND flash market to 40% market share, vs. 28% for Toshiba and 13% for Hynix, says DRAMeXchange. Samsung and Hynix also are reportedly speeding development of 2Xnm DRAM modules to ramp production by year's end.

Undeterred by two unsuccessful bids over the past decade to kick-start domestic chip manufacturing, the Indian government has launched yet another bid to attract investors for domestic chip fabs.

Hitachi has rolled out enterprise-class MLC SSDs built with Intel's 25nm NAND flash technology.

A Samsung study finds no link between its chip plants and cancer, though labor advocates are challenging the study's transparency and independence.

Gigaphoton says its EUV (LPP source) debris mitigation technology now achieves 93% Sn removal.

Nomura has sold all its shares in semiconductor packaging substrate maker Eastern Co. to the firm's parent company.

Renesas has divested its audio processing chip business to Murata Manufacturing.

Researchers in China report a "breakthrough" in densely doping indium to give coral-like SnO2 nanostructures, for use in gas sensors.

Dongbu HiTek has ramped volumes of Chinese firm BYD's CMOS image sensors.

Tokyo Electron Device and Powercast have jointly developed a cell phone chip that converts RF energy to electricity.


EV Group has released a wafer bonding system for 450mm SOI wafers; Soitec will qualify the first one this fall.

SPTS management has completed a buyout (enterprise value ~$200M) with backing from EU private equity firm Bridgepoint.

EV Group is adding floorspace, equipment, and recruiting 100 workers in an expansion of its Austrian headquarters.

Solid State Technology | Volume 54 | Issue 8 | August/September 2011

More Solid State Technology Current Issue Articles

More Solid State Technology Archives Issue Articles