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SIA bumps up 2009-2011 forecasts

Betting on the continued impetus of an improving global economy, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has raised its previous outlook for semiconductor sales over the next three years, with a significantly better view on 2009.

The SIA's previous forecast in June expected a -21% drop in chip sales in 2009 to $195.6B, followed by 6.5% growth in both 2010 (to $208.3B) and 2011 (to $221.9B).

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The new forecast has cut the 2009 decline in half, to just an -11.6% decline to $219.7B; 2010 growth is close to double the earlier prognostication, now eking into double-digit growth (10.2%) to $242.1B. And 2011 will be better than expected too, the SIA forecasts, with 8.4% growth to $262.3B.

In a statement, SIA president George Scalise, still emphasizing "cautious optimism," noted that the improved outlooks are closely tied to projections of continued improvement in the worldwide economy. Strong demand for PCs and cell phones (~60% of all semiconductor demand) provide enough confidence in the new marks.


TSMC has won a US court case against longtime rival SMIC of China, taking an 8%-10% ownership stake in lieu of a potentially huge cash payout.

Intel and Numonyx say they have built a "vertically integrated" 64Mb test chip enabling stacking of multiple layers of phase-change memory (PCM) arrays within a single die.

Mentor Graphics is launching what it calls a comprehensive test and yield analysis platform incorporating technology homegrown and acquired from LogicVision, to help customers drill down through failure analysis data to better identify and fix defects.

SVTC's efforts to offer more leading-edge MEMS technology for its customers now finds it more formally aligned in a new partnership with TSMC.

Rudolph has shipped several backend inspection tools to ASE.

Aeroflex, Agilent, and Test Evolution are proposing a new modular test standard (AXIe) based on Advanced TCA.

Chartered has adopted Brion's computational lithography technology.


Major changes afoot at the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA): Longtime president George Scalise is retiring in 2010, and the group is uprooting to Washington DC to have "a greater and more effective voice" for semiconductor industry policy concerns.

Applied Materials has acquired the assets of Advent Solar in a move to bolster its crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology position against thin-film alternatives (particularly CIGS). Applied also has added copper deposition processing for TFT-LCD manufacturing to its AKT-PiVot 55KV PVD system.

HP has unveiled a new MEMS sensor technology it says is 1000× more sensitive than current products, targeting applications like bridge monitoring.

A new study from Alchimer suggests that through-silicon vias (TSV) with higher aspect ratios (20:1 or 10:1, vs. 5:1) offer a significant payback by saving space on a die, exceeding $700 per wafer.

Electroglas has officially reformed its business solely around its wafer prober systems, by selling it to a private financial group formed solely for that purpose, after selling off motion control automation assets to FormFactor.

Specialty TSV foundry Allvia is expanding its manufacturing capabilities away from high-cost Silicon Valley to ETEC's former facility in Oregon.

Intersil and Georgia Tech have agreed to co-develop high-performance analog chips.

Sanyo has opened a new solar silicon ingot/wafer manufacturing facility in Salem, OR.

Axcelis says a "major foundry" has orderd its Optima XE single-wafer implant tool for high-volume manufacturing of both logic and memory products.

Triquint has received a multiyear $16.2M award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to explore advanced GaN circuits.

An insider trading scandal has swept up executives at Intel and IBM, and possibly a former top AMD exec as well.

Tegal says it has completed its ProNova ICP process suite rollout for silicon DRIE.


Spansion Japan plans to sell its 300mm/65nm fab in Aizu-Wakamatsu as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, according to the Nikkei daily.

Taiwan's ProMOS will make Elpida's 65nm DRAM chips on a foundry basis, modifying most of its tools (total capacity is ~60K WSPM) to be compatible with Elpida processes, notes the Nikkei daily. The expected work will amount to 30K-40K WSPM in 2H10, roughly a 20% boost in Elpida's output and putting it in the same ballpark as Samsung and Hynix, the paper said.

Samsung Electronics says it is now focusing its R&D on advanced logic process development for its foundry business, leveraging synergies with its memory development and work with partners and consortia. The chipmaker also has developed what it calls the world's thinnest multi-die package (0.6mm in height), 40% thinner and lighter than current technology.

Hitachi High-Tech is taking over Renesas' semiconductor manufacturing tool business.

Korea's MagnaChip Semiconductor has emerged from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed earlier this year, claiming to be "nearly debt-free" with >$50M cash.

Cree is purchasing a ~600K sq. ft. facility in China's Guangdong Province for its first chip production facility outside North America; the company already has a factory in the area, acquired in 2007.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) will add Applied Materials to its partners for developing 3D chip stacking technology, by placing "a full line" of AMAT processing tools in its labs.

Flextronics says it will build a new facility in Wuzhong, Suzhou, to support manufacturing and R&D capabilities.

SMIC has adopted Cadence's DFM software for 65nm and 45nm IP/library development and full-chip production.

Carsem has unveiled an "extremely thin" (0.6 × 0.3 × 0.3mm) micro leadframe package (MLP), projecting high-volume offering in early 2010.


IMEC and packaging/assembly firm Terepac are collaborating on development of flexible packages for IMEC's biomedical heart monitoring device.

A Norwegian court has agreed to extend China Sunergy's injunction against REC, whom it says unjustly terminated a supply deal.

Long-term research, pilot plants, and power producing projects are all key items in a new European Commission report on how to support and broaden its solar energy progress and adoption—but Europe's PV industry organization says a stronger push for technology roadmaps and funding are needed as well.

Nova Measuring Systems has booked $2M in metrology tool orders from a memory firm for "first-phase capacity expansion.

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