The semiconductor industry is constantly evolving and innovating to meet the demands of various sectors, such as computing, communications, automotive, aerospace, and healthcare. Here are some of the most notable news and developments in semiconductor research and development (R&D) that you should not have missed in May 2023.
1. Silicon Valley Chosen for $4 Billion Chip Research Center.
Applied Materials, an industrial leader of machines for the semiconductor industry, announced that it planned to build a massive research facility near its hometown, Santa Clara, Calif., to allow chip makers and universities to collaborate on advances to make more powerful chips. The company expects to invest up to $4 billion in the project over seven years, with a portion of that money coming from federal subsidies, while creating up to 2,000 engineering jobs. The plan is the latest in a string of chip-related projects spurred by the CHIPS Act, a $52 billion package of subsidies that Congress passed last year to reduce U.S. dependence on Asian factories for the critical components.
The New York Times has more information about this.
2. China’s War Chest: How the Fight for Semiconductors Reveals the Outlines of a Future Conflict.
US efforts to stifle China’s chip industry are thought to be part of a wider plan to hinder Beijing’s preparations for war. China wants to boost its advanced semiconductor capacity to be more economically resilient in the event of an invasion of Taiwan, which produces over 90% of the world’s semiconductors, but also as a means of developing its military to be prepared for such a conflict. However, China faces many challenges and obstacles in achieving its chip ambitions, such as US sanctions, technological gaps, talent shortages, and geopolitical tensions.
This is an abstract from an article in The Guardian.
3. Global Semiconductor Industry Outlook for 2023.
KPMG and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) conducted the 18th annual global semiconductor industry survey. The survey captures insights from 151 semiconductor executives about their outlook for the industry in 2023 and beyond. The survey reveals that industry executives have a positive outlook for 2023, expecting revenue growth, profitability improvement, increased R&D spending, and continued innovation. The survey also identifies some of the key trends and challenges facing the industry, such as supply chain resilience, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and quantum computing.
Here you can find the KPMG report.
4. Intel Announces New 3D Packaging Technology for Chip Integration.
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, unveiled a new 3D packaging technology called Foveros Omni that enables stacking and integrating different types of chips into a single package. The technology allows for more flexibility, performance, and efficiency in chip design and manufacturing, as well as reducing the size and power consumption of devices. Intel said it expects to deliver the first products using Foveros Omni in 2024.
Intel provides more information here.
5. IBM Develops World’s First 2nm Chip.
IBM announced that it has created the world’s first chip with 2 nanometer (nm) node technology, which can fit 50 billion transistors on a fingernail-sized chip. The 2nm chip offers up to 45% higher performance or 75% lower energy use than today’s 7nm chips, according to IBM. The breakthrough could enable faster and more efficient computing for applications such as AI, cloud, 5G, and edge computing. IBM said it expects to begin production of the 2nm chips at its New York facility in late 2024 or early 2025.
You can find more information here.
6. ASML beats estimates but sees some chipmaker caution.
ASML Holding NV exceeded first-quarter 2023 earnings forecasts on continued strong demand for its chip making equipment but noted some signs of caution among customers. The comments from one of Europe’s biggest tech firms follow news that Samsung will cut production because of a downturn in semiconductor demand, while memory chip maker SK Hynix warned of a slowdown in the second half of the year. ASML, which supplies machines for making advanced chips to Samsung, SK Hynix and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), said it expected sales of €5.2 billion ($6.3 billion) in the second quarter, above analysts’ estimates of €4.9 billion. However, it also said that some customers were delaying orders or deliveries due to uncertainties in the market.
The Financial Times has more details.
7. Japan revamps semiconductor strategy as competition and geopolitical tensions heightens.
Japan has just tripled its semiconductor sales goal from 5 trillion yen set in 2020 to 15 trillion yen announced this week. The ambitious target is part of Japan’s new semiconductor strategy that aims to boost its competitiveness and resilience in the global chip industry amid rising competition and geopolitical tensions. Japan was once a leader in chip manufacturing, but has lost ground to rivals such as Taiwan, South Korea, China, and the US in recent years. Japan’s new strategy focuses on three pillars: strengthening domestic production capacity, enhancing R&D capabilities, and securing stable supply chains. Japan plans to invest heavily in cutting-edge technologies such as 3D packaging, silicon photonics, neuromorphic chips, and quantum computing.
Semiconductor Daily News has more information here.
8. Analog Devices Announces Investment of €630 Million in Next Generation Semiconductor R&D and Manufacturing Facility in Limerick.
Analog Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADI), a global semiconductor leader, today announced a new €630 million investment at its European regional headquarters in the Raheen Business Park in Limerick, Ireland. The investment enables the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, 45,000 square meter facility that will include R&D labs and manufacturing operations for Analog Devices’ next generation products and technologies. The investment will also create up to 500 new jobs over the next five years and support the company’s existing workforce of over 1,200 employees in Ireland.
ADI’s website has more details.