High-end smartphones featuring the latest chipsets from MediaTek and Qualcomm are coming on the market this year, this article notes. Intel and Nvidia are also contending to win sockets in this segment.
Renesas Electronics has introduced the Micon Racer, a toy car that can be programmed with a PC, to create interest in microcontrollers among youngsters. The toy, which has a built-in infrared sensor, will sell for about $30.
Germanane, molybdenum disulfide and silicene are emerging as next-generation semiconductor materials that could rival the properties of graphene, Signe Brewster writes. These two-dimensional materials are more like silicon than graphene in its current form, she notes.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Tufts University and Northwestern University are collaborating on "transient electronics" that can easily break down to its fundamental elements, Sean Fitz-Gerald writes. They have developed a prototype semiconductor made from magnesium, silicon and silk that can dissolve in water.
The prospects for increased semiconductor business during the third quarter will be driven by smartphone and notebook computer manufacturers, DigiTimes reports, citing industry sources. Those sources look for Chinese makers of entry-level and midrange smartphones to soon step up their IC orders ahead of the October holiday season in China. Notebook and ultrabook manufacturers are said to have low levels of chip inventory, according to the sources.
In the evolving world of the silicon foundry business, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is prospering because of its collaborative "Grand Alliance" with industry partners, such as ARM Holdings, Cadence Design Systems, Imagination Technologies Group and Mentor Graphics, said Morris Chang, the foundry's chairman and CEO. These collaborations are becoming more necessary as semiconductor dimensions shrink to 20 nanometers and smaller, he said.