The 10 leading suppliers of semiconductors increased their collective revenue by 2.4% to $65.2 billion during the second quarter of this year, Omdia reports. PC and server chips benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, which is driving the wider adoption of working from home and learning from home, the market research firm notes.
Mark Liu, the chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., sees industry costs being driven up by the trade war between China and the US, saying, "[T]he cost of production or development will be higher because one cannot leverage the whole world like in the past." Meanwhile, the foundry reports it will build a wafer fabrication facility in Hsinchu capable of producing chips with 2-nanometer features; TSMC plans to initiate volume production of 3nm chips in Tainan during the latter half of 2022.
Silicon Labs brought out the low-power BGM220x module, which supports Bluetooth Low Energy 5.1/5.2/Mesh protocols for use in internet of things devices. The module enables device manufacturers to add security with pre-certified Bluetooth functionality to their microcontrollers, it was said.
Subaru picked ON Semiconductor's image sensing technology to be used in its latest EyeSight Driver Assist platform. This deal is an extension of Subaru's work with ON since it has turned to ON for all of its EyeSight ADAS sensor needs to date.
Five industry experts talk about the competition for the open-source RISC-V instruction-set architecture and the technology's unresolved challenges, such as the business model and its tool suite. "RISC-V is definitely getting a lot of traction in the microcontroller space, and even Arm is trying to make it easier for other companies to adopt that for their baseline designs," says Shubhodeep Roy Choudhury, CEO of Valtrix Systems.
While the Semiconductor Industry Association has lobbied for government subsidies to support the building and equipping new wafer fabrication facilities in the US, it may be more strategic for federal agencies to fund research and development of next-generation microchip technology, some observers note. "Either way, legislation aimed at reviving the US semiconductor sector and the industry lobbying campaign underscore a geopolitical reality: The American lead in chip technology is eroding," George Leopold writes.
Intel received licenses from the US government to continue supplying specific products to Huawei Technologies. SK Hynix, which sold memory chips to Huawei in the past, is said to have applied for US licenses but hasn't received approval for them as of yet Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the issue.
Amazon's Sidewalk protocol will use Bluetooth Low Energy technology and the free 900-megahertz spectrum to connect low-cost internet of things devices without cellular communications. IoT chipset vendors are lined up to support the effort.
Intel says it will supply 11th-generation "Tiger Lake" Core processors and its Iris Xe graphics technology for Google's Chromebooks, providing better graphics and improved performance. Intel's Marcus Yam wrote in a blog post, "Chromebooks have never been more important with the accelerated shift to working and learning from home."
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