Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., China's largest foundry, may see a boost in business in responding to the continuing shortage of microchips for automotive vehicles and other products, this analysis notes. "Autos are not demanding a lot of leading-edge chips. A lot are still on peripheral chips...built on legacy nodes," says Sze Ho Ng, an analyst at investment bank China Renaissance.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plans to start fabricating microchips with 3-nanometer features later this year, with an eye toward volume production in 2022, Chuong Nguyen writes. Apple's A-series processors next year could be among the first components to take advantage of the next-generation process technology.
SK Innovation is lobbying the Biden administration to overturn a decision that could cause the Korean company to close its battery factory complex in the state of Georgia, where SK has invested $2.6 billion and plans to employ up to 6,000 Americans. In February, the US International Trade Commission imposed a 10-year ban on importing lithium-ion battery products, which was upheld by the top US trade court.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is collaborating with Hitachi Zosen to test the suitability of using solid-state lithium-ion batteries in outer space. Solid-state batteries would be better-suited to operate in the freezing temperatures of space.
The Arm chip design cores that are useful in edge computing and mobile devices could also be useful in cloud-computing data centers and applications in high-performance computing, Digitimes Research reports. Servers with Arm-based chips generally use less power, saving on energy costs.
Six industry experts talk about the required reliability for automotive components in this roundtable interview. "Traceability is getting more and more important, especially in SiP," says Dennis Ciplickas of PDF Solutions.
Eight governors from states that have automotive factories are seeking help from the Biden administration to address the worldwide shortage of auto-related components. Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan asked President Joe Biden "to do everything in his power and to leave no stone unturned to protect auto jobs throughout the supply chain at risk because of this shortage."
Xiao Yaqing, the leader of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, voiced support for the domestic semiconductor industry, while qualifying such support as a "market-oriented and international business environment under the rule of law." Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on Friday dismissed all of its employees and said it had "no plan to resume production," which ceased in 2019.
STMicroelectronics brought out the STM32U5 series of microcontrollers, meant for use in home automation, industrial sensors, personal medical devices and wearable electronics. The MCUs are based on the energy-efficient Arm Cortex-M processors.
At last week's virtual International Solid-State Circuits Conference, a full forum was devoted to presentations on chiplet technology. Advanced Micro Devices, imec and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. presented papers regarding their implementation of chiplets.
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