Nine new 300-millimeter wafer fabrication facilities are expected to come on line this year, with five opening in China, IC Insights says. Those new facilities will bring the worldwide total to 121 during 2019, while their ranks will grow to 138 in 2023, per the market research firm.
While the trade tensions between China and the US seem to be lessening, Taiwan-based original design manufacturers and providers of electronics manufacturing services are reportedly still moving some production to plants in Southeast Asia and South Asia to satisfy customer requests, industry sources say. Compal Electronics is ramping up production at its factory in Vinh Phuc Province, northern Vietnam, to make notebook peripherals, while Wistron is initiating volume production of notebook computers at its existing plant in Subic Bay, the Philippines, during the first half of this year.
Nvidia has brought out the GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card, which has 1,408 CUDA cores, 6 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory operating at 8 gigabits per second, and a boost clock running at 1.8 gigahertz. The GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti models are based on 12th-generation Turing graphics processing unit architecture.
Guard-banding against excessive heat generation is becoming an increasing challenge in chip design, this analysis notes. "We know that the operating temperature of a design is directly dependent on its power consumption, but obtaining accurate power profiles is complex and highly challenging -- especially if there are multiple potential use cases or scenarios," said Lee Wang of Mentor, a Siemens Business.
Broadcom, for its fiscal first quarter ended Feb. 3, reported net income of $2.446 billion on revenue of $5.79 billion, out pacing analyst estimates on the profit while falling short on the revenue figure. "Strong results in our networking business supported our semiconductor solutions segment, despite the anticipated sharp decline in wireless," CEO Hock Tan said in a statement.
Worldwide expenditures on semiconductor fabrication equipment will drop 14% to $53 billion this year, then roar back to life next year, increasing 27% to a record $67 billion, SEMI forecasts. Memory chip production accounted for about 55% of all equipment spending in 2017 and 2018, SEMI says, but the slowdown in memory revenue will reduce that figure to as low as 45% during 2019.
Asustek Computer, Qualcomm and Universal Scientific Industrial announced the Asus Zenfone Max Shot and Zenfone Max Plus (M2) smartphones for the Brazilian market, featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon system-in-package technology. The multichip Snapdragon SiP was designed in Brazil and is expected to enable design efficiencies, reduce development costs and speed up time to commercialization for original equipment manufacturers.
Artificial intelligence and automotive applications at the network edge are leading to trade-offs in memory technology for those uses, this analysis notes. "These memories are extremely power-efficient, operating in a range that optimizes both power usage and data rate for battery-operated devices," Rambus' Steven Woo said.
Dell EMC and Nvidia developed a reference design for artificial intelligence workloads, pairing the Dell EMC all-flash Isilon F800 with the Nvidia DGX-1. A number of Dell business partners -- FusionStorm-Computacenter, Insight, Presidio, WWT and Sirius -- are providing the Dell EMC-Nvidia system to customers.
Facebook acquired Sonics, a provider of network-on-chip and power management IC intellectual property that can be used in system-on-a-chip device design; financial terms weren't revealed. Facebook has been working to develop augmented and virtual reality technology and sees silicon as a vital part of its efforts, a Facebook spokeswoman said.
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