Google debuted the SkyWater process design kit, offering the cost-free fabrication of open-source IC designs with use of the PDK. SkyWater Technology will manufacture those designs with a 130-nanometer process; production runs are limited to 100 chips.
Data will determine the lifecycle of a semiconductor design, this analysis notes. "The semiconductor industry has been very good at collecting data, but that data has not been brought together," says Doug Elder of OptimalPlus, an NI Company.
Intel is once again shipping server processors to Inspur, a Chinese manufacturer of servers that was a big customer last year. Meanwhile, the chipmaker is investing $253.5 million for an equity stake of 0.39% in Jio Platforms, India's largest provider of mobile telecommunications.
Samsung Electronics is making a big investment in microchip production capacity as it tries to be more competitive with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the Nikkei Asian Review reports. For its part, TSMC is issuing $470 million in unsecured notes to continue increasing its production capacity.
Samsung Electronics this week will release preliminary results for the second quarter, likely showing a 4.5% decrease in profit to $5.25 billion as the conglomerate's smartphone sales slumped while the chip business did well in keeping up with demand from data center customers. The company plans to hire 1,000 engineers and scientists in 2020 to work on 5G, artificial intelligence, chip design and other technologies, while industry sources say the chipmaker will pay 100% performance bonuses to semiconductor division employees.
The volume of electronic waste around the world reached 53.6 million metric tons last year, an increase of 9.2 million metric tons over five years, the United Nations reports. Asia was the largest source of e-waste, followed by the Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania, according to the UN's global e-waste monitor 2020 report.
ETH Zurich researchers report their development of stacking electronics and photonics components on one chip, connecting them through vias. "We've now overcome the size difference between photonics and electronics by replacing the photonics with plasmonics," says Juerg Leuthold, ETH professor of Photonics and Communications.
Six industry experts talk about recent developments in the cost, cybersecurity and reliability for next-generation device designs in this roundtable interview. Real Intent CEO Prakash Narain says, "The more customized chip design, the better for us, which is why Cadence and Synopsys have been doing so well."
The worldwide market for gallium nitride and silicon carbide power semiconductors will be worth more than $1 billion next year due to demand from electric vehicles and hybrids, photovoltaic inverters and power supplies, Omdia forecasts. In 2020, the GaN/SiC power chip market will hit $854 million, compared with $571 million in 2018, and growing to more than $5 billion by 2029, the market research firm predicts.