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Archive for August, 2022

Geopolitical tensions; fab updates; reverse engineering surprises; interconnect updates; acquisitions

Friday, August 5th, 2022

Catching up on some of the news from the last thirty days or so, several updates obviously concern U.S.-China tensions. As far as the semiconductor industry is concerned, news includes additional export restriction being considered by the U.S Government to halt China’s advances in semiconductor manufacturing, but the intricacies of a globalized ecosystem may cause side effects. According to analysts quoted by Reuters, export restrictions could also impact China-based memory fabs belonging to South Korean manufacturers such as Samsung and SK Hynix. A similar impact could be caused by export restrictions on European semiconductor equipment: for example – according to Reuters – the export ban has prevented SK Hynix from installing ASML’s EUV lithography equipment in its DRAM fab in Wuxi, China. Meanwhile, China’s IC sales keep increasing: according to market analysis firm TrendForce, the growth rate was 17% in 2020, 18.2% in 2021 and it is expected to be 11.21% in 2022.

Fab and foundry updates: SkyWater, Micron, ST-GlobalFoundries, IFS-MediaTek, Intel-TSMC

Also related to geopolitical tensions is the recent passing of the U.S. ‘Chips and Science Act’. Some companies have already announced their intentions to leverage this public funding measure: among them, U.S. foundry SkyWater plans to build a $1.8 billion semiconductor R&D and production facility in Indiana through a public-private partnership with the State and Purdue University; and U.S. memory maker Micron Technology intends to invest “in bringing the most innovative leading-edge memory manufacturing to the U.S.” More details regarding Micron’s plans are expected in the coming weeks.

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