News Posts matching "Manufacturing"

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Toshiba and Western Digital to Jointly Invest in Flash Manufacturing Facility in Kitakami, Japan

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corp. have finalized a formal agreement to jointly invest in the "K1" manufacturing facility that Toshiba Memory is currently constructing in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The K1 facility will produce 3D flash memory to support growing demand for storage in applications such as data centers, smartphones and autonomous cars. Construction of the K1 facility is expected to be completed in the fall of calendar 2019. The companies' joint capital investments in equipment for the K1 facility will enable initial production output of 96-layer 3D flash memory beginning in calendar 2020, with meaningful output expected to begin later in the year.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in their respective memory businesses by actively developing initiatives aimed at strengthening technology competitiveness, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments according to market trends.

Super Micro Moving Manufacturing Outside China to Allay Spyware Fears

Motherboard manufacturer Super Micro is moving manufacturing completely outside China to allay fears from customers on spyware implanted by China. Bloomberg in October 2018 put out a sensational article alleging that Super Micro, which specializes in server motherboards bought in bulk by data-centers and cloud companies, contain spyware by the Chinese government designed to spy on US enterprises. Super Micro was quick to refute the article as baseless, but by then the damage to its reputation was done. Faced with declining sales by as much as 10 percent despite rapid industrial CAGR growth, the company is now forced to relocate manufacturing outside China not just to allay these fears, but perhaps also to reduce its import tariff burden imposed by the US government on a spectrum of electronics goods manufactured in China.

China had a manufacturing strangehold on server motherboard manufacturing, amounting to 90 percent of server motherboards shipped in 2017. In 2018, however, with the the US-China trade-war underway, that figure dropped like a rock to just 50 percent, a dramatic fall for just one year. Server component manufacturers are relocating to other countries, such as Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Super Micro is relocating to Taiwan, with a new factory set up in Taoyuan at a cost of $65 million.

TSMC Cleared to Build New 3 nm Manufacturing Factory in Southern Taiwan

The world's largest contract semiconductor manufacturing company, TSMC, has been cleared to commence construction of a new 3 nm chip factory at the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The new factory is expected to use 20 percent renewable energy and 50 percent recycled water.

The factory's environmental impact assessment was accepted by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Dec. 19, after concerns were raised about use of water and power sources. TSMC is expected to invest NT$600 million (US$19.45 million) in the project, with construction to begin in 2022. Production is planned to start in late 2022 or early 2023. At the same site, TSMC is also building a 5 nm chip factory, which is expected to be up and running in late 2019 or early 2020.

IBM Expands Strategic Partnership with Samsung to Include 7nm Chip Manufacturing

IBM today announced an agreement with Samsung to manufacture 7-nanometer (nm) microprocessors for IBM Power Systems , IBM Z and LinuxONE , high-performance computing (HPC) systems, and cloud offerings. The agreement combines Samsung's industry-leading semiconductor manufacturing with IBM's high-performance CPU designs. This combination is being designed to drive unmatched systems performance, including acceleration, memory and I/O bandwidth, encryption and compression speed, as well as system scaling. It positions IBM and Samsung as strategic partners leading the new era of high-performance computing specifically designed for AI.

"At IBM, our first priority is our clients," said John Acocella, Vice President of Enterprise Systems and Technology Development for IBM Systems. "IBM selected Samsung to build our next generation of microprocessors because they share our level of commitment to the performance, reliability, security, and innovation that will position our clients for continued success on the next generation of IBM hardware."

Intel Looks Beyond CMOS to the Future of Logic Devices

Today, "Nature" published a research paper on the next generation of logic devices authored by researchers from Intel, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The paper describes a magneto-electric spin-orbit (MESO) logic device, invented by Intel. MESO devices have the potential to lower voltage by 5 times and energy by 10-30 times when combined with ultralow sleep state power, as compared to today's complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS). While Intel is pursuing CMOS scaling, the company has been working on computing logic options that will emerge in the next decade for the beyond-CMOS era, driving computing energy-efficiency and allowing performance to grow across diverse computing architectures.

"We are looking for revolutionary, not evolutionary, approaches for computing in the beyond-CMOS era. MESO is built around low-voltage interconnects and low-voltage magneto-electrics. It brings together quantum materials innovation with computing. We are excited about the progress we have made and are looking forward to future demonstrations of reducing the switching voltage even further toward its potential," said Ian Young, Intel Senior Fellow and director of the Exploratory Integrated Circuits group in the Technology and Manufacturing Group.

JEDEC to Enable Standard 3D Models of Electronic Components

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, today announced that its JC-11 Mechanical Standardization Committee will be releasing 3D models of new standard modules, packages, and socket outlines in addition to the detailed 2D drawings developed today. The 3D CAD models will be three-dimensional representations of the two-dimensional mechanical drawings offered by the committee and will be provided in a standard universal format so as to be importable by most common 3D CAD software packages used in the industry.

In addition, the JC-11 committee has developed and published a new standard XML schema under JEP30, which aligns to the recently published JESD30H document to enable software to generate 3D models automatically based on user or database inputs. "The demand for 3D models in electronics design and manufacturing is set to grow exponentially with the expansion of the Internet of Things and the drive towards Digital Manufacturing through automation. JEDEC is helping to enable this growth through the development of 3D models for our standard designs to complement the 2D drawings offered today and by establishing a universal schema for presenting real part data to software. These resources will greatly reduce time to market, eliminate opportunities for human error, and reduce manufacturing costs across the industry," said John Norton, JEDEC JC-11 Chairman.

Intel Ropes in Vietnam and Ireland to Increase Processor Volumes

Intel late last week released a PCN (product change notification), which stated that it has assigned its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam as an "additional site for test and finish." This would entail final quality assurance testing of its nearly-ready products and "finishing," which involves final retail packaging. The Intel facility in Vietnam will work in concert with its largest Asian manufacturing facility, located in Malaysia. "While Assembly, Test and Finish will continue to be done in PGAT (Malaysia), Intel will also have assembled material sent to VNAT (Vietnam) to perform the Test/Finish portions of the manufacturing process. Please note that Vietnam has been certified equivalent (form, fit, function, and reliability) for the affected products and technologies of this change," the PCN reads.

The products named in the PCN are the company's new flagship MSDT processor, the 8-core/16-thread Core i9-9900K, the second-best 8-core/8-thread Core i7-9700K, and the 6-core/-6-thread Core i5-9600K. "Fab, Sort and Assembly Test Manufacturing follow a philosophy, enables delivery of product from multiple production sites, which operate as a virtual factory that performs consistently and independent of the manufacturing source site. Additional benefits include faster production ramps that improve product availability and improved consistency to quality performance," it concludes. Intel had, earlier this year, raised its capital expenditure by an additional $1 billion YoY to around $16 billion, in a bid to increase its volumes as the industry faces supply shortages from Intel, which the company claims is due to "increased demand," rather than a short-supply. Intel has also roped in its small foundry located in Leixlip, Ireland.

Intel Plans To Split its Manufacturing Group Into Three Segments

We are still waiting for 10 nm to happen at Intel, and although we have recently received some good news about those chips, they won't be available until the end of 2019. The problems at Intel could be alleviated thanks to a strategic change that the company is proposing. Sohail Ahmed, who was in charge of the manufacturing group since 2016, will retire next month, and that will lead to a number of major changes in manufacturing management at Intel.

Intel will divide its manufacturing group into three new segments led by different managers, but there is no information on how the three groups will collaborate. The decision to split the manufacturing division is important, and comes at a weird time given that there hasn't been a replacement for Krzanich, who left the company in June 2018 after violating Intel's non-fraternization policy. Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan is leading the company as the interim CEO, but the six month process to find a new leader should clarify things at the company.

Intel Manufacturing Facilities Run 365 Days a Year

Intel will join the National Association of Manufacturers on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, to celebrate Manufacturing Day. The majority of Intel's advanced manufacturing and research and development is in the United States, creating high-precision, high-value, IP-driven products that enable industries and businesses to innovate around the world. Intel Corp.'s U.S. manufacturing and research and development facilities are in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. They operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Capital Expenditure on Silicon Chip Manufacturing to Rise to $67.5 billion in 2019

The race for smaller fabrication processes has become more and more expensive, and the expenses in R&D and factory retooling only look to increase. This - alongside the expected increase in demand from silicon-embedded products, which are almost all of them - means that additional funding will be poured into chip manufacturing capabilities. A report from SEMI indicates that the 14% increased investment in 2018 to $62.8 billion will increase a further 7.5% next year, reaching capital expenditure of $67.5 billion in 2019.

3D NAND fabrication plants lead the charge in investment, even if the market is facing some issues stemming from oversupply. The demand growth is being taken into account for these new expansion plans, however, with denser and denser chips being required for all manner of products. This is part of the reason why 43% of this years' spending has been allotted to new NAND factories, but the ratio for 2019 is a much lower 19% increase.

Graphics Card Manufacturing Being Moved From China in Bid to Escape Import Tariffs - Price to Increase 5-10%

The trade war between the US and China has been raging for a while now, and graphics cards are a minimal part of the goods affected. However, these are some of the most sought-after products in the hardware community, and thus deserving of special attention. Added tariffs, however, will either a) be absorbed by companies, or b) be passed on to customers at increased retail pricing. Since companies don't want to reduce their profit margin, and know consumers will buy less product at higher prices, steps are being taken by AIB (Add In Board) partners from both AMD and NVIDIA in moving graphics card manufacturing out of China.

Options being most seriously considered and acted upon stand as Taiwan and Mexico, where the lack of any additional tariff, added to relatively cheap labor, would allow manufacturers to keep operating costs relatively stable - and thus end user pricing. However, while this search for alternate manufacturing locations continues, the tariffs are already being pressed upon graphics cards makers, and it's expected that pricing of graphics cards will be facing increases of 5-10% in the coming months. As if we needed additional price increases in some old (and especially new) product lines...

Analyst Firm Susquehanna: "Intel Lost its Manufacturing Leadership"

Intel was once the shining star in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, with a perfectly integrated, vertical product design and manufacturing scheme. Intel was one of the few companies in the world to be able to both develop its architectures and gear their manufacturing facilities to their design characteristics, ensuring a perfect marriage of design and manufacturing. However, not all is rosy on that field, as we've seen; AMD itself also was a fully integrated company, but decided to spin-off its manufacturing arm so as to survive - thus creating GLOBALFOUNDRIES.But Intel was seen as many as the leader in semiconductor manufacturing, always at the cutting edge of - well - Moore's Law, named after Intel's founding father Gordon Moore. Now, Mehdi Hosseini, an analyst with Susquehanna, has gone on to say that the blue giant has effectively lost its semiconductor leadership. And it has, in a way, even if its 10 nm (which is in development hell, so to speak) is technically more advanced than some 7 nm implementations waiting to be delivered to market by its competitors. However, there's one area where Intel will stop being able to claim leadership: manufacturing techniques involving EUV (Extreme UltraViolet).

AMD Chip Manufacturing to Lay Solely With TSMC On, After 7 nm - And Why It's not a Decision, but a Necessity

It's been a tumultuous few days for AMD, as the company has seen Jim Anderson, Computing and Graphics Group leader after the departure of Raja Koduri, leave the company, at a time of soaring share value for the company (hitting $25.26 and leaving short positions well, short, by $2.67 billion.) However, there's one particular piece of news that is most relevant for the company: Globalfoundries' announcement to stop all ongoing development on the 7 nm node.

This is particularly important for a variety of reasons. The most important one is this: Globalfoundries' inability to execute on the 7 nm node leaves AMD fully free to procure chips and technology from competing foundries. If you remember, AMD's spin-off of GlobalFoundries left the former with the short end of the stick, having to cater to GlobalFoundries' special pricing, and paying for the privilege of accessing other foundries' inventories. Of course, the Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) that is in place will have to be amended - again - but the fact is this: AMD wants 7 nm products, and GlobalFoundries can't provide.
To the forumites: this piece is marked as an editorial

Iteration: New OLED Manufacturing Tweak Improves Efficiency, Longevity by 15%

While OLED is generally seen as offering the overall best picture quality of any current, consumer-level display technology, one flaw has always been pointed to the technology: its longevity. As time passes, OLED panels tend to lose their vibrancy, and are prone to pixel burn-in (as in, when static images are projected on the same pixels for extended periods of time, they tend to "memorize" the color and be locked in to emitting it). However, the incredible image quality given by OLED's contrast capabilities (where each individual pixel can reproduce pure black, in virtue of being off) means that researchers and companies have poured countless dollars towards improving the technology for commercial use.

Of course, tech is all about iteration, and there are always ways of improving a design - or the underlying technology. In this case, a team of German and Spanish researchers found that raising temperatures in the OLED panel manufacturing process (heating the polymers to within 80 to 90 percent of their glass transition temperature) allows for the creation of "ultrastable glasses." This means that the polymers are now arranged in their best possible configuration - at their lowest energy state - with smaller gaps between the material, which improves panel cohesiveness and reduces particle vibration. The result? Longevity and brightness increased by 15% over their non-heated counterparts. Now, the researchers are working with OLED manufacturers to try and implement this technique at the manufacturing level - at a sustainable cost.

Intel to Expand its Manufacturing Base in Israel

The Israeli Government revealed that chipmaker Intel plans to expand its presence in the country for manufacturing and R&D. The company is reportedly preparing an ILS 18 billion (around USD $5 billion) investment toward expanding its Kiryat Gat manufacturing facility in southern Israel. The expansion will also include an ILS 3 billion expenditure by Intel on local suppliers. In return, Israel is giving Intel tax-breaks running up to 2027, where the company will be taxed at a reduced rate of 5 percent. The Government is also considering an ILS 700 million grant to the company. Intel is one of the largest employers and manufacturers in Israel. The company exported $3.5 billion worth goods and services from the country in 2017.

Display Stocks Tank as Apple's Secret Display R&D and Manufacturing Facility Surfaces

Stocks of prominent display panel manufacturers such as LG Display, Sharp, and Samsung, tanked 4.4 percent on Monday, as reports emerged of Apple secretly developing its own screens and manufacturing them, for the first time. Apple has a secret Silicon Valley facility hiding in plain sight, located in Santa Clara. This facility is where cutting-edge research and development into micro-LED display panels is underway, along with small-scale manufacturing, just enough for Apple to rapidly prototype products under development, with new displays, before its display suppliers even have access to the technology.

Bloomberg comments that the facility is part of Apple's ambitious plan to bring development of key components of its products in-house. It also enables Apple to keep all new intellectual property obtained during the development to itself, so its suppliers can't bring IP they hold to their pricing negotiations with the company. Its R&D focus currently appears to be micro-LED technology, which will enable smaller and more pixel-dense screens, particularly for the Apple Watch.

Intel, Micron Increase 3D XPoint Manufacturing Capacity Through Fab Expansion

Today, Intel and Micron announced the completion of an expansion to Building 60 (B60) at the IM Flash facilities in Lehi, Utah. The expanded fab will produce 3D XPoint memory media, a building block of Intel Optane technology that includes Intel Optane memory for clients, the recently announced Intel Optane SSD 900P Series and new capacities and form factors of the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series. A ribbon-cutting was held at the facility with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, employees of the facility and representatives from Intel and Micron.

The IM Flash joint venture was created in 2006 to manufacture non-volatile memory for both Intel and Micron, starting with NAND for use in SSDs, phones, tablets and more. In 2015, IM Flash began manufacturing 3D XPoint technology, the first entirely new memory media in 25 years. The technology was developed to meet the quickly expanding data needs for all types of customers. 3D XPoint technology uses a crosspoint structure to deliver a cell and array architecture that can switch states significantly faster than NAND.

AMD To Change Suppliers for Vega 20 GPUs on 7nm, HBM2 Packaging for Vega 11

AMD's RX Vega supply has seen exceedingly limited quantities available since launch. This has been due to a number of reasons, though the two foremost that have been reported are: increased demand from cryptocurrency miners, who are looking towards maximizing their single node hashrate density through Vega's promising mining capabilities; and yield issues with AMD's Vega 10 HBM2 packaging partner, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE). It's expected that chip yield for Vega 10 is also lower per se, due to it having a 484 mm² die, which is more prone to defects than a smaller one, thus reducing the amount of fully-enabled GPUs.

AMD's production partner, GlobalFoundries, has historically been at the center of considerations on AMD's yield problems. That GlobalFoundries is seemingly doing a good job with Ryzen may not be much to say: those chips have incredibly small die sizes (192 mm²) for their number of cores. It seems that Global Foundries only hits problems with increased die sizes and complexity (which is, unfortunately for AMD, where it matters most).

Noctua's Alleged Manufacturing Discrepancies Put to the Test, Found Lacking

A recent maelstrom has hit Noctua in social forums due to a then unverified, reported issue with manufacturing differences between fans of the company that have been built on Taiwan or China factories. The issue, first brought about by Reddit user Kendalf, left open some questions on cooling and noise deltas between Taiwan and China-made Noctua fans, while admitting that the issue could be with a particular batch/testing conditions/other unidentified variables. But the Internet is fantastic, and what was posted as a legitimate question was quickly turned into a pitchfork-handling mob crying "Noctua never again" and "Down to Noctua" (which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space...)

AMD AIB Partners' RX Vega Manufacturing, BIOS Release Schedule Leaked

Disclaimer things first: take this with a grain of salt, since this hasn't seen the amount of confirmations we'd like. 3D Center has come out with a table that supposedly demonstrates the schedule of RX Vega manufacturing and integration work from AMD's add-in-board partners (which includes the likes of Sapphire, XFX, PowerColor, and others.) Remember that manufacturers receive a suggested reference design from AMD as to how to incorporate their GPUs into an actually operable graphics card, with varying degrees of customization according to the particular partner we're talking about. And this process takes time.

According to the leaked schedule, the BOM (Bill Of Materials) for the required parts to properly manufacture an RX Vega graphics card was to be released sometime in June, with engineering validation tests going through the end of June towards the beginning of this month (July.) Actual working samples from AIB partners are scheduled to be available in the middle of this month, with product validation tests (PVT) stretching towards the beginning of August (you'll remember AMD has confirmed they'll be formally announcing the RX Vega graphics card(s) at SIGGRAPH 2017, which stretches through July 30th and August 3rd.)
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