The US Department of Defense increased its line of credit with GlobalFoundries by $400 million to now exceed $1.1 billion, expanding the foundry's fabrication of advanced and legacy ICs for use by the military. The Defense Microelectronic Activity relies on GlobalFoundries as a trusted supplier of secure microchips -- GF took over that function from IBM Microelectronics in 2015.
Tsinghua Unigroup, the chipmaking arm of China's Tsinghua University, defaulted on a bond payment of $198 million, David Manners writes. The default raises questions about whether the Chinese chipmaker can fund a planned DRAM fabrication facility project with a budget of $110 billion, he notes.
Porotech, a Cambridge University spinout, is offering native red light-emitting diode epitaxial wafers for commercial micro-LED applications. The epiwafers are based on gallium nitride substrates rather than aluminum indium gallium phosphide wafers.
SK Telecom brought out the SAPEON X220 artificial intelligence device that can be used in data centers. Gartner forecasts the worldwide AI chip market will increase to $45 billion within four years.
Qualcomm Technologies, Nokia and Elisa worked together to simultaneously pair two 5G millimeter-wave devices on a commercial network in Finland, achieving a data transmission rate of 8 gigabits per second. Nokia's 5G millimeter-wave technology and a Qualcomm 5G smartphone were used on Elisa's commercial 5G wireless network.
Five industry experts talk about cybersecurity flaws for open-source hardware and artificial intelligence technology in this roundtable interview. Mike Borza of Synopsys says, "Some interesting approaches to security are built around the idea that you don't know what threats are coming, but you can keep shaking up the behavior of the chip in a way that prevents somebody from gaining a foothold to launch an attack."
Despite challenging economic and logistical conditions this year, the 15 largest semiconductor companies will increase their sales by 13% collectively, which is greater than the industry forecast of 6% growth and a turnaround from the 15% decline last year, IC Insights reports. The market research firm sees MediaTek moving up to 11th place in annual revenue, while Advanced Micro Devices will advance to 15th this year.
In an open letter to President-elect Joe Biden, Intel CEO Bob Swan asked for government support for semiconductor manufacturing and digital infrastructure in the US under the Biden administration. "We again stand at the ready to support the next generation of technological advancements," he wrote.
Arm is borrowing from radio-frequency identification tags to provide power for internet of things devices without using a battery. The company's "Project Triffid" offers power sources from light and temperature sensors to monitor the freshness in retail food packaging.
Chipmetrics Oy initiated commercial production of its PillarHall test chip, used in analyzing 3D thin-film structures. The VTT spinoff uses atomic layer deposition processes and microelectromechanical system technology to produce the test chips.
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