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Japan issues landmark diamond semiconductor patent to AKHAN

AKHAN Semiconductor, a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade diamond, announced today the issuance by the Japan Patent Office of a patent covering a method for the fabrication of diamond semiconductor materials, core to applications in automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, military, defense, and telecommunications systems, amongst others.

“We are ecstatic to be awarded this key patent in Japan. Its issuance protects our proprietary interests in diamond semiconductor in one of the nations leading the globe in diamond research,” said Adam Khan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “Following this year’s issuances of a Taiwan diamond semiconductor patent, and a major US diamond transparent electronics patent, the Japan patent issuance is a further testament to AKHAN’s leadership in the diamond semiconductor space.”

Japan, which has actively funded millions of dollars into diamond electronics research since 2002, earlier this year announced marked progress in the development of diamond semiconductor device performance. The AKHAN granted and issued patent, JP6195831 (B2), is a foreign counterpart of other issued and pending patents owned by AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. that are used in the company’s Miraj Diamond Platform products. As a key landmark patent, the claims protect uses far beyond the existing applications, including microprocessor applications. Covering the base materials common to nearly all semiconductor components, the intellectual property can be realized in everything from diodes, transistors, and power inverters, to fully functioning diamond chips such as integrated circuitry.

AKHAN’s flagship Miraj Diamond Glass for mobile display and camera lens is 6x stronger, 10x harder, and runs over 800x cooler than leading glass competitors like Gorilla Glass by coating standard commercial glass such as aluminosilicate, BK7, and Fused Silica with lab-grown nanocrystalline diamond. Diamond-based technology is capable of increasing power density as well as creating faster, lighter, and simpler devices for consumer use. Cheaper and thinner than its silicon counterparts, diamond-based electronics could become the industry standard for energy efficient electronics.

“This patent adds to the list of other key patents in the field of Diamond Semiconductor that are owned by the company, including the ability to fabricate transparent electronics, as well as the ability to form reliable metal contacts to diamond semiconductor systems,” said Carl Shurboff, President and Chief Operating Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “This patent bolsters the supporting evidence of AKHAN’s leadership in manufacturing diamond semiconductor products, and supports ongoing efforts with our major defense, aerospace and space system development partners.”

 

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Electronics industry conference to debut in Kuala Lumpur

For the first time ever, SEMICON Southeast Asia (SEMICON SEA), the region’s premier gathering of the industry connecting people, products, technologies and solutions across the electronics manufacturing supply chain, will be held in Kuala Lumpur. Taking place 8 to 10 May 2018, the conference will debut in the newly constructed Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC). With more than 85 percent of the exhibition space already sold, SEMICON SEA 2018 will represent companies from Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Europe and the U.S.  More than 300 companies will exhibit and as many as 8,000 visitors from 15 countries are expected to participate in SEMICON SEA. Organised by SEMI, SEMICON SEA 2018 theme will be “Think Smart Make Smart.”

The Southeast Asia region is a world-class electronics manufacturing hub with end-to-end R&D capabilities, and SEMICON SEA 2018 is the comprehensive platform for the electronics industry in the region. The event will feature three themed pavilions, five country pavilions, keynote presentations, and forums that will address critical trending topics within the semiconductor eco-system. The show will connect decision makers from the industry, demonstrate the most advanced products, and provide the most up-to-date market and technology trends.

Ng Kai Fai, president of SEMI Southeast Asia says, “The growth of SEMICON Southeast Asia is attributed to the rapid expansion and robust growth of the Electrical & Electronics (E&E) sector across Southeast Asia, with companies emerging as world leaders in mobile, automotive, medical and Internet of Things (IoT) supply chains. As one of the high-growth markets in the region, Malaysia contributes 44 percent of the total manufacturing output and 26 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product of the region and is forecasted to generate approximately US$ 382 billion in exports in 2018.”

Over the past three years, SEMICON SEA has become the annual gathering of the full regional supply chain. SEMICON SEA 2018 will feature a supplier search programme to encourage cross-border business matching as well as a technology start-up platform which will bring together Southeast Asia technology entrepreneurial resources. In conjunction with SEMICON SEA 2018, this event will also include the SEMICON University Programme which aims to encourage and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) interest amongst young talent and will also include a job fair.

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Seoul Semiconductor introduces an Acrich-based compact LED lriver with 5X the power density of conventional drivers

Seoul Semiconductor has developed an ultra-compact LED driver series with a power density 5X higher than conventional LED drivers. Based on Seoul Semiconductor’s patented Acrich technology, the MicroDriver Series delivers more than 24W of output power with a power density of 20W/cubic inch cubic inch, compared to existing drivers at 3-5W/cubic inch. Measuring just 1.5″ x 1.1″ x 0.8″ (38mm x 28mm x 20.5mm), the MicroDriver is 80% smaller than conventional LED drivers, giving lighting designers the ability to develop ultra-thin and novel luminaires with flicker-free operation.

“The new MicroDriver Series LED drivers will have a significant impact on external converters, enabling lighting design engineers to dramatically reduce the size, weight and volume of their luminaires,” explained Keith Hopwood, executive vice-president at Seoul Semiconductor. “This breakthrough in size reduction for the MicroDriver Series is the result of the company’s continuing investment in Acrich high voltage LED technology, delivering benefits for customers in smaller size, increased efficiency and lower costs.”

The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are ideal for lighting designs such as wall sconces, vanity lights, downlights, and flush-mounted lighting fixture applications. The MicroDriver Series’ smaller size facilitates the conversion of these applications to LED light sources, which was not previously possible due to bulky conventional LED drivers, making halogen lamp replacement possible without the need for a large volume recess for the driver, or a reduction in light output.

The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are ideal for luminaire designs up to 2,400 lumens, and their compact size enables integration of the lighting control circuitry with the external converter. This gives lighting designers the capability to mount more light sources on the board or reduce the total size of the fixture and mounting plate.

The resulting decrease in the LED drivers’ physical size has significant business implications for the lighting industry, giving lighting designers the ability to shrink the size of light fixtures by as much as 20%, which reduces shipping and storage costs. Because conventional LED drivers are both heavy and bulky, they are typically shipped via sea freight from manufacturers in Asia to European and North American fixture companies, with transit times up to six weeks. The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are small and lightweight enough to make airfreight practical and economical, reducing lead time and streamlining the overall supply chain.

The MicroDriver Series is rated to IP66, and is available in 10 models, rated for 8 – 24W in 120V or 230V versions, for LED assemblies from 900-2400 lumens. The drivers are CE recognized, provide flicker-free operation for phase-cut dimmers, and are compliant to California Title 24, enabling lighting designers to meet the most challenging design requirements, including low flicker, high power factor, Class B EMI and 2.5kV surge.

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Will Samsung’s 2017 semi capex deliver knockout blow to competition?

IC Insights has revised its outlook for semiconductor industry capital spending and will present its new findings in the November Update to The McClean Report 2017, which will be released at the end of this month.  IC Insights’ latest forecast now shows semiconductor industry capital spending climbing 35% this year to $90.8 billion.

After spending $11.3 billion in semiconductor capex last year, Samsung announced that its 2017 outlays for the semiconductor group are expected to more than double to $26 billion.  Bill McClean, president of IC Insights stated, “In my 37 years of tracking the semiconductor industry, I have never seen such an aggressive ramp of semiconductor capital expenditures.  The sheer magnitude of Samsung’s spending this year is unprecedented in the history of the semiconductor industry!”

Figure 1 shows Samsung’s capital spending outlays for its semiconductor group since 2010, the first year the company spent more than $10 billion in capex for the semiconductor segment.  After spending $11.3 billion in 2016, the jump in capex expected for this year is simply amazing.

To illustrate how forceful its spending plans are, IC Insights anticipates that Samsung’s semiconductor capex of $8.6 billion in 4Q17 will represent 33% of the $26.2 billion in total semiconductor industry capital spending for this quarter.  Meanwhile, the company is expected to account for about 16% of worldwide semiconductor sales in 4Q17.

IC Insights estimates that Samsung’s $26 billion in semiconductor outlays this year will be segmented as follows:

3D NAND flash: $14 billion (including an enormous ramp in capacity at its Pyeongtaek fab)

DRAM: $7 billion (for process migration and additional capacity to make up for capacity loss due to migration)

Foundry/Other: $5 billion (for ramping up 10nm process capacity)

annual samsung capex

IC Insights believes that Samsung’s massive spending outlays this year will have repercussions far into the future. One of the effects likely to occur is a period of overcapacity in the 3D NAND flash market. This overcapacity situation will not only be due to Samsung’s huge spending for 3D NAND flash, but also to its competitors in this market segment (e.g., SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, Intel, etc.) responding to the company’s spending surge.  At some point, Samsung’s competitors will need to ramp up their capacity or loose market share.

Samsung’s current spending spree is also expected to just about kill any hopes that Chinese companies may have of becoming significant players in the 3D NAND flash or DRAM markets.  As our clients have been aware of for some time, IC Insights has been extremely skeptical about the ability of new Chinese startups to compete with Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron with regards to 3D NAND and DRAM technology.  This year’s level of spending by Samsung just about guarantees that without some type of joint venture with a large existing memory suppler, new Chinese memory startups stand little chance of competing on the same level as today’s leading suppliers.

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Gigaphoton announces new roadmap for DUV light source

Gigaphoton Inc., a manufacturer of light sources used in semiconductor lithography, announced its intention to draw up a new roadmap with the aim of improving the availability of the equipment, and also to respond to the needs of the semiconductor chip manufacturers who are being confronted with increasingly high demands.

Gigaphoton recently drew up a roadmap titled “RAM Enhancement” to enhance the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability of the Excimer laser, a DUV light source. The company has already started off on overcoming the “99.8%-availability” barrier by 2020, which is the threshold limit value in the industry.

The availability of lithography tools is a key parameter which has a major impact on manufacturing IC chips. In line with this, maximizing the availability requires “long-term stable operation” and “minimized maintenance time.” To achieve both of the above, Gigaphoton is now striving to extend module lifetime and improve on-site unit serviceability that the company’s field engineers provide to customers, aiming at maintenance with the minimum number of machine stops.

To achieve “long-term stable operation,” the company is now increasing each lifetime of major modules such as the chamber (AMP CH), the line narrow module (LNM), and the monitor module (MM) up to 120 Bpls. As for “minimized maintenance time,” new software which automatically calculates expected unit lifetime and the right time for maintenance is ready to be introduced.

With these efforts, the company are now in the course of reducing the required number of maintenance down to only once per year as well as the mean time between module replacement down to half the conventional hours, and also overcoming the barrier of 99.8%-availability on every customer site by 2020. (This is on the assumption that memory chip makers use 60Bpls/year.)

Katsumi Uranaka, President & CEO of Gigaphoton commented, “Along with the increasing demand for semiconductor chips in recent years, the availability of semiconductor manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly important. The ‘RAM Enhancement’ roadmap which we are promoting was formulated in order to meet these customer needs. From now on as well, Gigaphoton will continue to provide the optimum solutions, while taking into consideration the demands of our customers and also the market trends. ”

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Japan issues landmark diamond semiconductor patent to AKHAN

AKHAN Semiconductor, a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade diamond, announced today the issuance by the Japan Patent Office of a patent covering a method for the fabrication of diamond semiconductor materials, core to applications in automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, military, defense, and telecommunications systems, amongst others.

“We are ecstatic to be awarded this key patent in Japan. Its issuance protects our proprietary interests in diamond semiconductor in one of the nations leading the globe in diamond research,” said Adam Khan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “Following this year’s issuances of a Taiwan diamond semiconductor patent, and a major US diamond transparent electronics patent, the Japan patent issuance is a further testament to AKHAN’s leadership in the diamond semiconductor space.”

Japan, which has actively funded millions of dollars into diamond electronics research since 2002, earlier this year announced marked progress in the development of diamond semiconductor device performance. The AKHAN granted and issued patent, JP6195831 (B2), is a foreign counterpart of other issued and pending patents owned by AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. that are used in the company’s Miraj Diamond Platform products. As a key landmark patent, the claims protect uses far beyond the existing applications, including microprocessor applications. Covering the base materials common to nearly all semiconductor components, the intellectual property can be realized in everything from diodes, transistors, and power inverters, to fully functioning diamond chips such as integrated circuitry.

AKHAN’s flagship Miraj Diamond Glass for mobile display and camera lens is 6x stronger, 10x harder, and runs over 800x cooler than leading glass competitors like Gorilla Glass by coating standard commercial glass such as aluminosilicate, BK7, and Fused Silica with lab-grown nanocrystalline diamond. Diamond-based technology is capable of increasing power density as well as creating faster, lighter, and simpler devices for consumer use. Cheaper and thinner than its silicon counterparts, diamond-based electronics could become the industry standard for energy efficient electronics.

“This patent adds to the list of other key patents in the field of Diamond Semiconductor that are owned by the company, including the ability to fabricate transparent electronics, as well as the ability to form reliable metal contacts to diamond semiconductor systems,” said Carl Shurboff, President and Chief Operating Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “This patent bolsters the supporting evidence of AKHAN’s leadership in manufacturing diamond semiconductor products, and supports ongoing efforts with our major defense, aerospace and space system development partners.”

 

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Electronics industry conference to debut in Kuala Lumpur

For the first time ever, SEMICON Southeast Asia (SEMICON SEA), the region’s premier gathering of the industry connecting people, products, technologies and solutions across the electronics manufacturing supply chain, will be held in Kuala Lumpur. Taking place 8 to 10 May 2018, the conference will debut in the newly constructed Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC). With more than 85 percent of the exhibition space already sold, SEMICON SEA 2018 will represent companies from Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Europe and the U.S.  More than 300 companies will exhibit and as many as 8,000 visitors from 15 countries are expected to participate in SEMICON SEA. Organised by SEMI, SEMICON SEA 2018 theme will be “Think Smart Make Smart.”

The Southeast Asia region is a world-class electronics manufacturing hub with end-to-end R&D capabilities, and SEMICON SEA 2018 is the comprehensive platform for the electronics industry in the region. The event will feature three themed pavilions, five country pavilions, keynote presentations, and forums that will address critical trending topics within the semiconductor eco-system. The show will connect decision makers from the industry, demonstrate the most advanced products, and provide the most up-to-date market and technology trends.

Ng Kai Fai, president of SEMI Southeast Asia says, “The growth of SEMICON Southeast Asia is attributed to the rapid expansion and robust growth of the Electrical & Electronics (E&E) sector across Southeast Asia, with companies emerging as world leaders in mobile, automotive, medical and Internet of Things (IoT) supply chains. As one of the high-growth markets in the region, Malaysia contributes 44 percent of the total manufacturing output and 26 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product of the region and is forecasted to generate approximately US$ 382 billion in exports in 2018.”

Over the past three years, SEMICON SEA has become the annual gathering of the full regional supply chain. SEMICON SEA 2018 will feature a supplier search programme to encourage cross-border business matching as well as a technology start-up platform which will bring together Southeast Asia technology entrepreneurial resources. In conjunction with SEMICON SEA 2018, this event will also include the SEMICON University Programme which aims to encourage and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) interest amongst young talent and will also include a job fair.

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Seoul Semiconductor introduces an Acrich-based compact LED lriver with 5X the power density of conventional drivers

Seoul Semiconductor has developed an ultra-compact LED driver series with a power density 5X higher than conventional LED drivers. Based on Seoul Semiconductor’s patented Acrich technology, the MicroDriver Series delivers more than 24W of output power with a power density of 20W/cubic inch cubic inch, compared to existing drivers at 3-5W/cubic inch. Measuring just 1.5″ x 1.1″ x 0.8″ (38mm x 28mm x 20.5mm), the MicroDriver is 80% smaller than conventional LED drivers, giving lighting designers the ability to develop ultra-thin and novel luminaires with flicker-free operation.

“The new MicroDriver Series LED drivers will have a significant impact on external converters, enabling lighting design engineers to dramatically reduce the size, weight and volume of their luminaires,” explained Keith Hopwood, executive vice-president at Seoul Semiconductor. “This breakthrough in size reduction for the MicroDriver Series is the result of the company’s continuing investment in Acrich high voltage LED technology, delivering benefits for customers in smaller size, increased efficiency and lower costs.”

The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are ideal for lighting designs such as wall sconces, vanity lights, downlights, and flush-mounted lighting fixture applications. The MicroDriver Series’ smaller size facilitates the conversion of these applications to LED light sources, which was not previously possible due to bulky conventional LED drivers, making halogen lamp replacement possible without the need for a large volume recess for the driver, or a reduction in light output.

The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are ideal for luminaire designs up to 2,400 lumens, and their compact size enables integration of the lighting control circuitry with the external converter. This gives lighting designers the capability to mount more light sources on the board or reduce the total size of the fixture and mounting plate.

The resulting decrease in the LED drivers’ physical size has significant business implications for the lighting industry, giving lighting designers the ability to shrink the size of light fixtures by as much as 20%, which reduces shipping and storage costs. Because conventional LED drivers are both heavy and bulky, they are typically shipped via sea freight from manufacturers in Asia to European and North American fixture companies, with transit times up to six weeks. The MicroDriver Series LED drivers are small and lightweight enough to make airfreight practical and economical, reducing lead time and streamlining the overall supply chain.

The MicroDriver Series is rated to IP66, and is available in 10 models, rated for 8 – 24W in 120V or 230V versions, for LED assemblies from 900-2400 lumens. The drivers are CE recognized, provide flicker-free operation for phase-cut dimmers, and are compliant to California Title 24, enabling lighting designers to meet the most challenging design requirements, including low flicker, high power factor, Class B EMI and 2.5kV surge.

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Will Samsung’s 2017 semi capex deliver knockout blow to competition?

IC Insights has revised its outlook for semiconductor industry capital spending and will present its new findings in the November Update to The McClean Report 2017, which will be released at the end of this month.  IC Insights’ latest forecast now shows semiconductor industry capital spending climbing 35% this year to $90.8 billion.

After spending $11.3 billion in semiconductor capex last year, Samsung announced that its 2017 outlays for the semiconductor group are expected to more than double to $26 billion.  Bill McClean, president of IC Insights stated, “In my 37 years of tracking the semiconductor industry, I have never seen such an aggressive ramp of semiconductor capital expenditures.  The sheer magnitude of Samsung’s spending this year is unprecedented in the history of the semiconductor industry!”

Figure 1 shows Samsung’s capital spending outlays for its semiconductor group since 2010, the first year the company spent more than $10 billion in capex for the semiconductor segment.  After spending $11.3 billion in 2016, the jump in capex expected for this year is simply amazing.

To illustrate how forceful its spending plans are, IC Insights anticipates that Samsung’s semiconductor capex of $8.6 billion in 4Q17 will represent 33% of the $26.2 billion in total semiconductor industry capital spending for this quarter.  Meanwhile, the company is expected to account for about 16% of worldwide semiconductor sales in 4Q17.

IC Insights estimates that Samsung’s $26 billion in semiconductor outlays this year will be segmented as follows:

3D NAND flash: $14 billion (including an enormous ramp in capacity at its Pyeongtaek fab)

DRAM: $7 billion (for process migration and additional capacity to make up for capacity loss due to migration)

Foundry/Other: $5 billion (for ramping up 10nm process capacity)

annual samsung capex

IC Insights believes that Samsung’s massive spending outlays this year will have repercussions far into the future. One of the effects likely to occur is a period of overcapacity in the 3D NAND flash market. This overcapacity situation will not only be due to Samsung’s huge spending for 3D NAND flash, but also to its competitors in this market segment (e.g., SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, Intel, etc.) responding to the company’s spending surge.  At some point, Samsung’s competitors will need to ramp up their capacity or loose market share.

Samsung’s current spending spree is also expected to just about kill any hopes that Chinese companies may have of becoming significant players in the 3D NAND flash or DRAM markets.  As our clients have been aware of for some time, IC Insights has been extremely skeptical about the ability of new Chinese startups to compete with Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron with regards to 3D NAND and DRAM technology.  This year’s level of spending by Samsung just about guarantees that without some type of joint venture with a large existing memory suppler, new Chinese memory startups stand little chance of competing on the same level as today’s leading suppliers.

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Gigaphoton announces new roadmap for DUV light source

Gigaphoton Inc., a manufacturer of light sources used in semiconductor lithography, announced its intention to draw up a new roadmap with the aim of improving the availability of the equipment, and also to respond to the needs of the semiconductor chip manufacturers who are being confronted with increasingly high demands.

Gigaphoton recently drew up a roadmap titled “RAM Enhancement” to enhance the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability of the Excimer laser, a DUV light source. The company has already started off on overcoming the “99.8%-availability” barrier by 2020, which is the threshold limit value in the industry.

The availability of lithography tools is a key parameter which has a major impact on manufacturing IC chips. In line with this, maximizing the availability requires “long-term stable operation” and “minimized maintenance time.” To achieve both of the above, Gigaphoton is now striving to extend module lifetime and improve on-site unit serviceability that the company’s field engineers provide to customers, aiming at maintenance with the minimum number of machine stops.

To achieve “long-term stable operation,” the company is now increasing each lifetime of major modules such as the chamber (AMP CH), the line narrow module (LNM), and the monitor module (MM) up to 120 Bpls. As for “minimized maintenance time,” new software which automatically calculates expected unit lifetime and the right time for maintenance is ready to be introduced.

With these efforts, the company are now in the course of reducing the required number of maintenance down to only once per year as well as the mean time between module replacement down to half the conventional hours, and also overcoming the barrier of 99.8%-availability on every customer site by 2020. (This is on the assumption that memory chip makers use 60Bpls/year.)

Katsumi Uranaka, President & CEO of Gigaphoton commented, “Along with the increasing demand for semiconductor chips in recent years, the availability of semiconductor manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly important. The ‘RAM Enhancement’ roadmap which we are promoting was formulated in order to meet these customer needs. From now on as well, Gigaphoton will continue to provide the optimum solutions, while taking into consideration the demands of our customers and also the market trends. ”

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