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November 14, 2012
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  ICs, Memory & More 
  • Sources: AMD hires bank; company says it's not for sale
    Advanced Micro Devices reportedly has engaged JPMorgan Chase for advice on exploring strategic options, Reuters reports, citing three sources familiar with the situation. The company was quick to say it isn't putting itself on the auction block. "AMD's board and management believe that the strategy the company is currently pursuing to drive long-term growth by leveraging AMD's highly differentiated technology assets is the right approach to enhance shareholder value," AMD's Drew Prairie said in a statement. Bloomberg (11/14), Reuters (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • TSMC to spend nearly $3B on advanced IC technology
    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing has budgeted $2.975 billion to increase its capacity for fabricating advanced semiconductors, with $1.53 billion of that amount to come from a corporate bond issue. General research and development will get $209.5 million in funding for 2013, while the silicon foundry will also spend $42.3 million on its light-emitting diode business unit and $21.6 million on its solar energy unit. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sharp may get $378M investment from Intel, Qualcomm, sources say
    Sharp may get a combined investment of $378 million from Intel and Qualcomm, Reuters reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The display manufacturer may conclude a deal with Qualcomm by the end of November, one source said. "Sharp has talked about cutting debt and inventory, but they haven't made it clear how they plan to generate cash flow and strengthen their capital base," said Toshiyuki Kanayama of Monex. Reuters (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Going Green 
  • ON Semi: Constant-current regulators are good choice for LEDs
    Constant-current regulators can be a crucial choice in designing light-emitting diode arrays, Steve Sheard of ON Semiconductor writes in this technical article. "Use of constant-current regulators, based on self-biasing transistors, is an effective way to regulate LED array currents, avoiding the inherent disadvantages of series resistors," he notes. Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • Application-specific processors needed in consumer electronics
    To meet the demands of consumer electronics, programmable microprocessors are necessary, Gert Goossens writes. Application-specific processors are capable of turning system-on-a-chip devices into "heterogeneous multicore platforms offering significant amounts of multithreaded parallelism," he notes. EE Times Europe (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fast supercomputers mix it up with CPUs, GPUs
    The Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, currently ranked as the fastest in the world, uses a combination of x86-architecture microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices and advanced graphics processing units from Nvidia, Don Clark notes. Of the 500 supercomputers ranked in the semiannual list, 62 of them are using combinations of processor types, compared with 58 six months ago, he notes. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Testing & Standards 
  • ARM tech finds its way into "purpose-built servers" with TI chips
    The Cortex-A15 cores of ARM Holdings are combined with the C66x digital signal processing cores of Texas Instruments in TI's new line of Keystone system-on-a-chip devices, which could go into what the chipmaker calls "purpose-built servers." Tom Flanagan of TI said, "We think the real opportunity for us is to offload some of the processing general-purpose servers do." EE Times (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  JEDEC News 
  • JEDEC and ONFI publish NAND flash interface interoperability standard
    JEDEC and the Open NAND Flash Interface Workgroup (ONFI) have announced the publication of JESD230 NAND Flash Interface Interoperability Standard (Package). This jointly developed document defines a standard for NAND flash device interface interoperability. JESD230 is available for free download from both and LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Updates to JEP95: JEDEC Registered and Standard Outlines for Solid State and Related Products now available for free download
    JEP95 is a compilation of some 3000 pages of outline drawings for microelectronic packages. An annual updating service and complete hard copies are available for purchase. Recent updates include: SO-018A (DDR4 and GDDR5M SODIMM), SO-008B (DDR1/DDR2/DDR3, 144 Pin, 16b/32b SODIMM), MO-274B, and MO-276G. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Ernest Hemingway,
American author and journalist

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