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December 7, 2012
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Report: TSMC's 28nm IC output is advancing faster than expected
    After struggling to make enough semiconductors with 28-nanometer features earlier this year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is ahead of projections on its output by the end of 2012, with the possibility of turning out 75,000 to 80,000 300-millimeter silicon wafers with 28-nanometer chips this month, the Taiwan Economic News reports. Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia, Qualcomm and other TSMC customers should be able to receive their full allocations of 28-nanometer chips as a result. Meanwhile, Nvidia is said to have chosen TSMC to potentially make Nvidia's next-generation "Maxwell" graphics processors with a 20-nanometer process in 2014. (12/6), (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ICs, Memory & More 
  • AMD slashes Q4 wafer purchases from GlobalFoundries
    Advanced Micro Devices will spend $115 million this quarter on wafers produced by GlobalFoundries after planning earlier to spend $500 million on such chips during the quarter. AMD is trying to preserve cash as the PC market is stagnant. "Liquidity and cash management remain a key focus for AMD," interim Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar said. Bloomberg (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UMC says it hasn't discussed stake purchase by GlobalFoundries
    Reports that GlobalFoundries plans to take an equity stake in United Microelectronics are being denied by UMC, according to China's Central News Agency. While GlobalFoundries and UMC both work with IBM on developing advanced process technologies, UMC has not engaged in any negotiations with GlobalFoundries on selling an equity stake in the Taiwanese silicon foundry, according to UMC. DigiTimes (12/6), Focus Taiwan (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Intel to help distribute its chips in Myanmar
    Intel is setting up a distribution network in Myanmar with the help of Ingram Micro and a local sales agent, KMD. Intel says it also plans to work with teachers in Myanmar, supplying PCs for classrooms to promote digital literacy. Separately, CEO Paul Otellini, who will retire in May, said he expects that his successor will come from within the company. The Wall Street Journal (12/6), eWeek (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Going Green 
  • Silicon Labs launches low-power MCU line with ARM Cortex-M3 cores
    Silicon Labs has introduced the Precision32 SiM3L1xx line of low-power microcontrollers, employing the Cortex-M3 design from ARM Holdings. Applications include asset tracking, home automation, personal medical devices, smart meters, utility monitoring and wireless security, the company said. The parts are available in production quantities. Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chipmakers fine-tune mobile processors for longer battery life
    Quad-core processors running at 1 gigahertz or higher are becoming commonplace in mobile handsets, leaving chip suppliers looking toward providing longer battery life and other incremental improvements, Roger Cheng writes. "That's the end game for a lot of these semiconductor companies: connect great experiences and long battery life with their chip," said IHS analyst Francis Sideco. Nvidia's Matt Wuebbling said that "quad-core CPUs will have become the standard for mobile devices. While some may try to move beyond quad-core, we don't believe there will be a perceptible user benefit." CNET (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • Targeting mobile devices, Qualcomm Atheros adds NFC chip
    Qualcomm Atheros has introduced the QCA1990, a near-field communication chip meant to be paired with its WCN3680 Bluetooth/Wi-Fi device to enable mobile payments with smartphones and tablet computers. "Qualcomm Atheros believes NFC will be another key element of an enriched experience for smartphone and tablet consumers," the company's David Favreau said. Sampling of the part is set for the first quarter of next year, with commercial implementations poised for the third quarter of 2013. Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Broadcom to sample LTE chips next year to catch up with Qualcomm
    In 2013, Broadcom intends to fill in a key element of its product portfolio by sampling chips made for Long-Term Evolution wireless handsets. "We need to be there. We're not there today," CEO Scott McGregor said. Rival Qualcomm already has LTE chips in its product line. Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder said of Broadcom's LTE push, "This is an area they have most chance of growing." Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Testing & Standards 
  • Atmel touch sensors get UL certification
    Underwriters Laboratories has certified the AT42QT1244/5 and AT42QT1481 capacitive touch controllers made by Atmel for use in home appliances. "When designing a safety-related control in an application that requires UL60730-1 compliance, the fact that UL has already determined compliance for these controls will greatly reduce design time and effort in every downstream link in the supply chain," UL's Kevin Connelly said. Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  JEDEC News 
  • JEDEC memberships for 2013 now available -- join today
    As members of an open standards organization with global participation, JEDEC member companies enjoy technological insight, competitive advantage and influence. One of JEDEC's core values is its ability to develop standards spanning the breadth of the microelectronics industry: From components to packaging, test methods and quality and reliability, JEDEC standards address the needs of all segments of the industry, from device manufacturers to end consumers. JEDEC's low cost of membership allows companies of all sizes and revenue levels to participate, resulting in consensus-based standards with broad industry acceptance. Find out more and join today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EE Times takes a first look at JESD230 NAND Flash interface interoperability standard
    JEDEC and ONFI talk with EE Times Memory Designline editor Kristin Lewotsky in this informative Q-and-A about JESD230. The standard is available for free download from both and LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
--Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator

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