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March 22, 2013
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • IBM models nanofluidic device after the human brain
    Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have developed a nanofluidic device that they say emulates the way the brain operates, using ionic currents to move data through the device. The advance could prove crucial in the development of ultra-low-power semiconductors, this blog post notes. "I'm particularly excited by our findings, because a lot of how the brain operates is by the flow of ions and ion channels. In some sense what we want to do is mimic those components of the brain," said IBM's Stuart Parkin. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Bits blog (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  ICs, Memory & More 
  • Sources: Samsung Group to spend up to $44.8B on facilities in 2013
    Samsung Group will increase its expenditures on facilities to $44.8 billion this year, sources say. Much of that budget is expected to go to Samsung Electronics, which is building a wafer fabrication facility in Xi'an, China, for NAND flash memory devices and reconfiguring its wafer fab in Austin, Texas, to make logic chips. Sanford C. Bernstein's Mark Newman wrote Thursday that "Samsung is one of the few survivors in semiconductors and will continue to grow semiconductor earnings ... as the market continues to grow rapidly powered by smartphones and further improve DRAM margins and share as the DRAM industry moves closer towards a profitable oligopoly." The Korea Times (Seoul) (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Molecular Imprints CEO makes the case for nanoimprint lithography
    Molecular Imprints CEO Mark Melliar-Smith says that his company's nanoimprint lithography technology offers a viable alternative to extreme ultraviolet lithography. "Our target for initial production [of semiconductors] would be the memory space, particularly flash. The resolution requirements are the most extreme," he says. (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Going Green 
  • New AMD graphics chip has 2B transistors, draws 85W for 6 displays
    Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday introduced the Radeon HD 7790 "Bonaire" graphics processor, which packs 2.08 billion transistors, Dean Takahashi writes. The 1 gigahertz chip uses about 85 watts of power while driving as many as six displays at one time, according to AMD's Evan Groenke. VentureBeat (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • Sources: Intel will use LGA packages for at least 2 more years
    Sources at motherboard manufacturers in Taiwan report that Intel plans to keep using land-grid array packaging for its latest microprocessors for the next two years, apparently quieting rumors that it would shift to ball-grid array packages for its "Broadwell" processors next year. Meanwhile, Intel reportedly plans to introduce 13 Xeon E3 1200 v3-series processors starting in the coming months, using LGA1150 sockets, according to the CPU World website. On Wednesday, Robin Saxby, former CEO of ARM Holdings, said that "as an ARM shareholder, I recommend Intel to take an ARM license and stop messing about." DigiTimes (3/22), (3/21), Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nvidia debuts Kayla platform for Tegra 5 applications
    Nvidia has introduced the Kayla platform, which aims to enable software developers to start writing applications for its Tegra 5 mobile processor, code-named "Logan" and set to come out next year. "Kayla offers a sneak-peek at the capabilities that will be unleashed by Logan, Nvidia's next-generation Tegra mobile processor. What's amazing is that Logan will be the size of a dime, whereas Kayla is now the size of a tablet PC," said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Oracle plans to introduce Sparc T5 processors, T5-based servers
    Oracle plans to introduce its Sparc T5 microprocessor, along with servers built around the new chip, according to this article. "Next week, we will start deliveries of our next generation of servers, built using our new Sparc T5 microprocessor, the world’s fastest microprocessor," Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said this week. "Next week, we will publish 17 world record benchmarks, including a TPC benchmark showing that the Sparc T5 is the fastest processor in the world for database. The SPECjEnterprise benchmark, showing the Sparc T5, is the fastest processor in the world for Java middleware." (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Testing & Standards 
  • Metrology technology requires updated business models, experts say
    The development of advanced metrology and wafer inspection technology will become necessary in the next few years, Mark LaPedus writes. "Different business models are definitely needed," says Chris Talbot of Applied Materials. "As the industry consolidates, with 450 millimeter and [extreme ultraviolet] on the horizon, the amount of R&D that needs to be done not just in metrology and inspection, but right across the equipment industry, is enormous." (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  JEDEC News 
  • Last chance to save: early bird rates end today for JEDEC's Mobile Forum 2013
    Save $50 over onsite rates when you register online today. Join us May 1 and 2 in Santa Clara, Calif., where industry leaders will focus on the latest developments and standards for mobile, including UFS, LPDDR3 & 4 and Wide I/O 2. Visit the JEDEC website for the complete agenda and registration. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Register now for the 28th annual ROCS (Reliability of Compound Semiconductors) Workshop
    Join us on May 13 in New Orleans, La., where the ROCS Workshop will once again be held with the CS MANTECH conference; bringing together researchers, manufacturers and users of compound semiconductor devices. Visit the event website or register now -- online registration and discounts end April 29 and space is limited, so don't delay! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships."
--Bertrand Russell,
British philosopher, mathematician and historian

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