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December 2011

Happy Holidays from Semico! All indicators do show a better 2012!

Phoenix, Arizona December 21, 2011 - Semico wishes you a wonderful Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous 2012.

Semico accurately predicted the slowdown that started this summer, and now the IPI is indicating a positive turn in the second quarter of 2012. Our 2012 forecast is up almost 10% over 2011.

Contact Jim Feldhan at 602-997-0337 or jfeldhan@semico.com to order the IPI.

All the best,
Semico

Cold and Rainy Weather at Semicon Japan Does Not Dampen Industry Enthusiasm

Last week I attended my first Semicon Japan.  This is typically one of the largest Semicon events, but considering the lull in equipment sales since this summer combined with the Japan earthquake in March, I was uncertain what to expect.  Seating at the opening keynote and welcome presentations were standing room only, but the foot traffic on the show floor was far from overwhelming.  (Even during the peak lunch hour, a SEMI aficionado directed me to some delicious food booths with essentially no lines.  I wish I could get those yummy noodles at Moscone during Semicon West.)

There was still a lot of talk relating to the earthquake impact and recovery but overall the mood was upbeat.  On the advanced technology front, vendors are preparing for more 450mm activity.  TSV and the move to FinFET transistors are providing plenty of opportunities and challenges for equipment and material suppliers.  Add to that a host of More Than Moore innovations for the mature fabs, and the topics for discussion were abundant.

Mobile Devices: The Great Semiconductor Migration

In previous forecast periods, there have been dozens of products that have lead innovation within semiconductors. Affectionately called "Splitters" by our Senior VP Morry Marshall, consumers have historically demanded a variety of mobile devices to fit their needs.

No more. We're in a revolutionary period of content distribution and as the old saying goes, content is king. To adapt, OEMs are going to need new strategies that understand not only how to market to consumers, but how their needs are evolving, and how they can foresee solutions.

Table of Contents: 

Semico’s 2011 Fab Database: Expansions and Consolidations

Semiconductor revenues were flat in 2011 as the industry dealt with numerous challenges. These changes have impacted the status of semiconductor fabs worldwide: capacity, capex, wafer size, closures, launches, production ramps, technology node migration, and employee count.

Table of Contents: 

Accelerating Adoption of MEMS Timing

Recently there have been two major announcements in the MEMS (microelectromechanical system) oscillator market. Market leader SiTime breaks into high-precision OCXO timing with Stratum 3 compliant solutions; and Integrated Device Technology Inc. (IDT) jumps into the MEMS oscillator market with a piezoelectric MEMS resonator.

SiTime has introduced the SiT5301 and SiT5302, which address the highest-performance applications for timing devices. SiTime is targeting replacement of OCXO and TCXO quartz oscillators for the telecom and networking infrastructure market. The Stratum 3 oscillators have very stringent standards for frequency stability over temperature, 24-hour holdover, and 20-year stability. SiTime's SiT530x family offers shock resistance 10 times better than quartz and 7 times better on vibration.

However, what is very notable is a reliability/MTBF rating of 500 million hours. This is 25 times higher than quartz. This is a key advantage for SiTime's MEMS oscillator, since the target applications have long lifecycles, and customers want to reduce service calls. Another key feature is that power consumption is less than 75 mW, compared to quartz OCXO at more than 1 Watt.

SiTime will have samples in December 2011, with production in the first half of 2012.

Jim Feldhan Identifies Key Markets for TSV Applications

Phoenix, Arizona December 13, 2011 - Today at the 3-D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging event in Burlingame, CA, Jim Feldhan, President, Semico Research Corp. addressed the end market applications that are driving 3-D semiconductor packaging. Even as the semiconductor industry suffers from a slowdown, innovators continue to develop 3-D packaging options.

The Great Semiconductor Migration

Phoenix, Arizona December 6, 2011 - In previous forecast periods, there have been dozens of products that have lead innovation within semiconductors. Affectionately called "Splitters" by our Senior VP Morry Marshall, consumers have historically demanded a variety of mobile devices to fit their needs.

No more. We're in a revolutionary period of content distribution and as the old saying goes, content is king. To adapt, OEMs are going to need new strategies that understand not only how to market to consumers, but how their needs are evolving, and how they can foresee solutions.

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