Showing posts with label chipmaking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chipmaking. Show all posts

11.02.2022

TSMC denied rumors: it has not yet chosen a location for the 1-nm fab

TSMC denied rumors: it has not yet chosen a location for the 1-nm fab

TSMC denied rumors: it has not yet chosen a location for the 1-nm fab

The day before the Taiwanese media reported that TSMC, the largest contract manufacturer of semiconductor components in the world, had already decided on the location for its most advanced facility, which will master the 1N technology production in a few years.
As explained by TSMC representatives, no decisions have been made yet.Image source: TSMC According to Focus Taiwan, the original publication of the Commercial Times, citing an anonymous source, mentioned the intention of TSMC to place the new venture in the technology park Xinzhu in northwestern Taiwan.
According to official reports, TSMC is undecided on the site and is still in the process of finding a suitable location on the island.
As soon as the choice is made, the company promises to make the appropriate announcement.Deputy director of the technology park Xinzhu not commented on rumors about the plans of TSMC, but explained that the resident companies can choose the site in the third area of the park for the construction of production facilities, because the first place is all taken, and the second reserved for recreational areas.It is expected that the company will begin mass production of 3-nm products in the current quarter, and next year revenue from their sales will be as follows Mass production of 2-nm products TSMC will begin in 2025.
The company's management did not speak about terms of mastering more advanced lithography at the last quarterly report conference, but in May there was already information about TSMC's readiness to start development of 1.4nm process.

10.31.2022

Intel 20A process will be used primarily for its own needs

Intel 20A process will be used primarily for its own needs

Intel 20A process will be used primarily for its own needs

Describing the current state of adoption of new process technologies, Intel management avoided making any new ambitious statements at its quarterly report conference, merely mentioning that it continues to believe in its ability to regain technological leadership by 2025.
It was also said that Intel 18A process will be more suitable for the needs of third-party customers, while the previous Intel 20A process will be mainly used by the company itself.Image source: IntelIn the next few years Intel will have to reduce costs by $8-10 billion a year, CFO David Zinsner was forced to clarify that the amount of investment in product development and adoption of new technologies will be affected to a minimum.
In fact, over the next couple of years, the share of capital costs will reach 35% of revenues, before dropping to the more familiar 25%.The Intel 20A technology will use a new RibbonFET transistor structure, and in this regard, the company expects to maintain its status as an innovator in the semiconductor industry, as CEO Patrick Gelsinger made clear.
The Intel 20A process is on track to be adopted, and the company's CEO believes it will be used primarily for its own needs.
After transitioning to Intel 18A by the middle of the decade, the number of third-party customers interested in using this new lithography step will significantly increase.As Gelsinger stressed, a digital project on the Intel 18A process for a large external customer has already been completed, and the first workable prototypes are available.
According to early statements from Intel, it is a product for the needs of the U.S.
Department of Defense, which will be produced at the under-construction facility in Ohio.
In addition, the company already has test samples for its own needs, manufactured using Intel 18A technology.
In the future, several more Intel customers will receive test chips produced using this process.
According to Gelsinger, based on the results of tests of these samples, they will be able to decide on the advisability of mass production by Intel.

Intel has returned to profitability despite falling revenue

Intel has returned to profitability despite falling revenue

Intel has returned to profitability despite falling revenue

Intel Corp.'s third-quarter revenue fell 15% to $15.3 billion, in full compliance with its management's projections.
By the middle of the decade, Intel hopes to cut annual expenses by $8-10 billion, with savings reaching $3 billion as early as next year.According to the head of the company, staff cuts will not be a significant factor in savings, although they will start already in the current quarter.Image source: Intel Net income at Intel in the past quarter fell by 59% from $5.9 to $2.4 billion using Non-GAAP method and operating profit margin fell from 31.8 to 10.8 %.
Profit margin fell from 58.3% to 45.9% year over year.
At the same time, the company managed to increase spending on research and development by 12% to $5.4 billion.
Intel was forced to end the quarter with operating losses, but due to the tax refunds it showed a net profit.
The period ended with an operating loss of $175 million, but a net profit of $1.02 billion.In the client computing area, which is most dependent on PC market conditions, Intel's revenues fell 17% year over year to $8.1 billion, but grew sequentially by 6% due to an increase in average selling price.
Intel expects PC sales to dip 15 to 19 percent this year, primarily in the consumer and education sectors, as well as inventory adjustments in the OEM segment, but year-over-year sales should remain above pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future.
At the end of next year, PC sales should either remain at current levels or decline slightly.
According to the Intel representatives, from 270 to 295 million computers will be sold next year.
The head of the corporation even said that Intel was able to significantly strengthen its position in the PC segment in the third quarter.Image source: IntelIn the server segment last quarter, revenue at Intel dropped by an impressive 27% to $4.2 billion, but in the reporting documents the company proudly announced that it had started production of those models of processors Sapphire Rapids family, which were aimed at mass consumption, and also expects to slightly increase its market share in this segment by the end of the year.
In the past quarter, Intel's server revenue was undermined by weak demand in the Chinese corporate sector.Image source: IntelThe immediate issue of the upcoming staff reductions at the quarterly event Intel management spoke reluctantly, only noting its inevitability.
Intel's freelancers and contractors will be the first to suffer, they will feel Intel's desire to save money as early as this quarter.
Marketing and advertising costs will be cut.
Quantitative figures for staff reductions are not specified, but CFO Davis Zinsner let it slip that they will be significant.
CEO Patrick Gelsinger added that production costs would be prioritized over payroll in the search for cost savings.
By early October, the company had 131,500 employees.According to Intel's management, the company is on track to implement a plan to master five new process technologies in four years.
There were no delays in learning Intel 4 and Intel 3 technologies, the first prototypes of chips made with the Intel 20A and Intel 18A technologies were already running in the company's labs, and this also applies to products for a large third-party customer - at least the digital design of the respective product is ready and the first working samples exist.
In the customer segment, the company is going to introduce Meteor Lake processors (Intel 4) next year, at the same time Emerald Rapids servers will appear.
On schedule, the company is preparing to launch server processors in 2024.
The Meteor Lake series stepping design should be completed this quarter, and Intel's server segment managed to get the first Intel 3 Granite Rapids processor components last quarter, systems based on their samples are already working in Intel labs.
For the first time, the company will use ultra-hard ultraviolet (EUV) lithography as part of its Intel 4 and Intel 3 processors.
This will endow the respective products with breakthrough performance in terms of performance per watt of power consumption and density, according to Intel.Image source: IntelSome of Intel's business areas showed positive revenue growth in the third quarter.
Among them were networking and edge computing solutions, which grew revenue 14% to $2.3 billion and kept operating income at $75 million, despite an 85% decline from the same period last year.

10.01.2022

The U.S.military will be the first to receive advanced 18A chips

The U.S.military will be the first to receive advanced 18A chips

The U.S.military will be the first to receive advanced 18A chips

As it began building new facilities in Ohio, Intel made no secret that it would use them to serve outside customers in advanced 18A (18 angstroms - 18 tenths of a nanometer) technology, and some of the first customers connected with the U.S.
defense sector will receive their orders.
The company also plans to package and test the products in Arizona for those customers.Over the summer, the U.S.
Defense Department complained that up to 98 percent of the microelectronics products it needs are manufactured or tested in Asia.
Intel will try to solve this problem by creating a line at existing facilities in Arizona to test and package semiconductor components for the U.S.
Defense Department in the foreseeable future.
The Defense Department buys $3 billion worth of chips each year, Intel Foundry Service (IFS) President Randhir Thakur told EE Times.
The company has already signed a $250 million contract with the Defense Department to design advanced semiconductor components with Intel.Image source: EE Times, Alan PattersonIntel intends to use the department's SHIP ecosystem, which allows for the integration of disparate computing components in one package.
The U.S.
Defense Department will be the first Intel customer to receive semiconductor chips made with 18A technology from the company in the second half of 2024.
They will already be using a gate-around transistor (GAA) structure.IFS customers already include MediaTek, Amazon and Cisco, bringing in about $800 million in revenue in the first year of Intel's contract business.
This is not so much against the background of $56.9 billion received by TSMC last year, but Intel is at the very beginning of this journey.
Notably, for large customers like MediaTek, Intel is going to provide \"untouchable quotas\" that guarantee stable output for the customer even when demand is high.The purchase of Israel-based Tower Semiconductor will add to the IFS ecosystem with a network of facilities located in Israel, Europe, the United States and Japan, which last year together generated about $1.5 billion.
These facilities use 500 to 65 nm processors, and especially valuable contributions to Intel business will come from these assets on the automotive and meth In the case of Intel's 18A technology, the toolkit has reached version 0.5, indicating that the research phase has passed, although the development of the process is still in full swing.
According to Intel, the 18A process is comparable to the well-known 2nm process.To become a U.S.
defense contractor, Intel must go through a complicated and lengthy process of security certification, but if it has such a certificate, it will automatically increase other customers' confidence in it.
One of the confidence-building steps will be the establishment of a chip packaging and testing line in Arizona, since such operations with Intel products are currently carried out either in Malaysia, or in China or Vietnam.
Intel now uses six different chip packaging companies, distributing orders to 18 companies.

Intel showed silicon wafers with mysterious 34-core Raptor Lake processors, but didn't say what they're for

Intel showed silicon wafers with mysterious 34-core Raptor Lake processors, but didn't say what they're for

Intel showed silicon wafers with mysterious 34-core Raptor Lake processors, but didn't say what they're for

At the Innovation 2022 event, Intel showed a silicon wafer on its booth that reveals 34-core Raptor Lake-S processors not officially introduced.
As Paul Alcorn (Paul Alcorn) from Tom's Hardware writes, the company did not do it on purpose, because before that it has announced a consumer series of processors Raptor Lake, which have no more than 24 cores.Image source: Tom's HardwareJournalist points out that before that there were rumors that Intel is working on some 34-core processors.
However, it turned out later that they were just MCC chipsets for Sapphire Rapids server processors.
But the chips showed yesterday belong to the consumer Raptor Lake-S series.
This is evidenced by the sticker available on the wafer, as shown in the photo below.
The plate with the 34-core Raptor Lake chipsA closer look at the plate (photo above) makes it obvious that the uncut chips in it don't look like the standard Raptor Lake processor chips (photo below).
The cores in the chips are not arranged horizontally in two rows like in standard Raptor Lake crystals.
In addition, it seems that the 34 cores of the unknown Raptor Lake processors are connected by a kind of mesh structure, like in Ice Lake crystals (Xeon and 10th generation Core processors), as well as by a ring bus.
Also, as part of the 34-core Raptor Lake crystals can distinguish eight DDR5 memory controllers and UPI blocks, which is unusual for standard desktop models.Crystal already presented desktop Raptor Lake- SThe staff of the stand, where they demonstrated the silicon wafers, also confirmed that these processors Raptor Lake-S with 34 cores, but did not specify whether they are server or consumer.
The journalist notes that the size of crystals is much larger than the consumer model Raptor Lake-S for the LGA 1700 processor socket.It is very likely that Intel has shown crystals of some future powerful processors.
Perhaps these crystals are for high performance desktop (HEDT) processors Raptor Lake-X, or on such crystals will be built processors for workstations Xeon W or other models.

9.10.2022

Intel inaugurated construction of two plants in Ohio - they will start producing advanced chips by 2025

Intel inaugurated construction of two plants in Ohio - they will start producing advanced chips by 2025

Intel inaugurated construction of two plants in Ohio - they will start producing advanced chips by 2025

U.S.
authorities' delay in approving a $52 billion package of legislation to subsidize the construction of semiconductor facilities in the country has delayed Intel's schedule for building two facilities in Ohio somewhat, but only on a ceremonial level.
The president of the United States, the governor of the state and the head of Intel attended the ceremony this week.Image source: IntelAccording to a press release on Intel's website, other officials of various levels attended the grand opening ceremony for the Ohio site.
While Intel's intentions to spend $20 billion to build facilities in Ohio have long been known, this week the company emphasized a related educational initiative.
As clarified, it will allocate $50 million over ten years to core educational programs in Ohio that will cover more than 80 institutions in the state.
Over the next three years alone, Intel will allocate $17.7 million to support research and educational programs, which will be distributed among eight academic institutions in Ohio.Over the next three years, this program will provide training for about 9,000 graduates, and 2,300 students will become recipients of targeted scholarships.
About 7,000 people will be employed directly in the construction of plants in Ohio, and in the long term, they will provide jobs for about 3,000 skilled professionals.
As Intel representatives once again stressed, the company's two new facilities in Ohio will focus not only on manufacturing products for its own needs, but will also serve the interests of third-party customers.
Earlier it was explained, that it will be in Ohio, where advanced lithographic scanners ASML with high value of numerical aperture, which in the future will allow to produce products with Intel 18A technology.
It will allow Intel to regain technological leadership in lithography by the middle of the decade.
In addition to its own products, Intel is already considering making advanced products in Ohio for several customers.
Most likely, the talk is about representatives of defense industry interested in getting American-made products that meet the latest criteria.Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger thanked representatives from the U.S.
Presidential Administration, Congress and state leadership for their assistance in the company's effort to \"restore the deserved U.S.
position as a leader in the advanced chip manufacturing\".
In the coming years, Intel will build two new facilities in Arizona, expand its production capacity in New Mexico, and improve its research center in Oregon, which will focus on developing advanced packaging techniques for semiconductor components and innovations in lithography.
It will house an experimental production line that will allow advanced engineering ideas to be tested at prototype level.

8.26.2022

The global semiconductor industry's capital spending for 2021 and 2022 will exceed $338 billion

The global semiconductor industry's capital spending for 2021 and 2022 will exceed $338 billion

The global semiconductor industry's capital spending for 2021 and 2022 will exceed $338 billion

As demand for electronics declines in the consumer sector, it is more common to hear of intentions to cut capital spending from memory manufacturers, which is only natural.
Experts note that even caution, which is currently displayed by some market players will not prevent the semiconductor industry from ending the year with a record $185.5 billion in capex.Source image: IntelAccording to IC Insights, analysts expect the growth of CapEx in the industry to reach 21% by the end of 2022.
This is less than last year's growth of 35%, and less than the forecasted value at the beginning of this year (24%), but the nuance is that for the third consecutive year, the capital expenditure of the semiconductor industry is growing consistently by double-digit percent.
This was last seen from 1993 to 1995 inclusive.Image source: IC InsightsIc Insights analysts previously expected semiconductor capital spending to increase to $190.4 billion this year, but difficult macroeconomic conditions and signs of an overproduction crisis in some market segments suggest that growth will be limited to 21 percent and that spending will not exceed $185.5 billion.
In any case, together with the last year market participants will spend an impressive $338.6 billion for the construction of new enterprises.
At the same time, conveyors of vertically integrated producers of chips are still loaded more than 90%, and contract manufacturers load their capacities at 100%, still not being able to meet the entire demand.
Most likely, as the authors of the forecast summarize, next year the industry will face a decrease in the amount of capital expenditures, as market participants will need to assess the situation after three years of active growth.

8.12.2022

SK hynix will decide on U.S.location by early next year

SK hynix will decide on U.S.location by early next year

SK hynix will decide on U.S.location by early next year

South Korean conglomerate SK Group said last month that it intends to allocate up to $22 billion over the coming years to U.S.
science and industry, of which $15 billion will go directly to the U.S.
semiconductor sector.
Unofficially, SK hynix plans to build a chip packaging and testing facility in the country by 2025, with the location to be chosen by early 2023.Image source: SK hynixThis was reported by Reuters citing its own sources.
According to reports, SK hynix is ready to spend several billion dollars to build the plant and create about 1,000 jobs, while choosing the site for the new company will be given preference to areas in the relative proximity of universities that can supply it with qualified personnel.
The U.S.
enterprise SK hynix will start mass testing and packaging of chips in the period from 2025 to 2026.Official representatives of the Korean company has no comment on these rumors, only referring to the desire of the parent structure SK Group to allocate $ 15 billion for the development of the semiconductor industry in the region.
In addition to the enterprise for packaging and testing chips, the Korean giant is going to invest in creating a network of research centers in the United States.
This type of activity will also allow the company to qualify for government subsidies as part of the recently passed package of laws.