Western Digital and KKR & Co. are continuing efforts to purchase Toshiba's flash memory chip unit by resubmitting their offer for the unit. Toshiba, however, is expected to sign a deal Wednesday with its preferred bidder, which includes a US-based private equity firm and a group led by the Japanese government.
Samsung Electronics invested $1 billion in an Austin, Texas, facility as part of the company's plans to produce faster, more efficient chips. Samsung's three-year development plan includes 8-nanometer process technology in 2017, 7nm by next year and 4nm by 2020.
Sales of American semiconductor companies to China-based companies have stalled as US officials say they don't want US technology capabilities headed there. The US Treasury Department continues to block the $1.3 billion sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, which has funding ties to the Chinese government.
The semiconductor industry is entering a period where it can no longer rely on Moore's Law to estimate gains in transistor density, said panelists at a recent event. "Moore's Law gave us a free ride, and that's just about over, so we are entering a wild, messy time, and it sounds like a lot of fun," Microsoft engineer Doug Burger said.
Silicon Labs CEO Tyson Tuttle is looking for the internet of things market to develop slowly, extending far beyond the "trough" that IoT chip sales are in now. "It will take multiple decades for IoT to play out," he said following a keynote address at the Design Automation Conference in Austin, Texas.
Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said the chip design company will collaborate with industry partners in Taiwan on developing internet of things and 5G technology, possibly investing in some Taiwan-based companies. "Qualcomm has a long history of investing and partnering here in Taiwan," he told reporters.
Western Digital will not agree to the proposed sale of Toshiba's semiconductor business if the preferred bidding group includes SK Hynix, a competitor in the NAND flash memory market. Toshiba may not be able to reach a deal with the preferred bidding group by Wednesday, when it holds its annual shareholder meeting, because of due diligence being conducted by Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan, who are said not to be in a rush to complete the deal.
SoftBank Group's Vision Fund wants to identify the quantum computing technology that has the potential to become the industry standard in the field before making an investment. "We are happy to invest enough to create that standard around which the whole industry can coalesce," Shu Nyatta, an investment manager for fund, said at a conference in Munich, Germany.
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