Semiconductors
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/21/2017

New York University Abu Dhabi researchers have come up with the prototype of a microchip that locks in security features at the hardware level, making it more difficult for unauthorized parties to hack into the chip. "The functionality of [the] chip -- what it does, how it does it -- can only be known if the secret key is known," NYUAD's Ozgur Sinanoglu said.

8/21/2017

Qualcomm will continue to rely on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as its foundry partner into the era of FinFET process technology, reports Sudeepto Roy of Qualcomm Technology Licensing. The companies have been collaborating since 2006, beginning with the fabrication of 65-nanometer chips and extending to chips with 45-nm and 28-nm features.

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DigiTimes
8/21/2017

Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, is said to be pursuing its "Flying Eagle" strategy, which will directly challenge Korean manufacturers in memory chips and displays, industry sources say. Foxconn's acquisition of Sharp, its plans to build an LCD panel plant in Wisconsin and helping Western Digital purchase Toshiba Memory are all part of the comprehensive strategy, those sources note.

8/21/2017

Microsemi's PolarFire Evaluation Kit is specified to optimize power consumption by the company's flash-based PolarFire field-programmable gate arrays. The kit is carried by Mouser Electronics, a distributor of electronic components.

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Electronics360
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Microsemi, Mouser Electronics
8/21/2017

Intel has brought out four new quad-core laptop chips with the eighth-generation Kaby Lake architecture, two Core i7 processors and two Core i5 processors. This generation will be initially be fabricated with the 14-nanometer+ Kaby Lake architecture, while future chips will be made with the 14-nm++ Coffee Lake and 10-nm Cannonlake architectures.

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ZDNet, Fortune
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Intel
8/21/2017

GlobalFoundries, United Microelectronics, Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. each intend to offer spin-transfer torque MRAM as an embedded memory technology before the close of 2017. MRAM is expected to surpass NOR flash memory as the leading embedded memory technology.

8/18/2017

Phillip LoPresti, president and CEO of Everspin, discusses spin torque magnetoresistive random-access memory technology in this interview. "MRAM is a nonvolatile memory that provides the aspects of a working memory like SRAM and DRAM," he says.

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Everspin Technologies, Everspin
8/18/2017

The Trump administration's executive order mandating a government investigation into intellectual property theft is chiefly aimed at China, while Korea doesn't have as much of a problem with US chipmakers, this analysis notes. The acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor testing equipment, by a Chinese government-controlled investment fund may be in jeopardy if the US government sees national security issues involved.

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Trump administration, Xcerra
8/18/2017

DRAMeXchange reports the tight supply conditions for DRAMs lessened during the second quarter, in comparison with the first quarter of 2017. Worldwide DRAM sales grew 16.9% in Q2 to $16.5 billion, the market-research firm estimates, as average selling prices for PC and server DRAMs were up more than 10% from Q1.

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EE Times
8/18/2017

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers report developing an alternative method for separating a layer of graphene from its substrate without using chemicals that leave behind a residue in the process. This could promote the use of clean graphene in flexible transparent electronics, they say.

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University of Illinois