TSMC has said it won't start using three-dimensional transistors to produce semiconductors before the capacity of 2D chips reaches its limit, adding the infrastructure for the next generation of transistors is still "immature."
Wall Street Journal
Last fall, industry analysts predicted there would be an oversupply of manufacturing capacity due to a market correction following the strong revenue posted in 2010, but following the earthquake, tsunami, and now nuclear crisis in Japan, the landscape looks different.
LDK Solar has announced a business investment of approximately US$40 million to establish a new manufacturing plant in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province (China). This new manufacturing facility will have capacity to supply two million 2-inch equivalent pieces of sapphire wafers per year and be positioned to capture the growing opportunities in the LED industry.
South Korea's LG Chem on April 6 completed what it described as the world's largest battery plant for electric cars and vowed to become a major producer by 2015. The company said the factory in Ochang, south of Seoul, has enough capacity to produce lithium-ion batteries for 100,000 of the green autos a year.
AFP (via Google)
TowerJazz has signed a non-binding term sheet contemplating its purchase of Micron Technology's fabrication facility in Nishiwaki City, Hyogo, Japan. The proposed purchase would nearly double TowerJazz's current internal manufacturing capacity, increasing production by 60,000 wafers per month.
Although more flash production capacity is coming online, SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra downplayed the risk that oversupply will hurt prices this year.
On Semiconductor plans to invest more than US$30 million to expand capacity and capabilities at its 8-inch wafer manufacturing facility in Gresham, Oregon. The facility remains the company's most advanced wafer fab - with current production technologies down to 0.11-micron.
"Leading-edge capacity excess, driven by Globalfoundries' expansion primarily, means pricing is going to come down," said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. "As leading-edge pricing comes down, so does the trailing-edge [pricing], hollowing out the business. That means real trouble for Globalfoundries and TSMC over the next few years." He conceded that Samsung was a different case with its memory and logic operations.
When a final agreement is reached, Powerchip will phase out the sales of own branded DRAMs and Elpida will purchase all PC DRAMs from Powerchip to sell them as its own branded products. Powerchip currently has 80,000 wafers per month capacity for commodity DRAM production.
Sony has announced plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen (US$1.2 billion) over the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, to double its production capacity for CCD and CMOS image sensors. The investment plan includes the transfer of a plant from Toshiba.
Sony plans to buy back a Nagasaki semiconductor plant from Toshiba for about 50 billion yen (US$597.2 million) to double output capacity for image sensors used in smartphones and other devices, the Nikkei business daily reported recently.
China aims to bring online at least 1 gigawatt of solar power capacity annually from 2013 under its "Golden Sun" pilot program, aided by increases in subsidies to boost the domestic solar industry, the Ministry of Finance said
Sharp will spend 15 billion yen to add a new assembly line for mass-producing highly efficient solar cells at its Sakai plant this fiscal year. The line will be able to churn out the equivalent of 200,000kw a year, driving up Sharp's total annual solar cell output capacity more than 20% to 1.07 million kilowatts.
The investment will be spent by the end of December, the company told the stock exchange.
Solar panel producer Suntech Power Holdings Co. said Wednesday it is buying 375 megawatts of wafer manufacturing capacity in China for $127 million.
Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri asserted in a research note that Samsung is pushing out US$750 million to US$1 billion of equipment orders targeted at DRAM capacity expansion. Lam is the company most exposed to the move, Arcuri said.
New suggested pricing for the Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD is now US$199 for an 80GB drive. Users can double the storage capacity with a 160GB X25-M drive for US$415. The company has also added a new 120GB version of the Intel X25-M for US$249.
The independent consumer watchdog magazine scored smartphones based on voice quality, ease of use, battery capacity, camera quality and other criteria.
Chosun Daily (USE The Chosun Ilbo)
Trina Solar said it is interested in teaming with or investing in developers in Europe, where solar-panel makers have extra capacity.
While Intel is almost certain to do other foundry deals like the one announced today, we don't see the chipmaker actually pursuing a real foundry model. Rather, Achronix and deals like it will enable Intel to develop new markets with less downside risk, and will ultimately grow the company's IDM business through acquisitions.
Another source familiar with the situation said the money would likely be used to expand capacity at the company's Beijing plant, specifically to quickly ramp-up production of chips using 65nm technology.
Believe it or not, your phone battery's capacity to hold charge is just part of the problem -- a bigger monster lurks within the telecom operator, and the phone having to stay constantly in touch with it.
"We're considering various options of outsourcing as well as strengthening our own production capacity because of rising demand," a spokesperson for Sony said. The Nikkei English News recently reported that Sony plans to hire Fujitsu for the bulk of the production process for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor sensors used in digital cameras and camera phones.
Elpida Memory president and CEO Yukio Sakamoto said in an interview that the company is delaying plans to boost production capacity at its Taiwanese unit. "Through the summer, demand for PC memory didn't rise as much I had expected," Sakamoto said. "If there's no demand, there's no point in adding capacity."
Violin Memory has introduced a 40TB capacity flash memory array for enterprises that uses multi-level cell (MLC) NAND and costs less than US$16 per GB.
The executive also said the outlook for chip demand remains solid for the remainder of this year, but cautioned another cyclical downturn could be in store next year as industry capacity continues to increase.
Wall Street Journal
Rudolph Technologies has received an order for its multiple PrecisionWoRx VX4 probe card test and analysis systems from a customer in Taiwan to facilitate capacity expansion.
"We believe Globalfoundries will continue to ramp capacity over the next few quarters despite a weakening macro environment," said an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, in a report. "We estimate Globalfoundries' capex will grow from about US$2.6 billion in 2010 to US$3.0-4.0 billion in 2011..."
Suntech Power China's largest maker of solar panels, said on Thursday that it has signed a deal to develop solar plants in South Africa with up to 100 megawatts in capacity.
LDK Solar is planning to build a solar manufacturing facility with 1 gigawatt of solar cell and 500 megawatts of solar module capacity. The manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2011, backed by US$368 million in financing for up to three years from a Chinese lender.
With semiconductor sales soaring to a possible 30% increase this year, companies are ramping up capacity to meet current and expected demand. But the capital invested during the balance of 2010 will not impact actual capacity until sometime in 2011.
Samsung started a 30MW solar cell production line for research and development last September and will incrementally increase capacity to 130MW next year, company spokesman James Chung said today.
Chip equipment maker UMS, which counts Applied Materials as its biggest client, will boost capacity utilisation to 85% in the third quarter from 65% in a booming industry.
KLA-Tencor has increased its regular quarterly dividend to US$0.25 a share from US$0.15. "KLA-Tencor's strong cash flows and solid balance sheet provide us the financial flexibility to return significant cash to our shareholders while also providing the capacity to fuel our growth initiatives," said CEO Rick Wallace.
Hyundai Heavy Industries said it doubles its annual solar module and solar cell production capacity from current 320MW and 370MW to 600MW respectively by early 2011.
Freescale Semiconductor has introduced its Xtrinsic sensing solutions, which are designed with the combination of high-performance sensing capability, processing capacity and customizable software to help deliver differentiated sensing applications.
Toshiba plans to expand manufacturing capacity at its plant in Houston, Texas for production of high-performance drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).
Hynix Semiconductor has said it would invest 456 billion won (US$373.4 million) to boost and upgrade its production capacity.
According to Semiconductor Industry Capacity Statistics (SICAS), total industry IC capacity dropped 2.9% in the first quarter of 2010 from the prior quarter.