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Jul 2017 - SEMI news roundup

Today, SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, released its Mid-year Forecast at the annual SEMICON West exposition. SEMI reported that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase 19.8 percent to total $49.4 billion in 2017, marking the first time that the semiconductor equipment market has exceeded the market high of $47.7 billion set in 2000. In 2018, 7.7 percent growth is expected, resulting in another record-breaking year ─ totaling $53.2 billion for the global semiconductor equipment market.

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200mm fabs still flexing their muscles? In the shadow of other more trendy news about China and Memory fab investments, 200mm fabs continue to “flex their muscles.” At least 500,000 wafers per month (wpm) capacity, or a 10 percent expansion, is forecast for 200mm fabs from this year through 2021. This includes capacity from a number of new 200mm fabs expected to start operation in 2017.  The recently published report “Global 200mm Fab Outlook to 2021” by SEMI is tracking production, pilot, and R&D 200mm facilities worldwide with a special focus on capacity expansions and new facilities.

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The leaders of France’s Leti and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute group have signed an agreement on collaboration in micro- and nanoelectronics. They did so while speaking of the need to strengthen European strategic and economic sovereignty.

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SEMI and TechSearch International have combined their expertise to offer an essential business resource for advanced semiconductor industry research; the Worldwide OSAT Manufacturing Sites Database enables users to track outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) suppliers’ packaging locations, offerings, and capabilities. The report tracks over 120 OSAT companies that provide packaging and testing services to the semiconductor industry.

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Jun 2017 - Atmel Testimonial

“Many thanks from Vishay Siliconix (Santa Clara) to the Somerset SEQPL team for completing a very complex worldwide project for us in Santa Clara California, Itzehoe Germany, Shanghai China, Tel Aviv Israel, and Manila in the Philippines.

SEQPL were able to provide us with a full turnkey solution on decommission, rigging, crating, logistics, freight, refurbishment and Tier 1 install qualification after hook-up.

The wafer fab was stripped “back to the wall” and was delivered perfectly without accident or incident and exactly as forecast.

SEQPL expertly moved out 288 tools with great precision, dedication, flexibility and openness – the transparency and cooperation with all parties delivered excellent budget control.

The team were extremely easy to work with and due to helpful and consistent communication we worked in a partnership to complete the project on time and on budget.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Craig, Kirsty, Glenn and the team for making this process as pain free as it could be. Working with the team was a pleasure and we will certainly recommend SEQPL and keep them in mind for future projects.”

May 2017 - Semi News Roundup

As electronics become increasingly pervasive in our lives – from smart phones to wearable sensors – so too does the ever rising amount of electronic waste they create. A United Nations Environment Program report found that almost 50 million tons of electronic waste were thrown out in 2017–more than 20 percent higher than waste in 2015.

Read more at: Flexible, organic and biodegradable: Stanford researchers develop new wave of electronics

SEMICON West will again place advanced lithography in the spotlight with a TechXPOT session on the topic (The Economics of Choosing a Lithography Strategy; Thursday, July 13, 10:30am-12:30pm). SEMI interviewed some of the confirmed speakers to tease out the important issues — particularly the economic aspects driving decisions.  Mike Lercel, director of Strategic Marketing at ASML, told SEMI that there are no infrastructure show stoppers that will impede the introduction of EUVL at the 7nm and 5nm nodes.
Read more at: EUVL Beyond Showstoppers, but Not Controversy

VLSIresearch recently released its report detailing the 2016 “Top 10” Suppliers of Probe Cards to the semiconductor industry. The “Top 5” suppliers, FormFactor, Micronics Japan, Technoprobe, JEM, and MPI Corp maintained their positions and gained market share. FormFactor’s dominance in the number one spot was further enhanced by its acquisition of Cascade Microtech in mid-2016. FEINMETALL, headquartered in Herrenberg, Germany made it into the top 10 for the first time.

Read more at: Top 10 Probe Card Suppliers for 2016

As electronics become increasingly pervasive in our lives – from smart phones to wearable sensors – so too does the ever rising amount of electronic waste they create. A United Nations Environment Program report found that almost 50 million tons of electronic waste were thrown out in 2017–more than 20 percent higher than waste in 2015.

Read more at SEMI Related: Stanford Researchers Develop New Wave of Electronics

Apr 2016 - Semi News Roundup March

Intel has signaled a slowing of Moore’s Law, a technological phenomenon that has played a role in almost every major advancement in engineering and technology for decades. It will slow the pace at which it rolls out new chip-making technology, and is still searching for a successor to silicon transistors.

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The head of Seoul National University’s Inter-University Semiconductor Research Center agrees with Intel’s synopsis, with the opinion that silicon based technology will be peak in 2018.

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ON Semiconductor Named 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere Institute. One of six electronic components and semiconductors companies to be honored.

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Cisco has announced its intention to acquire Israeli chip designer Leaba Semiconductor for $320 million. Cisco sees this acquisition as a way to bolster its hardware catalog with highly advanced chip technology.

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President of Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. ,Zhao Weiguo,  wants to create China’s first giant in the global semiconductor industry and has a $30 billion investment plan to do it. He is is focusing his aspirations on memory chips and remains undeterred even as overseas regulatory hurdles threaten to stymie some of his deals. Funds raised from local governments, investors and private equity will fill his arsenal to take on foreign giants such as Samsung Electronics Co.

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BILLERICA, MA. – February 18, 2016 – Boston Semi Equipment (BSE) and Somerset Capital Group (Somerset) today jointly announced that Somerset will begin originating leases and remarketing Automated Test Equipment directly to the semiconductor market through its subsidiary, Somerset ATE Solutions.

Through their long-standing relationship, Somerset and BSE have leveraged BSE’s customer relationships within the semiconductor industry to develop an industry-leading portfolio of current generation Automated Test Equipment (ATE) owned and financed by Somerset. Somerset will now begin interfacing directly with these clients to continue its expansion of their position within the industry.

“BSE’s core semiconductor equipment businesses of test cell automation products, equipment service offerings and ATE products have positioned the company as an OEM of semiconductor equipment and related services,” commented Bryan Banish, Boston Semi Equipment President and CEO. “This is a good time for us to transition the leasing and remarketing of current-generation ATE to Somerset to enable BSE to focus on, and continue to expand, our test cell automation equipment and services.”

“We are excited about the opportunities that the additional focus and the integration of the ATE equipment leasing and remarketing business will bring to our organization to enhance our position in the semiconductor segment,” stated Evan Bokor, Somerset’s President and CEO. “It is our expectation that Somerset ATE Solutions will afford our clientele in the semiconductor segment access to a broad range of equipment solutions and flexible financing to meet their evolving needs.”

BSE’s activities of selling and servicing of legacy ATE products remain unchanged. Somerset’s worldwide sales team will provide the continuity of support for existing leasing customers. Leasing customers will not need to make any changes in connection with this transition as Somerset will continue to manage all aspects of lease invoicing and payment processing.


Jan 2016 - Semi News roundup

The SEMI Industry Research & Statistics group provides market data and market research reports covering semiconductor capital equipment, semiconductor materials, packaging materials, semiconductor, optoelectronics, and high brightness LED fabs. They have provided their Q4 2015 market data snapshot.

In 2015 a wave of mergers and acquisitions swept across the industry with scores of transactions and multi-billion dollar companies being combined. SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk provides an update on 2015 as a whole and looks forward into 2016.

Flexible and printed electronics applications are becoming a reality. Forecasters are predicting a $20-30 billion market for internet-connected devices. Healthcare is providing the strongest market and the savings made from using these devices and more successful self-treatment will potentially make up for shortages in doctors and nurses.

Scientists at the National University of Singapore have demonstrated a new way of controlling electrons by confining them in a device made out of atomically thin materials and applying external electric and magnetic fields. The NUS research team’s goal is to develop high-temperature two-dimensional superconducting materials.

Dec 2015 - Semiconductor industry news round-up

Apple has acquired a former chip fabrication plant in San Jose, California, for $18.2 million, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal. The 70,000 square-foot plant was previously owned by Maxim Integrated Products. It sits just outside Samsung’s semiconductor plant.

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MA/COM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. completed two acquisitions of semiconductor products this month. The company acquired a diode business from British manufacturer Cobham’s Aeroflex division for $38 million. The deal comes just days after Macom completed its $60 million purchase of FiBest Ltd., a Japanese supplier of networking components.

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Germany-based Merck has acquired Ormet Circuits Inc – an early-stage, venture-capital-backed business located in San Diego, California, in an effort to strengthen its position as a materials supplier for the semiconductor industry. The parties have not disclosed the purchase price.

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GaN Systems Inc. of Ontario, Canada, was presented with the 2015 ‘Start-Up to Watch’ award. The award is presented to a semiconductor company that demonstrates the potential to positively change its markets or the semiconductor industry in general through innovative semiconductor technology. GaN Systems Inc. is a fabless developer of gallium nitride (GaN)-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications.

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Dec 2015 - SEQPL visit ADBA conference

SEQPL Business partners Ken Williamson and Kerli Lauk visited the ADBA Conference in London on December 3rd. Despite George Osborne’s plans to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive to 2020/21, securing £1.15bn, the speakers had few good words for Government.

The aim of the conference, discussing how Government policy affects AD businesses, and the ADBA`s strategic vision to build a world class industry, was a great networking experience.

A Key point was how to increase capture of available feedstock; Households produce 7 million tonnes of food waste every year, Local authorities collect around 66% of this, but only 10% is recycled. Meanwhile, treatment plants consistently report a lack of feedstock as a threat to the viability of the industry.


Nov 2015 - SEQPL can help provide and install anaerobic digestion systems

As a company, we at SEQPL see a future in both investing in and installing systems which lead to a more self-sustained and greener future when it comes to energy needs.

SEQPL will be looking to help provide and install Anaerobic Digestion systems and solutions for those who could benefit from it.

Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used in industry to manage waste but AD also produces biogas, a methane-rich gas which can be used as a fuel.


Oct 2015 - Ken Williamson joins the team

Ken Williamson, owner and Director of Symbiflo, joined our associate “circle of trust” this week and will head up SEQPL’s project on Energy delivery, with a special offering in Anaerobic Digestion and Solar designs.  Our full focus is on growing this business in the food & drinks sector in the UK with the aid of Gainford Engineering and FFL.  Ken Williamson will work through our Boldon office.