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The Week In Review: Oct. 9

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $25.87 billion for the month of August 2013, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to August 2012, marking the industry’s largest year-over-year growth since March 2011. Sales in the Americas increased by 23.3 percent compared to August 2012, while global sales in August were 1.3 percent higher than the previous month’s total of $25.53 billion.

ASML and imec announced the next major step in their extensive collaboration, with the launch of the Advanced Patterning Center. Together, they plan to tackle upcoming scaling challenges due to the chip industry’s move towards single digit nanometer dimensions. The Center will be located at the imec campus in Leuven and is expected to grow to close to 100 engineers over the next couple of years.

At the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December, IBM researchers will describe a silicon nanowire (SiNW)-based MOSFET fabrication process that produced gate-all-around (GAA) SiNW devices at sizes compatible with the scaling needs of 10nm CMOS technology. They built a range of GAA SiNW MOSFETs, some of which featured a 30nm SiNW pitch with a gate pitch of 60 nm.

EV Group introduced the EVG 570R2R—the industry’s first roll-to-roll thermal nanoimprint lithography (NIL) tool.  Jointly developed with the Industrial Consortium on Nanoimprint (ICON), helmed by A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), the EVG570R2R utilizes hot embossing to mass-produce films and surfaces with micro- and nanometer-scale structures for a variety of medical, consumer and industrial applications, including micro-fluidics, plastic electronics and photovoltaics.

Noel Technologies, a Silicon Valley specialty foundry offering process development and substrate fabrication, has increased its capabilities by offering 450mm wafer services. Noel now jumps into the R&D transition to the larger wafer size as toolmakers and customers prepare for the 450mm generation.

Customers in the Americas region (primarily the U.S.) are expected to account for nearly two-thirds of pure-play foundry sales in 2013, a slight increase from 2012.  IC Insights forecasts that Americas region will represent 70 percent of TSMC’s sales, 67 percent of sales from GlobalFoundries, and 47 percent of sales from both UMC and SMIC (Figure 1).  The Americas region is forecast to account for $22.4 billion of the $36.3 billion worldwide pure-play foundry market in 2013, which is up from $19.2 billion (61 percent) of the total $31.7 billion pure-play foundry market in 2012.

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