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The Week in Review: Nov. 1, 2013

Toshiba this week announced the launch of new embedded NAND flash memory modules integrating NAND chips fabricated with 19nm second generation process technology. The company’s new 32-gigabyte (GB) embedded device integrates four 64Gbit (equal to 8GB) NAND chips fabricated with Toshiba’s 19nm second generation process technology and a dedicated controller into a small package measuring only 11.5 x 13 x 1.0mm.Mass production will start from the end of November.

Mentor Graphics announced the Valor Information Highway and the Valor Warehouse Management products, two supply chain-focused tools designed to enhance Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) effectiveness and assist electronics manufacturers in reducing material costs. Together, the two new products provide real-time material consumption and spoilage data, facilitating total materials management and traceability over the entire warehouse infrastructure, logistics, shop floor storage areas and direct points of use.

Senior executives from Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) member companies and other multi-national semiconductor companies around the globe sent a letter to Chinese Vice Premiers Wang Yang and Ma Kai, encouraging China to support duty-free coverage for semiconductor products in an expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA promotes fair and open trade by providing for duty-free treatment of certain information technology products, including semiconductors, but the list of covered products has not been updated since the ITA’s inception in 1996.

Graphene may command the lion’s share of attention but it is not the only material generating buzz in the electronics world. Vanadium dioxide is one of the few known materials that acts like an insulator at low temperatures but like a metal at warmer temperatures starting around 67 degrees Celsius. This temperature-driven metal-insulator transition, the origin of which is still intensely debated, in principle can be induced by the application of an external electric field. That could yield faster and much more energy efficient electronic devices. To determine the origin of the metal-insulator transition of vanadium dioxide, Aetukuri and a collaboration of researchers led by Stuart Parkin, of SpinAps and the IBM Almaden Research Center and Hermann Dürr of the SLAC National Laboratory, studied thin films of the material at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS). Using ALS beamline 4.0.2, an undulator beamline that can provide soft X-rays with variable linear polarization, they performed a series of strain-, polarization- and temperature-dependent X-ray absorption spectroscopy tests, in conjunction with X-ray diffraction and electrical transport measurements.

Cadence announced the availability of Cadence Interconnect Workbench. A software solution providing cycle-accurate performance analysis of interconnects throughout the system-on-chip (SoC) design process, Interconnect Workbench quickly identifies design issues under critical traffic conditions and enables users to improve device performance and reduce time to market. Interconnect Workbench works in conjunction with Cadence Interconnect Validator for a complete functional verification and performance validation solution.

Peregrine Semiconductor and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a provider of semiconductor manufacturing technology, are sampling the first RF Switches built on Peregrine’s new UltraCMOS 10 RF SOI technologies. In a joint development effort, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Peregrine created a new fabrication flow for the versatile, new, 130 nm UltraCMOS 10 technology platform. This new technology delivers a more than 50-percent performance improvement over comparable solutions. UltraCMOS 10 technology gives smartphone manufacturers unparalleled flexibility and value without compromising quality for devices ranging from 3G through LTE networks.

SEMI announced its support of the Revitalize American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2013, along with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 is modeled on the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), a public-private manufacturing hub located in Youngstown, Ohio. The legislation is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation. It would establish public-private institutes to bridge the gap between basic research and product development.



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