Most read articles on eeNews Europe in July

July 30, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Most read articles on eeNews Europe in July
The continuing chip shortages, fab deal and plastic and quantum chips were among the most popular articles by readers on eeNews Europe in July

Naturally, the news that the world’s biggest foundry was looking to build a fab in Dresden, Germany was of key interest. The aim would be to build a 12nm fab, rather than the 2nm proposal favoured by the European Commission, in the face of Samsung taping out its first chip at 3nm.

The continuing chip shortage is helping deliver record results for semiconductor companies. Samsung, UMC and STMicroelectronics are all filing record results for the first half of the year as they rush to keep up with demand. Texas Instruments buying Micron’s memory fab in Utah is also part of the move to provide more capacity.

 

But not everyone has been a winner. Sony has been losing market share to Samsung for its imaging sensors, and Intel was reported as considering taking a bigger leap into the foundry business by buying Global Foundries.

Dutch discrete chip maker Nexperia has been in the news with its takeover of Newport Wafer Fab in the UK and boosting its capacity in Manchester and Hamburg, but it was the spinning out of the semiconductor equipment business ITEC that was a popular article. The business was part of Philips and naturally stayed with chip maker Nexperia as NXP took a more fab lite approach.  

Plastic transistors are also making the news, with dramatically higher performance and levels of integration. Researchers in Germany took vertical complementary plastic devices up to GHz speeds, while ARM and PragmatIC in the UK developed a full processor using lateral NMOS plastic transistors and are working on complementary devices and healthcare systems

A survey by the US Patent Office (USPO) has also been popular (although not with patent attorneys), looking at the role of patents and its processes in innovation.

At we can’t leave July without flagging the launch of the first quantum processor. A Dutch startup is shipping the 5 qubit devices in a direct parallel with the shipment of the first 4004 4bit microprocessor chips 50 years ago this year (in November).

You can see the most popular articles from earlier in the year and 2020 here:


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