This week in Semicon: R&D efforts receive a major boost as companies look to 5G, IoT & AI to build custom solutions

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Product Engineering Services is the key engagement area for Semiconductor Industry

  • NVIDIA collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to access Nvidia’s CloudXR platform via Amazon EC2 P3 and G4 instances. The offering will enable users to access highly immersive Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality content from the cloud 
  • Qualcomm acquired NUVIA to deliver step-function improvements in CPU performance and power efficiency to meet next-generation 5G computing demands. NUVIA CPUs are integrated across Qualcomm Technologies’ broad portfolio of products. 
  • Intel collaborated with Amazon’s cloud computing division to provide the hardware for artificial intelligence training. The Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 is designed to build smarter AI algorithms and for prototyping computer vision at the network edge. It enables deep neural network testing, tuning, and prototyping. 

The global semiconductor industry is set to continue its robust growth well into the next decade due to advancement in emerging technologies coupled with consistent spending on R&D 

  • Intel acquired Hyderabad-based startup Ineda Systems, a fabless semiconductor product company, for an undisclosed amount to develop its own discrete graphics technologies 
  • SK Hynix entered into an agreement with Stanford University to collaboratively research and develop ‘Neuromorphic chip,’ a semiconductor imitating the thinking process of a human brain 
  • TSMC has collaborated with STMicroelectronics to advance the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) process technology that has an advantage over silicon-based semiconductors for power applications 

Semiconductor ICs with different functionalities are used in various automotive products, like navigation control, infotainment systems, and collision detection systems 

  • Broadcom launched automotive Ethernet devices designed to advance in-vehicle connectivity, infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and smart mobility 
  • NXP developed automotive networking that is quick and secure for next-generation solutions. It is used in the autonomous vehicle to reduce costs dramatically and increase the reuse 
  • Navion developed a built-in HD camera that maps the driver’s environment, displaying turn-by-turn directions on the dashboard, and also offers hazard warnings. The program enables hands-free contact with the dashboard. 

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Skyworks Solutions Account Intelligence Report: Skyworks is focussed on commanding and maintaining leadership in key technologies supporting new and existing customers across a rapidly expanding set of end markets, from mobile to IoT, cognitive audio, automotive, and wireless infrastructure. Read More>>
Microchip Technology Account Intelligence Report: Microchip Technology continues to focus on a high degree of accuracy in timekeeping and synchronization through its advanced network infrastructure, expanding its atomic clock timekeeping technologies and solutions for the smart grid and other industrial applications. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Israeli chip startup NextSilicon announces over USD 200 Mn in funding and USD 1.5 billion valuation.
NextSilicon collaborates with the largest computing centers in the world using supercomputers to pursue advanced scientific breakthroughs in the fields of molecular dynamics, DNA sequencing, clean energy, and natural disasters, to name a few. Read more>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – Syntiant
Total Funding  USD 65.06 Mn
HQ Location – Greater Los Angeles Area, USA
About: Syntiant’s advanced chip solutions merge deep learning with semiconductor design to produce ultra-low-power, high-performance, deep neural network processors for always-on applications in battery-powered devices, such as smartphones, smart speakers, earbuds, hearing aids, and laptops. Read more>>

Key Insights and Signals in Semiconductor 

Mergers and Acquisitions
NVIDIA to acquire DeepMap, enhancing mapping solutions for AVs
Autonomous vehicles require much greater precision for their maps and NVIDIA’s acquisition of DeepMap will aid its efforts in building high-definition maps. Using crowdsourced data from vehicle sensors, DeepMap builds a high-definition map that’s continuously updated as the car drives. Read More>>
Programmable chip maker Xilinx acquires C/C++ programming tool provider Silexica 
Xilinx is still in the midst of its own acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices, which bought the company for USD 35 Bn in October. Xilinx is planning to merge Silexica and its SLX FPGA tool suite with the Xilinx Vitis unified software platform in an effort to make it easier to use for software developers building sophisticated applications. Read More>>
Intel eager to buy SiFive for USD 2 Bn
SiFive, the RISC-V-based processor core intellectual property (IP) developer, has been in talks with potential advisers on how to handle takeover interest, as it has had offers from multiple parties (not just Intel). SiFive is also pondering whether to entertain these bidders or to remain independent for longer and look at further investment, which the company deems preferable at this stage. Read More>>
STMicroelectronics and Metalenz partner to transform optical sensing
STMicroelectronics and Metalenz Inc. have announced a co-development and license agreement that will see ST develop manufacturing processes for Metalenzs meta-optics technology. Metalenzs multifunctional meta-surface optics enable new forms of sensing for the next generation of smartphones and other consumer devices and healthcare and automotive applications. Read More>>
Ada Labs partners with AICE & NVIDIA to launch an initiative aimed at enhancing digitization in Africa
The digitization initiative will be executed through artificial intelligence (AI) and collaboration on a number of data science and AI projects. The new initiative will also address the scarcity and cost of skilled AI engineers.
Read More>>
Jacobs, Peachtree Corners, and Qualcomm collaborate to deploy C-V2X technology in Georgia Smart City  
As a part of the working relationship, Qualcomm Technologies serves as an ecosystem enabler by providing technology solutions, while Jacobs manages the installation commission project delivery. The program aims to demonstrate the continued momentum of smart cities and spaces, with Peachtree Corners serving as a model for other municipalities as they look to deploy smart solutions and programs. Read More>>
Jio partners with Qualcomm to manufacture critical 5G equipment in India
Qualcomm had invested USD 97 Mn in Jio last year and has envisioned a partnership to develop open and interoperable interface compliant architecture-based 5G solutions with a virtualized RAN. Reliance has already completed the testing of its 5G radio and core solutions and is now preparing for a 5G field trial. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Toshiba to drop two board members       
Toshiba Corp said it would drop two existing directors from its board as major shareholders demanded accountability after a probe showed unfair practices in last year’s selection process. The conglomerate won’t put forward the names of Junji Ota and Takashi Yamauchi for another term, it said in a statement after a special meeting. Read More>>
Samsung’s Foundry Executive moves to Intel
Hao Hong, a former head of Samsung Electronics America’s foundry division, recently announced via his SNS channel that he would work as a vice president of global business development at Intel starting from June. Since 2014, he has handled the company’s foundry business. Read More>>
FormFactor appoints new board member   
FormFactor, Inc. announced the appointment of Jorge Titinger to its Board of Directors effective immediately. Mr. Titinger joins the FormFactor Board of Directors with over 30 years of experience in the high-tech industry and has held various executive positions in the semiconductor equipment and computer industries. Read More>>
Center setup and expansion
AT&S sets up manufacturing in Malaysia       
The company’s new campus will be built in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah, about 350 kilometers north of the capital Kuala Lumpur, and will be used for the production of IC substrates. Overall, the project comprises a planned total investment MYR of 8.5 billion (EUR 1.7 billion) over the next six years. Read More>>
Semiconductor giants Intel, TSMC to build factories in Arizona
The US-based chipmaker Intel, has previously laid out its plans to construct two new factories amounting to USD 20 billion in Arizona. On the other hand, TSMC, which is headquartered in Taiwan, has announced that it would build a USD 12 Bn plant in the same location in partnership with Apple. Read More>>
Deals and Deal Renewals
Qualcomm poised to swoop in if USD 40 Bn NVIDIA-ARM deal crumbles     
Unlike Nvidia, which is attempting to purchase ARM outright, Qualcomm has said it would club together with a consortium of industry players to purchase a stake in Arm, if current owner SoftBank is willing to float the British firm. Read More>>
Showa Denko contracts with Seagate to jointly develop HAMR technology-based HD Media
Seagate has outdistanced other HDD manufacturers in the technological development of HAMR-based HDDs. Under the joint development contract SDK and Seagate have entered into, Seagate will evaluate the FePt-based new magnetic material developed by SDK and/or SDK/Seagate collaboratively. Read More>>
Tech Mahindra signs on to VSBLTY Smart Retail Project in Latin America   
Tech Mahindra will be assisting VSBLTY with the rollout of a massive smart retail network in Mexico and Latin America. As a digital transformation specialist, Tech Mahindra will help build the infrastructure needed to sustain the network and provide ongoing logistical support and network monitoring and management services.
Read More>>
EIC strikes deals to explore zero-carbon data centers with Intel, Lummus    
EIC announced a partnership with Lummus Technologies, which holds some 3,400 patents in process technologies ranging from petrochemicals and natural gas refining to hydrogen to develop technologies specifically for electricity generation and energy storage for data centers using compressed or liquified air. EIC says it uses off-the-shelf components in a novel combination, allowing it to bypass the risks and costs associated with hardware development. Read More>>
GlobalWafers inks agreement with GlobalFoundries
GlobalWafers is to spend US 210 Mn to expand SOI wafer capacity at its manufacturing site in Missouri to honor the US 800 Mn agreement. The silicon wafers would be used at GlobalFoundries’ most advanced manufacturing facility, Fab 8, in Malta, New York, while the 200mm wafers would be used at GlobalFoundries Fab 9 in Essex Junction, Vermont, it said. Read More>>
SkyLab BV to use Simtech’s LoRa Edge for new prototyping board 
The low power nature of the LoRa Edge platform enhances the SkyLab prototyping board by helping to extend battery life, therefore making the solution cost-effective for large-scale deployments. The Skylab prototyping solution features Semtech’s LoRa Cloud Geolocation services to significantly reduce power consumption by accurately determining an asset’s location in a Cloud-based solver for indoor and outdoor environments.
Read More>>
NHN adopts Graphcore IPU-PODs  
NHN highlighted the scalable design of the IPU-POD, including the separation of AI accelerators and servers, allowing highly flexible configurations. Graphcores approach allows customers to choose their own server configuration, and tailor the number of servers to IPUs to suit the particular AI workload, delivering maximum compute performance and efficiency. Read More>>
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