Shahriar Rabii, who helped to lead a chip-design team at Google, was hired by Facebook this month to serve as a vice president and head of silicon, Bloomberg reports. Rabii is expected to report to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's head of virtual reality and augmented reality.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International began moving new production equipment into its 8-inch wafer-fabrication facility in Tianjin, China. Production capacity at the Tianjin fab will increase from 45,000 wafers per month to 150,000 wafers per month in the expansion, enabling more output of automotive semiconductors, fingerprint sensors, internet of things devices, power management ICs and mixed-signal chips.
Applied Materials, Lam Research, Nanotronics and other suppliers of semiconductor production equipment are worried that the heightened trade tensions between the US and China will dampen demand for American-made products in China's bustling semiconductor industry, this analysis notes. SEMI forecasts worldwide shipments of semiconductor equipment will increase 10.8% this year and 7.7% next year.
RS Components is offering more XinaBox xChip hardware modules for use with BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and other single-board computers. The modules are useful in prototyping internet of things devices and other IoT-related functions.
Microchip Technology introduced the MGC3140 3D gesture-recognition controller for use in automotive human-machine interfaces. The 3D sensor chip meets the AEC-Q100 specification for automotive applications and can operate in temperatures from minus-40 degrees C to 125 degrees C.
The leaders of Mentor Graphics and Siemens PLM Software spoke about the industrial internet of things market during the recent Design Automation Conference in San Francisco. Tony Hemmelgarn of Siemens PLM touted the digital twin concept, which creates a digital version of machinery and other products.
Siemens will work with Alibaba Cloud to support industrial internet of things technology efforts in China under a memorandum of understanding signed in Berlin. At the same ceremony, Nokia and China Mobile signed a one-year agreement valued at up to $1.17 billion to develop a next-generation network in China.
High-tech companies are taking sides on approaches to linking multiple chips, Mark LaPedus writes. Intel touts its Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge technology, while other companies are implementing interposers with through-silicon vias as the path to interconnection.
Researchers at Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institute used soft X-rays to closely observe the mobility of electrons in a gallium nitride transistor. High-electron-mobility transistors will be key to implementing 5G cellular communications on a commercial basis, according to the team.
Artificial intelligence technology will play a greater role in the development of advanced microchips as Moore's Law runs out of steam, technologists say. "The time of the node train is coming to an end," says Steve Ghanayem of Applied Materials.