Samsung invests in logic chip R&D to take on Qualcomm and TSMC

Samsung's chip division is its most lucrative, but memory chip prices are falling and the company's overall operating profits are slipping. In response, Samsung just announced a $116 billion investment in non-memory chip R&D and production infras...

Super-thin semiconductors delay the ‘death’ of silicon

Silicon has been the backbone of processors for decades, but it's rapidly approaching its physical limits: making a chip on a process smaller than 5 nanometers is usually impossible without introducing problems. How is Moore's Law for chip complexity...

Samsung lets inspectors into its factories following deaths

Samsung has agreed to allow inspectors into its plants as part of a deal with plant workers who contracted cancer and other workplace maladies. The company signed the document with two groups that represent ailing workers and their families. All thre...

Fujitsu to merge LSI chip business with Panasonic, cut 5,000 jobs

Fujitsu to merge chip business with Panasonic, cut 5,000 jobs

Intense semiconductor competition has already forced numerous Japanese companies to work together, and now Fujitsu has announced that it'll merge its LSI chip design and R&D divisions with Panasonic. The two companies are looking to the state-run Development Bank of Japan to fund the new venture, which comes in the wake of expected Fujitsu losses of over $1 billion this year -- forcing the company to cut 5,000 jobs and transfer 4,500 to other divisions by March 31st. Fujitsu said it's also looking to transfer a state-of-the-art LSI fabrication line in central Japan to a new foundry venture with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world's largest chip maker. That carries on a trend in declining Japanese chip dominance, exemplified by Elpida's bankruptcy and the recent government bailout of Renesas, which itself is a merger of NEC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi's semiconductor operations.

[Image credits: Wikimedia commons]

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Via: WSJ

Source: Fujitsu

New process for nanotube semiconductors could be graphene’s ticket to primetime (video)

New patented nanotube semiconductors could be graphene's ticket to primetime

In many ways, graphene is one of technology's sickest jokes. The tantalizing promise of cheap to produce, efficient to run materials, that could turn the next page in gadget history has always remained frustratingly out of reach. Now, a new process for creating semiconductors grown on graphene could see the super material commercialized in the next five years. Developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the patented process "bombs" graphene with gallium, which forms droplets, and naturally arranges itself to match graphene's famous hexagonal pattern. Then, arsenic is added to the mix, which enters the droplets and crystallizes at the bottom, creating a stalk. After a few minutes of this process the droplets are raised by the desired height. The new process also does away with the need for a (relatively) thick substrate to grow the nanowire on, making it cheaper, more flexible and transparent. The inventors state that this could be used in flexible and efficient solar cells and light emitting diodes. We say forward the revolution.

Continue reading New process for nanotube semiconductors could be graphene's ticket to primetime (video)

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New process for nanotube semiconductors could be graphene's ticket to primetime (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Sep 2012 12:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IBM creates consistent electron spin inside semiconductors, takes spintronics one twirl closer

IBM creates consistent electron spin inside of a chip, takes spintronics one twirl closer

A fundamental challenge of developing spintronics, or computing where the rotation of electrons carries instructions and other data rather than the charge, has been getting the electrons to spin for long enough to shuttle data to its destination in the first place. IBM and ETH Zurich claim to be the first achieving that feat by getting the electrons to dance to the same tune. Basing a semiconductor material on gallium arsenide and bringing the temperature to an extremely low -387F, the research duo have created a persistent spin helix that keeps the spin going for the 1.1 nanoseconds it would take a normal 1GHz processor to run through its full cycle, or 30 times longer than before. As impressive as it can be to stretch atomic physics that far, just remember that the theory is some distance from practice: unless you're really keen on running a computer at temperatures just a few hops away from absolute zero, there's work to be done on producing transistors (let alone processors) that safely run in the climate of the family den. Assuming that's within the realm of possibility, though, we could eventually see computers that wring much more performance per watt out of one of the most basic elements of nature.

Continue reading IBM creates consistent electron spin inside semiconductors, takes spintronics one twirl closer

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IBM creates consistent electron spin inside semiconductors, takes spintronics one twirl closer originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 13 Aug 2012 14:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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