Monthly Archives: July 2016


STMicroelectronics Acquires ams’ NFC and RFID Reader Assets

STMicroelectronics, (NYSE: STM) , a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronic applications, today announced that it has acquired ams’ (SIX: AMS) assets related to NFC and RFID reader business. ST has acquired intellectual property, technologies, products and business highly complementary to its secure microcontroller solutions serving mobile devices, wearables, banking, identification, industrial, automotive and IoT markets. Approximately 50 technical experts from ams have been transferred to ST.


The acquired assets, combined with ST’s secure microcontrollers, position ST for a significant growth opportunity, with a complete portfolio of best-in-class technologies, products and competencies that comprehensively address the full range of the NFC and RFID markets for a wide customer base.


“Security and NFC connectivity are key prerequisites for the broad rollout of mobile and IoT devices anticipated in the coming years. This acquisition builds on our deep expertise in secure microcontrollers and gives ST all of the building blocks to create the next generation of highly-integrated secure NFC solutions for mobile and for a broad range of Internet of Things devices,” said Claude Dardanne, Executive Vice President and General Manager of STMicroelectronics’ Microcontroller and Digital ICs Group. “We welcome this highly competent team from ams into ST for the benefit of our customers.”


The first NFC controller, leveraging the acquired assets, is already sampling to lead customers, as well as a new high-performance, highly-integrated System-in-Package solution which combines this NFC controller with ST’s secure element.


ST acquired the ams assets in exchange for a (i) cash payment of $77.8 million (funded with available cash), and (ii) deferred earn-out contingent on future results for which ST currently estimates will be about $13 million but which in any case will not exceed $37 million.




AnySilicon Launches Online Package Price Estimation Tool

AnySilicon, the fastest-growing semiconductor vendors platform has announced today the availability of its free Semiconductor Package Price Estimator which provides package price for all major semiconductor packaging type.


Using this free tool, companies can get quick price estimation for the packaging and assembly prices which are becoming critical in many applications.


The Package Price Estimator tool is free-to-use and does not require and registration and includes an option that allow users to get official price quotes from leading assembly house.


The new tools expands AnySilicon’s platform, which includes a semiconductor marketplace, IP Portal, Semipedia (Semiconductor Wikipedia), forums, free Hotline and technical articles to help ASIC engineers and managers make smarter decisions quickly and effectively.


To access to tool please click here.



serdes ip

$15 Million Investment in SerDes IP Company

Kandou Bus, S.A., the world’s highest performance and lowest energy SerDes technology company, has announced that it has completed a $15M investment with Bessemer Venture Partners. The resources will enable Kandou to expand research and accelerate the development, productization and deployment of Kandou’s Chord™ signaling SerDes technology. Kandou has developed Chord signaling for enhanced communications between chips inside electronic systems ranging from cell phones to servers and high performance computing.

“We see Chord signaling as a game changer in semiconductors,” said Bessemer venture capitalist Felda Hardymon. “The demand for higher performance and lower power consumption in computing systems necessitates fundamental changes in semiconductor interconnect solutions. Kandou’s technology comes at a time when existing chip link technologies are failing. We are confident that Kandou can further develop and deploy Chord signaling in several future generations of chips.”

Kandou CEO and Founder Amin Shokrollahi’s extensive background in information theory and coding-based signaling led to the invention of Chord signaling. The technology delivers 2-4x more bandwidth and half the power consumption of traditional differential signaling. It achieves this by sending multiple bits over multiple correlated wires within each clock cycle versus differential signaling’s one bit over two correlated wires. In addition to improved performance, the result is better board, pin and silicon area efficiency as compared to existing chip interface solutions. This approach also delivers excellent signal integrity, strong resistance to common-mode and simultaneous switching noise, and a reduction of inter-symbol interference.

This financing announcement comes after several other key milestones in 2016 including: presenting a paper at DesignCon that was recognized as a “Best Paper”, announcing Marvell Technology Group as a licensee of Kandou’s Glasswing™ chip-to-chip link technology, and Kandou’s Glasswing IP compliance with the newly-released JEDEC specification for multi-wire interfaces called JESD247.

“Bessemer’s investment provides Kandou the opportunity to significantly expand research and development for Chord signaling architectures and solutions,” said Shokrollahi. “We’re seeing growing demand on multiple fronts for our Chord signaling technology, and we are now much better positioned to meet this need.”

About Bessemer Venture Partners:

Bessemer Venture Partners, is a $4B venture capital firm, investing in startups at every stage, in every corner of the globe. Many of today’s most exciting category leaders are BVP funded, including Pinterest (we are the largest shareholder and first invested in 2011), Blue Apron (BVP first funded with a seed investment), Fuze (we first invested in 2012) and Snapdeal (2011 marked our first investment) Our track record of outstanding investments includes 117 IPOs (most recently Twilio, Shopify, Box, Mindbody and Wix) Along the way, we’ve seen a number of our most exciting and innovative startups become part of something larger. Recent examples include: Periscope (seed funded by Bessemer) which sold to Twitter before even launching a product and is now industry-standard for streaming live-video, Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon for ~$1B, and Skybox Imaging, which was bought by Google in 2014, marking the first big acquisition in the new race for Space.

About Kandou Bus, S.A.

Kandou Bus, S.A. is pioneering the world’s highest performance and lowest energy SerDes technologies through the use of its disruptive Chord™ signaling technology. Leading semiconductor companies, including Marvell (MRVL), use Kandou to deliver more compute power in a smaller form factor, at lower cost and less energy consumption. The company is an active participant and promoter of standards bodies including OIF, IEEE, and JEDEC.

Chord and Glasswing are trademarks of Kandou Bus.

Programming work in computer lab

Free Engineering Simulation Software To Students

Students around the world now have free access to the same leading engineering simulation solutions used by top organizations and professional engineers to create the most advanced products on the planet, thanks to ANSYS (NASDAQ: ANSS).


ANSYS, Inc. logo.


Released today, ANSYS® Student is a free, introductory academic software package for students interested in learning the fundamentals of simulation while gaining exposure to the state-of-the-art ANSYS simulation workflows, pre-processing, post-processing and solver solutions. Students can tackle a broad scope of mechanics and fluids simulations, from fundamental tutorial level models to complex real-world scale models.


“At Cornell University, we use ANSYS software in a dozen courses in mechanical and aerospace engineering to expose students to finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics simulations. Our students find it convenient to have the software on their computers to complete homework and projects,” said Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson director of engineering at Cornell University. “The free ANSYS Student product is a truly exciting development since it puts state-of-the-art simulation technology at students’ fingertips everywhere. This will enable them to solve real-world engineering models while also gaining fundamental physical insights. This means students will be much better prepared for the modern engineering workforce.”


In addition to the software, ANSYS is providing self-guided technical support, installation videos, FAQs and introductory tutorials, all available for use through the ANSYS website.


“We’re proud to equip next-generation engineers with ANSYS’ leading software technology, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Mark Hindsbo, ANSYS’ vice president of marketing. “Investing in STEM education is critical for the global economy and we at ANSYS are passionate about doing what we can to enable the students of today to be the best possible engineers of tomorrow.”


About ANSYS, Inc.

ANSYS brings clarity and insight to customers’ most complex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineering simulation. Our technology enables organizations ― no matter their industry ― to predict with confidence that their products will thrive in the real world. Customers trust our software to help ensure product integrity and drive business success through innovation. Founded in 1970, ANSYS employs over 2750 professionals, many of them experts in engineering fields such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, electronics and electromagnetics, embedded software, system simulation and design optimization. Headquartered south of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., ANSYS has more than 75 strategic sales locations throughout the world with a network of channel partners in 40+ countries. Visit for more information.


ANSYS also has a strong presence on the major social channels. To join the simulation conversation, please visit:




IC Insights Lowers 2016 Semiconductor Market Forecast to -1%

The health of the semiconductor industry is increasingly tied to the health of the worldwide economy. Rarely can there be strong semiconductor market growth without at least “good” worldwide economic growth to support it. Consequently, IC Insights expects annual global semiconductor market growth rates to continue to closely track the performance of worldwide GDP growth (Figure 1).  In its upcoming Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report 2016 (to be released at the end of July), IC Insights forecasts 2016 global GDP growth of only 2.3%, which is below the 2.5% level that is considered to be the global recession threshold.



Figure 1

In many areas of the world, local economies have slowed.  China, which is the leading market for personal computers, digital TVs, smartphones, new commercial aircraft, and automobiles, is forecast to continue to lose economic momentum in 2016.  Its GDP is forecast to increase 6.6% this year, which continues a slide in that country’s annual GDP growth rate that started in 2010 when growth rates exceeded 10%.


IC Insights believes that the worldwide economy will be negatively impacted, at least over the next year or two, by the Brexit vote this past June.  At this point, since the U.K. is unlikely to officially be able to leave the European Union (EU) for a couple of years, the biggest negative effect on economic growth is the uncertainty of the entire situation.  Some of the uncertainty created by the vote includes:


•    Whether the U.K. will come apart itself.  There are rumblings about Scotland breaking away from being a part of the U.K. in order for it to remain as part of the EU.

•    What trade deals will be made by the U.K. if it does leave the EU?  As part of its exit from the EU, the U.K. will need to establish numerous new trade deals with the EU.  There is tremendous uncertainty regarding whether these deals would have a positive or negative effect on the U.K. economy.

•    Will other countries follow the U.K. and depart from the EU?  Anxiety persists over whether the EU will fall apart as other countries attempt their own exit.  Some countries mentioned as possibly following the U.K. out of the EU include the Netherlands (Nexit), France (Frexit), Italy, Austria, and Sweden (Swexit).


The other major “culprit” dragging down semiconductor industry growth this year is the very weak DRAM market.  At $45.0 billion, the DRAM market was the largest single product category in the semiconductor industry in 2015.  IC Insights forecasts that the DRAM market will register a 19% drop of $8.5 billion this year to $36.5 billion.  The DRAM market alone is forecast to shave three percentage points off of total semiconductor market growth this year. Semiconductor market growth excluding DRAM is forecast to be +2%.


Most of the DRAM market decline expected for this year is due to a rapid decline in DRAM pricing over the past 18 months.  For 2016, the average price for a DRAM device is forecast to drop to $2.55, a steep 16% decline as compared to 2015’s DRAM ASP of $3.03. Further trends and analysis relating to semiconductor market forecasts through 2020 will be covered in the 250-plus-page Mid-Year Update to the 2016 edition of The McClean Report.






To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit:


Industry’s First Open-Source Chip Platforms by SiFive

SiFive, the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized, open-source enabled semiconductors, today announced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip (SoC) platforms. Built around the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture invented by the company’s founders at the University of California, Berkeley, SiFive’s Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms represent a fundamentally new approach to designing and producing SoCs that redefines traditional silicon business models and reverses the industry’s prohibitively rising licensing, design and implementation costs.


“The semiconductor industry is at an important crossroads. Moore’s Law has ended, and the traditional economic model of chip building no longer works,” said Yunsup Lee, co-founder of SiFive and one of the original creators of RISC-V. “Unless you have tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars, it is simply impossible for smaller system designers to get a modern, high-performance chip, much less one customized to their unique requirements. The Freedom platforms unleash the flexibility and power of custom silicon to the smallest company, inventor or maker. And companies of all sizes are no longer held hostage to current semiconductor providers’ software deliveries and outdated business models.”


RISC-V was born from the dire need to address the skyrocketing cost of designing and manufacturing increasingly complex new chip architectures, as a result of the economic demise of Moore’s Law. SiFive’s hardware designs leverage the body of software and tools available from the open-source community under the guidance of the RISC-V Foundation, dramatically reducing the cost of developing custom silicon. System designers can use the SiFive Freedom platforms to focus on their own differentiated processor without having the overhead of developing a modern SoC, fabric or software infrastructure.


“RISC-V represents a bold new path for system designers in embedded and industrial markets,” said Ted Speers, head of product architecture and planning for Microsemi Corporation’s SoC business unit. “We went to SiFive not only because its co-founders created RISC-V, but also due to its team’s agile methodology which enabled the company to deliver a complete RISC-V sub-system and tool-chain targeting our secure, low power SmartFusion™2 SoC FPGA platform on a very aggressive schedule.”


The Freedom platforms comprise a complete software specification, board OS support packages (BSPs), development boards and base silicon. The platforms provide customers the ability to create their own silicon enhancements and customizations, which SiFive then quickly incorporates and delivers to the customer at a much lower cost and faster time-to-market than traditional custom silicon designs. The platforms also provide significant performance and power advantages over existing microcontrollers and FPGAs.


  • Freedom U500 Series: The Freedom Unleashed (U) family features a fully Linux-capable embedded application processor featuring the world’s most advanced, multicore RISC-V CPUs, running at a speed of 1.6 GHz or higher with support for accelerators and cache coherency. Designed in TSMC 28nm, the Freedom U500 platform targets initial customers in diverse markets such as machine learning, storage and networking. The Freedom U500 platform also supports standard high-speed peripherals including PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and DDR3/DDR4.
  • Freedom E300 Series: The Freedom Everywhere (E) family is designed for embedded microcontroller, IoT and wearables markets. Designed in TSMC 180nm and architected to have minimal area and power, the Freedom E300 platform features the world’s most efficient RISC-V cores with support for RISC-V compressed instructions, which have been shown to reduce code size by up to 30 percent.

For Developers


To give developers a head start on software development, full FPGA models of each SoC are available through SiFive today. Developers will also be able to prototype their customizations in the form of custom RISC-V instructions, accelerators and co-processors. For more information, including how to purchase development boards with the Microsemi SmartFusion™2 SoC FPGA, please visit


SiFive will showcase the Freedom family of SoC platforms during the RISC-V 4th Workshop in Boston on Tuesday, July 12.


About SiFive


SiFive is the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized silicon based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Founded by RISC-V inventors Krste Asanovic, Yunsup Lee and Andrew Waterman, SiFive democratizes access to custom silicon by helping system designers reduce time-to-market and realize cost savings with customized RISC-V based semiconductors. SiFive is located in San Francisco and has venture backing from Sutter Hill Ventures. For more information visit