Monthly Archives: February 2019

CoreHW launches a highly accurate indoor positioning solution

CoreHW RABBIT (Rotating Antenna for Bluetooth Beacon and Internet of Things) solution is designed for Bluetooth 5.1, which has an unprecedented direction-finding feature. The new technology makes it possible for Bluetooth devices to determine the direction of a Bluetooth signal transmission and enables centimeter-level positioning accuracy.

 

CoreHW RABBIT is optimized specifically for Bluetooth 5.1 Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD) positioning application. This new, cost-effective solution by CoreHW is expected to disrupt the exponentially growing indoor positioning market.

 

The application areas include:

  • accurate indoor positioning (cm-level positioning accuracy)
  • asset tracking
  • location-based advertising
  • Point of Interest
  • navigation systems
  • aftermarket automotive applications

 

The components needed to take full advantage of Bluetooth AoA/AoD are a Bluetooth 5.1 capable transceiver, phase accurate switch and antenna array. The unique RF switch developed by CoreHW features 16 phase matched antenna ports, which can be used to drive single-ended or differential antennas.

 

As CoreHW’s goal is to be a one-stop partner for their customers, the company also provides custom antenna design service in addition to providing antenna reference designs and positioning algorithms.

 

For more information: http://www.corehw.com/

CEO Talk: Oliver Maiwald, Sencio B.V

This interview was held with Mr. Oliver Maiwald, CEO of Sencio B.V.

 

Tell me a bit about your background? How did you first get started with Sencio?

 

I have had a fairly circuitous route to the role of CEO. My first step was as an electrical technician working on the central computer of a destroyer in the German Navy. Although it was necessary to leave after a few years to push my boundaries, to this day I still feel strongly connected to my maritime background. And it continues to play a significant role in my life outside of work.

 

Around 1998, I was involved in co-developing the world’s first DECT module to focus on data communication. Continuing to build on this development took me from Germany across the border into the Netherlands to the National Semiconductors / SiTel facility in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It was here I further built up my skills and experience, with a diverse range of roles from technical support through to product marketing.

 

 

Following the successful acquisition and integration of SiTel by Dialog Semiconductor, just like with my role in the Navy I once again started to feel the need to move on to increase my responsibility and take on new challenges. Sencio was looking to bring in fresh ideas and leadership to tackle the challenges they were facing as European specialist IC packaging company. So, when I was offered the position as Sencio’s new CEO in 2014, it was perfect timing.

 

Tell me about Sencio?

 

Sencio is an independent package design and assembly company, based on the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. We are fully IATF 16949 certified and offer customized functional packaging solutions for MEMS and integrated sensor systems, primarily for automotive and industrial applications. We help our customers address their package and assembly needs, from system design to package concept, through development and prototyping to volume manufacturing and assembly of a functional packaging solution. Additionally, we can even manage the component supply chain for their system, saving them time and effort.

 

Along with full volume production and assembly services, we also offer fast turnaround assembly of a small series of devices. These prototypes can be used for full electrical and functional verification of the first silicon coming out of the wafer fab for example. This is an ideal service for everyone, from start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) right up to recognized large multinationals.

 

What problem did you see that needed to be fixed? What is your approach to solving that?

 

As with many companies that are spun-out from a larger supplier, one of the first challenges is to become less reliant on business coming from a narrow customer base. My initial focus at Sencio was therefore to build on the existing customer base and increase profit.

 

Of course, these things do not happen overnight, they require patience and investment. And as a medium-sized European company, it has been about understanding our niche in the market and how we need to adapt to changing market conditions. But gradually and sustainably we have built on our existing experience while also learning how we could fit our offering to address the needs of new markets.

 

How was the role/offering of Sencio changed during the recent years?

 

Since beginning at Sencio I have seen my role change, but that has been as part of a longer- term vision. To start we needed to stabilize the company by building growth through increased production line activities. Now we have that stability it is time to sustainably build on it, by looking at how we can further adapt our offering to meet customers needs.

 

Did any of the market consolidation (or acquisition) affected your business and how?

 

As the industry moves to even more integrated solutions, we have seen quite some change in customer requirements. This is leading to consolidation of the market from a slightly different perspective. In the past there was clear differentiation between the different assembly levels for electronics: with chip fabrication, IC assembly, PCB assembly and finally system assembly. Today these demarcation lines are blurring especially with complete System-in-Package (SiP) techniques – where we can now go from chip fabrication to encapsulated system assembly almost in a single step.

 

Packaging is also no longer just about protecting the sensitive electronics and connections, it increasingly has a functional role. That can range from simply combining electrical and mechanical or structural features into a standard outline SiP right up to a complete freeform shaped plug’n’play module that can be ‘clipped’ into place.

 

The result of this consolidation is we need offer more than just classic encapsulation and assembly services. We need to support customers with a broader range of skills and capabilities to successfully create complete system solutions. For example, while the basic functionality of the IC and sensor can be tested in the fab, with customized encapsulation and packaging of a complete system you can no longer rely on general testers and handlers. So, we need to help our customers consider how they will encapsulate their functionality and/or introduce it into the package, but also how they will test the end result.

 

What is a typical customer for Sencio?

 

Sencio is not one of the big OSAT players that support pure volume assembly. We are a specialist supplier capable of supporting more customized designs and high-quality niche volumes.

 

For example, our production facilities in Nijmegen can turn out some 3 to 5 million parts per year, which is ideal for customers who require solutions in relatively small volumes in comparison to the large OSAT players. But our customers also appreciate that we can support them through the entire process and as many of them are automotive suppliers we need to offer the highest quality.

 

Another typical Sencio customer is young companies and start-ups. We have plenty of experience to draw on to help these companies develop a system solution that is suitable for their applications.

 

What are the 3 top things you wish your customers would do better (or different)?

 

There is really only one thing I can think of. Customers come to us with many excellent projects but sometimes they may not have fully considered the practical implementation. For example, the concept works under standard conditions, but the practical reality is that it needs to operate in extremely environmentally harsh environments. So often we have to consider the impact practicalities have on the package and assembly, but also the potential stresses that they may have on the encapsulated IC solution.

 

However, this is another way our experience, including an understanding of industrialization, can help them. So, what I would wish for is for customers to simply talk to us at a much earlier stage in their product development to see if we can address potential challenges before going into the encapsulation and assembly stage.

 

What is your #1 advice for people who want to work for Sencio?

 

There is a Bavarian or German saying that essentially translates as ‘you must withstand one’s own thirst’. Or to put it another way be patient! This can be difficult for many people to accept as it goes against the grain of ‘fast-moving’ high-tech companies. It doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of ideas and innovation at Sencio. On the contrary. It’s simply that we are building the company with the goal of sustainable long-term growth rather than ‘quick wins or rapid expansion’.

 

What is the best moment in your day?

 

That moment of waking up. Realizing it is the start of a new day. A new day of unknown challenges and opportunities. I believe this reflects my positive attitude on life and how much I look forward to what each day brings, whether work challenges or relaxing pastimes.

 

How do you spend your time outside working hours?

 

I pursue several sporting activities to keep energized. But I also like the opportunity to breakaway completely from work. There are two different ways I achieve this, both of which are in many ways linked to my time in the German Navy. I love sailing on the open water and try to either skipper a boat myself or join a racing boat whenever I can, although not as much as I would like! The second is marching. Occasional organized marches are the perfect way to stretch my limbs and, often traversing 40 km or more, there’s plenty of time to catch up with old friends.

Semiconductor Wafer Capacity Per Region

IC Insights recently released its new Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023 report that provides in-depth detail, analyses, and forecasts for IC industry capacity by wafer size, process geometry, region, and product type through 2023.  Figure 1 shows the world’s installed monthly wafer production capacity by geographic region (or country) as of December 2018.  Each number represents the total installed monthly capacity of fabs located in that region regardless of the headquarters location of the company that own the fab(s).  For example, the wafer capacity that South Korea-based Samsung has installed in the U.S. is counted in the North America capacity total, not in the South Korea capacity total.  The ROW “region” consists primarily of Singapore, Israel, and Malaysia, but also includes countries/regions such as Russia, Belarus, and Australia.

 

Figure 1

As shown, Taiwan led all regions/countries in wafer capacity with 21.8% share, a slight increase from 21.3% in 2017 (Taiwan first became the global wafer capacity leader in 2015.)  Taiwan’s capacity share was only slightly ahead of South Korea, which accounted for 21.3% of global wafer capacity in 2018, according to the Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023 report.  TSMC in Taiwan and Samsung and SK Hynix in South Korea accounted for the vast share of wafer fab capacity in each country and were the top three capacity leaders worldwide. TSMC held 67% of Taiwan’s capacity while Samsung and SK Hynix represented 94% of the installed IC wafer capacity in South Korea at the end of 2018.

 

 

Japan remained firmly in third place with just over 16.8% of global wafer fab capacity.  Micron’s purchase of Elpida several years ago and other recent major changes in manufacturing strategies of companies in Japan, including Panasonic spinning off some of its fabs into separate companies, means that the top two companies (Toshiba Memory and Renesas) accounted for 62% of that country’s wafer fab capacity.

 

China showed the largest increase in global wafer capacity share in 2018, rising 1.7 percentage points from a 10.8% share in 2017 to a 12.5% share in 2018.  It nearly tied North America as the fourth-largest country/region with installed capacity.  A lot of buzz circulated about China-based startups and their new wafer fabs during 2018. Meanwhile, other global companies expanded their manufacturing presence in China last year so it would be expected that the country’s capacity share would show a significant increase.  China’s percentage gain came mostly at the expense of ROW and North America.  The share of capacity in the ROW region slipped 0.8 percentage points from 9.5% in 2017 to 8.7% in 2018. North America’s share of capacity declined 0.4 percentage points in 2018.

 

Report Details:  Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023

IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023—Detailed Analysis and Forecast of the IC Industry’s Wafer Fab Capacity report assesses the IC industry’s capacity by wafer size, minimum process geometry, technology type, geographic region, and device type through 2023. The report includes detailed profiles of the companies with the greatest fab capacity and gives comprehensive specifications on existing wafer fab facilities. Global Wafer Capacity 2019-2023 is priced at $4,890 for an individual user license.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,590.

To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website: www.icinsights.com.

More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133 email: bill@icinsights.com

PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at http://www.icinsights.com/news/bulletins/

Silicon Creations’ PLL Technology Contributes to the First 7nm Mass Production Mining Chip

Silicon Creations, a leading supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal intellectual property (IP), announced that its phase-locked loop (PLL) technology has been deployed in Canaan Creative’s 7nm mining chip.

 

Canaan, the leader in offering blockchain hardware and software solutions and designing ASIC chips announced in August 2018 that they had started selling their new AvalonminerA9 product based on their 7nm chips which are mass produced at TSMC. Canaan’s chips are known as the global leader in blockchain repetitive computing.

 

“We congratulate Canaan on this ground-breaking chip and are proud to be part of Canaan’s success,” said Andrew Cole, vice president at Silicon Creations. “We’ve now provided PLLs for both their 7nm and 16nm Miner chips, and look forward to continuing to provide PLL technology to Canaan to help them maintain their technology leadership position as their products evolve.”

 

Silicon Creations produces a wide range of PLLs for most advanced process nodes. These include general-purpose Fractional-N PLLs, IoT PLLs with 32kHz RTC reference clock, Low-area Core voltage PLLs and Deskew PLLs for DDR interfaces. The company’s PLLs are used in almost every vertical market and are an excellent choice for smart phones, battery-operated products, networking chips, energy-efficient and IoT chips, portable audio, set-top boxes, flat panel displays, high-performance computing, and mass storage.

 

“Silicon Creations provided high quality verified PLL IP on the dates promised and with excellent customer support,” said Mark Wu, VP of Technology at Canaan Creative. “This collaboration allowed us to maintain a tight production schedule and meet our target specifications on performance and power. We’re delighted the PLL worked as promised with first silicon.”

 

About Silicon Creations

Silicon Creations is focused on providing world-class silicon intellectual property (IP) for precision and general-purpose timing PLLs, SerDes and high-speed differential I/Os. Silicon Creations’ IP is proven from 7- to 180-nanometer process technologies. With a complete commitment to customer success, its IP has an excellent record of first silicon to mass production in customer designs. Silicon Creations, founded in 2006, is self-funded and growing. The company has development centers in Atlanta, Ga., and Krakow, Poland, and worldwide sales representation. For more information, visit www.siliconcr.com.

Custom ASIC: Staying ahead of the electronics component shortage

A shortage in passive components is causing massive spikes in product delivery lead-times the last years. The latest market report of Future Electronics stated lead-times for basic components like capacitors, MOSFETs and diodes up to 18–50 weeks. Recently, Mouser Electronics, reported more than 300,000 products in their system that are tracking six months or more in lead-times.

 

Demand is outpacing supply

Lead times of +6 months cause problems down a product’s entire supply chain and ultimately result in delayed product deliveries.  And it is not going to change soon, as many new and emerging technologies in automotive (such as ADAS, advanced motor control, full electrification) are using more commercial off-the-shelf parts as before. Automotive companies are now competing with major consumer electronics manufacturers for components. Combine this with the rising number of electronic products and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) industry, and it’s easy to see how demand is outpacing supply.

 

Key components become obsolete

In the past, when components are in short supply, electronics manufacturers would ramp up fab space, leaving them with unused capacity, when the market catches up. Now, all component manufacturers are already running at full capacity. Many suppliers are trying to move customers to the newer technologies so they can obsolete less profitable lines, by increasing prices on the legacy products but not on the newer technology. “Most of our customers are experiencing that their key components become obsolete or have new product specifications and form factor (size, package) causing a full revision and requalification of their product, on a regular basis”, explains Carolien Martens, Business Development Manager at ICsense. Product manufacturers are looking for ways to stay ahead of this. A custom ASIC (Application Specific IC) is a strategic decision to deal with supply chain issues.

 

Take control of your supply chain

By designing your own ASIC, fully optimized for your product and exclusively sold to your company only, you can take full control and ownership of your own product supply chain:

 

  • No risk of having obsolete components anymore, while
  • Reducing your overall product’s Bill-Of-Material and cost, with
  • A guaranteed product delivery life cycle of more than 10 years, and
  • Compliant with all automotive, medical and industrial design, process and package requirements.

 

Interest to know more?

As a trusted analog, mixed-signal and high-voltage ASIC provider, ICsense is your single source for both ASIC development as production. ASICs at ICsense are exclusively developed and sold to you only to safeguard your competitive advantage.

 

  • Please visit our booth Hall 3A-438 at Embedded World 2019 (26-28 February 2019, Nuremberg)
  • Register to our newest webinar series to get an insight in custom ASIC design for your products
  • Contact us directly via our website

 

Sankalp Semiconductor to Exhibit & Participate at IESA Vision Summit 2019

Sankalp Semiconductor, a design service company offering comprehensive digital & mixed signal SoC services and solutions, will be exhibiting at IESA Vision Summit on Feb 19th & 20th in Bangalore, India. Sankalp Semiconductor’s booth will be displaying the company’s capabilities in digital, analog and mixed signal, custom layout, standard cell development, IO solutions, memory solutions, IP migration services and PDK development domains. Sankalp Semiconductor has executed multitude of complex digital and mixed signal SoC (System-On-Chip) projects for variety of its customers in Automotive, Consumer, Networking, Wireless, IoT, Medical, Foundry verticals. The event also will feature an industry talk by Samir Patel, CEO, Sankalp Semiconductor.

 

 

Featured Talk at IESA Vision Summit:

When: From 11:15 am to 11:35 am on 20th Feb 2019

Topic: Global impact through Indian IP

Panellist: Samir Patel, CEO, Sankalp Semiconductor

Location: The Leela Palace, Bangalore

To set-up a Meeting at the event, please send us an email at marcom@sankalpsemi.com

For more information on IESA Vision Summit, please visit

https://www.iesavisionsummit.org/

 

 

About Sankalp Semiconductor

Sankalp Semiconductor offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions to its customers in key semiconductor domains including analog & mixed signal, digital, high-speed physical interface IP, Embedded Memory Compiler, IOs and EDA modelling. Sankalp Semiconductor is a preferred semiconductor design service partners to multiple Fortune 500 companies in the Automotive, Consumer, Networking, Wireless, IoT, Medical electronics and Foundry space. The company enables its customers to achieve their time-to-market window by delivering first time right silicon designs and engage with product engineering teams across the globe to design System-On-Chip. Sankalp Semiconductor is based in Palo Alto, California & Hubli, India with offices in USA, India, Canada, Germany, Malaysia and Japan. www.sankalpsemi.com

 

 

Contact Information:

Sowmya Maskay
Sankalp Semiconductor
marcom@sankalpsemi.com

+91 9611024330 (Cell)