Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UMC buys Hejian from UMC

The news that UMC has purchased the 85 percent of Suzhou-based Hejian that it did not "own" is quite amusing (link). After all, everyone knows that through affiliates UMC has always indirectly owned Hejian and treats it as one of its fabs. Well, everyone other than Chen Shuibian's government, which was shocked (shocked!) to find UMC had invested in China illegally behind its back. Thankfully, the technology investment restrictions by the Taiwanese government have significantly loosened over the years.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Hynix and Samsung for the first quarter reported rising ASPs in NAND if not DRAM and credit cuts in production in Taiwan for these rising ASPs. Furthermore, they are considering capacity shifts from DRAM to NAND (link). Unfortunately, given the Japanese government's announcement of support for Elpida, the necessary reduction in DRAM capacity may take quite a long time to work its way through the global system as each country offers support for its own firms. Unless it can get Taiwanese government support despite initially rebuffing Taiwan Memory, Nanya and its partner, Micron, look like the odd men out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bizarre addition to Silicon 60

EE Times' Silicon 60 version 8.0 (link) contains a rather odd addition, Beijing's BLX. This firm is typical of the state-linked firms that feed at the government trough. Moreover, BLX has never put out competitive products in the open marketplace. Instead, this firm has relied on selling its inferior products to other state-linked firms, which in turn rely on selling their computers to the Chinese state. I hope for version 9.0 EE Times removes BLX and puts in its place any one of a number of worthy design start-ups from China.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Move into RF for ZTE?

Freescale is preparing to sell the jewel in the crown of its cellphone operations, its RF transceiver group, and ZTE is rumored to be one of two serious suitors (link). If ZTE could pull this off, it would be a remarkable upgrade for its IC design division. Unfortunately for ZTE, the other serious contender to buy the group is Samsung and Samsung has strong motivations to buy as Freescale's RF transceiver group would complement Samsung's other assets in IC design and downstream in mobile phones.