TI, Maxim ramp 300-mm analog chips
November 08, 2010 // Mark LaPedus
Texas Instruments is ramping up analog chips in a 300-mm fab in Texas. And rival Maxim Integrated Products has recently qualified and shipped production analog product built on 300-mm wafers.
The question is whether or not a 300-mm fab is a big deal in analog. Nearly all analog chips are made in older fabs with trailing-edge processes. Maxim and TI separately claim 300-mm will give them a competitive advantage over their respective rivals.
One analyst disagrees to some extent. ''TI's 300-mm 'Death Star' Rfab is a legitimate fundamental risk, but investor fears are now overblown. TI is ramping its 300-mm 'Death Star' Rfab, the world's first such analog fab, and investor concerns about the impact on other analog players has likely reached overblown levels, over-impacting valuation multiples,'' said Craig Berger, an analyst with FBR, in a recent report.
''While we do think TI's aggressive capacity ramp could bring some lower pricing and reduced margins to high performance analog markets (thus impacting Maxim, National, Analog Devices, Intersil, ON Semi, and others), high performance analog customers generally buy chips based on performance and features, not price. We further note that Maxim is qualifying 300-mm analog parts with manufacturing partner Powerchip, which should help it respond to TI,'' he said.
Maxim is now producing 300-mm wafers using its 180-nm BCD analog process technology (S18) in Taiwan's Powerchip Technology's wafer fab through a foundry agreement. This deal was already announced.
''This achievement gives Maxim a strategic advantage in the analog market, providing a capital-efficient manufacturing model that enables quick response to changing market conditions,'' according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.
''Maxim is now qualifying 300-mm analog parts with manufacturing partner Powerchip, which management suggests will lower fab unit costs by 20–30 percent, and overall unit costs by 10–15 percent,’’ Berger said in a recent note.
''Maxim’s stated objective is not to reduce end product prices, but rather to increase gross margins on high volume parts. If these parts meet quality standards, they will be treated as ‘risk’ parts that can be shipped to end customers,’’ the analyst said. ''It is conceivable that high-volume production on this fab can ramp later this year or in early 2011, thereby allowing Maxim to keep better pace with demand and match TI’s 300-mm manufacturing claims.’’
It extends Maxim's hybrid approach to wafer fab capacity, utilizing both in-house and outsourced wafer fabrication. This concept was introduced by Maxim in 2007 when the company partnered with Seiko Epson.
Mars Probe Looks for Atmosphere 'Lost in Space'
September 21, 2014
NASA's latest Martian probe is fast approaching the Red Planet to begin exploring for the first time its upper atmosphere, ...
Sensor Hubs Aided by IEEE-2700-2014 Datasheets
Daimler to test autonomous driving in California
Can plant-based batteries be a viable option?
Structural electronics - the next big thing in smart cars?
Elastomeric camouflage switches texture and colour
September 18, 2014
Finding their inspiration from nature's most skillful camouflage artists such as octopuses, squids, and cuttlefishes, MIT ...
Solar microinverter to break USD1bn barrier in 2018
7nm EUV could ease 10nm squeeze, says ASML
Europeans flex skills to commercialize OLED and OPV devices
- Putting FPGAs to Work in Software Radio Systems Handbook
- Flexible and Low Power Driving of Solenoid Coils
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.