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.
How industrial IoT will drive the MEMS market indirectly
December 19, 2014
Growth in the industrial Internet of Things equipment market is driving strong growth for microelectromechanical systems ...
Successful with phones & drones, Parrot ponders fFarming
Qimonda's late legacy: 28nm FeRAM
Volvo airs cloud-based cyclist protection system
Sony transforms eyewear into smart augmented reality devices
Harman grabs hidden infotainment gem S1nn
December 18, 2014
Automotive infotainment company Harman International Industries has reached an agreement to acquire S1nn GmbH & Co. Despite ...
Alps Electric puts cash into Qualtre
China VC lifts sensor startup to record funding
MIT discovers superconductor law
- New life for Embedded systems in the Internet of Things
- Virtualization and the Internet of Things
- RF/Microwave Instrumentation “S” Series Amplifiers
- Application Guide to RF Coaxial Connectors and Cables
InterviewCEO interview: Bosch's IoT startup is all about the system
Thorsten Mueller, CEO of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH (Reutlingen, Germany), has been guiding the latest startup subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH since 2013 when he started the initiative ...
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, Arrow Electronics is giving away ten BeMicro Max 10 FPGA evaluation boards together with an integrated USB-Blaster, each package being worth 90 Euros, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Designed to get you started with using an FPGA, the BeMicro Max 10 adopts Altera's non-volatile MAX 10 FPGA built on 55-nm flash process.
The MAX 10 FPGAs are claimed to revolutionize...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.