Intel Corp yesterday unveiled its latest partnership with Taiwanese research powerhouse Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院), a US$15-million research program that would run over the next five years to develop new-generation memory technologies for smaller and “greener” chips for mobile devices and cloud-technology-based data centers.
Intel would inject US$5 million in funding and resources, while ITRI and the Ministry of Economic Affairs would channel US$10 million into the research project.
Instead of developing process technologies for chip manufacturing, the collaboration aimed at finding the optimized structure of memory chips that could provide better performance with lower power consumption, vice president and chief technology officer of Intel Justin Rattner told a media briefing in Taipei.
“The partnership’s initial project will focus on super-fast, but extremely energy-efficient memory technologies for future ultra-mobile devices, such as Ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones, as well as tomorrow’s exascale and cloud mega-data centers,” Rattner said.
The general director of ITRI’s Information and Communications Research Laboratories, Wu Cheng-wen (吳誠文), said ITRI would focus on developing 3D IC technology to make memory chips work better with microprocessors, or to integrate memory chips with microprocessors.
“With the many patented technologies from Intel and ITRI’s solid 3D IC research and development capabilities, this collaboration will enable the development of future memory technologies,” Wu said.
“This project will also create a new field for local memory chip makers to produce chips [with more value] using their existing technologies, rather than scramble to invest massively on upgrading processing technologies,” he added.
The 3D IC technology for memory chips could effectively reduce the space required by hardware, enable faster data transmission and expand capacity to cope with the uptake of sleek consumer electronic devices, ITRI said.
Wu expects ITRI’s collaboration with Intel to bear fruit within three years, at the earliest. The research house would then transfer the memory technologies and patents to local companies interested in manufacturing new-generation memory chips.
The government-backed ITRI has long been playing a key role in developing cutting-edge technologies to support the development of Taiwan’s industries, particularly the semiconductor industry.
ITRI is in talks with Taiwanese semiconductor companies and mostly memory-chip companies to join this project, Wu said, adding that chip designers, chip packagers and contract chip makers have also expressed interest in participating in this program. He declined to reveal the names of the companies ITRI had approached.
Wu expects local companies to participate in the ITRI-Intel program for one year after the launch.
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
A Chinese factory owned by South Korean semiconductor giant SK Hynix Inc yesterday halted operations after a plant worker was found to have an asymptomatic infection of COVID-19, Xinhua news agency reported. The South Korean worker based at the plant in Chongqing since February had departed on Thursday for South Korea, Xinhua reported. He was tested at Incheon Airport in Seoul and confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, it reported. All factory staff as well as staff and recent guests at the hotel where the worker lived have been isolated and given nucleic acid tests, the agency said. “We’re cooperating with the local government
FIVE NEW FABS: An acquisition of Siltronic would boost GlobalWafers’ market share from 17 to 30 percent, easily surpassing Japanese rival Sumco’s 25 percent GlobalWafers Inc (環球晶圓) yesterday said it is in final talks to acquire Germany-based Siltronic AG in a 3.75 billion euro (US$4.5 billion) deal, which might help it compete with its closest rival Sumco Corp of Japan. The acquisition would be the fifth for GlobalWafers since 2008, as it has grown to become the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers through such deals. GlobalWafers, which has a 17 percent market share, would see its market position greatly elevated to 30 percent when combined with Siltronic’s 13 percent, according to a presentation Siltronic gave to its investors at a quarterly conference in August. Sumco
A year of crisis for the lira has kept people in Turkey buying gold at a record pace. Now the appetite for more bullion risks becoming a drag on the currency just as a rally struggles to regain momentum. In the two weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared out the leadership ranks blamed for failing to stabilize the lira and draining reserves, Turkish retail investors and firms added US$2.2 billion to their gold holdings, taking them to US$36.4 billion, or almost triple the total last year, Turkish central bank data showed. People are not relenting in their zeal to own