Will the hand-wringing over Moore's Law never stop? Intel's announcement that its next-generation 14nm process will be delayed three months triggered yet another round of fretting over the fate of this widely misunderstood "law".
Much of the panic is because Intel's "tick-tock" strategy has indeed operated like clockwork, chiming a smaller geometry every two years. Slippage is common at other companies, but not at Intel. So when the world's largest semiconductor vendor stops the clock for three months, hearts begin palpitating.
You can't drive two miles without seeing at least half a dozen people with a smartphone wedged up against their ear or down in front of them as they fire off a text message, some of which do so while behind the wheel. And if not wielding a smartphone, many people at this point own a tablet. Mobile is where it's at right now, and it explains why TSMC is now making more money from semiconductor chips than Intel.
AMD will spend two-thirds less on wafers from Globalfoundries under terms of a renegotiated deal.
Everyone seems to be tightening their belts these days, including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Strapped for cash and in the midst of an ambitious restructuring effort, the Sunnyvale chip designer amended its Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) with Globalfoundries. Under terms of the revised deal, AMD is only on the hook to purchase a third of the wafers it previously agreed to, though it comes at the cost of a hefty fine.
Samsung, the world's largest producer of memory chips, is planning to invest a whopping $4 billion in its Austin, Texas factory in order to renovate the facility and boost production of mobile chips used in smartphones and tablets, according to several reports. The investment is in addition to nearly $2 billion the company committed to spending on a new plant in South Korea last June.
The number crunchers over at the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) added up worldwide sales of semiconductors for the month of September and came up with $25.8 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent from one month prior when sales were $25.1 billion. SIA viewed this as "an optimistic close to the third quarter," which was 2.1 percent higher than Q2 and 2.2 percent higher year-over-year.