Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report resorting to a doughnut-shaped active material within a lithium-sulfur battery that could prove to be an effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries, with higher energy density and lower production costs. The team turned to lithium-sulfide cathodes and graphite anodes to make the lithium-sulfur batteries more practical.
Alibaba Group established Pingtouge Semiconductor Co., a subsidiary that will design custom chips for artificial intelligence applications and embedded processors. In the latter half of 2019, Alibaba plans to launch the AliNPU AI chip, which could be used in autonomous driving, smart logistics and smart cities.
Toshiba Memory CEO Yasuo Naruke brushed off questions about falling prices for memories, saying, "Prices fluctuate in the short term to reflect the demand-supply balance." He reiterated that the company plans to have an initial public offering in two to three years.
The escalating trade war between China and the US is causing some Taiwanese manufacturers to pull back production from plants in China, says TH Tung, chairman of Pegatron. His company has acquired facilities in Taiwan to expand its manufacturing services, although Taiwan presents a number of resource challenges, such as electrical power, land and water, along with workforce issues, he acknowledges.
The Science Based Targets initiative, launched four years ago, attracted more than 130 companies during 2018, with those firms committing to reduce their carbon emissions. "This is a pivotal year for global climate action," says Mahindra Group CEO Anand Mahindra.
Ampere Computing brought out its first processors for servers used in data centers, Arm-based chip designs that will be used by Lenovo Group and other server manufacturers. The chip startup is led by Renee James, the former president of Intel, which dominates the server processor market.
Mentor debuted LightSuite Photonic Compiler, an automated layout system for developing integrated photonic designs, paired with its Calibre RealTime Custom verification tool. The new system is aimed at optical applications in high-performance computing, high-speed networking and lidar chips for autonomous vehicles.
NXP Semiconductors' Steve Owen says the chip company is looking forward to fielding competitive products for 5G cellular communications, artificial intelligence, automotive electronics and the internet of things, now that the drama over Qualcomm's proposed acquisition of NXP has ended. "Every major change to NXP is making the company stronger," he says in this interview.
Industry confidence in the progress of extreme ultraviolet lithography is still high, while the technology's fitness for volume semiconductor manufacturing is a concern, a survey by the eBeam Initiative shows. The photomask market will see a compound annual growth rate of at least 4.1% into 2020, survey respondents forecast, although turnaround times for advanced masks continue to be resistant to improvement.
Renesas Electronics brought out an open image signal processor bundle, meant to be integrated with its R-Car V3M and R-Car V3H system-on-a-chip devices for automotive smart camera applications. The offering includes Sony's IMX390 image sensor and the Automotive Camera Development Kit from MM Solutions.
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