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Year: 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999


The Chip Outsider                                                                            Top

April 1, 2010From the Front Lines: Escalating Design Costs. Photonic Phase Transduction: seen pushing EUV out, applied sues ABSL … WildPhotons: Spinning 'round . . .

 

ABSL & BTDL Lithography: Could it solve the issue of escalating Design Costs? Today’s biggest factor in design costs is the process of getting from designer intent to silicon sign-off. There are many complex hierarchies of work flow that go from intent, to Boolean logic representation, through electrical layout, to the physical layer with its complex floor planning and mask levels. Then reticles must be made and the first silicon is processed. BTDL, or Brain To Die Lithography eliminates all the steps by scanning the IC designer’s brainwaves and projecting them directly through the scanner’s reticle plane, which is then traditionally projected to the wafer. Dr. Jan Porolawsky, a prominent lithographer at LetNi, was also very encouraged about this technology. According to her, Brain Scanning has already passed several years of pathos finding and this new commercial solution may enable the semiconductor industry to replace the feared optical quad exposure alternative.

ABSL’s BTDL tool includes a brain scanning unit helmet that the designer wears, connecting the system to designer neurons with hundreds of sensor probes. The proprietary sensor technology reads the designer brain waves, translating them into an instantly configurable reticle plane. The down side is that this tool is expected to cost $205M. There are rumors that the first five customers can have the tool for $199M. At first we were also shocked by the list price. But then we ran the numbers through BLSI’s famous ‘feel good’ lithography cost simulator, concluding that this new tool is a real bargain at $200M. The cost per pixel is guaranteed to decline by 50% per node, which is much faster than we have seen with conventional lithography. Any serious chip maker has to have one, or they may soon find themselves in a serious cost disadvantage.

Photonic Phase Transduction: seen pushing EUV out. A new reticle and lens technology developed by Xeiss to work with ABSL’s BTDL makes the latter possible by transducting 193nm wave length light via a phase change into a 13nm wavelength. According to Dr. Winin Viser, the VP of Technology at Xeiss, this new wavelength lens technology results in automatic resolution enhancements, and chip makers are able to go to at least 10nm half pitch resolution with no limitations.

In related news: Applied has threatened to sue ABSL for trademark infringement over its “Think it, Do it” slogan. It is clear that ABSL’s patented Brain To Die Lithography system is about just thinking it and then doing it. – Dan and Risto.
 

BLSIreasearch

This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events. To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it. This report does not contain VLSIresearch's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us). All information here has been furnished to VLSIresearch by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed. No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.  

In short, April Fools.

This e-mail report is confidential and for the use of VLSI Research Inc and its Clients only. Feel free to distribute it within your company. We only ask that you not send it outside your organization without VLSI Research Inc's permission. This report contains VLSI Research's analysis of information which in some cases has been furnished to VLSI Research by responsible persons on the understanding that it will be released by VLSI Research only to a limited audience and not be made widely available or that its release will be restricted due to its confidential nature. We receive letters and e-mails on current topics that are of interest to our subscribers and comments on our newsletter articles. We value that subscriber input and like to use it. By submitting such material to us, you authorize us to publish and republish it in any form or medium, to edit it for style and length, and to comment upon or criticize it and to publish others' comments or criticisms, as the case may be. Publication of this report is not intended to constitute a disclosure to the public of the information contained in this report. Although data was obtained from sources considered reliable, it cannot be guaranteed. No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.

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Copyright © 2010 by VLSI Research Inc. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used in any legal proceedings nor may any information contained herein be disclosed to any third party, or reproduced, or transmitted to any third party, in any form or by any means -- mechanical, electronic, photocopying, duplicating, microfilming, videotape, verbally or otherwise -- without prior written permission of VLSI Research.

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The Chip Outsider
                                                                            Top

April 1, 2009: From the rear lines . . . New light source takes immersion lithography to 22nm. University Researchers Define New Logic Primitives.

 

New light source takes immersion lithography to 22nm, displacing EUV yet again. A revolutionary light source that eliminates the need for double patterning has just been announced. It uses nanometer sized LED arrays that can be switched on and off, solving the MEEF problem that makes double patterning necessary. Named NanoLight, it will soon to be available in both the new NXT 2000i as well as for retrofit in existing TWINspin XT 1900i ASNL scanners. According to Martin Van din Blink, “The breakthrough came when we were able to invert image sensor technology into 193nm LED laser array chips that can turn pixels on and off to get optimum phase shifting. We believe this is a significant operational cost savings to customers, because it eliminates the need for two expensive masks to do double patterning.” With the 2TB/sec high speed data front side bus option, the source obviates the need for masks altogether for CDs above 90nm. Van din Blink says, “We developed this specifically so companies can easily gain more value out of our tools with flex-capacity by eliminating the need to redo reticles for our newer platforms. It also makes managing mask inventory on the fab floor much easier.”  

University Researchers Define New Logic Primitives: Our good friend, Jim Handy, sent this to us for Objective-Analysis from his analysis of some new research at the University of Ohio in Miami. They have defined two new logic elements that promise to revolutionize the computing industry: BUT and Exclusive AND. 

Led by Professor Tjiq N. al-Aqing, a team of bright young minds has explored classical computer logic, and has found holes to fill.  According to the Professor: “Everyone looks at the ‘What is’ in logic and forgets to look for ‘What is not.’  This leads to extraordinary difficulties in implementing logical parallels to basic concepts that are quite simple to express verbally.  We opened up this issue to find that we could simplify logic design by translating certain very simple and straightforward linguistic concepts into Boolean logic elements.” 

The team believes that many logical paradoxes will become simple to implement in hardware once these basic two constructs are embraced.

BUT Gate

The first, the BUT gate, is a natural complement to the classic primitives of AND, OR, and NOT, the most fundamental of logic elements. 

 

Professor al-Aqing explains: “The gate is actually used very similarly to the way we use the word ‘but’ in ordinary language.  This word, an essential modifier that fits into most logical sentences along with ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘not’, serves a very useful function in which it automatically negates anything that precedes it.  Take, for example, the sentence: ‘I like you, but that twitch is really annoying.’  This is a nice way to tell someone that their twitch is the most visible reason that you don’t like them at all.”  Other examples the professor cited were:

 

  • I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but nobody likes you.
  • Her dress is beautiful, but it isn’t right for her.
  • I would love to come with you, but I have to wash my dog.

  • As with language, the BUT gate serves to negate what was asserted immediately before by the other input.  Since there are two inputs to the basic BUT, there must necessarily be two outputs, each negating the other’s prior state according to which input appeared last.

     

    The operator Professor al-Aqing recommends for logic equations is the Greek Beta – ß – which is similar to a “B” for BUT.

     

    Professor al-Aqing suggests adopting the following symbol in logic diagrams:

    Figure 1. Proposed Logic Symbol for the BUT Gate

    If A arrives first, then is negated by B, then the top output becomes active.  Should B arrive first, to then be negated by A, then the lower output becomes active.

     

    To date, efforts to plot this function on a Karnaugh map have been found perplexing.  “We’re still working to find a solution,” the Professor admits, “but it could be that we are looking in the wrong place.  Perhaps Karnaugh maps need to be re-thought.”

    Exclusive AND

    It seemed out of balance to the researchers of the University of Ohio in Miami that an Exclusive OR, or EXOR gate existed without being balanced out with its AND-based equivalent.

     

    “We were completely befuddled as to why such a seemingly obvious construct would simply not exist,” exclaims Professor al-Aqing.

     

    While not technically a primitive function, the workings of the Exclusive AND or EXAND could be called upon to create the underpinnings of countless higher-level functions.

     

    “The EXAND embodies the expression that the output is A AND B but not both,” Professor al-Aqing explained.  “Note that the ‘but’ in that sentence is typical of those in the BUT primitive we developed.”  Another way to express this function is (A AND NOT B) AND (B AND NOT A), as is shown in Figure 2

    Figure 2. Proposed Logic Symbol for the Exclusive AND Gate

    The EXAND can be denoted by a logical operator similar to that of the EXOR: The EXOR uses a circled OR symbol (a plus sign), while the EXAND will use a circled AND symbol (a dot).  Thus, the equation for the gate in Figure 1 would be .

    What does the Future Hold?

    When asked what his plans were for future research Professor al-Aqing expressed no intention to rest on his laurels.  “Have you ever heard the expression: ‘No ifs, ands, or buts?’  Well, we have the ANDs, ORs, and now the BUTs, and the ‘no’ can be translated into a NOT, but the word in that expression that is still undefined from a logical context is IF.  We are hard at work to find a way to embody the IF gate in such a way to completely round out the translation of spoken human logic into its natural computing equivalent.” – Many thanks to Jim Handy for participating in our annual folly.

     

    BLSIreasearch

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSIresearch's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSIresearch by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.   

    In short, April Fools.


    This report does not contain VLSIresearch's analysis of information which in some cases has been furnished to VLSIresearch by its clients.  These days, most think they paid too much in connection with the analysis and investigation herein.  Certain statements in this report, and other written or oral statements made by VLSIresearch on are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws.  That means that we can’t stand behind any of them. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may", "will", "we don’t know, “we should have known", and similar expressions. Although VLSI believes that these statements are not based on reasonable assumptions, they are subject to numerous factors, risks and uncertainties that will cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. These factors, risks and uncertainties include those listed under "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Annual Reports on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Those factors, among others, could cause actual results and performance to differ materially from the results and performance projected in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. You should carefully understand that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance or results. These factors expressly qualify all subsequent oral and written forward-looking statements attributable to VLSI or persons acting on it's behalf. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and VLSI Research can not predict those events or how they may affect you, the reader. Except for any ongoing obligations to publish or disclose material information or as required by the federal securities laws, VLSI Research Inc does not have any intention or obligation to update forward-looking statements after the date of this report. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used in any legal proceedings nor may any information contained herein be disclosed to any third party, or reproduced, or transmitted to any third party, in any form or by any means -- mechanical, electronic, photocopying, duplicating, microfilming, videotape, verbally or otherwise -- without prior written permission of VLSI Research.

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    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2008 – From the Rear Lines. . .

    The Cook’s Tour: Groundbreaking the World’s First 450mm Fab One of the biggest issues for our industry to address when facing the question of 300prime versus 450mm is automation. The whole point of 300prime is to fix the automation limits of 300mm. 300mm transport systems, while far faster than 200mm, can’t keep up with current needs to move wafers across a fab. This occurs for many reasons:

    ·         Traffic jams of the overhead railways

    ·         Failure of system architects to recognize greater distances due to larger tools

    ·         Failure to predict rising throughputs

    ·         Failure to predict increased process complexity

    ·         Failure to predict the need to run far more SKUs than that of 200mm lines

    Meanwhile the immense cost of 300mm has caused equipment suppliers to pale at the thought of what 450mm might cost. Getting more out of that investment is a high priority for them.

    Depreciation on a $50M litho cluster is $1141 per hour. Plus with tool throughputs approaching 200 WPH, the revenue loss potential of an automation bottleneck in a fab runs $1.2M per hour.  If the wafers can’t get there on time it’s not like the only problem is going to be a cold pizza! That’s real money.

    Yet the leading chip makers want to move forward. 300mm brought great economies of scale, even with the limits of the automation. Their modeling of 450mm promises great economies to be seen. Plus they shiver at the thought of tearing out old automaton systems to replace them with new. The yield and revenue losses of swapping out automation systems is far more painful indeed. They say bigger is always better when it comes to wafer sizes and it most certainly will be with 450mm.

    Seeing what they have in store, I think they could well be right. I got invited to attend a groundbreaking 450mm automation design that is absolutely a radical paradigm shift in thinking about automation. What I saw will make those old overhead rail systems look as ancient as an iron horse in a western. It comes from a rare venture funded new start-up based out of Albany NY called Nanotech Industries. Normally I blow these things off, but the management has decades of real experience running chip fabs and plus, they paid my plane fare.

    The system is fully bridge compatible with today’s 300mm systems. Its titanium chassis makes it fully weight compatible with current ceiling and flooring load specs.  What’s really cool about it is that you don’t need to tear out your existing overhead rail system because this is a return to a robotic automation architecture. This was always problematic with old robots, because taped floor tracks got messed up and the robots got in the way.  Not these babies, they have full WiMax instruction transfer with an FPS (Fab Positioning System) accuracy of 2nm – far better than will ever be needed. It also comes with an optional voice instruction mode. What I really like is the 30 meter per second transfer rate and the fact that each robot has full random access to all tools. These guys really move FOUPs. Here’s a picture of what they look like in a real 450mm yellow room:  

    Missing an issue?  Fugettaboutit!  Just Click Here.

     

     

    BLSI REASEARCH
    Where Chip Makers Shop for their Dip

     

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness. 

     In short, April Fools.


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    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2007: From the rear lines . . . SEC hands down backdating indictments, Intel plans 450mm fab, WMDs becoming a new concern.  WildPhonons: On top of the world . . .

    SEC Hands Down Backdating Indictments: Senior executives of several forecasting firms, including G. Dan Hutcheson, were served indictments early this morning in an SEC crackdown on forecast backdating.  These firms had reportedly backdated forecasts, and in some cases rerun models with actual data, to improve accuracy statistics over the original computer runs that used forecasted data.  The forecast backdating scheme works by redating forecasts of an upturn or downturn to just before actual turning points occurred.  Backcasting is when a forecast model is run backwards in time as a test of the model’s accuracy.  The backcast scheme works by rerunning a forecast after its time horizon has expired with the actual rather than the original forecasted input data.  The original date of the data is not changed, creating the impression that the forecast was much more accurate.  Assistant Deputy Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Director, Max M. Prophet, says “senior executives at these firms have reaped huge rewards with these schemes, hurting individual in besters.”  BLSI executive G. Dan Hutcheson could not be reached for comment, as enforcement officials caught up to him first.

    Intel plans 450mm fab for Oregon: our outsiders tell us it will be named D1BMW, which stands for the Development of 1 Big-Monster-Wafer.

    Administration sees China as next concern for WMDs: Alert levels skyrocketed last week as reports of advanced WMDs in China emerged.  There, deep concerns that should China gain access to 65nm chip equipment they will soon be mass producing 300mm Wafers of Mass Destruction (WMDs) which will reek havoc on free chip makers worldwide.  It immediately caused a rift with European officials, who seem to buy Chinese WMDs for their own use and point out that much of the equipment could be had with no such restrictions from Japan and Europe.  President Shrub, in a prepared press release stated that senior department officials had located hard evidence that low cost WMDs were a threat to the free and democratic peoples all over the world.  Press Secretary, Wi R. Cluless echoed Shrub’s concerns about WMDs and their potential impact on the war on terror.

    In separate news, the DuD announced a new outsourcing plan for WMD production to Asian partners.  According to Donald Runsthybled, “This new cost cutting plan sends the clear message that the DuD is doing its part to bring the budget deficit under control.”  Operations head, General Confusion, stated that “this would not deteriorate the Army’s inability to fight the global war on terrorism.  We have redoubled our efforts, assigning a new leader, Major Disaster, to be in charge of leading the fight into more countries that have little to do with it.  Disaster is working closely with Iranqi Defense Minister, I. Ranf Oroil, to aggravate these issues.

    ACME Equipment enters market with environmentally superior tools: 

     


    WildPhonons: On top of the world can also be out on a limb. 

    Japan's famous snow monkeys (Macaca fuscata).

    Joshin-Etsu Kogen National Park, Nagano Prefecture, Japan     04_185-8554

     

    To see more or order a print, click on www.wildphotons.com  Free shipping on all first time print orders.
     

    Meet The Chip Outsider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Of course, since he finally got the forecast right for the last couple of years, he’s been dressing a little funny.  He’s also been taking it easy now that Risto’s President.  Lisa says she hardly ever sees him.  Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof who couldn’t solve the original OEE equation.  He has also been honored with the Best Gossip Columnist Award for his coverage on industry trends.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm. 

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here.   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research for this issue by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness. 

     

    In short, April Fools.

    BLSI REASEARCH INC
    Where the Chip Making Industry Clicks to Find out
    Where’s the Dip and When the Salsa will run Out

    2880 Lakeside Drive, Suite 350, Santa Clara, CA  95054 

    With just four clicks, you can open new windows to the world:

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     This e-mail report is confidential and for the use of VLSI Research Inc and its Clients only. Feel free to distribute it within your company. We only ask that you not send it outside your organization without VLSI Research Inc's permission. This report contains VLSI Research's analysis of information which in some cases has been furnished to VLSI Research by responsible persons on the understanding that it will be released by VLSI Research only to a limited audience and not be made widely available or that its release will be restricted due to its confidential nature. We receive letters and e-mails on current topics that are of interest to our subscribers and comments on our newsletter articles. We value that subscriber input and like to use it. By submitting such material to us, you authorize us to publish and republish it in any form or medium, to edit it for style and length, and to comment upon or criticize it and to publish others' comments or criticisms, as the case may be. Publication of this report is not intended to constitute a disclosure to the public of the information contained in this report. Although data was obtained from sources considered reliable, it cannot be guaranteed. No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.

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    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

     April 1, 2006 : From the rear lines . . . Intel enters marcom,  AMD’s new process, This New Tool, Applied restructures, and Another prediction right at BLSI: United States’ Full Employment Act of 2003 supercharges 2005.  WildPhonons: Folly loves fame . . .

    Intel enters the Chip Equipment Marcom arena in Apple ads that highlight tools. So far, Varian’s implanters and BEDE’s X-ray metrology tools have been the focal point of these efforts. It shows how Intel continues to innovate in the Marcom arena after recruiting the heads of state in India and Israel last year as spokesmen for new facility pre-releases.

    AMD launches 45nm Quad-Core aXcelleron™ microprocessor: In a major leapfrogging of its current process technology, AMD has accelerated beyond all nodal speed limits to break the 4 GHz barrier with a low-power notebook processor. What is amazing is that customers already have samples in hand. I was totally blown away with AMD’s 45nm process details. Using ASN’s DualScan k-Compress alpha tool, they are getting 45nm half pitch. Physical gate lengths are 32nm. A Genus hi-k deposition tool is giving them effective gate oxide thicknesses of 2 molecules with very low leakage – Ioff is record breaking. A Novellys Inovys dep/cmp cluster enables a gold air bridge interconnect system. The result is an effective dielectric constant close to zero. This chip screams performance.

    This New Tool: ASNL’s new DualScan™ platform has been architected for 32nm and early versions should ship soon. What I really like about this tool is ASN’s new k-Compress™ that allows Rayleigh constants of less than 0.2new DualScan™. K-Compress turns back the clock, eliminating the need for costly excimer lasers. Also, with dual sourcing the rage, it was only a matter of time before it infected the lens supply business. ASN’s DualScan adopts a Nikon lens system for the first time in the company’s history. It’s one of Nikon’s best lenses and with it, ASNL plans to make another major breakthrough in cost of ownership for its customers.

    Applied restructures service organization. Applied will lay off most of its service organization, following Ferrari's F1 lead where they took advantage of the UK Government's Youth Opportunity Program. A recent consulting study showed how unemployed youths from the Liverpool area are able to remove a set of cluster chambers in less than five seconds without proper equipment. Prime Minister Tony Blair went on record as saying this was a bold move to reestablish the international recognition of the UK’s lead in technology under New Labour.

    However, Applied may be getting more than they bargained for. In the first practice session the Liverpool youths successfully upgraded an Emdura in under ten minutes, but within 12 minutes they had re-sprayed and re-badged the tool as a Novellys and sold it to Infinity for eight first class tickets to the Bahamas. They are now in negotiations for promotions to sales.

    Another prediction right at BLSI: 2005 turned out to be a boom year in large part due to the continued implementation of the United States’ Full Employment Act of 2003. If you read this column in 2003, you will recall we predicted that this bid to bolster reelection efforts would drive the upturn. The economy showed very healthy growth in 2004. This was a direct result of The Full Employment Act of 2003 (also known as Sarbanes-Oxley), which drove the hiring of accountants and attorneys up substantially in 2004. Legal and accounting firms had a boom year with the Full Employment Act of 2003, resulting in a hiring turnaround for this crucial part of America’s service economy and spurring significant corporate spending, which all CEO-surveys confirm. In 2005, shortages of crucial lawyers and accountants boosted wages, resulting in more consumption on their part and even more corporate spending. At the same time it is diverting college kids away from low wage jobs in the sciences and engineering. All something which your very own Chip Outsider predicted!

    WildPhonons: Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
                                                                         
    – Byron 

    Dan in the Dunes at 116ºF, Death Valley National Park, CA
    Keyword: Vision, Landscapes.       DthVlyNP_050514_166

    To see more or order a print, click on www.wildphotons.com Free shipping on all first time print orders.
     

    Meet The Chip Outsider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author. Of course, since he finally got the forecast right for the last couple of years, he’s been dressing a little funny. He’s also been taking it easy now that Risto’s President. Lisa says she hardly ever sees him. Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof who couldn’t solve the original OEE equation. He has also been honored with the Best Gossip Columnist Award for his coverage on industry trends. Dan’s background? Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm.

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events. To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it. This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here. All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research for this issue by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed. No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.

    In short, April Fools.



    BLSI REASEARCH INC
    Where the Chip Making Industry Clicks to Find out
    Where’s the Dip and When the Salsa will run Out

    With a password, you can get almost all of the data at our web site.
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    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top  

    April 1, 2005 : 1st self-powered 10 GHz processor.  Immersion expose/develop tool exposed.  IBM 360 retro-version mainframe.  Ferrari no longer competitive, Schumacher out.  Another prediction right at BLSI: United States’ Full Employment Act of 2003 supercharges 2004.  WildPhonons: Warning Signs . . .

    Advanced Micro Thermal introduces world’s first 10 Ghz microprocessor. More intriguing is that it operates with no external power source using Soiitec’s newly introduced Zero Power Technology (ZPT) wafers.  ZPT works by drawing leakage out of the transistors, using it for a thermal-electro-recharging.  Using its new StrataCut™ process, Soiitec’s wafers have a layered nano-battery underneath a thin semiconductor grade silicon layer that forms the transistor platform.  Because, ZPT draws power and converts it into a stored charge before high temperatures develop, it actually allows transistors to run faster without overheating.  Power density on AMT’s 10GHz processor is an amazing 50W per square inch.  Operated at this speed, it actually generates enough power to be self charging.  According V. Ellis Tsai, chief architect, “The idea was actually seeded by some nano-theorists who have posited that the chip power dissipation trend, if left unabated, would someday equal that of a nuclear reactor.  Instead of trying to fight this trend, I realized that if we moved the transistors in that direction, we could create the equivalent of an on-chip nuclear reactor to self-power the processor.  The hard part was developing the complex nano-battery storage mechanism.  But Soiitec came through with another masterful materials engineering program.”  According to Tsai, “Nano-batteries tend to be very inefficient.  But that just means that you have to run the processor faster to get it to dissipate enough energy to power the battery. ”  AMT was also talking about a next generation 20 GHz processor with an improved StrataCut battery that will generate enough surplus power to run the peripherals.  What is really exciting about this is the potential for an environmental breakthrough.  When the peripherals are not needed, ZPT processors could potentially be used to put energy back into the power grid, returning cash back to the PC owner and controlling pollution by reducing the need for coal and oil fired power plants.

    ASM has developed a unique new immersion process that merges exposure and develop into a single step.  By using a specially developed liquid that replaces water with developer, ASM has eliminated one of the most time consuming steps is the exposure process.  The other advantage to this proprietary liquid is that its improved refractive index increases the 0.92 NA of its current immersion tools to an astounding 1.21.  It only takes a minor retrofit to upgrade your existing 0.92 TSi scanner to a 1.21 TSid.

    IBM 360 retro-version mainframe on the way.  Last year, IBM broke the 360 Teraflop barrier with its Blue Gene/L super computer in celebration of the anniversary of its landmark 360 mainframe.  Now it plans a retro version in a surprise marketing move to take the retro design movement from autos to computers.  Click here to see the movie of its operation, caught by BLSI’s spies in the labs.

    Union forces Schumacher out.  Ferrari no longer competitive.  You may not follow GP racing, but it is sad to see how badly Ferrari is doing ever since their star, Schumacher, was forced out by the unions in an argument over style.  Some argued, “Who cares?  He wins races.”  But it was a matter of style over results and the union was the one handing out speeding tickets that day.  Schumacher had run over too many toes in his sprint to the top.  So, he had to go.

    VLSI Research Inc announces new breakthrough Tai YI management system that guarantees smoother financial results for chip makers.  Going beyond simple yield management, Tai YI management adds inventory into the picture, making it Yield-Inventory Management.  Risto, VLSI’s new President, notes that “The problem with increasing yield is that it increases inventory, which drives down a chip maker’s stock price.  It was a real problem in 2004, which is why we developed this powerful new program.  Tai YI management powers through this in what is a revolutionary way to control inventory via yield.” 

    With a revolutionary new balance sheet balancing program, BLSI’s consultants work closely with a chip maker’s test engineers to change the guard-banding depending on output need.  First all ICs are tested using normal guard-banding.  When yields are too high, you tighten up guard-bands on the tester and retest.  The resulting lower yields mean that you don’t have to carry these devices in inventory.  They are now scrap and become a write-off.  BLSI stores these bad parts for later when yields invariably fall.  These parts are then retested with normal guard-bands, making them immediately sellable.  Moreover, since they have been previously written off, the Cost-Of-Goods-Sold is only what it costs to retest them.  If yields are poor and the market’s too hot, you can also balance demand by loosening guard-bands, which creates more parts to sell.  It also creates future demand – because field failures rise, which have to be replaced.  BLSI’s Tai YI management eliminates inventory carrying costs and it boosts profits substantially.  According to G. Dan, “similar to Tai Chi which balances energy flow, Tai YI balances inventory flow in the corporate body, eliminating its harmful effects.”

    Another prediction right at BLSI:  2004 turned out to be a boom year in large part due to the rapid implementation of the United States’ Full Employment Act of 2003.  If you read this column last year, you will recall we predicted that this bid to bolster reelection efforts would drive the upturn.  The economy showed very healthy growth in 2004.  This was a direct result of The Full Employment Act of 2003 (also known as Sarbanes-Oxley), which drove the hiring of accountants and attorneys up substantially in 2004.  Legal and accounting firms had a boom year.  The Full Employment Act of 2003 has resulted in a hiring turnaround for this crucial part of America’s service economy.  At the same time, it has spurred significant corporate spending, which all CEO surveys confirm.  All something which your very own chip outsider predicted!

    WildPhonons: Avoid surprise and you’ll avoid confrontation. 

    Raccoon warning.  It was caught off guard when it saw me.  Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA
    Keyword: Partnering       SacramentoNWR_041224_079

    Don’t fool with an April  Fool. 

    A normal colored raccoon, this one was the partner of the blonde raccoon.  It was
    surprised to see me when it crested the ridge, and protested my presence. 
    Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA
    Keyword: Holiday       SacramentoNWR_041224_083

    To see more or order a print, click on www.wildphotons.com Free shipping on all first time print orders.

    Meet The Chip Outsider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Of course, since he finally got the forecast right for the last couple of years, he’s been dressing a little funny.  He’s also been taking it easy now that Risto’s President.  Lisa says she hardly ever sees him.  Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof who couldn’t solve the original OEE equation.  He has also been honored with the Best Gossip Columnist Award for his coverage on industry trends.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm.

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here.   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research for this issue by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.

    In short, April Fools.

    BLSI REASEARCH INC
    Where the Chip Making Industry Clicks to Find out Where’s the Dip and When the Salsa will run Out

    With a password, you can get almost all of the data at our web site.
    Check it out at . . . <www.vlsiresearch.com>


    Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used in any legal proceedings nor may any information contained herein be disclosed to any third party, or reproduced, or transmitted to any third party, in any form or by any means -- mechanical, electronic, photocopying, duplicating, microfilming, videotape, verbally or otherwise -- without prior written permission of VLSI Research.


     


    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top


    April 1, 2004 :
    Sarbanes-Oxley renamed.  Equipment auctions emerge.  Microstepper Breakthrough.  Flash Anneal systems criticized by authorities for drawing too much current.  Ultra-low cost 3Gb/sec tester announced.  Mass Cancellations a thing of the past.  New EU VAT tax on home electronics.  Regulators go after e-mail use.  LoosePhonons: Warning Signs . . .

    Sarbanes-Oxley renamed.  The Administration, in a bid to bolster reelection efforts, has asked key members of Congress to rename the Sarbanes-Oxley to the Full Employment Act of 2003. They point out that these regulations have had a significant impact on increasing both employment and corporate spending and wanted to highlight the fact that it occurred on their watch.  As a result of the Full Employment Act, hiring of accountants and attorneys is up substantially.  After the corporate credibility crisis, something had to be done.  More than simply prove that the government was doing something to regulate corporate credibility, The Full Employment Act of 2003 has resulted in a hiring turnaround for this crucial part of America’s service economy.  At the same time, it has spurred significant corporate spending, which all CEO surveys confirm.

    SEMMI has a super-secret equipment auctioning program that is planned to be unveiled at West.  By auctioning equipment, this program will enable equipment makers to get the full value out of the tools they sell, or in non-marketing speak - - the highest prices.  After three years of micro-profits, the goal is to roll back the clock to macro-profits

    ASCN announces breakthrough in microsteppers.  ASCN is a new cooperative of lithography suppliers. It is working on a breakthrough Next Generation Lithography program, called microsteppers, that promises to fundamentally lower equipment costs.  V. Ellis Tsai comments that “by building steppers at the micro-scale, quality replicas can be made for far less.  Immersion will be far less costly because the entire scanner can be immersed, saving the expense of costly liquid delivery systems.”   While Tsai would not comment on imaging quality, he did say that the smaller wafer sizes needed would raise chip manufacturing costs, thereby helping chip makers to justify raising prices.

    New Fab Launch overloads New York power system:  New York went again dark last night as a ramping bank of Flash Lamp Anneal systems caused a chained shut-down of the state’s power grid.  The Flash Anneal systems drew too much current and overloaded the system.  Contacted early this morning, LastSilicon CEO, Chip A. Niel, noted that they did have all the necessary permits and a work-around was now in place.  The only issue now is for schedulers late in the day.  They have to weigh meeting turns or having a hot dinner.

    Test start-up delivers 3Gb/sec SOC tester at a breakthrough price of $500.  Called the Microprofit 2600, it is a steal.  Contact Death Valley based Vulture Test for more information.

    UN inspectors report finding no Weapons of Mass Cancellation after thorough search of Icrash.  Administration officials are befuddled that chief inspector Hans Veafir couldn’t find clear indications in Icrash after a month-long search.  They report provided ample evidence of PO’s from satellite fabs of equipment orders being cancelled.  Hans Veafir countered that “what waz in the dip, waz in zee dip, vee can’t comment on zhiss.  But now zee chips are on zee rise, so chip makers need more equipment to make zee salsa.”

    EU plans new tax on digital home electronics.  Recognized as a new VAT tax, the EU hopes to cash in on the growth of VLSI Addictive Toys such as flat screen TVs and home theatre systems.  EU tax Czar,

    Elliot Spitzor calls use of customer support lines and private e-mail communication materially significant unfair disclosure.  Bringing charges against several corporations, Mr. Spitzor cited that customer support was a clear violation of SEC rules regarding fair disclosure.  Companies will now have to have open conference calls for every support call.

    LoosePhonons: No matter how pretty the view . . .
                             The warning signs are always there . . .
                                                                You just have to look.


    Bryant and Lowell Street, Palo Alto, CA                                      196-9657 04
                                                                                
    Keyword: Marketing

    Meet The Chip Outsider: You won't believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Of Course, since he finally got the forecast right last year, he's been dressing a little funny.

    He’s also had one too many lattes lately.  Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof who couldn’t solve the original OEE equation.  He has also been honored with the Best Gossip Columnist Award for his coverage on industry trends.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.

    Ever wonder what BLSI’s secret is?  Check out its retro-data-engine:

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm.

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research for this issue by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.

    In short, April Fools.

    BLSI REASEARCH INC

    Where the Chip Making Industry Clicks to Find out Where’s the Dip and When will the Salsa be Out

    With a password, you can get almost all of the data at our web site.
    Check it out at . . . <www.vlsiresearch.com>

    Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used in any legal proceedings nor may any information contained herein be disclosed to any third party, or reproduced, or transmitted to any third party, in any form or by any means -- mechanical, electronic, photocopying, duplicating, microfilming, videotape, verbally or otherwise -- without prior written permission of VLSI Research.

    Copyright © 2004 by VLSI Research Inc


     

     


    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2003 : Regulation FD Rules Expanded . . .                                        

    SEC: New disclosure rules issued for Regulation FD
    Wal-Mart
    enters chip equipment business

    The Next Big Thing:
    It’s not just wireless - - it’s pipeless.

    The Whether Report: New Finnish Metrics.
     

    The SEC has ruled that Regulation FD now applies to Government.  This ruling was hailed as a major move to bring the government to the same standards it places on business.  In recent years, government disclosures have affected market results.  So this expansion of Regulation FD will enable fair and equal disclosure of information to the media.  In order to comply with this new ruling, senior government officials will need to have open press conferences whenever they disclose anything that is materially relevant to the nation.  The most important impact is on war coverage, where the administration’s legal department has advised all branches that members of the armed forces should be instructed to not talk to individual members of the media.  All disclosures will now come through open press conferences and analyst conference calls to ensure full and fair disclosure of materially relevant news.  As with business, the SEC left the definition of what’s materially relevant vague, so it will be left up the administration, which will apply more restrictive rules.  All disclosures will now come with safe harbor statements.  In order to easier comply with the new SEC rules, military heads are asking all media personnel to leave front-line positions and return home, where they can get full and fair disclosure from press conferences and analyst conference calls.  In his most recent conference call, the President articulated continued ground gains on all fronts.  He declined to comment about specific markets regions, which they will now only disclose at their annual shareholders’ meeting, where he gives the State of the Union address.  He also retracted prior comments with regard to taking Saddam out, stating that these were forward looking statements and may be subject to change.  In a read statement that can be found on their web site, the Administration’s CFO stated spending was increasing due to the war, but declined to give guidance on future spending needs.  Actual spending with be released in the next quarterly report.  The major brokerages increased deficit estimates on the news.  

    Wal-Mart acquires SEMI trade shows and announces entry to the chip equipment business.  Their vision is to sell equipment directly through local chip equipment warehouses.  The new stores will be named “Sam’s Tool Box.”  CEO, Lowe Price states “our goal is to become the kings of chip equipment discounting, with stores that are open year round.  Each store will have a service center, where chip makers can bring in systems for repair.  This eliminates the need for costly on-site service that customers are reluctant to pay for.”  Customers will no longer need to register to attend.  Tools can be purchased with most major credit cards at check-out stands conveniently located near building exits.  According to Lowe, “This streamlines the negotiation process into one quick transaction.”

    The Next Big Thing: It’s not just wireless - - it’s pipeless.  International EQUIPITECH  has just announced a proprietary wireless and pipeless architecture for semiconductor equipment.  CEO V. Ellis Tsai says that now chip equipment can now be truly portable.  Wireless interfaces are handled by conventional 802.11 protocols.  But the real breakthrough comes in the Mass-Time Compressor 1604.22 protocol that eliminates the need for all pipes to transfer chemicals, gases, and vacuum.  This eliminates the clutter, complexity, and cost of routing ultra-clean piping all through the fab.  These piping systems are replaced with 1604.22 transceivers at all gas boxes and vacuum pumps, as well as at the flow control points on the equipment itself.  This is a simple field upgrade.  Once installed, all source materials and vacuum can be deconstructed at the source and transported through the space-time continuum directly to the tools.  

    Power needs are handled through rechargeable proprietary lithium-Ion batteries, which analysts hail as a major change that will bring stability to the industry’s business model.  The batteries only last about a year and replacement batteries will be priced so that it makes more sense for customers to upgrade tools each year.  V. Ellis Tsai believes customers won’t mind the increase in consumable costs since they are already used to this with cell phones.  

    BLSI Reasearch announces new weather metric system.  Some have complained that VLSI’s weather metrics were too California-like to correctly match this industry’s weather.  After reading so many chilling reports last year with nice ice photos describing conditions, Risto, our resident Finn led us to switch to new Finnish weather metrics.  These have been adopted to more adequately describe weather conditions in the equipment industry.  A Finnish standard also better describes how hard weather hardened the equipment industry is in contrast to a California standard.    To that end, we have restated yesterday’s weather report to this new metric:  

    The Whether:  It’s so cold penguins can fly . . .  

    United States : Cooling, Fog. Temperatures: Low -30’s (C).
    Europe : Warming, Partially Cloudy. Temperatures: Low -30’s (C).
    Japan : Warming, Clearing. Temperatures: Upper -30’s (C).
    Korea : Warming, Clearing. Temperatures: Lower -30’s (C).
    Taiwan : Warming, Clearing. Temperatures: Lower -20’s (C).
    ROW
    : Warming, Sunny. Temperatures: Hi -20’s (C).

    The semiconductor equipment industry’s global climate average warmed appreciably to hit an average of - 22 degrees centigrade.  It’s been cold, real cold, as anyone who who’s spent the last three years in the equipment industry knows.   

    Here is a description of the how the new Finnish temperature ranges apply:

    +15°C / 59°F: Delivery is the only issue . . . This is as warm as it gets in Finland and that pretty much describes the equipment industry over the last couple of years, so we'll start here.  Californians start wearing winter-coats and gloves at these temperatures. Customers move their Supplier Day meetings to
    Hawaii .  Meanwhile, equipment sales professionals are out in the sun getting a tan with the Finns.
     

    +10°C / 50°F: Orders are coming in with no sales effort.  The French are trying in vain to start their central heating. The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.  Equipment executives go swimming.

    +5°C / 41°F: Orders Accelerating and are capacity driven.  Delivery is more an issue in the sales process. Old tools are breaking wafers and Italian cars no longer start. The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.


    0°C / 32°F: B:B ratios should be at a sustainable 1:1 at the point were distilled water freezes. The water in the
    Vantaa river (in Southern Finland ) gets a little thicker.

    -5°C / 23°F: Still meeting reasonable quotas at the point where most people in
    California begin to freeze to death. Like Finns, equipment makers have their last SEMICON barbecue before winter.


    -10°C / 14°F: Finance is concerned.  Sales get new suits.  The Brits start the heat in their houses. The Finns start using long sleeves.

    -20°C / -4°F: Orders are expected to decelerate.  Price is becoming an issue. New Yorkers flee
    Vermont . The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations.  Autumn is here.

    -30°C / -22°F: No way we’ll meet quotas.  People in
    Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth. The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.

    -40°C / -40°F: B:B ratios are 0.9:1.  Paris starts cracking in the cold. The Finns stand in line at the hotdog stands.  Equipment makers cancel the band at the Christmas party.

    -50°C / -58°F: Technology buys become the norm when Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.

    -60°C / -76°F Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes. Equipment executives stay indoors.

    -70°C / -94°F: Technology becomes a hard sell as the false Santa moves south. The Finns get frustrated since they can't store their Koskenkorva vodka outdoors. Equipment suppliers have off-site meetings at the same place where the Finnish army has just gone out for winter survival training.


    -183°C / -297.4°F: Relationship selling is the only way to move hardware at temperatures where Microbes in food don't survive. The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.  Chip makers complain service response times are slowing.  

    -273°C / -459.4°F: One can’t give product away when all atom-based movement halts. Equipment sales people get concerned.  The Finns start saying "Perkele, it's cold outside today."

    -300°C / -508°F: They’re not returning calls after 5+ attempts.  Hell freezes over, as the forecasters finally get it right, and
    Finland wins all classes of the Olympics.
     

    So if that sounds like the conditions you’ve experienced in the equipment business in recent years, you qualify to become an official Finn of the equipment industry.  

    Meet The Chip Insider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof.  This year he was honored with the Best Gossip Columnist Award for his coverage on industry trends.  According to THE Chip Insider, Dan’s responsibilities include . . . “not much, he’s always late, complaining that was writing the chip insider.  He used to always be off in some foreign country.  Last year he stayed home and nosed around where we don’t want him, so I went on the road,” according to Risto Puhakka.  Dan’s sister says, “He’s always been superb at delegating.”  His father just say’s, “I finally retired and got out of this crazy industry.”  Before Dan misspelled his mother’s name, she just thought he was great and cut him a lot of slack.  She’s since written him out of her will and still says his father spoiled him.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.  

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm.  

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research for this issue by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.   

    In short, April Fools.  

    BLSI REASEARCH INC
    Where the Chip Making Industry Clicks to Find out Where’s the Dip and When will the Salsa be Out  

    With a password, you can get almost all of the data at our web site.
    Check it out at . . . <www.vlsiresearch.com>


    Printed in the United States of America . All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used in any legal proceedings nor may any information contained herein be disclosed to any third party, or reproduced, or transmitted to any third party, in any form or by any means -- mechanical, electronic, photocopying, duplicating, microfilming, videotape, verbally or otherwise -- without prior written permission of VLSI Research.

    Copyright © 2003 by VLSI Research Inc

                   


     

    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2002: From the Track...                                                                 

    The Racing Report: The Track’s Still Slippery, but everyone’s going faster . . .  

    Daytona Beach, United States: Faster. Temperatures: Lo-170’s (MPH).

    Monza, Europe: Faster. Temperatures: Hi-160’s (MPH).

    Suzuka, Japan: Cooling. Temperatures: Hi-140’s    (MPH).

    Seoul, Korea: Warming. Temperatures: Lo-170’s (MPH).

    Hsinchu, Taiwan: Warming. Temperatures: Hi-180’s (MPH).

    Sepang, ROW: Warming. Temperatures: Mid-180’s (MPH).  

    World Championship Trap Speeds (average trap speed in MPH)

      Last     -2Wk   -3Wk    -4Wk     -5Wk   -6Wk    -7Wk    -8Wk 

     171.8    169.8    168.8   168.2   166.5    165.2   166.7   165.8  

                -9Wk    -10Wk    -11Wk    -12Wk    -13Wk     -14Wk

                162.2     163.3     155.7     156.0      149.5      149.5

     

    Equipment Order Visibility: Foggy

    Chip Prices: Logic Goofy     Memory Daffy

     

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

    After the Crash:  Most everyone’s out of the kitty litter and racing again.

    Global Climate Trends:  Steadily faster with each lap.

    New Technology:  The Next Big Thing has arrived!  

    After the Crash:  Most equipment makers are out of the kitty litter (used in track run-off areas to slow down crashing vehicles more safely).  They can’t go fast simply because there is so much dirt and rocks clinging to their tires.  But chip makers are starting to go fast again.  The fastest are from the regions with no tracks.  Then again, once you get past the terror, it can be fun to watch Hsinchu taxi drivers make moves that even Michael Schumacher wouldn’t dare in similar conditions.   

    Japan is the only area that is still struggling.  However, we just got wind of a bold new recovery plan being discussed by the power brokers in Japan’s government and its ministries.  The rumored plan will address the issue of low business and consumer sentiment levels.  Supposedly, a study has shown that in elevator environments in business building are a significant source of their problems.  So, all ‘down’ buttons will be changed to read ‘correction.’  Having up/correction buttons is expected to alleviate current depressing conditions in elevators that have up/down buttons.  Separately, rumors have it that Arthur Anderson, an advisor, likes the idea so much that they are recommending all clients change their elevator buttons to up/restated.   

    But everything may be slowed soon due to . . .  

    Microsoft has issued a class suit, going after the chip and equipment industry for violating licenses on it XP software.  The suit argues that since Microsoft software is used in all chip equipment and that wafer production is a for-profit use that an additional license fee for each wafer processed should be paid.  Chipmakers are incensed at the license tax of $1 per wafer pass, which would amount to roughly 10% of all processing costs.    

    New Technology: just the sort of things we need to get us out of the downturn.   

    Dupont introduced the world’s first programmable photomask today.  Dupont hopes to make low cost ASICs possible again.  In recent years mask costs have skyrocketed at chipmakers have shifted to Phase Shifting and OPC.  Few favor e-beam as a solution.  But with this important breakthrough from Dupont, masks can be programmed directly from CAE tapes, saving money and speeding product to market.  Configured with LCD pixels that block the light, it works much like a data projector.  Stepper utilization is dramatically improved because there is no need to change reticles.  Since reticles are never changed and can be built in an ultra-clean environment, there is also no need to clean or inspect them once installed.  

    The Next Big Thing has arrived: Yes it is wireless, but nothing you’d expect.  Get ready to throw away your batteries, because researchers at Calford University have invented wireless power.  With it, you will never again need batteries again.  Moreover, nor will electric car’s - - lessening the hassle and environmental of the massive cells they currently need.  The technology is based on Tesla’s coil.  So, they are still working out the safety issues of transmitting so much power over airwaves.  However, researchers believe there is lots of promise and see the issues as little more significant than those seen with solar power in the last century.  

    Separately, it has been known for some time that power dissipation is becoming a critical issue as Moore's law continues to integrate more transistors, whilst at the same time the requisite CMOS voltage scaling increases the chip's stand-by power.  It appears that researchers at an undisclosed company have found a way to implant dopant impurities onto an epitaxially grown layer of asbestos. This development promises to allow even higher levels of integration than what is possible with SOI (Silicon on Insulator).  

    Reader Replies:  

    > What ever happened to BLSI’s Fuzzy data generator?  < Re: 010499  

    - - You must be referring to BLSI’s release from 1999, which I reproduced below.  To answer your question, I can’t exactly remember, but I believe that Arthur Anderson got a hold of it.  I hear it proved very profitable.  - - dam . . .  

    Check out the attached graphics file for a revealing view of our latest technology.  By the way, VLSI does not have any accounting firms involved in the collection and analysis of our industry data.  In any case, here is the original release.  

    BLSI Reasearch Inc Launches ‘feel-good’ Market Research
     

    San Jalopy, CA.  April 1, 1999:  Today G. Dan Hutcheson, President of VLSI Research Inc, Risto Puhakka, VP of Operations, and Lisa Steele, VP jointly announced the commencement of their latest creative project.  VLSI Research will begin offering its new ‘feel-good’ market research to the industry.   

    That’s right.  Want 100% market share for your company?  Just lease a data listing from our computerized taxonomic segment generator.  It will trim your industry segment right down to the nub.  No one else will be able to get in it.  Risto says ‘Come one, come all, we have a package to fit anyone’s needs.’  

    Want to trash your competitor?  We’ll do it!  G. Dan will put it in print, anywhere in the world.  Of course the price is a bit higher, since you’ll be the only customer we have left, so plan on having us around forever after.   

    Want a Customer Satisfaction rating better than 10?  You Bet!  Our fuzzy number data engine can do that and more.  Just ask Lisa.  She guarantees customer satisfaction by fiddling with the data.  

    And all of this for just the nominal fee of one million kaopectates per word.  Call us today.  We’re here to make you feel good!   

    Meet The Chip Insider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Dan’s most prized position is having been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award from a leading University prof.  Last year he accurately misplaced the state of Oregon.  He frequently misspells senior industry executives’ names, as well as, even his own mother’s.  This year he was most remembered for repeatedly being unable to spell Enron and Arthur Anderson’s name as well as confusing hurtle with hurdle.  According to THE Chip Insider, Dan’s responsibilities include . . . “not much, he’s always late, complaining that he was up all night writing the chip insider.  He used to always be off in some foreign country.  But this year he stayed home nosing around where we don’t want him,” according to Risto Puhakka.  Dan’s sister says, “He’s always been superb at delegating.”  His father say’s, “I’ll never retire with all great ideas he throws my way.  He has the ideas, we get all the work.”  Before Dan misspelled his mother’s name, she just thought he was great and cut him a lot of slack.  She’s since written him out of her will and still says his father spoiled him.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.  

    BLSI’s Guarantee: Its data is never collected nor analyzed by any accounting firm.  

    BLSI Reasearch Inc
    BLSI Reasearch Inc

    BLSI Reasearch Inc

     

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness.   

    In short, April Fools.

     


     

     The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2001: From the rear lines . . .                                                                         

     

    SFT Semiconductor is ramping its state of the art 300mm fab in Tainan, Taiwan. The results are very impressive, as this company has figured out how to get twice the output with half the investment.  Current output is 10,000 WSW and the investment was a mere $1B.  We’ve heard from fab managers at competitors around the world, whose board members of their company’s have an inside track at SFT.  They are being told that yields on SFT’s latest 30mm square die Dentium™ Processor exceed 90% - - all with speed sorts above 4GHz.  Foundry wafers cost only $1200.  We sent our man on the ground there, who discovered that SFT stands for Secret Fab in Taiwan.  It is so secret that there is no building at the actual address.  We suspect it may actually be underground or more likely underwater. 

    The State of Oregon announced that it would start naming its rivers after Intel Microprocessors.  The first river to be renamed will be the Willamette, followed by the Deschutes.   

    PRI Automation has introduced a new generation of transport systems that move wafers at the speed of light.  A part of their new ShipStar Enterprise™ series of automation products, it relys on anti-matter warp drive motors. According to senior company executives, “These are the fastest transport systems in the world, guaranteeing virtually no dwell time between steps.  With StarShip, cycle times are only limited by the actual time it takes to perform the process.”  I checked it out and wafers move so fast that you can’t even see them.  They seem to just sit in the cassette while the patterns magically appear on the wafers. 

    Equipment makers are banding together to create a new supply assurance consortia.  Their goal is to eliminate the silicon cycle that makes it so difficult to plan.  Customers always complain in upturns that they cannot supply tools fast enough.  This problem is created when equipment makers must make so many deep cutbacks in the downturn.  The newly formed Organization of Semiconductor Equipment Companies, or OSEC, will seek to control the cycle by limiting supply in upturns.  The goal is to hold back excess buying, so capacity gluts become a thing of the past.  This will eliminate the steep downturns that force the cutbacks in the first place. Production will be monitored at each supplier site by the Worldwide ImpLementation Functional Logistics Organization for Partnering (WIL FLOP). All the bleeding equipment makers have joined and see this as a win-win for chip and equipment makers.  By limiting equipment production and therefore capacity, they will ensure smooth market growth, stabile pricing, and high profitability for all.   

    Scott Kulicke has a great description for managing your way through the current times: "It's like trying to shoe a running horse, you get kicked a lot."  

    Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.  However, in business we often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:  

    1. Buying a stronger whip.

    2. Changing riders.

    3. Saying things like "This is the way we always have ridden this horse."

    4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

    5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

    6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.

    7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.

    8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.

    9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today's environment.

    10. Change the requirements declaring that "This horse is not dead."

    11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.

    12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.

    13. Declaring that "No horse is too dead to beat."

    14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.

    15. Do an outsourcing study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

    16. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.

    17. Declare the horse is "better, faster and cheaper" dead.

    18. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.

    19. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.

    20. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.

    21. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.  

    BLSI Reasearch may soon reintroduce its writing machine called the Precision 2000XJH.  The objective will be to ensure The Chip Insider is error free and grammatically correct.  Drop any Chip Insider issue in its automatic chip dip bath and the pages come out in red, identifying all the problems.  

    Meet The Chip Insider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Dan has previously been honored with the Befuddled Screw-up Award.  This year he accurately misplaced the state of Oregon; misspelled senior industry executives’ names; even misspelled his own mother’s name; as well as left out key words that made the Chip Insider read like market leaders were exiting important markets.  He is a man who regularly confuses golfing’s putts with stock market puts.  According to THE Chip Insider, “Revised results from BLSI Reasearch’s last year’s forecast will accurately predicted the downturn once we have all the data in.  This new forecasting model uses a proprietary Back-casting Computing Tracker that applies science to the dark art of forecasting.  We have tested it against historical data and it accurately predicts anything once the year is over and the data is in.  But it’s so secret you won’t find it at our web site.”  Dan’s responsibilities include . . . “not much, he’s always late, complaining that he was up all night writing the chip insider, and that’s when he’s not off in some foreign country.  We hardly ever see him” according to Risto Puhakka.  Dan’s sister says, “he’s always been superb at delegating.”  His father say’s, “I’ll never retire with all great ideas he throws my way.  He has the ideas, we get all the work.”  Before Dan misspelled his mother’s name, she just thought he was great and cut him a lot of slack.  She’s since written him out of her will and still says his father spoiled him.  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.  

    We fired the lawyers this year so you can quickly get a password to access data at our web site.

    BLSI Reasearch Inc
    BLSI Reasearch Inc

    BLSI Reasearch Inc

      This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness. 

    In short, April Fools.

     


     

    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 2000: From the rear lines . . .                                                                            

     

    Cymer has developed a new excimer laser that eliminates the need for lenses in steppers.  Light pulses are digitally encoded with a phased array pulse generator to form a coherently focused broad beam of entangled photons.  This eliminates the need for a lens, which serves primarily as a photon attenuator in current-day steppers.  The only light loss is at the reticle.  According to Cymer, customers will soon get all the photons they pay for. 

    Foup . . .  Foup . . . Foup . . . Marketing showmanship will rise to new heights at SEMICON West this year.  Our inside sources indicate that Applied Materials have contracted George Foreman to appear in full boxing regalia at center ring in their booth for key customer photo ops.  Wednesday at noon, George will face off against Sass for 3 rounds.  Las Vegas is giving odds of 10:1 in favor of Sass.  There will also be a Sass look-alike contest held at the Mattson booth. 

    Equipment makers are banding together to create a new supply assurance consortia.  Their goal is to eliminate the silicon cycle that makes it so difficult to plan.  Customers always complain in upturns that they cannot supply tools fast enough.  This problem is created when equipment makers must make so many deep cutbacks in the downturn.  The newly formed Organization of Semiconductor Equipment Companies, or OSEC, will seek to control the cycle by limiting supply in upturns.  The goal is to hold back excess buying, so capacity gluts become a thing of the past.  This will eliminate the steep downturns that force the cutbacks in the first place. Production will be monitored at each supplier site by the Worldwide ImpLementation Functional Logistics Organization for Partnering (WIL FLOP). All the bleeding equipment makers have joined and see this as a win-win for chip and equipment makers.  By limiting equipment production and therefore capacity, they will ensure smooth market growth, stabile pricing, and high profitability for all.   

    Heard of 450mm wafers yet?  DELETE is secret new consortia based in Japan.  It plans to skip 300mm on and move right to 450mm.  DELETE, or DEfocusing Leading Edge Technologies is intended to defocus the world’s research on 300mm so Japan can regain its lead in semiconductors.  While Japanese companies focus on implementing 300mm, DELETE will defocus the world’s research efforts on 450mm.   

    Meet The Chip Insider: You won’t believe it, but Dan Hutcheson really is the author.  Dan was honored to achieve the Befuddled Screw-up Award this year because of his frequent misspelling and mispronunciation of senior industry executives’ names as well as for his use of obsolete formulas.  He is a man who regularly confuses a stable with a stabile market  - - err, that’s actually the British spelling, make that a stable market.  According to THE Chip Insider, “Results for BLSI Reasearch’s latest forecasting model predict no more equipment industry recessions.  It uses a proprietary Hyper-Lineator Computing Ruler that applies science to the dark art of forecasting.  We have tested it against historical data and it accurately predicts that there really haven’t been turning points in the past.  But it’s so secret you won’t find it at web site.”  Dan’s responsibilities include . . . “not much, he’s always late, complaining that he was up all night writing the chip insider, and that’s when he’s not off in some foreign country.  We hardly ever see him” according to Risto Puhakka.  Dan’s sister says, “he’s always been superb at delegating.”  His father say’s, “I’ll never retire with all great ideas he throws my way.  He has the ideas, we get all the work.”  His mother just thinks he’s great and cuts him a lot of slack (but she still says his father spoiled him).  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time.  

                                MEMO TO ALL CHIP INSIDER RECIPIENTS  

    From:               Jerry Hutcheson                   

    Subject:            Privacy Policy for the WWW. 

    Pursuant to Dan’s request for a privacy policy for VLSI Research, here are a few alternatives we would like you to consider.  Please vote. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 10  

    Yes, VLSI Research Inc has a privacy policy.  However because it is private it is therefore also confidential so we can’t let you view it.  Please trust us that we won’t do the wrong thing with all that personal info we gather. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 9  

    Your right to privacy is very important.  Not to us, but maybe to you.  So, sucker, we’re going to take that baby and spread it all over the Globe. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 8  

    Cookies, cookies, whose got the cookies?  We don’t, because as soon as you log-in we drop ‘em into your PC.  If our cookies are on your browser, everyone will soon be browsing your family jewels. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 7  

    Privacy is our policy. Some of our data is so private that it requires registration to access it.  We’ll issue a password, but just try and get it to work. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 6 

    We will not provide any of your personal information to other websites without your permission. However, we may need to provide your name and other private information to newspapers and trade journals that VLSI Research Inc uses for the purposes of delivering scandalous tidbits about you. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 5  

    In general, when you visit our website and access information you remain anonymous. But, boy, we sure can’t say the same about your data.  So before we ask you for information, we’ll explain how it is to be broadcast. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 4  

    Because our websites are developed for imbeciles with mentalities under the age of 13, we encourage you to get your guardians' permission before giving us anything.

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 3  

    Our privacy watchword is “Don’t mess with our passwords” otherwise you’ll soon find yourself with none of our data while we have all of yours. 

    Privacy Policy, Alternative # 2  

    VLSI Research is a member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, nonprofit initiative whose mission is to promote disclosure and informed consent. Therefore, we have agreed to disclose your information and consent to have your private affairs reviewed by and all interested parties.  

    And the Number 1 Privacy Policy is: 

    Check it the real privacy policy at our web site: <http://www.vlsiresearch.com/>
     

    We fired the lawyers this year so you can quickly get a password to access data at our web site.

    BLSI Reasearch Inc
    BLSI Reasearch Inc

    BLSI Reasearch Inc

     

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   All information here has been furnished to VLSI Research by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness. 

      In short, April Fools.

     

     


                                

    The Chip Outsider                                                                                Top

    April 1, 1999: From the rear lines . . .                                                                          

     

    Yahoo! Announces Merger with Applied Materials: Two of Silicon Valley’s premier names joined forces today as Yahoo! (NASD:YHOO) announced a merger with Applied Materials (NASD:AMAT).    This merger will allow chipmakers to place orders for leading-edge, front-end process tool sets quickly, and will save Applied marketing and sales expenses.  The new company will be called Yahoo, Applied Materials!  (NASD symbol YAM).  Unconfirmed reports indicate that a joint product development team has already been working on a new generation of product, code-named Yams, aimed at the now-certain-to-emerge 300 mm wafer processing equipment market.  Investors reacted vigorously to the news, as shares of both firms posted single-day gains of  25+% as of midnight EST, March 31st.  

    And you thought 100% uptime was just a dream? Tegal is now guaranteeing it with a new Total Predictive Maintenance (TPM) program.  Its new TPM Futura™ beats the POOR (Plain Old Ordinary Repair) service networks owned by the big dogs.  Futura is the result of a unique teaming of Tegal’s research and service groups.  It started during a routine Very High Density Warp Plasma (VHDWarP) experiment, when they discovered that they had accidentally transported some carbon based material in time and space.  Futura is a scaled up version of this module.  It is all very simple.  Whenever a system goes down, you call Tegal with the problem and they instantaneously transport a service tech back in time.  He replaces all the parts that are going to fail during the last PM so no downtime is lost.  The downside is that only living material can be transported.  So, your line workers may be offended until they become accustomed to service techs showing up in birthday suits. 

    Meet The Chip Insider.  Amazingly, Dan Hutcheson is the author.  Regularly misquoted in leading business publications, Dan has stumbled drunkenly off stages at the most premier technology conferences around world.  A man who regularly confuses a picometers with nanoseconds - - err, make that picoseconds and nanometers - - he is renowned for still trying to forecast the 1980’s.  According to THE Chip Insider, “Our in-depth studies show that the accuracy improves substantially if you avoid forecasting and just backcast.”  Dan’s responsibilities include . . . “not much, he’s always late, complaining that he was up all night writing the chip insider, and then he’s off to lunch.  We hardly ever see him” according to Risto Puhakka.  Dan’s mother says, “he’s always been superb at delegating, we get all the work.”  His sister say’s, “he not only delegates responsibility, he is a master at delegating blame.”  Dan’s background?  Well he really doesn’t have any background for this; he just wandered on the scene at the right time. 

    BLSI Reasearch Inc Launches ‘feel-good’ Market Research  

    San Jalopy, CA.  April 1, 1999:  Today G. Dan Hutcheson, President of VLSI Research Inc, Risto Puhakka, VP of Operations, and Lisa Steele, VP jointly announced  the commencement of their  latest creative project.  VLSI Research will begin offering its new ‘feel-good’ market research to the industry.   

    That’s right.  Want 100% market share for your company?  Just lease a data listing from our computerized taxonomic segment generator.  It will trim your industry segment right down to the nub.  No one else will be able to get in it.  Risto says ‘Come one, come all, we have a package to fit anyone’s needs.’  

    Want  to trash your competitor?  We’ll do it!  G. Dan will put it in print, anywhere in the world.  Of course the price is a bit higher, since you’ll be the only customer we have left, so plan on having us around forever after.    

    Want a Customer Satisfaction rating better than 10?  You Bet!  Our fuzzy number data engine can do that and more.  Just ask Lisa.  She guarantees customer satisfaction by fiddling with the data.  

    And all of this for just the nominal fee of one million kaopectates per word.  Call us today.  We’re here to make you feel good!   

    VLSI launches new service training tapes: Once your service people learn these techniques, we guarantee that they can drop your customer satisfaction at least a point, click below for a special sample. 

    With a password, you can now get slow access to data at our web site (that is, if you can get past our lawyer’s contracts and actually get a password).

    Check it out at <http://www.vlsiresearch.com/>

      BLSI Reasearch Inc
      BLSI Reasearch Inc

      BLSI Reasearch Inc

     

    This e-mail report is confused and in no way represents real facts or events.  To avoid embarrassment don’t distribute it.  This report does not contain VLSI Research's credible analysis of information nor is in any way an accurate, official, or condoned view of the companies portrayed here (hopefully they’ll have some sense of humor and not sue us).   The information has been furnished to VLSI Research by irresponsible persons. Data was obtained from unreliable sources, and accuracy is not good here, so it cannot be guaranteed.  No independent steps have been taken to confirm its accuracy, truthfulness, or completeness. 

       
    In short, April Fools.

     

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