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    SemiWEEK: Why Artificial Intelligence can't innovate; Stocks were mixed

      Andrea Lati

    Semiconductor WEEK: An overview of results and conclusions from recent reports at VLSI.

    Chip Market Research Services
    It's still warm and green out there, but most choose to be wary
    • Order activity for semiconductor equipment jumped for the second consecutive week, hitting a warm 81 degrees
    • After hitting a soft patch early in the summer, memory demand appears to be picking up again driven by mobile and server demand
    • VLSI’s Chip Price Performance Index jumped higher

    Semiconductor Analytics
    Last Week in the Semiconductor Market:
    Semiconductor sales bounced up last week to 2019 levels and were well above Q2. The weather continues to improve off lows in 1Q20, as our sticker page shows. Focusing on the overall IC picture this week: the 13Wk MA shows the sharp V recovery from COVID has slowed and with a sales trend that tracks prior years.
    Semi Market results from last week:
    • Semiconductor Sales Nowcast: The 4Q20 Nowcast kicked off at +2%
    • Semiconductor Weather1 Report: Warm, Warmer
    • IC Supply-Demand2 Metrics: 3 Tight quarters
    • Electronics Pricing Trend: Prices rose with strength in Notebooks and Tablets

    Chip History Center
    People: Ken Schroeder, then President & CEO of KLA-Tencor, discusses the history of process control and the role K-T played in improving wafer fab yields for semiconductor companies in this 2005 video. He describes the new wafer inspection tools they introduced that year: The Puma dark-field tool and the 2800 bright-field system. Other topics include How IC makers save money using process control. Focus
    is on ramping 65nm and bringing 45nm to production.

    Exhibits: The Koreans are Coming
    This landmark article from 1979 hails Korea’s entry into the Semiconductor industry. It’s truly amazing how little the Korean government actually allotted to get their country into the chip making game and how much they got out of it. Today’s memory giants have their roots in this investment.

    The Chip Insider
    Strategy and Tactics: Why Artificial Intelligence can’t innovate.
    Why Artificial Intelligence can’t innovate: Not to be confused with ‘AI can’t be innovatived.’ It’s frustrating to hear about people who believe AI systems can or could be able to innovate if we were able to throw enough compute power or more transistors than there are neurons in the human brain at the problem. By innovate, I am refering to beliefs that AI systems will be able to develop processes in the near future and eventually replace engineers. The reason for my frustruation is those who believe this do not appear to comprehend the math behind how AI works and how it differs from what we know — and don’t know — about the human brain. As I have written before, the electrical network has been mapped and it is known how neurons and synapses work electrically. It is also known that the brain is non-linear. What is not known is how brain chemistry works in the decision-making system (also known as wet ware), which is completely lacking in AI systems. That’s a quick backgrounder, now let’s look at innovation from a mathematical perspective…

    Maxims Reloaded: Problems are markets … Solutions are products. Marketing pros love to use the word ‘solution’ as a synonym for ‘product.’ It sounds so much better when you can provide a solution, rather than have a product to sell. Meanwhile they avoid using the word ‘problem,’ because customers hate this. This way of thinking can lead to the common strategic product development error of only focusing on the solution. This results in solutions to problems that either don’t exist or don’t have enough value to compensate for the cost of delivering the solution. Because after all, if you limit your discourse to only solutions, while avoiding the real problem, the results will often be product launch failures, lack of direction, and career crashes. Avoiding the error is easy with a simple mental reset…

    Semiconductor Stocks
    VLSI's Semiconductor Stock Indices were mixed this week with EDA stocks hitting a fresh new high for the year.
    • Semiconductors -0%
    • Equipment +1%
    • EDA +3%
    • Electronic Materials -0%

    VLSI’s Semiconductor Stock Index slipped 0.2% this week. SMIC was this week’s biggest winner, likely due to their breakthrough in 7nm chips.
    IDM +0.7%
    Foundry & OSAT -0.0%
    Fabless & Fablite -0.6%
    VLSI’s Semiconductor Equipment Stock Index was led up 1.3% by ASM International and Assembly companies.
    WFE -0.2%
    Test +0.1%
    Assembly +6.6%

    VLSI’s EDA Stock Index jumped 2.5% to a new yearly high.
    VLSI’s Electronics Materials Stock Index slipped 0.1% with Tokyo Ohka coming out on top.
    Hottest Stocks: ASM International, BESI, SMIC, Kulicke & Soffa, JCET, and ASM Pacific Technology

    Views: 799
    Domain: Electronics
    Category: Semiconductors