Here’s a recap of news from the past week that I find worth noting:
Companies and Products
II-VI EpiWorks will quadruple their epitaxial wafer capacity over the next three years, anticipating future optoelectronics and wireless demand. II-VI EpiWorks supplies compound semiconductor epitaxial wafers for optical components, wireless devices and high-speed communications.
IDT released four dual-channel fanout buffers for distributing RF clock and data signals. The 1.8 V, dual-channel, LVDS (low voltage differential signaling) buffers have low added jitter, typically less than 45 fs.
Lockheed Martin received a $1.28 billion payment to maintain production of the F-35 while the contract for the next 90 planes is finalized.
Millitech released GaN PAs with up to 2.5 W output and 20 percent power-added efficiency (PAE) at E- and W-Bands. PA available gain ranges from 15 to 40 dB.
SemiGen announced 48 new Schottky barrier diodes for detector, mixer, limiter and switch designs. Low, medium and high barrier diodes are available, with devices that operate to 40 GHz.
Markets and Technology
Semiconductor Technology — Pursuing higher speed transistors, Purdue University researchers demonstrated germanium gate CMOS. Ironically, the world’s first semiconductor material may become popular again if it proves to be more compatible with high volume silicon processing than compound semiconductor alternatives being explored.
Mobile — The likelihood of Apple building iPhones in the states? Not so much, says China business blogger Doug Young. Read his analysis.
Not surprisingly, online shopping from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday grew this year compared to 2014. I was surprised by the amount of shopping from smartphones: from 22 to 27 percent.
5G — Huawei and Korean telecom operator LG U+ demonstrated 31 Gbps and 0.5 ms latency in 5G tests. LG U+ is preparing for pre-commercial 5G deployment in time for the 2018 winter Olympics.
Verizon is planning an ambitious 5G rollout for fixed wireless access, using millimeter wave spectrum. Signals Research Group president Michael Thelander says, "It’s not 5G." Read an informative discussion of Verizon’s 5G “standard” by Zahid Ghadialy.
From Mobile World Live, an interesting video interview with Gregory Lee, the CEO of Samsung North America. He talks about the future of smart watches and the services 5G will enable.
Is is too late to ask What is 5G? Wireless market analyst Dean Bubley shares his view at the Great Teleco Debate (fast forward to 1:50):
IoT — Dutch operator KPN tested LTE-M, an IoT standard intended for scenarious requiring frequent communication between a device and the cloud, with data rates to 1 Mbps. KPN was the first operator in Europe to test LTE-M, which is being added to complement KPN's existing LoRa network.
Broadband — Altice, the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S. — with 4.1 million subscribers — plans to deploy a 10G fiber network. The upgrade will span five years, beginning in 2017.
As a low-cost alternative to FTTH, start-up Starry is developing a wireless system for internet delivery, targeting 200 to 300 Mbps data rates using phased arrays operating at 37 and 40 GHz.
Reading the tea leaves, the members of the FCC transition team appointed by Donald Trump appear to signal the demise of net neutrality.
Autonomous Driving — Delphi and Mobileye have chosen to use Intel processors to fuse sensor data in their jointly-developed self-driving car system.
In a letter to GM, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) weighed in on GM’s process to stop a semiautonomous vehicle with an unresponsive driver. “We urge GM to fully consider the likely operation of the system it is contemplating and ensure that this fallback solution does not present an unreasonable risk to safety.”
Export — The new president and Republican Congress will no doubt change U.S. export laws, regulations and emphasis. A Washington attorney notes what companies should watch for.
As expected, President Obama blocked the proposed acquisition of Aixtron by the Chinese Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund. The deal was deemed a national security risk, as Aixtron has an operation in California that develops equipment for producing GaN epitaxial layers, equipment reported to be used to produce devices for the Patriot radar.
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