Lam Research Acquires Simulation and Modeling Solutions Firm Coventor

Lam Research completes acquisition of Coventor

EuroTrade – September 6, 2017

Lam Research, a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, has completed the acquisition of Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Lam said the acquisition supports its advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges.

“We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, president and CEO of Coventor, as cited in a Lam press statement. “We believe that our combination will increase the value we can deliver to our customers by providing more capability and improving their time to market.”

Customers rely on Coventor software and expertise to help predict the structures and behavior of designs before committing to time-consuming and costly wafer fabrication. This “virtual fabrication” allows technology developers and manufacturers to understand process variation effects early in the development timeframe and reduce the number of silicon learning cycles required to bring a successful product to market.

“We are looking forward to Coventor being a part of Lam and increasing the value and contribution we jointly provide to our customers,” said Rick Gottscho, executive vice president and corporate chief technical officer of Lam Research. “To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market. Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication, and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices.”

Lam Research Closes Acquisition of Simulation and Modeling Solutions Firm Coventor

M&A Navigator – September 5, 2017

http://www.manavigator.com/news/article.php?id=169660

5 September 2017 – US-based semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment and services provider Lam Research Corp.(NASDAQ: LRCX) has completed the acquisition of US-based simulation and modeling solutions provider Coventor, Inc., the company said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coventor offers simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems, and the Internet of Things.

The combination of Lam and Coventor supports Lam’s advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges.

Customers rely on Coventor software and expertise to help predict the structures and behavior of designs before committing to time-consuming and costly wafer fabrication.

According to Lam, this fast and accurate “virtual fabrication” allows technology developers and manufacturers to understand process variation effects early in the development timeframe and reduce the number of silicon learning cycles required to bring a successful product to market.

Lam Research buys Coventor

Lam Research has bought Coventor – the simulation and modeling specialist for semiconductor process technology and MEMS.

Electronics Weekly – By David Manners, September 4, 2017

https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/business/lam-research-buys-coventor-2017-09/

The combination of Lam and Coventor supports Lam’s advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation.

“We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” says Coventor CEO Mike Jamiolkowski,  “we believe that our combination will increase the value we can deliver to our customers by providing more capability and improving their time to market.”

Customers rely on Coventor software and expertise to help predict the structures and behavior of designs before committing to time-consuming and costly wafer fabrication. This “virtual fabrication” allows technology developers and manufacturers to understand process variation effects early in the development timeframe and reduce the number of silicon learning cycles required to bring a successful product to market.

“To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market,” says Lam VP Rick Gottscho.

Lam Research completes acquisition of Coventor

DigiTimes – By Rodney Chan, September 4, 2017

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20170904PR200.html

Lam Research, a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, has completed the acquisition of Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Lam said the acquisition supports its advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges.

“We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, president and CEO of Coventor, as cited in a Lam press statement. “We believe that our combination will increase the value we can deliver to our customers by providing more capability and improving their time to market.”

Customers rely on Coventor software and expertise to help predict the structures and behavior of designs before committing to time-consuming and costly wafer fabrication. This “virtual fabrication” allows technology developers and manufacturers to understand process variation effects early in the development timeframe and reduce the number of silicon learning cycles required to bring a successful product to market.

“We are looking forward to Coventor being a part of Lam and increasing the value and contribution we jointly provide to our customers,” said Rick Gottscho, executive vice president and corporate chief technical officer of Lam Research. “To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market. Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication, and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices.”

Lam Buys Simulation Software Firm Coventor

EE Times – By Dylan McGrath, September 1, 2017

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332234

SAN FRANCISCO — Semiconductor manufacturing equipment vendor Lam Research Corp. said it acquired Coventor Inc., a provider of modeling and simulation software for chip process technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal brings Lam (Fremont, Calif.) new capabilities to enable customers to address process technology challenges through software prior to fabricating a design on wafers in the fab.

Coventor (Cary, N.C.) claims its “virtual fabrication” technology enables process engineers to understand process variation effects early in the development of chip, reducing the number of silicon learning cycles necessary to bring a chip to market. Such capabilities become even more valuable as chip makers push scaling further and are confronted with daunting new technical hurdles.

Lam said the acquisition would support its process control vision and accelerate process integration simulation.

“We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, Coventor president and CEO, in a press statement.

“To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market,” said Rick Gottscho, Lam’s chief technical officer. “Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices.”

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Lam buys Coventor; Applied joins ceramics group; M&A candidates; memory trends.

Semiconductor Engineering – By Mark Lapedus, September 1, 2017

https://semiengineering.com/the-week-in-review-manufacturing-170/

Fab Tools
In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries.

Lam Research held an analyst event at the recent Flash Memory Summit. The topics included 3D NAND and other technologies. In a blog, here’s what executives from Lam said at the event.

Analysts from RBC Capital recently visited several companies, including Lam Research. Here’s the takeaway from RBC analyst Amit Daryanani based on conversations at Lam: “1) WFE outlook for 2018 is positive and is increasingly less cyclical primarily due to change in end-market drivers as well increase in capex intensity without material increase in capacities. 2) China is likely not significant in 2018 but continues to grow. 3) Install base is highly cash flow generative but has below-average gross margins (~25% of sales is services). 4) LRCX is not concerned about NAND yields and notes that customer spend does not indicate anything outside of normal.”

Applied Materials recently joined the United States Advanced Ceramics Association (USACA), a group that represents advanced ceramic producers and end-user industries. Applied’s goal is to deepen its connection with the technology.

Chipmakers
After record consolidation in 2015, the semiconductor M&A activity has slowed in the first half of 2017 with eight deals totaling just around $1.8 billion, according to the Susquehanna International Group. This compares to 14 deals worth a combined $18.7 billion in the same period last year, according to the investment banking firm.

“We view a significant portion of the M&A pause as related to CFIUS, which has been slow to process deals under the new administration (evidenced by Lattice who has filed for approval three times now),” said Christopher Rolland, an analyst with Susquehanna, in a research note. “We still believe Lattice serves as the CFIUS ‘canary in the coal mine,’ which if approved (although we ascribe a lower probability for approval) could spark a re-emergence of semis deals. In addition to the regulatory environment, we note that some of the largest potential semi acquirers (AVGO, QCOM, INTC, MCHP, ON, ADI) are currently in the process of either completing deals or integrating recent acquisitions. Once the leverage ratios of these serial acquirers are reduced, it may reaccelerate buyout activity once again.”

So M&A is still alive and well in the semi industry. Based on various financial accretion metrics and other factors, Rolland listed his top five takeout candidates: #1) Integrated Device Technology; #2) MaxLinear; #3) Cavium; #4) Microsemi; and #5) Marvell.

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Here’s the latest on Lattice: “The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) has indicated that it will recommend that the President of the United States suspend or prohibit the proposed merger (the “Merger”) between Lattice and an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Canyon Bridge Fund I, LP (“Canyon Bridge”), a private equity fund with China-based investors,” according to an SEC filing. ”Lattice and Canyon Bridge plan to continue to engage in further discussions with CFIUS and the President to explore measures that may resolve any outstanding national security concerns and that could allow the parties to proceed with the transaction.”

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, was recently sentenced to five years in prison for bribery. According to the Korea Times, Samsung faces some challenges, including renewed pressure to restructure the company. Separately, Samsung plans to invest $7 billion to expand its NAND fab in Xian, China, according to a reportfrom the Korea Times and other news outlets.

Toshiba’s memory business is still on the block and the parent company insists that it is looking at various biddersto buy the unit. Western Digital and Toshiba could be close to a deal, however. “Recent press reports suggest that Western Digital could be close to finalizing a deal to buy into Toshiba’s memory assets through a financial consortium,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “If successful, it would put an end to the ugly legal dispute between the companies regarding the fate of Toshiba’s portion of their NAND manufacturing JVs. It would also provide Western Digital with additional NAND output from the JV, likely along with additional debt and capex commitments.”

The U.S.-Japan consortium that is bidding for Toshiba’s memory business includes KKR, the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). Originally, the consortium included SK Hynix. But with Western Digital making a bid, SK Hynix appears to be no longer in the picture, according to reports.

Littelfuse has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire IXYS in a cash and stock transaction. The transaction represents an equity value of approximately $750 million and enterprise value of $655 million.

Market research
The memory market remains strong. “For DRAM, we are seeing high demand from server and data center customers, while PC makers and others need to maintain their allocation. Mobile DRAM demand remains strong, but it is growing at a slower rate than the server market. Overall, we think this suggests that monthly DRAM contract pricing should increase through the end of the year,” KeyBanc’s Twigg said.

“For NAND, we are starting to see SSD content growth slow due to high prices, though enterprise SSD demand remains strong,” Twigg said. “Mobile NAND demand remains high amid the Apple phone ramp, but could soften after. We also expect NAND supply to increase through the end of the year as the 64-layer 3D NAND products come to market. As a result, we expect NAND prices to flatten through the end of the year, with the potential for price declines in 1Q.”

How will Samsung improve its overall 3D NAND costs? In a blog, Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective Analysis, explains how.

Stock Futures Step Higher Ahead Of Payrolls Report; Nike Leads Dow

Investor’s Business Daily – By Alan R. Elliott, September 1, 2017

http://www.investors.com/market-trend/stock-market-today/stock-futures-step-higher-ahead-of-payrolls-report-nike-leads-dow/

Stocks rolled higher at Friday’s open,  gathering strength after a disappointing August payrolls report heading into the holiday weekend.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 clocked early 0.2% gains. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3% as it closed in on a new high just above 6.460.

The Labor Department’s August payrolls report showed a gain of 156,000 new jobs in August. That was well below the downshift to 180,000 new jobs forecast by economists. The report also cut its July estimate to 189,000, down from an initial 209,000 estimate.

The change lifted the unemployment rate to 4.4%, from 4.3%, although the participation rate remained stable at 62.9%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1%, vs. 0.3% in July — below estimates for a 0.2% gain. A bright spot in the report was manufacturing payrolls, which swelled by 36,000, far above consensus views for 9,000 new jobs. The report also raised its July hiring estimate among manufacturers to 26,000, up from an initial tally of 16,000 workers added.

Later this morning, manufacturing indexes from Markit and the Institute of Supply Management are due at 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET, respectively. July construction spending numbers from the Commerce Department and a final reading on August consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan are also expected at 10 a.m. ET. Automakers will be reporting August sales figures throughout the session.

For the week, the S&P 500 added 1.2% through Thursday, the Dow posted a 0.6% gain as both indexes aim to add a second week to their bounce into September. The Nasdaq powered up 2.6% through Thursday, looking to retake its July 27 high and also add a second week to its rebound.

Markets will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Dow/DuPont Deal Closes; Palo Alto, Lululmeon Rocket

On the Dow, DuPont completed its hard-fought merger with Dow Chemical and began a first day trading among the Dow industrials as DowDuPont (DWDP). Shares were unchanged in opening trade. IBM (IBM) led the Dow, up 0.6% in early trade.

Apple (AAPL) rose 0.3%. The tech giant Thursday confirmed it would hold a new product launch event Sept. 12, with most analysts expecting that to be the release date for the newest iPhone. Friday’s gain lifted Apple shares out of a buy range above a 126.75 buy point.

Among IBD 50 names, New Oriental Education & Technology (EDU) jumped more than 2%.  The stock is looking to add a fourth day to its rebound from 50-day support.

Lam Research (LRCX)  added 0.9% at the open. The Fremont, Calif.-based chip equipment maker announced late Thursday it had completed the acquisition of Coventor for an undisclosed amount. Lam shares ended Thursday 2% below a 170.10 buy point in a five-week flat base.

In earnings action, Lululemon Athletica (LULU) gained more than 6% and cloud-based software developer Nutanix (NTNX) turned in a 7% gain.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) hammered out an early 8% gain, following a solid fiscal fourth-quarter beat reported late Thursday and in-line guidance for the first quarter. The stock is finishing up the seventh week of a flat base with a 144 buy point.

Electronics wholesaler Tech Data (TECD) dived 18% on mixed second-quarter results and weak third-quarter guidance. Chipmaker Ambarella (AMBA) unraveled 21% after its second-quarter report.

Houston and the Texas-Louisiana coasts continued assessing the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey. The Gulf Coast’s refining sector remained largely shut down, with the percent of offline U.S. refining capacity rising to 30% Thursday, according to IHS Markit.  Union Pacific (UNP) and BNSF Railways lines in the region remained shut down, although airports had reportedly begun limited operation, and the Port of Houston announced it would begin to resume operations Friday.

Commodities prices remained relatively quiet early Friday, ahead of the payroll news, with oil down 0.4% and gasoline futures slipping 3%.

Lam Research closes acquisition of Coventor

Seeking Alpha – By Jason Aycock, August 31, 2017

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3293102-lam-research-closes-acquisition-coventor

  • Wafer fab equipment supplier Lam Research (LRCX +0.6%) has closed on an acquisition of Coventor, which provides automated design solutions for semiconductors.
  • The move is planned to accelerate process integration simulation, Lam says, part of its advanced process control vision.
  • “We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” says Coventor CEO Mike Jamiolkowski.
  • Coventor’s solutions benefit semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems, and the Internet of Things, it says.

 

Lam Research Acquires Coventor

Lam expands into the modeling and analysis market.

Semiconductor Engineering – By Mark Lapedus, August 31, 2017

https://semiengineering.com/lam-research-acquires-coventor/

In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries.

With the acquisition of Coventor, fab tool vendor Lam enters the simulation and modeling technology market. Coventor sells the so-called SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform, which simulates a fab process flow. The “virtual fabrication” technology allows engineers to understand manufacturing effects early in the development process and reduce time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles.

Privately-held Coventor was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Cary, N.C. On its Web site, Coventor is listed as a Lam Research company. The deal has been completed.

The move will expand Lam’s advanced process control efforts. “We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, president and CEO of Coventor, in a statement. “We believe that our combination will increase the value we can deliver to our customers by providing more capability and improving their time to market.”

“We are looking forward to Coventor being a part of Lam and increasing the value and contribution we jointly provide to our customers,” said Rick Gottscho, executive vice president and corporate chief technical officer of Lam Research. “To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market. Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication, and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices.”

The move represents Lam’s latest acquisition efforts. In 2015, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. But after a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor terminated their proposed merger agreement.

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