Qualcomm said Thursday that it had agreed to acquire NXP Semiconductors for about $38 billion, expanding its presence in the increasingly lucrative market for automotive sensors and chips. Qualcomm said it would pay $110 per share for NXP and expects the deal to close by the end of 2017. The deal gives the telecommunications giant a greater foothold in the burgeoning market for technology that will power self-driving cars -- which represents a growth space compared to the saturated market for smart phones and other mobile devices. NXP also has a desirable position in the market for technology powering the so-called Internet of Things as well as security products. The acquisition also marks the latest in a series of deals for the semiconductor business, accelerating the trend of consolidation.
Sony Corp. said Friday it set a record for group operating profit for the first time in 20 years in fiscal 2017, posting a ¥734.86 billion ($6.7 billion) figure -- up 154.5 percent from the previous year -- on the back of strong smartphone semiconductor sales. The figure exceeds the electronics giant's highest all-time operating profit of ¥525.72 billion recorded in fiscal 1997. Its semiconductor business, which makes image sensors for cameras used in smartphones including Apple Inc.'s iPhones, logged an operating profit of ¥164 billion, reversing its ¥7.8 billion loss from the previous year. The music and game businesses also contributed. In addition, Sony set a new group net profit record for the first time in 10 years, booking ¥490.79 billion for the business year ended March 31 -- a more than five-fold increase from the previous year.
Semiconductors are usually brittle and do not deform easily. Wei et al. found that bulk single crystals of indium selenide instead have excellent flexibility (see the Perspective by Han). The deformability comes from the compliant intralayer bonding between indium and selenium. The authors used these observations along with a previously discovered silver sulfide to determine a deformability factor for materials that may help find other deformable semiconductors. Science , this issue p. ; see also p.  Inorganic semiconductors are vital for a number of critical applications but are almost universally brittle. Here, we report the superplastic deformability of indium selenide (InSe). Bulk single-crystalline InSe can be compressed by orders of magnitude and morphed into a Möbius strip or a simple origami at room temperature. The exceptional plasticity of this two-dimensional van der Waals inorganic semiconductor is attributed to the interlayer gliding and cross-layer dislocation slip that are mediated by the long-range In-Se Coulomb interaction across the van der Waals gap and soft intralayer In-Se bonding. We propose a combinatory deformability indicator (Ξ) to prescreen candidate bulk semiconductors for use in next-generation deformable or flexible electronics. : /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aba9778 : /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abd4527
Epitaxial growth is the main technique used for depositing nonsilicon integrated electronic and photonic devices. However, methods for growing devices on amorphous and nonepitaxial substrates are limited. Sarkar et al. overcome this by using standing evaporation or sputtering techniques to deposit a metal, such as indium, with a capping oxide layer. The metal is heated in a hydrogen environment, and a precursor is added to convert the metal to the desired target, such as InP, under conditions where only a single nucleation site forms in each patterned site. The versatility of the method is demonstrated through the growth of InP, GaP, InAs, InGaP, SnP, and Sn4P3 crystals directly on SiO2, Si3N4, TiO2, Al2O3, Gd2O3, SrTiO3, and graphene.