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Manufacturing Bits: July 26


Jumping films Riken and the University of Tokyo have developed a tiny autonomous actuator. The actuator, which is based on a special material, can automatically curl up or straighten out when exposed to ambient humidity. And in certain conditions, the film can even jump into the air by itself. A video can be seen here. Researchers placed a material called guanidinium carbonate into a hig... » read more

RF GaN Gains Steam


The RF [getkc id="217" kc_name="gallium nitride"] (GaN) device market is heating up amid the need for more performance with better power densities in a range of systems, such as infrastructure equipment, missile defense and radar. On one front, for example, RF GaN is beginning to displace a silicon-based technology for the power amplifier sockets in today’s wireless base stations. GaN is m... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline 0.7% in 2016, to $64.3 billion, according to Gartner. This is up from the estimated 2% decline in Gartner's previous quarterly forecast. "Economic instability, inventory excess, weak demand for PC’s, tablets, and mobile products in the past three years has caused slow growth for the semiconductor industry. This ... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon


As usual, the recent Semicon West trade show was a busy, if not an overwhelming, event. The event, which took place in San Francisco in early July, featured presentations on the usual subjects in the semiconductor and IC-equipment sectors. There were sessions on 200mm, next-generation processes, transistors, lithography, MEMS and many others. In no particular order, here are my five ta... » read more

200mm Equipment Shortfall


A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 19


Detecting anapoles A*STAR has detected invisible particles. Researchers from the Singaporean R&D organization have observed a new optical effect in nanoscale disks of silicon, which are patterns of radiation that do not scatter light. One example of a non-radiating source is called an anapole. An anapole, according to A*Star, is a distribution of charges and currents. They do not radiate wi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab and test equipment The wafer inspection market is heating up. For example, Applied Materials announced its new e-beam inspection system for use in foundry, logic, DRAM and 3D NAND applications. In addition, KLA-Tencor introduced six wafer defect inspection and review systems for leading-edge IC device manufacturing. National Instruments has rolled out a second-generation vector sig... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 12


Detecting zeptojoules Aalto University has broken the world’s record for microwave detection. Specifically, researchers detected zeptojoule microwave pulses using a superconducting microwave detector, based on proximity-induced Josephson junctions. This broke the record by fourteenfold, according to researchers. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They have frequencies... » read more

E-beam Vs. Optical Inspection


The wafer inspection business is heating up as chipmakers encounter new and tiny killer defects in advanced devices. Last month ASML Holding entered into an agreement to acquire Hermes Microvision (HMI), the world’s largest e-beam inspection vendor, for $3.1 billion. The proposed move propelled ASML into the e-beam wafer inspection market. In addition, [getentity id="22817" e_name="Appl... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab materials/tools The Reference Project, a pan-European research program created to develop radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) technology, was recently launched at the Bernin, France-based facilities of Soitec. Soitec is the project leader in the group, which has an eligible budget of 33 million euros. The project will focus on developing technologies for 4G+ communications usi... » read more

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