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The Week In Review: Manufacturing

There is more evidence of a fab tool slowdown. In fact, ASML itself sounded the alarm during its earnings conference call this week. “ASML noted uncertainty regarding the timing of both the 16/14 nm finFET ramp at foundries (the company is seeing a delay from customers as the technology is still in development, in our view) and 3D NAND,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst from Pacific Crest Secu... » read more

What If EUV Fails?

It’s the worst kept secret in the industry, but extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography will likely miss the 10nm node. So, chipmakers will likely extend and use today’s 193nm immersion lithography down to 10nm. This, of course, will require a complex and expensive multiple patterning scheme. Now, chipmakers are formulating their lithography strategies for 7nm and beyond. As it stands now,... » read more

Gaps In Metrology Could Impact Yield

For some time, chipmakers have been developing new and complex chip architectures, such as 3D NAND, finFETs and stacked die. But manufacturing these types of chips is no simple task. It requires a robust fab flow to enable new IC designs with good yields. In fact, yield is becoming a more critical part of the flow. Yield is a broad term that means different things to different parts of the ... » read more

Searching For Rare Earths

The semiconductor industry is pre-occupied with several and expensive technologies at once. One the device side, the industry is looking at new chip architectures, such as 3D NAND, finFETs and stacked die. On the manufacturing front, there is 450mm technology, next-generation lithography (NGL) and new materials. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another technology that deserve... » read more

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Billions And Billions Invested

Over the years, next-generation lithography (NGL) has suffered various setbacks and delays. But until recently, the industry basically shrugged its shoulders and expressed relatively little anxiety about the NGL delays. After all, optical lithography was doing the job in the fab and NGL would eventually materialize. Today, however, the mood is different. In fact, there is a growing concern, ... » read more

Time To Revisit 2.5D And 3D

Chipmakers are reaching various and challenging inflection points. In logic, many IC makers face a daunting transition from planar transistors at 20nm to finFETs at 14nm. And on another front, the industry is nearing the memory bandwidth wall. So perhaps it’s time to look at new alternatives. In fact, chipmakers are taking a hard look, or re-examining, one alternative—stacked 2.5D/3D c... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 15

Self-assembled nano-walls Using a self-assembly process, Texas A&M University and the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research have devised a new technology called “nano-walls.” [caption id="attachment_11488" align="alignnone" width="499"] Researchers use common spray gun to create self-assembling nanoparticle films. (Source: Texas A&M).[/caption] Researcher... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Don't look now, but the fab tool market is slowing. "After recent meetings in the supply chain plus examining comments from the largest spenders, we conclude that wafer fab equipment (WFE) could disappoint this year. We calculate approximately $30 billion to $31 billion in WFE spending in 2014, flattish from 2013, compared to expectations of $32 billion to $33 billion, which would be up 10%+. T... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 8

Making cheap diamonds Graphite and diamonds are two forms of the same element--carbon. In graphite, carbon atoms are arranged in planar sheets and the material is soft. On the other hand, diamonds consist of carbon atoms that are bonded in all directions, making these structures extremely hard. [caption id="attachment_11311" align="alignleft" width="150"] This illustration shows four layers... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

GlobalFoundries has emerged as the leading candidate to buy IBM's semiconductor unit, according to Reuters, which cited the Wall Street Journal as it source. IBM, which recently put its semiconductor unit on the block, has held discussions with GlobalFoundries, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. GlobalFoundries did not respond to the reports by press time. GlobalFoundries ... » read more

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