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Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 18


Gallium oxide breakthroughs Crystalline beta gallium oxide is a promising wide bandgap semiconductor material. It has a large bandgap of 4.8–4.9 eV with a high breakdown field of 8 MV/cm. The technology has a high voltage figure of merit, which is more than 3,000 times greater than silicon, more than 8 times greater than silicon carbide (SiC) and more than 4 times greater than that of... » read more

Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing the... » read more

5 Observations From Intel’s Event


Not long ago, Intel hosted its “Architecture Day,” where top executives from the chip giant revealed the company’s latest products and next-generation technologies. The company also discussed its strategy. To be sure, it’s a critical time for Intel. In June, Brian Krzanich was forced out as chief executive and the company is still looking for a permanent CEO. Plus, Intel has delayed it... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Intel Mark Bohr, a senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel, is retiring, according to the company. Bohr, who will retire at the end of February 2019, held various technology positions during his 41-year career at Intel. Here is a quick bio on Bohr. Others have also recently retired from Intel’s manufacturing unit amid a massive reorganization in the depart... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 11


FinFET vs. FD-SOI pH sensors At the recent 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), TSMC and National Tsing Hua University presented a paper on an ion detector or pH sensor based on a 16nm finFET technology. Researchers have developed an advanced version of an ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET). Originally developed in the 1970s, ISFETs are pH sensors that are use... » read more

Packaging Biz Faces Challenges in 2019


The IC packaging industry is bracing for slower growth, if not uncertainty, in 2019, even though advanced packaging remains a bright spot in the market. Generally, IC packaging houses saw strong demand in the first part of 2018, but the market cooled in the second half of the year due to a slowdown in memory. Going forward, the slower IC packaging market is expected to extend into the first ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools/manufacturing Lam Research has accepted Martin Anstice’s resignation as chief executive and a member of the board. Lam has named Tim Archer as president and chief executive effective immediately. Archer, who served as Lam’s president and chief operating officer, has been named to the board. One analyst provided a comment on the situation at Lam. “In our view, Mr. Archer is very... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 4


Probing Mars Equipped with a CCD camera, a temperature probe and a seismic instrument, NASA's robotic system or lander recently landed on Mars. On Nov. 26, the robotic system--dubbed the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight)--landed on Mars after nearly a seven-month, 300-million-mile (485-million-kilometer) journey from Earth. The lander t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has announced that its advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) offering is available for prototyping on 300mm wafers. GF’s SiGe technology has been shipping on its 200mm production line in Burlington, Vt. The technology, a 90nm SiGe process, is moving to 300mm wafers at GF’s Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill, N.Y. The SiGe technology is called 9HP. “The increasing ... » read more

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