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Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 26

Smokestack metrology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has nearly completed the construction of one of the world's more unusual measurement systems. The organization is devising a 50-meter horizontal smokestack at its campus in Gaithersburg, Md. The new facility will accurately determine the amount of gases discharged from smokestacks at coal-fired power plants and o... » read more



The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Gartner has released a chart, which tracks the “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in 2014.” According to the chart, here’s some of the technologies that are still a number of years away from reaching the marketplace: virtual personal assistants; human augmentation; brain-computer interface; quantum computing; smart robots; biochips; smart advisors; autonomous vehicles; and natural-lang... » read more



Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 19

28nm brain chips DARPA-funded researchers have developed a 28nm chip that mimics the brain. The low-power chip is inspired by the neuronal structure of the brain. Designed by researchers at IBM under DARPA’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program, the chip consists of 5.4 billion transistors. Built on Samsung’s 28nm foundry process, the chip has ... » read more



Ion Implanter Market Heats Up

The ion implanter market has been a stable, if not a sleepy, business. The last big event took place in 2011, when Applied Materials re-entered the ion implanter market by acquiring Varian, the world’s leading supplier of these tools. The acquisition gave Applied Materials a commanding 80% share of the implanter business, with the other players fighting for the crumbs. But after year... » read more



What’s Next For Memory?

Apple, Samsung and others are developing the next wave of smartphones and tablets. OEMs want to integrate new memory schemes that provide more bandwidth at lower power. But there are some challenges in the arena that are prompting memory makers to rethink their mobile DRAM roadmaps. The conventional wisdom was that memory makers would ship mobile DRAMs based on the new LPDDR4 interface stand... » read more



Plotting IBM Micro’s Future

It’s been a wild ride for IBM’s Microelectronics Group. Neither IBM, nor the other parties involved, have made any public comments about the recent events concerning IBM Micro. Much of the drama has played out in the media. Based on those reports, here’s a rough outline of the events. Not long ago, IBM put its loss-ridden chip unit on the block to shore up the company’s bottom lin... » read more



Who’s Winning The FinFET Foundry Race?

The leading-edge foundry business is challenging. For starters, foundry vendors require vast resources, gigantic fabs and lots of know-how. And yet, it’s still difficult to make money in this business. That has certainly proven to be the case in the planar transistor era, but the challenges and costs are escalating as foundry vendors begin to ramp up finFET technologies at the 16nm/14nm no... » read more



The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Many are suffering from “fragiphoniphobia” without even realizing it, according to Kyocera. This is the fear of fragile phones and worries about the drops and spills ruining our smartphones and disrupting our lives. A recent survey from comScore revealed that 73% of consumers surveyed rated drop protection or scratch-proof/shatter-proof screens as the most desirable durability feature, whil... » read more



Manufacturing Bits: August 5

Double Big Mac chips Using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), Cornell has devised a method of growing an emerging class of oxide films called Ruddlesden-Poppers. These oxides are layered structures, which consist of 2D-based perovskite slabs interleaved with cations. In the future, these structures could be used in various applications, such as superconductivity, magnetoresistance and ferromagne... » read more



The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic’s chip unit announced that the parties have signed a definitive agreement to merge and establish a new fabless IC company. Panasonic isn’t exactly fabless--yet. Recently, Panasonic took its fabs and formed a fab venture with TowerJazz. Meanwhile, as part of the move, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Semiconductor have decided to expand the scope of its foundry op... » read more



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