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Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 1

European R&D hub A new European hub for semiconductor R&D is open for business. The hub is part of an EU-funded program called ASCENT or Access to European Nanoelectronics Network. The program is aimed to give researchers access to chip and related technologies within three European R&D organizations--CEA-Leti, Imec and the Tyndall National Institute. As reported, ASCENT was originally f... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

At one time, China’s Xiaomi was a high-flying smartphone vendor. The privately-held company had a market capitalization of $45 billion. But the bottom has fallen out of the company amid share losses. “By early 2015, it was clear that problems were emerging as growth ground to a halt and nothing that Xiaomi has done since has been able to re-start it. Xiaomi has ground to halt because there ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 25

Asteroid mining and metrology The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a new space bill. The bill, entitled H.R. 2262— U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness, includes a provision that discusses the rights for companies that mine any materials on asteroids. In simple terms, the bill recognizes the right of U.S. companies to own asteroid resources that they mine in space, accordin... » read more

Fan-Out Packaging Gains Steam

Fan-outs are creating a buzz and gaining steam in the market at a pace far beyond what anyone would have expected even at the start of the year. The approach, which has been around for several years, is a wafer-level packaging process that enables ultra-thin, high-density packages. So why the buzz? Apple is apparently moving to [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-out"] packaging, according to an... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Is Moore’s Law alive or dead? That’s still a topic for debate. In any case, chipmakers continue to move to advanced nodes, but the transitions are taking longer. Even mighty Intel is struggling, based on what the company said about its 14nm finFET process during an investors meeting this week. In fact, Intel continues to struggle with its yields. “14nm yield is maturing; 14nm is still not... » read more

Can Nano-Patterning Save Moore’s Law?

For years the academic community has explored a novel technology called selective deposition. Then, more than a year ago, Intel spearheaded an effort to bring the technology from the lab to the fab at 7nm or 5nm. Today, selective deposition is still in R&D, but it is gaining momentum in the industry. With R&D funding from Intel and others, selective deposition, sometimes called ALD-e... » read more

Measuring FinFETs Will Get Harder

The industry is gradually migrating toward chips based on finFET transistors at 16nm/14nm and beyond, but manufacturing those finFETs is proving to be a daunting challenge in the fab. Patterning is the most difficult process for finFETs. But another process, metrology, is fast becoming one of the biggest challenges for the next-generation transistor technology. In fact, [getkc id="252" kc_n... » read more

Inside X-ray Metrology

Chipmakers are ramping up a new class of chip architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. Measuring and characterizing the tiny structures in these technologies is a major challenge. It will not only take the traditional metrology tools, but also various X-ray techniques. To get a handle on X-ray metrology, Semiconductor Engineering recently discussed the trends with the following experts: ... » read more

Inside Multi-Beam E-Beam Lithography

Semiconductor Engineering sat down with David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, a developer of multi-beam e-beam tools for direct-write lithography applications. Lam is also a venture capitalist. He founded Lam Research in 1980, but left as an employee in 1985. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How has the equipment business changed over the years and what’s the state of the i... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 17

Speedy nano-scale subs For years, researchers have been developing nano-scale submarines. In theory, nano-subs could be used in various applications. For example, they could navigate inside the human body and transport medicine to various organs. The problem? Most nano-subs use or generate toxic chemicals, according to researchers from Rice University. Seeking to solve the problem, Rice ... » read more

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