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Manufacturing Bits: July 29

Measuring hydrogen fuel for cars The use of fuel cells to power cars and buses is still in its infancy. Fuel cell vehicles are electric-based systems powered by hydrogen. A fuel cell uses a certain type of proton exchange membrane (PEM). The PEM fuel cells are stacked together to form a fuel cell stack. All told, fuel cell systems are about 60% efficient, or roughly two to three times more ... » read more



The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Here’s a sad commentary on the state of Japan’s electronics industry: Some Japanese electronics giants are converting unused factories and fabs into agricultural growing facilities, according to The Wall Street Journal. Last month, for example, Fujitsu began selling lettuce from the Aizu-Wakamatsu plant. It's officially over. IBM's talks to sell its chip unit to GlobalFoundries have offi... » read more



Manufacturing Bits: July 22

Skateboarding on 2D materials Two-dimensional materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride (BN) and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). These materials are attractive candidates for futuristic field-effect transistors (FETs). But researchers must gain more insight into these materials in order to understand their properties. For ... » read more



The Week In Review: Manufacturing

IBM’s move to sell its chip business to GlobalFoundries may have stalled or is dead, according to the Albany Times Union and other news outlets. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will partner with over 100 private companies, led by GE, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium. GE will be a lead partner in a fab, housed at the CNSE Nano Tech co... » read more



1-on-1 With Intel’s Foundry Chief

By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss foundry trends, IC scaling, chip-packaging and other topics with Sunit Rikhi, vice president of the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel and general manager of Intel’s Custom Foundry unit. SE: Where is Intel at in the foundry business today? Rikhi: We started with a very narrow set of customers. Now, we... » read more



Has 3D NAND Fallen Flat?

Today’s planar NAND technology will hit the wall at 10nm, prompting the need for the next big thing in flash memory—3D NAND. In fact, 3D NAND may extend NAND flash memory for the next several years and enable new applications. And it will also drive a new wave of fabs and tool orders. But the transition won’t be as smooth as previous rollouts. 3D NAND is harder to manufacture than pr... » read more



How To Lower LED Costs

The LED market remains hot, particularly in the solid-state lighting segment. In fact, solid-state lighting continues to expand amid a precipitous drop in LED prices. And LEDs are expanding into new fronts, such as automotive and intelligent lighting. The LED boom hasn’t been fun for all parties, however. Amid pressure to reduce their tool costs, LED equipment makers are still in the mids... » read more



Are LEDs Cool?

The high-brightness LED market is moving in several directions at once. On one front, LEDs are moving into automotive and solid-state lighting. Within solid-state lighting, there are different markets, such as industrial and residential. And in the supply chain, there are LED chips, equipment and fabs. And then, there is intelligent lighting, where the smartphone or tablet controls the lig... » read more



Manufacturing Bits: July 15

Multi-beam hits milestone Mapper Lithography has reached a major milestone in its ongoing push to bring multi-beam, direct-write lithography into the mainstream. The Dutch-based company recently installed its initial pre-production tool at CEA-Leti, a French-based R&D organization. The tool, dubbed Matrix 1.1, is a multi-beam, e-beam system for direct-write applications. During the r... » read more



Will 7nm And 5nm Really Happen?

Today’s silicon-based finFETs could run out of steam at 10nm. If or when chipmakers move beyond 10nm, IC vendors will require a new transistor architecture. III-V finFETs, gate-all-around FETs, quantum well finFETs, SOI finFETs and vertical nanowires are just a few of the future transistor candidates at 7nm and 5nm. Technically, it’s possible to manufacture the transistor portions of the... » read more



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