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The Week In Review: Manufacturing


GlobalFoundries completed its acquisition of IBM’s Microelectronics Group, creating a behemoth that is expected to extend well beyond the combined footprint of the existing companies. As part of the deal, GlobalFoundries will get two additional fabs, one of which makes RF SOI chips. But while IBM was hesitant to expand that business by adding new fab capacity, GlobalFoundries already has t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 30


3D printed supercars Divergent Microfactories has rolled out a new approach to auto manufacturing based on 3D printing. The technology is based on what the company calls a Node. A Node is a metal alloy that is produced using 3D printers. The Nodes are combined with carbon fiber tubes, which, in turn, enable the development of a car chassis. [caption id="attachment_20782" align="alignleft... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), Huawei, Imec and Qualcomm have announced the formation of the SMIC Advanced Technology Research & Development (Shanghai) Corp., an equity joint venture company. Located in China, the joint venture company will focus on R&D towards next-generation CMOS logic technology. The current focus will be on developing 14nm logic technology, ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 23


Diamond shock waves For years, the industry has been exploring the use of diamonds for electronics applications. Diamonds could be used to reduce heat in electronic systems. In addition, diamond FETs are also intriguing. Diamond has a wide bandgap (5.45 eV), a high breakdown field (10MV/cm), and high thermal conductivity (22W/cmK). But it could take years before diamond FETs reach the mains... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Since the global economic recession of 2008-2009, the IC industry has pared down older fab capacity. From 2009-2014, semiconductor manufacturers have closed or repurposed 83 wafer fabs, including a few 300mm plants, according to IC Insights. Are 3D DRAMs finally here? SK Hynix is shipping mass production volumes of its first-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM1). Samsung is also backing it... » read more

Foundries Expand Planar Efforts


Competition is heating up in the leading-edge foundry business, as vendors begin to ramp up their new 16nm/14nm finFET processes. But that’s not the only action in the foundry arena. They are also expanding their efforts in the leading-edge planar market by rolling out new 28nm and 22nm processes. On one front, TSMC is offering new 28nm variants, based on bulk CMOS technology. And on an... » read more

Getting Over Overlay


Chipmakers continue to migrate to the next node, but there are signs that traditional IC scaling is slowing down. So what’s causing the slowdown? Or for that matter, what could ultimately undo [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"]? It could be a combination of factors. To be sure, IC design costs and complexity are soaring at each node. Scaling challenges are also playing a role. And ov... » read more

Speeding Up E-beam Inspection


Wafer inspection, the science of finding killer defects in chips, is reaching a critical juncture. Optical inspection, the workhorse technology in the fab, is being stretched to the limit at advanced nodes. And e-beam inspection can find tiny defects, but it remains slow in terms of throughput. So to fill the gap, the industry has been working on a new class of multiple beam e-beam inspectio... » read more

Fab Tool M&A Slowdown?


The semiconductor industry is in the midst of a dizzying array of mergers and acquisitions. At the current pace, some 32% of all U.S. publicly traded semiconductor companies are projected to get acquired in 2015, according to FBR. But in reality, the M&A activity will slow and edge towards a 15% consolidation rate for the year, according to the firm. Still, the IC industry is bracing for... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 16


Harmonic EUV The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has devised an efficient extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source. The technology could one day be used for a new class of metrology tools, based on angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). This technique makes use of a photoelectric effect for studying materials. To enable the source, Berkeley Labs devel... » read more

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