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The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Christopher Rolland, an analyst at Susquehanna International, expects to see more merger and acquisition activity in the IC industry heading into 2018. “M&A activity slowed in 2017, but the year is going out with a bang!” Rolland said in a recent research note. Towards the end of 2017, for example, Broadcom made a bid for Qualcomm, while Marvell announced intent to buy Cavium. ... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers, LCD suppliers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced the availability of the company’s 40nm process platform that incorporates Silicon Storage Technology’s (SST) embedded SuperFlash non-volatile memory. The 40nm SST process features a >20% reduction in eFlash cell size and 20-30% macro area over UMC’s 55nm SST technology. Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage has s... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 19


Superconducting magnet record The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) has broken another world record for magnets. With a superconducting magnet, MagLab reached a magnetic field of 32 teslas. This is a third stronger than the previous record and more than 3,000 times stronger than a refrigerator magnet, according to MagLab. Tesla, or T, is the measurement of magnetic field ... » read more

What’s Next With Computing?


At the recent IEDM conference, Jeff Welser, vice president and lab director at IBM Research Almaden, sat down to discuss artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing and supercomputing with Semiconductor Engineering. Here are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where is high-end computing going? Welser: We are seeing lots of different systems start to come up. First of all,... » read more

Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Apple has announced the latest award from its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Finisar, a manufacturer of optical communications components, will receive $390 million in funds from Apple. The award will enable Finisar to increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). A VCSEL is a type of semiconductor laser diode. The... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 12


3D diodes At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) presented a paper on what they call the world’s first back-illuminated 3D-stacked, single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) in 45nm CMOS technology. A SPAD is one type of a photodetector. These... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

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