3D Construction Ahead

One of the interesting features of Photonics West is that it covers the full spectrum, from academic research to industrial research to new products in the commercial exhibits. This range of interrelated ideas was on show in 3D fabrication. At one extreme, the latest research in scanning multi-spot three-photon patterning showed 3D structures 100μm thick with 50nm features. Researchers als... » read more

ReRAM Gains Even More Steam

The prospect of using the latest in finFET processing to enable embedded non-volatile memory (NWM) will be described by a team from TSMC and Tsing Hua University in Taiwan at the IEDM meeting on Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C. Embedded NVM has been the first commercial application of ReRam, with products from Panasonic and Terrazon. Industry leaders agree the creation of NVM as a seamless additio... » read more

Molecular Imprints becomes a virtual reality company

Molecular Imprints was the venture funded imprint equipment start up, that was split up last year when the semiconductor applications were acquired by Canon. Sources tell me that the remaining non-semiconductor portion Molecular Imprints has been acquired by Magic Leap, a virtual reality start up that raised $542M last year in a B round led by Google. Magic Leap has developed a proprietary... » read more

New Approaches To Imaging For Both Large And Small

Imaging is the common theme for everything at Photonics West this year, and two new ideas caught my attention—a near field very small microscope and a new way of collecting images that separates reflected light from indirect light. IMEC has presented papers about its near field microscope before. This year the research house has reduced it to a product. The idea is to illuminate a object w... » read more

LIFT Your 3D Printing Application

A major focus at Photonics West 2015 was 3D additive manufacturing. There were sessions on laser additive processing, digital light fabrication, and MOEMS devices. In all sessions, there were papers about systems, materials processing and applications. Here are a few of the papers that caught my attention. Two photon fabrication was the most commonly reported technique, it is the only way to... » read more

GaN Manufacturing Meets Big Silicon

I have been talking about GaN on Silicon for several years because it offers a path to cost reduction in LED’s in the same way as silicon semiconductors. This year at Photonics West 2015, Aixtron presented its next generation 6-inch wafer system with all the automation that the semiconductor guys expect to be able to build GaN power transistors. The systems are configured as cluster tools... » read more

Hard Drive Progress Report

In June, I heard from HGST that very nice progress on Bit Patterned Media (BPM) would be reported in August. At The Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC) meeting in August, the HGST team presented four papers on aspects of their Bit Patterned Media program. Their progress was definitely nice! The bottom line was shown in a poster with record-breaking BPM read and write at 1.6 Tdot per square ... » read more

Big Data In The Fab

A modern fab is a very complicated place, with a huge amount of information required to correctly process wafers. But even more data is created to characterize the equipment and wafers. The idea is if there is complete knowledge of the fab then everything should be predictable, including yield, and running it an optimal fashion is possible. The challenges with big data all revolve around co... » read more

The Largest Planet-Wide Business Opportunity….Ever

Last week was the official start of the largest planet-wide business opportunity for semiconductors…ever. The world’s largest economy has decided that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that will be regulated. Direct action has started. In a few years every new car will be a hybrid, renewable power generation will be the norm, and every new house will have solar panels. To my mind this has b... » read more

Beyond Moore’s Law

What do you make of all the different reports coming out of Advanced Lithography 2014 — the end of Moore's Law, continued problems with EUV, directed self-assembly assembly makes progress? An equipment insider, whose judgment I value, came back from the meeting and concluded, "We will see the end of Moore’s Law shrinks in 2020. After that, no one knows!” There is no way a $300B+ business ... » read more

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