NAND Market Hits Speed Bump


Demand for NAND flash memory remains robust due to the onslaught of data in systems, but the overall NAND flash market is stuck in the middle of a challenging period beset by product shortages, supply chain issues and a difficult technology transition. Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba/Western Digital duo continue to ship traditional planar NAND in the market, but this technol... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 20


Solar cell metrology Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a pair of novel techniques to measure the chemical compositions and defects in solar cells. The new techniques will give researchers insights into a thin-film solar cell material called cadmium telluride. The technology will also suggest ways to boost the efficie... » read more

Foundry Roadmaps: Real Solutions, Or Just Hedging?


Major semiconductor foundries have revealed their advanced technology roadmaps for the next few years. They’re all investing billions of dollars into the development of process technologies and packaging options. The number of alternatives has been described as ‘dizzying’. How can all the foundries remain profitable? How does the customer decide which ‘route’ to take? For the 2... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has appointed two senior vice presidents--S.C. Chien and Jason Wang--as co-presidents of the company, following Po-Wen Yen’s retirement as UMC’s CEO. The co-presidents are accountable for the overall performance of UMC. They will report to UMC Chairman Stan Hung. Chien will focus on the core manufacturing and technology aspects of UMC, including R&D and operations. Wang wil... » read more

Architecture First, Node Second


What a difference a node makes. A couple of rather important changes have occurred in the move from 16/14 to 10/7nm (aside from more confusing naming conventions). First, companies that require more transistors—processor companies such as [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], AMD, [getentity id="22306" comment="IBM"] and [getentity id="22676" e_name="Qualcomm"]—have come to grips with t... » read more

Inside Chip R&D


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss R&D challenges, EUV and other topics with Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Clearly, Moore’s Law is slowing down. The traditional process cadence is extending from 2 years to roughly 2.5 to 3 years. Yet, R&D is not slowing down, right? ... » read more

CMOS Image Sensors (CIS): Past, Present & Future


Over the last decade, CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) technology has made impressive progress. Image sensor performance has dramatically improved over the years, and CIS technology has enjoyed great commercial success since the introduction of mobile phones using onboard cameras. Many people, including scientists and marketing specialists, predicted 15 years earlier that CMOS image sensors were going t... » read more

Neuromorphic Computing: Modeling The Brain


Can you tell the difference between a pedestrian and a bicycle? How about between a skunk and a black and white cat? Or between your neighbor’s dog and a colt or fawn? Of course you can, and you probably can do that without much conscious thought. Humans are very good at interpreting the world around them, both visually and through other sensory input.  Computers are not. Though their she... » read more

Primer On Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

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