The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Recently, Intel announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete its previously-announced fab in Chandler, Ariz. Targeted for 7nm processes, Fab 42 will be completed in 3 to 4 years. As reported, the fab announcement was made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the White House. There is more to the story. Typically, Intel has two fabs for a gi... » read more

Optimizing DRAM Development Using Directed Self-Assembly (DSA)


Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is an emerging technology that has the ability to substantially improve lithographic manufacturing of semiconductor devices. In DSA, copolymer materials self-assemble to form nanoscale resolution patterns on the semiconductor substrate. DSA technologies hold the promise to substantially improve the resolution of existing lithographic processes (such as self-aligned ... » read more

MEMS: A Tale Of Two Tough Markets


The MEMS market is growing rapidly, profits not so much. In most market segments, this would be a signal that more automation and standardization are required. But in the microelectromechanical systems world, fixes aren't so simple. And even where something can be automated, that automation doesn't work all the time. In fact, while MEMS devices are extremely difficult to design, build and ma... » read more

Big Changes In Patterning


Aki Fujimura, CEO of [getentity id="22864" comment="D2S"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss patterning issues at 10nm and below, including mask alignment, the need for GPU acceleration, EUV's future impact on the total number of masks, and what the re-introduction of curvilinear shapes will mean for design. SE: Patterning issues are getting a lot of attention at 10nm and 7n... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 21


AFM-on-a-chip An atomic force microscope (AFM) is a metrology tool that can measure and characterize structures in three dimensions. It uses a tiny probe to enable measurements in chip structures, but the instrument itself is often a large and bulky system. In response, the University of Texas at Dallas has devised an AFM-on-a-chip technology. The AFM is roughly the size of a dime. Based on... » read more

Semiconductor Process Development: Finding A Faster Way To Profitability


Building a chip fabrication facility requires billions of dollars in investment for land, buildings, processing equipment, chemical and hazardous material safety, not to mention the deployment of hundreds of highly experienced process engineering and manufacturing personnel. Bringing up an advanced semiconductor process in any fab, new or established, is a several-hundred-million dollar effort,... » read more

Semiconductor CapEx To Increase 4.3% In 2017


Semiconductor capital expenditures are an important bellwether for the industry. Based on preliminary findings, Semico Research predicts 2017’s total will increase 4.3% to $69.7 billion, a record high, and a slightly larger increase than in 2016. Semico tracks more than 80 companies for CapEx and R&D spending, although many of those companies have merged, have been acquired, or gone ba... » read more

Get Ready For Nanotube RAM


The memory market is going in several different directions at once. On one front, the traditional memory types, such DRAM and flash, remain the workhorse technologies in systems despite undergoing some changes in the business. Then, several vendors are readying the next-generation memory types in the market. As part of an ongoing series, Semiconductor Engineering will explore where the new a... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Toshiba’s problems have gone from bad to worse. “Toshiba postponed its earnings call by up to one month, and the chairman resigned. The provisional results show large losses in its nuclear power business, while the NAND operations remain very profitable,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a research note. “The next few months appear very uncerta... » read more

The Return Of Time Sharing


As early as the 1960s, it wasn't uncommon to hear that transistors would be free. Those were pretty bold statements at the time, considering most computers in those days cost $1 million, required special rooms, and budding computer scientists usually had to sign up to use mainframe computers for one-hour time slots—often in the middle of the night or on weekends. Still, those predictions ... » read more

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