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

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

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 5


Intel vs. GlobalFoundries At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) this week, GlobalFoundries and Intel will square off and present papers on their new logic processes. Intel will present more details about its previously-announced 10nm finFET technology, while GlobalFoundries will discuss its 7nm finFET process. As expected, Intel and GlobalFoundries will use 193nm immersi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The 2017 top-ten rankings of foundries remain the same as last year, according to TrendForce. TSMC, GlobalFoundries and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) rank first, second, and third, respectively, in terms of projected sales in 2017, according to TrendForce. TSMC has a dominant market share of 55.9%. In the rankings, Samsung is in fourth place, followed in order by SMIC, TowerJa... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 28


Cryogenic microscopes The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) has developed and commissioned a new cryo-electron microscope. A form of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is used to study a sample at cryogenic temperatures. A gas is assumed to be cryogenic if it can be liquefied at or below −150 °C. Cyro-EM is often used in structural ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research For the first time since 1993, the semiconductor industry has a new number one supplier in terms of sales—Samsung. Samsung is forecast to top Intel as the #1 semiconductor supplier in 2017, according to IC Insights. "Samsung first charged into the top spot in 2Q17 and displaced Intel, which had held the number 1 ranking since 1993," according to the firm. "In 1Q16, Intel’s ... » read more

The Next 5 Years Of Semiconductor Technology


New, advanced semiconductor processing and architectural technologies take years to perfect and put into production. In the meantime, semiconductor customers continue to demand faster, smaller and higher functioning devices. Semiconductor manufacturers need to decide whether (and when) to jump to the next generation of devices and production technologies, weighing the risk and benefit of bringi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 21


Germanium-on-mica Germanium is an element that can be used in various applications in electronics, such as optoelectronics, semiconductors and others. For example, silicon-germanium (SiGe), an alloy of silicon and germanium, is used for making RF chips. In future finFET transistors, some are exploring the idea of using pure germanium for the PFET structure to boost the electron mobility in ... » read more

Here Comes High-Res Car Radar


A dozen or so startups are developing high-resolution radar chips that use various modulation schemes and processes, such as CMOS, FD-SOI and even metamaterials. In theory, high-resolution radar could boost the capabilities of today’s radar for cars, as well as eliminate the need for a separate LiDAR system. But the technology is still in the research stage and has yet to be proven commerc... » read more

Semiconductor Wafer Demand: Growing Pains


Semico Research is forecasting total semiconductor unit growth to exceed 13% this year, the first double-digit growth year since 2010. The exceptional unit growth is what the industry hopes for, but it does come with some growing pains. MOS logic, optoelectronics, MEMS and sensors, and even analog and discrete products are experiencing more than 10% unit growth in 2017. The challenge is that... » read more

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