Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools The confidence level of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography continues to grow as the technology moves into production, but the EUV mask infrastructure remains a mixed picture, according to new surveys released by the eBeam Initiative. D2S has developed new hardware and software that enables a long-awaited technology--full-chip masks using inverse lithography technology (ILT). ... » read more

Stacking Memory On Logic, Take Two


True 3D-ICs, where a memory die is stacked on top of a logic die using through-silicon vias, appear to be gaining momentum. There are a couple reasons why this is happening, and a handful of issues that need to be considered before even seriously considering this option. None of this is easy. On a scale of 1 to 10, this ranks somewhere around 9.99, in part because the EDA tools needed to rem... » read more

SiC Market Moves Into Overdrive


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market continues to heat up in the automotive arena. In recent times, several automotive OEMs have formed a series of alliances with SiC device makers, and for good reason. In a major way, many automotive OEMs are entering or expanding their efforts in the battery-electric car market. SiC power semiconductors are among the key components used ... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Magnetic Memories Reach For Center Stage


Wearable heart rate sensors. Networked smoke detectors. Smart lighting. Smart doorbells. While desktop computers and even smartphones are powerful standalone tools, Internet of Things devices share a need to collect data from the environment, store it, and transmit it to some other device for action or further analysis. In many systems, data storage and working memory account for the majorit... » read more

Early 2020 Looks Promising For Semi Industry


Reports of 2Q’19 financials from all of the major OEMs in our 213 company global sample show that their electronic equipment sales declined 1.4 percent compared to the same quarter of last year (Chart 1). This OEM group’s combined sales growth peaked in 2018 and then declined and was still falling in the second quarter of this year (Chart 2). Seasonality and currency exchange related ele... » read more

Using Machine Learning In Fabs


Amid the shift towards more complex chips at advanced nodes, many chipmakers are exploring or turning to advanced forms of machine learning to help solve some big challenges in IC production. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, uses advanced algorithms in systems to recognize patterns in data as well as to learn and make predictions about the information. In the fab, ... » read more

VC Perspectives On An AI Summer


It’s been a busy summer for Applied Ventures. Our team has had many interactions in the startup and investing space, and added some new companies to our portfolio. I’ll be sharing highlights of these activities in a series of upcoming blogs, but first I’d like to reflect on current market developments in machine learning and how they are affecting VC investment patterns. Strategic inve... » read more

The Future Of Power Needs To Be Exotic


Moore’s Law follows the continual advancement of smaller silicon transistors, which is ideal for faster operating speeds in processors and increasing memory size density. However, not all solutions require smaller transistors, and not all are made on silicon wafers. LEDs are made from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and lasers use indium phosphide (InP), while power devices are transitioning to si... » read more

EUV Annual Perceptions Survey – 2019


8th Annual Perceptions Survey – 2019 (July) of 68 luminaries across 42 different companies about use of EUV. Confidence in EUV remains high • 73% predict HVM by end of 2020 • Outlook is positive for actinic inspection and pellicle Click here to see survey slides. » read more

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