Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Test There is more consolidation in the ATE business. In October, Cohu completed the acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of ATE and other products. Then, Astronics this week entered into an agreement for the sale of the intellectual-property and certain assets associated with its semiconductor test business to Advantest for $185 million in cash. The sale additionally includes a $30 million earn-... » read more

2 Big Shifts, Lots Of Questions


The proliferation of AI everywhere, and ongoing efforts by big systems companies to develop their own chips, could have a profound effect on semiconductor manufacturing for years to come. AI is a multi-faceted topic, but what makes this particularly interesting from a semiconductor standpoint is the architecture of AI-specific chips. So far, most of these chips have been developed for data c... » read more

What’s The Outlook for Memory?


What a difference a year makes in the memory business. At this time last year, the industry was in the midst of a boom cycle for both NAND and DRAM. More specifically, there was huge demand for 3D NAND. Then, starting in the first quarter of 2018, the NAND market began to decline and it continues to fall. And now, the DRAM market is also falling off the cliff. So, it’s time to take a q... » read more

A VC View Of The AI Landscape


In this blog post, I’ll highlight my takeaways from the recent AI Hardware Summit where I participated as a panelist. The conference’s focus on developing hardware accelerators for neural networks and computer vision attracted companies from across the ecosystem – AI chip startups, semiconductor companies, system vendors/OEMs, data center providers, financial services companies and VCs,... » read more

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

EUV Mask Blank Battle Brewing


Amid the ramp of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, suppliers of EUV mask blanks are expanding their production. And a new player—Applied Materials—is looking to enter the market. AGC and Hoya, the two main suppliers of EUV mask blanks, are adding capacity for these critical components that are used for EUV photomasks. A mask blank serves as the substrate for a photomas... » read more

Finding New Dimensions Of Innovation


Whenever a company announces a major strategy shift and restructuring, such as pivoting away from 7nm FinFET technology development, it’s understandable that confusion, uncertainty and misunderstandings may arise. The best way to allay these concerns is to take an objective look at the situation: Demand for chips for the automotive, IoT, mobility and data center/wireless infrastructure mar... » read more

Smart Manufacturing Initiative


SEMI’s Smart Manufacturing (SM) Initiative has been a gathering place for companies who believe that electronics manufacturing will benefit from the gathering and analysis of production and sensor data, and optimizing processes based on that data. SM principles are focused on increasing speed, improved output and higher quality. Smart Manufacturing relies on simplifying data sharing and co... » read more

Smart Manufacturing


Tom Salmon, vice president of collaborative technology platforms at SEMI, talks about smart manufacturing, and the role of AI, smart gateways, and digital twins. https://youtu.be/e9DQ_Xfc2K0     See other tech talk videos here.   » read more

Multi-Beam Mask Writing Finally Comes Of Age


Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss photomask and mask writing trends. IMS, a subsidiary of Intel, is a supplier of multi-beam e-beam systems for photomask production. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: For years, photomask makers have used single-beam e-beam tools to pattern or write the features on ... » read more

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