Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing the... » read more

What’s A Mott FET?


The unique physics of two-dimensional semiconductors offers the potential for new kinds of switches that could extend the usefulness of conventional MOSFETs into a variety of new areas. A MOSFET applies a voltage to one side of the gate capacitor. The resulting electric field in the channel shifts the band structure and facilitates or impedes the flow of carriers. So as devices shrink, the g... » read more

What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

Impacts Of Reliability On Power And Performance


Making sure a complex system performs as planned, and providing proper access to memories, requires a series of delicate tradeoffs that often were ignored in the past. But with performance improvements increasingly tied to architectures and microarchitectures, rather than just scaling to the next node, approaches such as determinism and different kinds of caching increasingly are becoming criti... » read more

Open-Source RISC-V Hardware And Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh and Richard Newell. SE: Is open-source hardware more secure, or does it just open up vulnera... » read more

Packaging Biz Faces Challenges in 2019


The IC packaging industry is bracing for slower growth, if not uncertainty, in 2019, even though advanced packaging remains a bright spot in the market. Generally, IC packaging houses saw strong demand in the first part of 2018, but the market cooled in the second half of the year due to a slowdown in memory. Going forward, the slower IC packaging market is expected to extend into the first ... » read more

The Growing Promise Of Printed Electronics


Printing electronics using conductive ink rather than lithography is starting to move out of the research phase, with chipmakers now looking at how to commercialize this technology across a broad range of sensor applications. Unlike traditional semiconductors, which use tiny wires as circuits, printed electronics rely on conductive inks and often flexible films, although they can be printed ... » read more

Where Advanced Packaging Makes Sense


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Chenglin Liu, director of package engineering at Marvell; John Hunt, senior director of engineering at ASE; Eric Tosaya, senior director of package manufacturing at eSilicon; and Juan Rey, vice president of engineering for Calibre at Mentor, a Siemens Business. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in front of a live audience at MEP... » read more

November Startup Funding: Big Deals Dominate


A dozen tech startups involved in mobility, software, cybersecurity, robotics and smart payment terminals each raised $100 million or more in November. Big deals in automation, transportation sharing That $100 million figure came most often from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, a Japanese-based fund that is also backed by big investors such as Apple, Abu Dahbi’s government and famously the Kingd... » read more

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