Will Higher Production Costs Hamper IoT Growth?


No question, 2017 is expected to be a good year for the semiconductor industry. Semiconductor revenues for 2017 are expected to increase more than 9% this year. A 6% increase in unit sales, as well as higher average selling prices for memory products, will help drive the revenue growth rate to its highest level since 2010. Wafer demand is forecast to grow by almost 8%. The higher revenue growth... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Faces Challenges In 2017


After experiencing a gradual recovery and positive growth in 2016, the semiconductor equipment industry sees a mixed picture as well as some uncertainty in 2017. In the near term, though, business is robust. Several chipmakers started to place a sizeable number of fab tool orders in the latter part of 2016, particularly in three areas—3D NAND, logic and foundry. Now, after buying the in... » read more

Watch Out For 200mm Fabs: Fab Outlook To 2020


One year after the debut of the industry’s first 200mm Fab Outlook report, SEMI has just issued an October 2016 update with the improved and expanded report forecasting 200mm fab trends out to 2020. This extensive report features trends from 2009 to 2020, showing how 200mm fab activities and capacity change worldwide.  Industry spending for construction and equipment is detailed and analy... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon


As usual, the recent Semicon West trade show was a busy, if not an overwhelming, event. The event, which took place in San Francisco in early July, featured presentations on the usual subjects in the semiconductor and IC-equipment sectors. There were sessions on 200mm, next-generation processes, transistors, lithography, MEMS and many others. In no particular order, here are my five ta... » read more

200mm Equipment Shortfall


A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » read more

The Trouble With MEMS


The advent of the Internet of Things will open up a slew of new opportunities for MEMS-based sensors, but chipmakers are proceeding cautiously. There are a number of reasons for that restraint. Microelectromechanical systems are difficult to design, manufacture and test, which initially fueled optimism in the MEMS ecosystem that this market would command the same kinds of premiums that analo... » read more

Insider’s Guide To Photomasks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about photomasks and lithography with Franklin Kalk, executive vice president of technology at Toppan Photomasks, a merchant photomask supplier. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s hot in mask technology these days? Kalk: It’s everything from the bleeding-edge like EUV to much more mature manufacturing. On the mature si... » read more

Rise Of The Old Fab


Growth in the [getkc id="260" comment="Internet of Everything"], along with the beginning of a shift toward systems in package, are creating buzz in a rather unlikely place—established and well-worn process nodes where equipment is scarce, semi-functional, and difficult to maintain. In the past, moving to the next node was a sign of progress, leaving behind the trailing edge of designs to ... » read more

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