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

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

Analog Evolves Into Mixed Signal

Predictions about the Internet of Things suggest this may be the new “Killer App,” something the semiconductor industry has long been looking for. Reinforcing the forecasts are television commercials from companies such as Cisco and GE touting the IoT’s impact on everything from jet engines to robots, capturing everyone’s imagination. New categories of products such as smartwatches will... » read more

10nm Fab Watch

When will the 10nm logic node happen? Analysts believe that foundry vendors will move into 10nm finFET volume production around 2017. Still others say the 10nm finFET ramp could take place anywhere from 2018 to 2020. The predictions are all over the map. One way to predict the timing, progress and demand for 10nm is simple: Follow the fabs. In fact, Intel, Samsung, TSMC and GlobalFound... » read more

“Make in India”

By Bettina Weiss In recent weeks, I have been talking to SEMI members and other stakeholders about India. Some consider any semiconductor industry development in the country a dream. Others are looking more closely at current indicators of something real and tangible, trying to determine whether to get involved. The electronics sector in India will have to satisfy a huge demand growth... » read more

Manufacturing Constraint Fears Grow

The semiconductor industry could become a victim of its own success. With so many semiconductors being consumed inside of cars, home electronics and industry, capacity shortages are beginning to surface in some areas. Foundries set rates depending upon a complex mix of process technology, equipment depreciation, customer demand and the need to push customers from one node the next depending ... » read more

Navigating The Used Equipment Market

For years, the used semiconductor equipment market has been an important but obscure part of the IC manufacturing supply chain. In fact, nearly all chipmakers have bought used tools over the years. Buying used equipment is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to fill a particular need in both 200mm and 300mm fabs. But after years of flying under the radar, the used IC equipment market is h... » read more

EUV Is Key To 450mm Wafers

Whether the wafers in question are 200 mm in diameter, or 300 mm, or potentially 450 mm, larger wafer sizes have always been justified by manufacturing economics. If the cost to process a wafer stays the same, but the wafer contains more devices, then the cost per device goes down. For processes that apply to the entire wafer at once — etch, deposition, cleaning, and so forth — the equation... » read more

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