System Bits: Nov. 29


Qubit device fabbed in standard CMOS In a major step toward commercialization of quantum computing, Leti, an institute of CEA Tech, along with Inac, a fundamental research division of CEA, and the University of Grenoble Alpes have achieved the first demonstration of a quantum-dot-based spin qubit using a device fabricated on a 300-mm CMOS fab line. Maud Vinet, Leti’s advanced CMOS manager... » 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

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

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