450mm And Other Emergency Measures

Talk about boosting wafer sizes from 300mm to 450mm has been creeping back into presentations and discussions at conferences over the past couple months. Earlier this year, discussions focused on panel-level packaging. These are basically similar approaches to the same problem, which is that wafers need to be larger to reap efficiencies out of device scaling. Whether either of these approach... » read more

Changing Economics In Chip Manufacturing

The foundry and equipment businesses are poised for significant changes that could affect the balance of power far beyond just the semiconductor manufacturing sector. It’s no secret that the number of companies developing new chips at 7nm is shrinking. There will be even fewer at 5nm. The business case for moving forward is that density must provide a competitive edge. But that density imp... » read more

The Road To 5nm

There is strong likelihood that enough companies will move to 7nm to warrant the investment. How many will move forward to 5nm is far less certain. Part of the reason for this uncertainty is big-company consolidation. There are simply fewer customers left who can afford to build chips at the most advanced nodes. Intel bought Altera. Avago bought Broadcom. NXP bought Freescale. GlobalFoundrie... » read more

Behind The Intel-Altera Deal

Intel completed its $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera this week, wrapping up what is arguably the semiconductor industry's most important M&A transaction of 2015. Time and numbers will tell exactly how important. There are two big challenges to making this deal work. One involves a big shift in direction away from simply shrinking features to include new architectures and packaging approac... » read more

Increasing Challenges At Advanced Nodes

Gary Patton, chief technology officer at GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about new materials, stacked die, how far FD-SOI can be extended, and new directions for interconnects and transistors. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see problems at future nodes? Patton: At the device level, we have to be able to pattern these thing... » read more

Analysis: Applied-TEL Scrap Merger

After several delays due to a myriad of complex regulatory issues, Applied Materials’ proposed deal to buy Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) has been scrapped. It appears that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) stepped in and blocked the deal. Now that the deal has been terminated, Applied Materials and TEL are separately re-grouping, and are back to where they originally started as fierce comp... » read more

Unraveling The Mysteries At IEDM

In some respects, the 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) was no different than past events. The event, held this week in San Francisco, included the usual and dizzying array of tutorials, sessions, papers and panels. On the leading-edge CMOS front, for example, the topics included [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D IC"] chips, III-V materials, [getkc ... » read more

And the Winner is…

Semiconductor Engineering now has its first full year under its belt, and I have to say it has been an incredible year. Not only did we exceed a million page views in our first year, but we also got started on the Knowledge Center, an endeavor the likes of which has never been attempted in our industry. It is still very young and has a lot of growing up to do, but it is a wonderful start. We wo... » read more

This Is What 450mm Wafers Look Like

The first fully patterned 450mm wafers were on display at SEMICON West 2014 in South Hall and also showcased in the 450mm Technology Development Session. Fully patterned 450mm wafers produced using Molecular Imprints’ Imprio nanoimprint lithography (NIL) tool have been shown before (including at SEMI ISS meeting in January 2013). However, the 450mm wafers on display at SEMICON West were produ... » 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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