GPU Accelerated Computing


The computing applications used in semiconductor design and manufacturing have ever-increasing requirements for speed, accuracy and reliability. The continuation of Moore's Law creates a perpetual demand for greater accuracy as, with each new process node, larger numbers of increasingly smaller features are crowded onto each mask and wafer. Computing farms, where thousands of central processing... » 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

Taming Mask Metrology


For years the IC industry has worried about a bevy of issues with the photomask. Mask costs are the top concern, but mask complexity, write times and defect inspection are the other key issues for both optical and EUV photomasks. Now, mask metrology, the science of measuring the key parameters on the mask, is becoming a new challenge. On this front, mask makers are concerned about the critic... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Upgraded components in the new iPhone 6S Plus from Apple cost $16 more than the components in the earlier iPhone 6 Plus, according to IHS, which also provided a breakdown of the phone. Both Samsung and TSMC are making Apple’s A9 applications processor on a foundry basis, according to ExtremeTech, which cites Chipworks as its source. There are reports that the Chinese government is interes... » read more

Mask Metrology Challenges Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex at each node. In fact, masks are moving from traditional shapes to non-orthogonal patterns and complex shapes, such as curvilinear mask patterns. To measure patterns and shapes on the mask, photomask makers use traditional critical-dimension scanning electron microscopes (CD-SEMs). In general, the CD-SEM, the workhorse metrology tool in the mask shop, use... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


SEMI released its book-to-bill report for the North American semiconductor industry. The ratio was 1.02 for the month of July, up from 0.98 in June and 0.99 in May. The ratio is a three-month moving average of bookings and billings, and for July the average hit $1.559 billion. That's the highest so far this year, and it's up 12.5% year over year. Brooks Automation acquired Contact Co.,... » read more

Top 15 Integrating Points In The Continuum Of Verification Engines


The integration game between the different verification engines, dynamic and static, is in full swing. Jim Hogan talked about the dynamic engines that he dubbed “COVE”, and I recently pointed out a very specific adoption of COVE in my review of some customer examples at DAC 2015 in “Use Model Versatility Is Key for Emulation Returns on Investment”. Here are my top 15 integrating poin... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


At an event, Samsung rolled out its 10nm finFET technology. The company also showed a 300mm wafer with 10nm finFET transistors. "We have silicon-based PDKs out," said Kelvin Low, senior director of foundry marketing for Samsung. Samsung plans to move into production with its 10nm finFET technology by the end of 2016, he said. IC Insights released its chip rankings in terms of sales in the fi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Intel is in talks to buy Altera, according to The Wall Street Journal. If a deal is reached, Intel would enter the FPGA market amid a slowdown in its core processors business. Intel would also secure its largest foundry customer in Altera. For years, Altera’s sole foundry was TSMC. Then, not long ago, Altera selected Intel as its foundry partner for 14nm. TSMC still handles 20nm and above wor... » read more

ATE: The Road Ahead


Watching the ATE market is like having a front-row seat to watch the semiconductor industry's ups and downs, with none of the hype to confuse you. So 2014 was a very good market for SoC test, and it likewise a good year for SoCs. As we head into the latter half of this year and into 2016, however, a projected downturn in the mobile arena will likely put a crimp in those earnings. The prob... » read more

← Older posts