Blog Review: Oct. 26

Synopsys' Robert Vamosi provides some additional information on last Friday's massive DDoS attack against DNS provider Dyn, which hampered access to many big-name websites. On the same note, Cadence's Paul McLellan warns of the hazards default and easy-to-guess device passwords present to people far beyond the original user. Mentor's Arvind Narayanan warns that the 10nm era has changed ph... » read more

GaN Power Semi Biz Heats Up

The market for devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology is heating up amid the push for faster and more power efficient systems. Today, [getkc id="217" kc_name="GaN"] is widely used in the production of LEDs. In addition, it is gaining steam in the radio-frequency (RF) market. And the GaN-based power semiconductor market finally appears ready to take off, after several false starts ... » read more

Will There Be Enough Silicon Wafers?

The silicon wafer industry, a critical part of the IC supply chain, is undergoing a new and perhaps alarming wave of merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in this sector is not new, the pace of M&A activity is picking up and there are fewer companies left. Silicon wafer makers produce and sell raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, which process them into chips. But despite con... » read more

OLEDs Shine In Phones, TVs, Lights

OLEDs are coming—everywhere. While the new iPhone 7 models do not have organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, those handsets are likely to be the last Apple will offer before it makes the smartphone transition to OLED displays next year. The Apple Watch, however, does have a flexible OLED display with a sapphire crystal cover or an Ion-X glass cover, and the Apple Watch Series 2 ... » read more

China Ramps Up Power IC Manufacturing

In addition to changes in power devices being implemented to meet market trends that I discussed in previous posts, there are significant shifts taking place in the locations where these components are manufactured. Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen an increase in power device manufacturing in China, Europe and South East Asia and a subsequent drop off in North America. If we look at ... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 19

Mentor's Colin Walls provides some tips on writing portable, reusable code. Cadence's Christine Young contends that you should never use 2.5D for characterization at advanced nodes. Synopsys' Eric Huang considers one impractical use of USB heating and the IoT. Applied's Ben Lee predicts a rapid growth in China's power device manufacturing. NXP's Joppe Bos digs into the challenges of... » read more

Lam, KLA-Tencor Scrap Merger

After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Last year, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. Lam’s proposed and blockbuster move to acquire KLA-Tencor would supposedly create the world’s second largest fab tool maker, behind Applied Materials. O... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tools and T&M Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have announced a five-year extension of their R&D collaboration at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging in Singapore. The organizations will expand the scope of their R&D collaboration to focus on advancing fan-out wafer... » read more

Will III-V Power Devices Happen?

In a previous blog post, I provided a review of the overall power device market and trends driving changes in device evolution that entail materials innovation. For the industry to make such a shift, the advantages over mature, low-cost silicon technologies must be compelling and something the industry absolutely has to implement. Now I’d like to focus on new materials offering competitive be... » 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

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