The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The NAND market is in flux. Not long ago, troubled Toshiba put its memory unit on the block. Finally, the company has selected a group to buy its memory business. The consortium includes the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan and Bain Capital. Rival SK Hynix is also part of the group. Others attempted to bid on the business, including Western Digita... » read more

NAND Market Hits Speed Bump


Demand for NAND flash memory remains robust due to the onslaught of data in systems, but the overall NAND flash market is stuck in the middle of a challenging period beset by product shortages, supply chain issues and a difficult technology transition. Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba/Western Digital duo continue to ship traditional planar NAND in the market, but this technol... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

Going Vertical?


The topic of transistor scaling has been traditionally covered at SEMICON West in its own right. This year’s event, however, will also explore scaling in 3D, as well as using packaging to accomplish similar objectives. Along with traditional transistor scaling, speakers will tackle design and metrology considerations for scaling the package, and address the economic decisions that inform dens... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung has formed a new foundry division and rolled out a range of new processes. Specifically, Samsung plans to develop 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm. It also introduced an 18nm FD-SOI technology. GlobalFoundries has provided more details about its 300mm fab plans in China. The company and the Chengdu municipality have announced an investment to develop an ecosystem for its 22nm ... » read more

Making Interconnects Faster


In integrated circuits, interconnect resistance is a combination of wire and via resistance. Wire resistance of a conductor depends on several factors, one of which is the electron scattering at various surfaces and grain boundaries. Via resistance, on the other hand, is a function of the thickness or resistivity of the layers at the bottom of the via through which current must travel. T... » read more

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research Intel retained its No. 1 position as the largest semiconductor manufacturer and grew its semiconductor revenue 4.6% in 2016, according to Gartner. Samsung Electronics continued to maintain the No. 2 spot with 11.7% market share. The largest mover in the top 25 was Broadcom, which moved up 12 places in the market share ranking, according to the firm. Worldwide silicon wafer a... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

U.S. Fab Investments Rise


Thin Film Electronics is opening a chip fabrication facility in San Jose, Calif., that will produce devices on rolls of flexible materials, using technology similar to inkjet printing, rather than the standard semiconductor production equipment geared toward silicon wafers. At the same time, Samsung Electronics and GlobalFoundries are expanding their wafer fabrication plants in Austin, Texas... » read more

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