The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Toshiba’s problems have gone from bad to worse. “Toshiba postponed its earnings call by up to one month, and the chairman resigned. The provisional results show large losses in its nuclear power business, while the NAND operations remain very profitable,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a research note. “The next few months appear very uncerta... » read more

Battling Fab Cycle Times


The shift from planar devices to finFETs enables chipmakers to scale their processes and devices from 16nm/14nm and beyond, but the industry faces several challenges at each node. Cost and technical issues are the obvious challenges. In addition, cycle time—a key but less publicized part of the chip-scaling equation—also is increasing at every turn, creating more angst for chipmakers and... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Intel has announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete its previously-announced fab in Chandler, Ariz. The fab was announced several years ago, but Intel delayed the plant in 2014. Now, the plant, dubbed Fab 42, is moving forward again. Targeted for 7nm technology, Fab 42 will be completed in 3 to 4 years and will create approximately 3,000 jobs. The announcement was m... » read more

OSAT Biz: Growth And Challenges


Amid a challenging business environment, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) industry is projected to see steady to strong growth in a number of packaging segments this year. Right now, the [getkc id="83" kc_name="OSATs"]—which provide third-party IC-packaging and test services—are seeing brisk demand for both legacy and advanced chip packages. In addition, IDMs continu... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Faced with a huge write-down at its nuclear operations, Toshiba is looking to spin off its semiconductor division, which makes NAND. As expected, Toshiba seeks investors in the new company, according to Nikkei. Western Digital (WD) is one potential investor. Foxconn is another possible investor, according to CNBC. Peregrine Semiconductor has rolled out its latest RF SOI process.... » read more

New Embedded Memories Ahead


The embedded memory market is beginning to heat up, fueled by a new wave of microcontrollers (MCUs) and related chips that will likely require new and more capable nonvolatile memory types. The industry is moving on several different fronts in the embedded memory landscape. On one front, traditional solutions are advancing. On another front, several vendors are positioning the next-generatio... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 25


Synopsys' Anand Thiruvengadam looks at why there's an increased need for mixed-signal verification. Mentor's Craig Armenti argues for incorporating design for reliability into PCB projects. Cadence's Paul McLellan reports from the latest in ESDA's Emerging Companies series about the roots and future of RISC-V. NI's James Kimery shares updates from the 3GPP Workshop on 5G in Vienna. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers 2017 is just getting underway and there appears to be more restructuring in the IC industry. Toshiba is looking to spin off its semiconductor division and Western Digital (WD) plans to take a minority stake, according to Nikkei, which added that Toshiba would sell a 20% stake for 200-300 billion yen ($1.78-$2.65 billion). “The arrangement would provide Toshiba with short term fund... » read more

Transferring Skills Getting Harder


Rising complexity in developing chips at advanced nodes, and an almost perpetual barrage of new engineering challenges at each new node, are making it more difficult for everyone involved to maintain consistent skill levels across a growing number of interrelated technologies. The result is that engineers are being forced to specialize, but when they work with other engineers with different ... » read more

What’s Up MEMS?


Strong segment growth. A whole slew of new devices on the horizon. A healthy pipeline of enabling critical problems to be solved. Has somebody been peeking at my Christmas list? Possibly yes, and thankfully so, because 2016 has been that kind of year in MEMS. Taking a look at the numbers from Yole Developpement, they expect 2016 MEMS device segment revenue to be around $13B, with an estimate... » read more

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