The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers At upcoming the 2016 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, TSMC will square off against the alliance of IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung at 7nm. IEDM will take place Dec. 3-7, 2016. TSMC will present a paper on 7nm finFET technology. Using 193nm immersion and multi-patterning, the 7nm technology features more than three times the gate density and ei... » 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

5 Takeaways From BACUS

As usual, the recent SPIE Photomask Technology Conference, sometimes called BACUS, was a busy event. The event, which took place in San Jose, Calif., featured presentations on the usual subjects in the photomask sector. There were presentations on mask writers, inspection, metrology, repair and cleaning. And, of course, the papers included masks based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithograp... » 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

What Transistors Will Look Like At 5nm

Chipmakers are currently ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm just around the corner. The industry also is working on 5nm. TSMC hopes to deliver a 5nm process by 2020. GlobalFoundries, Intel and Samsung are doing R&D for that node. But 5nm technology presents a multitude of unknowns and challenges. For one thing, the exact timing and specs of 5nm remain cloudy. The... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Market research Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline 0.7% in 2016, to $64.3 billion, according to Gartner. This is up from the estimated 2% decline in Gartner's previous quarterly forecast. "Economic instability, inventory excess, weak demand for PC’s, tablets, and mobile products in the past three years has caused slow growth for the semiconductor industry. This ... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon

As usual, the recent Semicon West trade show was a busy, if not an overwhelming, event. The event, which took place in San Francisco in early July, featured presentations on the usual subjects in the semiconductor and IC-equipment sectors. There were sessions on 200mm, next-generation processes, transistors, lithography, MEMS and many others. In no particular order, here are my five ta... » read more

200mm Equipment Shortfall

A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » read more

E-beam Vs. Optical Inspection

The wafer inspection business is heating up as chipmakers encounter new and tiny killer defects in advanced devices. Last month ASML Holding entered into an agreement to acquire Hermes Microvision (HMI), the world’s largest e-beam inspection vendor, for $3.1 billion. The proposed move propelled ASML into the e-beam wafer inspection market. In addition, [getentity id="22817" e_name="Appl... » read more

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