Chip Aging Accelerates


Reliability is becoming an increasingly important proof point for new chips as they are rolled out in new markets such as automotive, cloud computing and industrial IoT, but actually proving that a chip will function as expected over time is becoming much more difficult. In the past, reliability generally was considered a foundry issue. Chips developed for computers and phones were designed ... » read more

New Thermal Issues Emerge


Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

Tech Talk: Substrate Noise Coupling


Roland Jancke, head of the department for design methodology for the Fraunhofer's Engineering of Adaptive Systems Division, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about the impact of substrate noise coupling on reliability of chips and how to deal with this issue. https://youtu.be/7E2rCwYr6-o » read more

Foundries See Mixed Future


Amid a tumultuous business environment, the silicon foundry industry is projected to see steady growth in a number of process segments in 2017. As in past years, the foundry market is expected to grow faster than the overall IC industry in 2017. But at the same time, the IC industry—the foundry customer base—continues to witness a frenetic wave of merger and acquisition activity. Basical... » read more

Automotive IC Design Drives Simulation Innovation


By Roberto Stella, STMicroelectronics and Ahmed Eisawy, Mentor Graphics STMicroelectronics invented the Bipolar, CMOS, DMOS (BCD) technology for the intelligent power applications demanded by automotive ICs. This technology is widely-adopted by the automotive IC industry. But, designing automotive ICs is very challenging. It requires innovative techniques to ensure that the ICs can stand u... » read more

Ray Zinn Reflects On 37 Years As CEO Of Micrel


Believed to be the longest serving CEO of any company to have existed in Silicon Valley, Ray Zinn does more in retirement than many people would accomplish as full time employees. While his name may not be at the top of most influential people in the valley, the industry may not be the same today had it not been for his contributions. Semiconductor Engineering spoke with him about his past, the... » read more

Challenges At Advanced Nodes


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss finFETs, 22nm FD-SOI and how the how the market will segment over the next few years with Marie Semeria, CEO of [getentity id="22192" e_name="Leti"]; Patrick Soheili, vice president of product management and corporate development at [getentity id="22242" e_name="eSilicon"]; Paul Boudre, CEO of Soitec; and Subramani Kengeri, vice president of global ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 28


Spintronics gains traction The field of spintronics is gaining interest. The technology could enable a new class of spin-based devices, which combine the switching speeds of logic and the non-volatility of memory. Controlling the magnetism by means of electric fields is the key for future devices, but the ability to switch ferromagnetism technology at room temperature is challenging. Helmho... » read more

Foundries Eye 300mm Analog Fabs


By Mark LaPedus In 2009, Texas Instruments changed the semiconductor landscape when it opened the industry’s first 300mm fab for analog chips. Until then, analog chip production was conducted in fabs at 200mm wafer sizes and below. With a 300mm fab, TI potentially could gain a die-size and cost advantage over its analog rivals. On paper, a 300mm wafer provides 2.5 times more chips than a... » read more