Silicon Photonics Comes Into Focus


Silicon photonics is attracting growing attention and investment as a companion technology to copper wiring inside of data centers, raising new questions about what comes next and when. Light has always been the ultimate standard for speed. It requires less energy to move large quantities of data, generates less heat than electricity, and it can work equally well over long or short distances... » read more

RF GaN Gains Steam


The RF [getkc id="217" kc_name="gallium nitride"] (GaN) device market is heating up amid the need for more performance with better power densities in a range of systems, such as infrastructure equipment, missile defense and radar. On one front, for example, RF GaN is beginning to displace a silicon-based technology for the power amplifier sockets in today’s wireless base stations. GaN is m... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 31


Reusable gallium arsenide wafers A manufacturing process developed by Stanford researchers could dramatically reduce the cost of gallium arsenide electronics, potentially opening up new applications for the material. In the search for silicon's replacement, gallium arsenide (GaAs) has much to offer on performance. It's faster than silicon, less noise, and features a wide direct band gapâ€... » read more

RF SOI Foundry Biz Heats Up


The foundry business is undergoing a new round of acquisition and fab expansion activity. As before, the big foundry vendors are getting bigger, while some may fall by the wayside. And at times, the events cause some uncertainty, if not jitters, in the supply chain. For example, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]in October signed a definitive agreement to acquire the chip uni... » read more

One-On-One: Mark Bohr


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss process technology, transistor trends, chip-packaging and other topics with Mark Bohr, a senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel. SE: Intel recently introduced chips based on its new 14nm process. Can you briefly describe the 14nm process? Bohr: It’s our second-generation, tri-gate technology. So it has al... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 10


Self-Assembling Nano Films Applying thin films with uniformity has always been an engineering challenge, but as feature sizes shrink the problem become even more pronounced. But a new approach developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs’ Materials Science Division could end up simplifying this process. The new approach used chloroform as an annealing solvent to create self-assembling arr... » read more

Executive Insight: Aart de Geus


SE: What worries you most? De Geus: Everything I do is with high intensity, and what is of super high intensity right now—and there are challenges and opportunities in it—is that we have the confluence of some very big changes right now happening at the same time. On the technology side, there are multiple intersections. One is the intersection of another 10 years of Moore’s Law—finF... » read more

Power Moves Up To First Place


Virtually every presentation delivered about semiconductor design or manufacturing these days—and every end product specification that uses advanced technology—incorporates some reference to power and/or energy. It has emerged as the most persistent, most problematic, and certainly the most talked about issue from conception to marketplace adoption. And the conversation only grows louder... » read more

New Foundry Gold Rush: RF SOI


By Mark LaPedus About every five years or so, a new and hot market emerges in the specialty foundry business that resembles a frenetic gold rush. The last big gold rush occurred around 2008, when more than a dozen foundries jumped into the bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) market to capitalize on the booming power-management sector. Now, the next gold rush is centering on an emerging technology—th... » read more

CMOS And SOI Invade RF Front End


By Mark LaPedus The next-generation 4G wireless standard known as long-term evolution (LTE) presents some new and difficult design choices for OEMs. One of the more difficult choices involves the less glamorous, but arguably the most critical part in a handset—the radio-frequency (RF) front-end. Typically, the RF front-end often comes in a module and includes various key components, such ... » read more