5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

What Happened To ReRAM?


Resistive RAM (ReRAM), one of a handful of next-generation memories under development, is finally gaining traction after years of setbacks. Fujitsu and Panasonic are jointly ramping up a second-generation ReRAM device. In addition, Crossbar is sampling a 40nm ReRAM technology, which is being made on a foundry basis by China’s SMIC. And not to be outdone, TSMC and UMC recently put ReRAM on ... » read more

Challenges Mount For Photomasks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss photomask technologies with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at Dai Nippon Printing (DNP); Banqiu Wu, principal member of the technical staff and chief technology officer of the Mask and TSV Etch Division at [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"]; Weston Sousa, general manager of the Reticle Products Division at [getentity id="22876" commen... » read more

Node Warfare?


By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling GlobalFoundries uncorked a 12nm finFET process, which the company said will provide a 15% increase in density and more than 10% improvement in performance over the foundry's existing 14nm process. This is GlobalFoundries' second 12nm process. It announced a 12nm FD-SOI process called 12FDX last September, although it first mentioned a 12nm process back in J... » read more

What’s After 7nm?


The rollout of 10/7nm was a long time coming, and for good reason. It's hard stuff, and chipmakers have to be ready to take a giant step forward with new processes, tools, and to deal with a slew of physical effects that no longer can be handled by just guard-banding a design. The big question is what's next, when it will happen, and how much it will cost. Preparing for the next process node... » read more

Survey: Optimism Grows for EUV


The optimism is growing for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, according to a pair of new surveys released by the eBeam Initiative, which also revealed some new and surprising data about mask writing tools and other photomask technology. In one of the surveys from the [getentity id="22818" e_name="eBeam Initiative"], respondents revealed that they are more optimistic than e... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 29


Compact synchrotron EUV sources For some time, the industry has been exploring the development of next-generation power sources for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. ASML and Gigaphoton are separately developing EUV sources based on the more traditional and compact laser-produced-plasma (LPP) technology. Then, in R&D, others are exploring the development of futuristic EUV sources us... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

Blog Review: Aug. 23


Cadence's Madhavi Rao asks whether India should have more fabs and the role government policy should play. Synopsys' Kapil Rajpal checks out the Serial Peripheral Interface, which is emerging as a popular choice in automotive applications, and various vendor specific flavors. In a video, Mentor's Colin Walls explains inter-task communication and the basic mechanisms of how to pass data fr... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

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