Notes From The Chip Beat


Over the last several months, I’ve attended a number of conferences, such as IEDM, SPIE, the FD-SOI Summit and others. At each conference, there is a dizzying amount of information and data. Eventually, some information turns into an article, while most ends up buried in a reporter’s notebook. In any case, here are five observations I’ve made, based on those and other events in the pa... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research Intel held a slim 4% lead over Samsung for the number one position in terms of chip sales in the first quarter, according to IC Insights. But as reported, Samsung is on pace to displace Intel as the world’s largest semiconductor supplier in the second quarter, according to the firm. Meanwhile, in the ranking, SK Hynix and Micron made the biggest moves. And there was one new e... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools, test and packaging Brewer Science has sold its so-called Cee semiconductor processing equipment business. A former employee, Russ Pagel, has formed a new company, Cost Effective Equipment, to take over ownership and operate the Cee business. The new company, which will remain in Rolla, Mo., will sell spin coaters, bake plates, bonders and other systems. Taiwan’s Ministry of E... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tool vendors In the wafer fab equipment (WFE) rankings, Applied Materials was the leader in terms of market share in 2016, according to Gartner. For WFE, Lam Research jumped from fourth place in 2015 to second place in the rankings in 2016, according to Gartner. ASML was third, followed by TEL. Meanwhile, VLSI Research recently released its ranking for both front-end and backend equipment.... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Mentor unveiled new formal-based technologies in the Questa Verification Solution. It offers formal-based RTL-to-RTL equivalence checking flows optimized for verification of manual low-power clock gating, bug fix and ECO validation, and ISO 26262 safety mechanism verification, which the company says which can reduce verification turnaround time by 10X. The app also offers expanded cloc... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At an event, Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing group outlined the company's vision. As part of the event, Intel reiterated what many are saying—the current node designations are meaningless and misleading. “For example, Intel estimates that its 14nm solution that has been out in the market since 2014 should be equal to 10nm solutions released by competitors in the near futu... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Siemens closed the acquisition of Mentor Graphics, making Mentor now part of Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) software business. The $4.5 billion deal, announced last November, brings Siemens into the IC design tool and embedded software markets and expands Siemens' multi-physics and electronic simulation capabilities in the growing digital twin space, which ties together ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers China’s IC industry is embarking on a recruitment drive to prepare for the operation of new fabs in 2018, according to TrendForce. “TrendForce’s latest analysis on China’s semiconductor sector reveals that the country’s domestic IC manufacturers are affecting the movement of industry talent worldwide as they continue to aggressively headhunt for senior managers and enginee... » read more

China: Fab Boom or Bust?


China’s semiconductor industry continues to expand at a frenetic pace. At present there are nearly two dozen new fab projects in China. Whether all these fab projects get off the ground is not entirely clear because the dynamics in China remain fluid. What is clear is the motivation behind this building frenzy—China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continu... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


SPIE news At this week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, the industry paid close attention to the progress of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Here’s the general report card: EUV is making noticeable progress, but there are still some challenges ahead, such as the power source, resists and pellicles. Several issues need to be resolved before chipmakers can put EUV into mass... » read more

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