The Week In Review: IoT


Connectivity Longing for LightSquared? The once-bankrupt company that tried to build a network with satellite airwaves and traditional spectrum has been reborn as Ligado Networks, which wants to serve 5G and Industrial Internet of Things applications with a mobile data network, employing satellite communications and other resources. Its founder is Philip Falcone, who was the guiding force behi... » 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

Blog Review: Aug. 16


Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out how Imec sees the future of transistors and the challenges of 3D logic. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi gets a lesson on the electronic systems powering modern cars, and considers when it's ethical to hack one. Mentor's Colin Walls takes a look at how to pass data between RTOS tasks. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff looks at recent semi market predictions, from expand... » read more

Auto Suppliers: More Than Chips


The semiconductor industry is revving up its present and future contributions to advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous driving. Those areas represent tremendous growth opportunities for chips, modules, and software going into automotive electronics. There’s also the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in automotive design, which are brand new c... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Lam Research held an analyst event this week. The company indicated that the industry is in the midst of a memory boom, including both DRAM and 3D NAND. According to Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC, here was one of the big takeaways at the event: “The memory spend portion of WFE is more sustainable than previously assumed due to end-market drivers such as big data, automation, ... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Connectivity M1 Limited of Singapore worked with Nokia to launch a nationwide narrowband Internet of Things network, targeting such applications as asset tracking, environmental monitoring, fleet management, and smart energy management for buildings. M1 hopes to boost the IoT ecosystem in Singapore with the new NB-IoT network. M&A DuPont has agreed to acquire Granular, a provider of digita... » read more

Packaging Enters New Phase


The race is on to make advanced packaging less expensive than shrinking everything down onto the same die—much less expensive, in fact. Following several years of speculation and rather shaky market predictions at the beginning of this decade, packaging houses and foundries spent the last four years proving that packaging really does provide a viable alternative to shrinking die in terms o... » read more

Cheaper Fan-Outs Ahead


Packaging houses continue to ramp up fan-out wafer-level packages in the market, but customers want lower cost fan-out products for a broader range of applications, such as consumer, RF and smartphones. So in R&D, the industry for some time has been developing next-generation fan-out using a panel-level format, a technology that could potentially lower the cost of fan-out. But there are ... » read more

A Tale of Two Testers


David Tacelli, president and CEO of Xcerra, was excited. His company’s reception for customers (and the press) at the Trou Normand restaurant in San Francisco’s hip South of Market neighborhood was going very well. Gourmet salames and other tasty foods were on offer, along with fine wines and craft ales and beers. He gleefully pointed out to editors that the product to be introduced at t... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Legislation Four senators plan to introduce a bipartisan bill that would require federal government vendors to provide Internet-connected devices and equipment that is patchable and conforms to industry cybersecurity standards. Such products must not have unchangeable passwords or known security vulnerabilities. The bill was drafted with expert advice from the Atlantic Council and Harvard Univ... » read more

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