Get Ready For 5G


The 5G wireless rollout, expected to occur over the next few years, will have a major impact on both the number and types of ICs in end-user devices, and on the base stations and repeaters needed to transmit the higher frequency signals. The 5G standard is expected to deliver 10 Gbps of bandwidth— up to 10X the data rates achievable using the advanced forms of 4G— and sub-5ms latencies. ... » read more

Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

Pushing DRAM’s Limits


If humans ever do create a genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence, it may well exhibit the frustration of waiting for data arrive. The access bandwidth of DRAM-based computer memory has improved by a factor of 20x over the past two decades. Capacity increased 128x during the same period. But latency improved only 1.3x, according to Kevin Chang, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon Universit... » read more

Fan-Outs vs. TSVs


Two years ago, at the annual IMAPS conference on 2.5D and 3D chip packaging, the presentations were dominated by talk of fan-out wafer-level packaging. There was almost no talk of through-silicon vias, which previously had been heralded as vital to 2.5D and 3DIC packaging. Fast forward to this month's 3D Architectures for Heterogeneous Integration and Packaging conference in Burlingame, Cali... » read more

Advanced Packaging Is Suddenly Very Cool


The hottest chip markets today—automotive AI for autonomous and heavily assisted driving, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality—all are beginning to look at advanced packaging as the best path forward for improving performance and reducing power. Over the past four years, which is when 2.5D and fan-out wafer-level packaging first really began garnering interest, these and othe... » read more

Changes Ahead For Test


Testing microprocessors is becoming more difficult and more time consuming as these devices are designed to take on more complex tasks, such as accelerating artificial intelligence computing, enabling automated driving, and supporting deep neural networks. This is not just limited to microprocessors, either. Graphics processing units are grabbing market share in supercomputing and other area... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

Hyperscaling The Data Center


Enterprise data centers increasingly will look and behave more like slimmed-down versions of hyperscale data centers as chipmakers and other suppliers adapt systems developed for their biggest customers to in-house IT faciilities. The new chips and infrastructure that will serve as building blocks in these facilities will be more power-efficient, make better use of space and generate less he... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 6


Synopsys' Eric Huang examines electromagnetic interference, the Bit Error Rate in USB 3.2 and how different transfer types handle errors. Mentor's Nitin Bhagwath points out several things that can cause DDR signals to behave badly, from excessive ringing to stubs in the channel. Cadence's Paul McLellan listens in as Oski CEO Vigyan Singhal explains the basics of assertion-based verificati... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 5


Intel vs. GlobalFoundries At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) this week, GlobalFoundries and Intel will square off and present papers on their new logic processes. Intel will present more details about its previously-announced 10nm finFET technology, while GlobalFoundries will discuss its 7nm finFET process. As expected, Intel and GlobalFoundries will use 193nm immersi... » read more

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