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

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

Using Data To Improve Yield


Semiconductor manufacturers are always looking for an edge to improve operating efficiency and to increase yields on chip lots. For some, the answers include big data analytics, as well as technology to move that data around more quickly. Chipmakers, board assemblers, and related businesses are turning to the Internet of Things, especially [getkc id="78" kc_name="Industrial IoT"] technology... » 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

Rethinking Computing Fundamentals


New compute architectures—not just new chips—are becoming a common theme in Silicon Valley these days. The whole semiconductor industry is racing to find the fastest, cheapest, lowest-power approach to processing. The drivers of this shift are well documented. Moore's Law is slowing down, in part because it's becoming more difficult to route signals across an SoC at the latest process no... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has generated sales from its recently-announced 14nm finFET technology. The foundry vendor also plans to enter the 22nm process technology market. UMC will join other players in the 22nm arena, such as GlobalFoundries, Intel and TSMC. “So we do have a plan to introduce our 22nm as well and it will be available around 2018,” said Jason Wang, the newly appointed co-president o... » read more

Blog Review: July 26


Mentor's Dan Driscoll digs into designing for safety and security on the Xilinx UltraScale+ MPSoC and the different mechanisms that support subsystem isolation. Cadence's Paul McLellan listens in on a talk by Bosch's Volkmar Denner on the future of communications and AI in connected autos. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi points to a recently-discovered vulnerability that could be present in thous... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

Blog Review: July 5


Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out the current state of System-in-Package technology and how different products incorporate SiP. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi digs into the differences between two major recent ransomware outbreaks, WanaCry and Petya. A Mentor staff writer shares some highlights from this year's DAC. ARM's Rene Haas examines what consumers think about AI and the impact it wil... » read more

Blog Review: June 28


Mentor's Craig Armenti notes the benefits, and challenges, of investing in modular design in the PCB domain. Cadence's Paul McLellan covers a DAC chat with CEO Lip-Bu Tan on the rise of advanced packaging and investments in AI and autonomous driving. Synopsys' Jim Hartnett examines some of the challenges and tradeoffs involved in building good security practices in hospital environments. ... » read more

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