The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers At upcoming the 2016 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, TSMC will square off against the alliance of IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung at 7nm. IEDM will take place Dec. 3-7, 2016. TSMC will present a paper on 7nm finFET technology. Using 193nm immersion and multi-patterning, the 7nm technology features more than three times the gate density and ei... » read more

Will There Be Enough Silicon Wafers?

The silicon wafer industry, a critical part of the IC supply chain, is undergoing a new and perhaps alarming wave of merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in this sector is not new, the pace of M&A activity is picking up and there are fewer companies left. Silicon wafer makers produce and sell raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, which process them into chips. But despite con... » read more

What Happened To Inverse Lithography?

Nearly 10 years ago, the industry rolled out a potentially disruptive technique called inverse lithography technology (ILT). But ILT was ahead of its time, causing the industry to push out the technology and relegate it to niche-oriented applications. Today, though, ILT is getting new attention as the semiconductor industry pushes toward 7nm, and perhaps beyond. ILT is not a next-generation ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tools and materials After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Amid a possible proxy battle, Kulicke & Soffa Industries has named Fusen Chen as president and chief executive, effective Oct. 31. He was also elected to the board of K&S. Jonathan Chou, chief financial officer and interim CEO, w... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 5

Mentor's Michael White explores why established nodes are experiencing such an unexpectedly long lifespan and how that is driving new challenges for designers. Cadence's Ann Keffer checks out the history of Ethernet and how it won the battle to become the dominant network protocol. Is your IoT device fueling a botnet? Vulnerable firmware on internet connected devices was behind one of the... » read more

450mm And Other Emergency Measures

Talk about boosting wafer sizes from 300mm to 450mm has been creeping back into presentations and discussions at conferences over the past couple months. Earlier this year, discussions focused on panel-level packaging. These are basically similar approaches to the same problem, which is that wafers need to be larger to reap efficiencies out of device scaling. Whether either of these approach... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow

Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory

In the data center and related environments, high-end systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing demands in data processing. There are several bottlenecks in these systems, but one segment that continues to receive an inordinate amount of attention, if not part of the blame, is the memory and storage hierarchy. [getkc id="92" kc_name="SRAM"], the first tier of this hierarchy, is... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers The finFET market is heating up. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are ramping 16nm/14nm finFETs. And 10nm and 7nm finFETs are in the works. The market will shortly have a new competitor—Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC). Some years ago, UMC licensed finFET technology from IBM. UMC has been a bit quiet about the 14nm finFET technology, but it has made si... » read more

Blog Review: Sept. 14

Are wide bandgap lll-V power devices feasible? Applied's Ben Lee considers the challenges, and potential rewards, of silicon carbide and gallium nitride. DVCon India chair Gaurav Jalan chats with keynote speaker Alok Jain about the challenges of verifying complex SoCs, the unique verification needs of the IoT, and what might lie beyond UVM. From power intent abstraction to automatic power... » read more

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