Blog Review: June 21


Mentor's John McMillan looks into the unique form-factors and components influencing IoT PCB designs. Cadence's Paul McLellan notes some big topics at the Samsung Foundry Forum: FD-SOI, embedded MRAM, and which gate-all-around FET architecture may be the winner. Synopsys' Eric Huang has a lighthearted look at why to buy IP versus building it. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff points to another U... » read more

NAND Market Hits Speed Bump


Demand for NAND flash memory remains robust due to the onslaught of data in systems, but the overall NAND flash market is stuck in the middle of a challenging period beset by product shortages, supply chain issues and a difficult technology transition. Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba/Western Digital duo continue to ship traditional planar NAND in the market, but this technol... » read more

Primer On Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

Blog Review: June 14


In a video, Cadence's Tom Hackett looks at the evolving von Neumann computer architecture and the development of CCIX driven by recent cloud computing challenges. Mentor's Puneet Sinha notes it's been 17 years since the Toyota Prius went on sale worldwide, and looks ahead to the next 17 years of electric vehicles. Synopsys' Sri Deepti Pisipati gives an overview of the different topologies... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung has formed a new foundry division and rolled out a range of new processes. Specifically, Samsung plans to develop 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm. It also introduced an 18nm FD-SOI technology. GlobalFoundries has provided more details about its 300mm fab plans in China. The company and the Chengdu municipality have announced an investment to develop an ecosystem for its 22nm ... » read more

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research Intel retained its No. 1 position as the largest semiconductor manufacturer and grew its semiconductor revenue 4.6% in 2016, according to Gartner. Samsung Electronics continued to maintain the No. 2 spot with 11.7% market share. The largest mover in the top 25 was Broadcom, which moved up 12 places in the market share ranking, according to the firm. Worldwide silicon wafer a... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

A Look At Atomic Layer Deposition


Imagine being able to deposit a film of material just a few atomic layers at a time. As impossible as that sounds, atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a reality. In fact, it’s being used in an ever-increasing number of applications as an extremely precise and controllable process for creating thin films. Together with its etch counterpart – atomic layer etching (ALE) – ALD is enabling the us... » read more

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