Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 9


China’s quantum computer In its latest achievement, China has built a quantum computer. With its technology, the University of Science and Technology of China and Zhejiang University claimed to have set two records in quantum computing. In classical computing, the information is stored in bits, which can be either a “0” or “1”. In quantum computing, information is stored in quant... » read more

What Does An AI Chip Look Like?


Depending upon your point of reference, artificial intelligence will be the next big thing or it will play a major role in all of the next big things. This explains the frenzy of activity in this sector over the past 18 months. Big companies are paying billions of dollars to acquire startup companies, and even more for R&D. In addition, governments around the globe are pouring additional... » read more

New Memories And Architectures Ahead


Memory dominates many SoCs, and it is rare to hear that a design contains too much memory. However, memories consume a significant percentage of system power, and while this may not be a critical problem for many systems, it is a bigger issue for Internet of Things ([getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"]) edge devices where total energy consumption is very important. Memory demands are changing in al... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors


The IC industry is moving in several different directions at once. The largest chipmakers continue to march down process nodes with chip scaling, while others are moving towards various advanced packaging schemes. On top of that, post-CMOS devices, neuromorphic chips and quantum computing are all in the works. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these technologies with Marie Semeri... » read more

Smart Manufacturing Gains Momentum


Smart manufacturing is gaining traction as a way of addressing increased market fragmentation while still leveraging economies of scale. The goal is to add a level of flexibility into manufacturing processes that until recently was considered impossible. Although the approach makes sense in theory, real-world implementation is proving far from consistent. Sometimes referred to as Industr... » read more

Uncertainty Grows For 5nm, 3nm


As several chipmakers ramp up their 10nm finFET processes, with 7nm just around the corner, R&D has begun for 5nm and beyond. In fact, some are already moving full speed ahead in the arena. [getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] recently announced plans to build a new fab in Taiwan at a cost of $15.7 billion. The proposed fab is targeted to manufacture TSMC’s 5nm and 3nm processes, whic... » read more

5 Takeaways from IEDM


As usual, the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) was a busy week. The event, which took place in San Francisco, featured a plethora of subjects, such as next-generation transistors and memories. The event also included tracks on non-traditional approaches like quantum and neuromorphic computing. And then, there were sessions on power semis and others. In no partic... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 6


The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) has broken an unofficial record for the world’s most powerful hybrid magnet. The 33-ton system, called the series connected hybrid (SCH) magnet, has reached its full field strength of 36 tesla. The SCH is more than 40% stronger than the previous world-record hybrid magnet. Tesla, or T, is the measurement of magnetic field strength. A ref... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 23


Materials database The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has published a study that quantifies the thermodynamic scale of metastability of some 29,902 materials. To quantify the materials, researchers used Berkeley Lab’s Materials Project, a large and open database of known and predicted materials. The open and Web-based database has calculated the properties ... » read more

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