Sustainability Saves Water, Too


After energy (discussed in Part 2 of this series), water is the largest fab input and the largest contributor to fab waste. Yet tools for analyzing a fab’s water footprint are generally less mature than tools for analyzing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. In part, this may be because water consumption is primarily a local issue, while greenhouse gas emissions are a global c... » read more

The Limits Of The Lifecycle


In the first article in my series on sustainability, I cited one estimate that attributed most of the electricity consumed by an integrated circuit to manufacturing, not use. Other analyses, however, come to exactly the opposite conclusion, with above 90% of lifetime energy consumption accounted for by the use phase. How can that be? The glib answer is that industry efforts to build more eff... » read more

Human Factors In Automation Software


The semiconductor industry offers some of the most advanced manufacturing environments featuring sophisticated automation and cutting-edge process controls. A typical day in a fab revolves around the production of billions of highly complex, extremely small structures where even the tiniest variations can impact device performance. Even though these production processes are highly automated, te... » read more

Politics And (Low) Power


This week the entire semiconductor market woke up with a severe political hangover. Aside from the initial shock of the election results themselves, the winning platform of "America First" could have far-reaching implications for an industry that has spent decades optimizing a global supply chain the way it has finely tuned other processes to reduce the cost per transistor. There are many un... » read more

Is This a Manufacturing Revolution?


In this eighth and final part of this series, we take a look at the risk that changes bring to quality control and test, and we discuss the potential effects on the future of moving to Industry 4.0. To read more, click here. » read more

Making Manufacturing Sustainable For Chips


There is widespread agreement that fabs and manufacturers in general should operate in a sustainable way, but what exactly does that mean? And what concrete steps can fabs take toward that goal? Once we get past the simplistic “more sustainable is better,” things tend to get pretty fuzzy. Consider the definition of sustainability itself. Corporate responsibility reports and similar docum... » read more

NextFlex Takes High Profile With Events And First Round Of Project Announcements


NextFlex, FlexTech’s flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) manufacturing institute, has been headlining flexible electronics in a major way in the past few weeks. From hosting contingents from the White House and the Pentagon, Members of Congress and local dignitaries, to announcing new development projects and partners, this one-year old organization is off to a rapid start while highlighting ad... » read more

Simulating Composite Structures


Composites provide new solutions for manufacturers looking for stronger, lighter and more cost-effective materials. At the same time, they pose new modeling and manufacturing challenges because of the nature of the materials. With the right simulation tools, designers can account for residual stresses, predict performance, analyze reliability and potential failures, optimize construction, and e... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 23


Rolling Out Solar Power...Literally An International team of researchers have developed solar cells that can be added onto a roll of flexible plastic in liquid form, bringing the same kind of economies of production to the solar industry as rolls of paper and ink did for newspapers more than a century ago. Using a roll-to-roll processing method, the team was able to achieve a power conversi... » read more

3D Printing: What Does It Mean For The Semiconductor Industry?


Semico Research was pleased to host the 3D printing TechXPOT at SEMICON West 2016, in conjunction with SEMI. We also hosted the inaugural 3D printing session at SEMICON West 2014. What is striking is how much the 3D printing industry has changed in those two years. In 2014, 3D printing was at the height of media attention; the major questions were when each home would have its own 3D printer. I... » read more

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