Outlier Detection


With increasing focus on quality and reliability across all segments beyond just automotive, medical and mil-aero, it is more critical than ever for companies to leverage every byte of test data at their disposal to ensure that they deliver the lowest possible DPPM (defective parts per million) rates to their customers. Semiconductor manufacturing operations now generate up to 100TB of test ... » read more

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » read more

TSMC: 10nm To Be Greater Than 10% Of 2017 Wafer Revenue


TSMC’s financial results for the 4th Quarter of 2016 were released on January 11, 2017 (PST) and showed that year-over-year fourth quarter revenue increased 28.8% and simultaneously net income and diluted EPS both increased 37.6%.  In U.S. dollars, TSMC’s fourth quarter revenue was $8.25 billion. TSMC's CFO, Ms. Lora Ho, reported that 2016 was a good year for TSMC and that the company set ... » read more

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

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