Exploring New Scaling Approaches


At the recent SPIE Photomask Technology + Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography 2017 conference, Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss semiconductor technology with Tsu-Jae King Liu, the TSMC Distinguished Professor in Microelectronics in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. More specifically, Liu discussed some of the new... » read more

Next-Gen Mask Writer Race Begins


Competition is heating up in the mask writer equipment business as two vendors—Intel/IMS and NuFlare—vie for position in the new and emerging multi-beam tool segment. Last year, Intel surprised the industry by acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a multi-beam e-beam mask writer equipment vendor. Also last year, IMS, now part of Intel, began shipping the world’s first multi-beam mask writer f... » read more

New Power Concerns At 10/7nm


As chip sizes and complexity continues to grow exponentially at 7nm and below, managing power is becoming much more difficult. There are a number of factors that come into play at advanced nodes, including more and different types of processors, more chip-package decisions, and more susceptibility to noise of all sorts due to thinner insulation layers and wires. The result is that engineers ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test, measurement and fab tools National Instruments (NI) has released a report that explores the future trends in the electronics industry. The report, called the NI Trend Watch 2018, looks at the technological advances and some of the biggest challenges engineers face in 2018. The report from NI looks at the following topics—machine learning; test challenges for 5G; IIoT; and effects of... » read more

Plugging Gaps In Advanced Packaging


The growing difficulty of cramming more features into an SoC is driving the entire chip industry to consider new packaging options, whether that is a more complex, integrated SoC or some type of advanced packaging that includes multiple chips. Most of the work done in this area so far has been highly customized. But as advanced packaging heads into the mainstream, gaps are beginning to appea... » read more

5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

Frenzy At 10/7nm


The number of chipmakers rushing to 10/7nm is rising, despite a slowdown in Moore's Law scaling and the increased difficulty and cost of developing chips at the most advanced nodes. How long this trend continues remains to be seen. It's likely that 7/5nm will require new manufacturing equipment, tools, materials and transistor structures. Beyond that, there is no industry-accepted roadmap, m... » read more

Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics


Imagine inserting the electronics into a product without using a printed circuit board, a module, or even a system-in-package. That's the promise of in-mold electronics (IME), a technology that has been around for years, but which is just beginning to see wider adoption. The technology is related to conductive inks and transparent conductive films. The IME manufacturing process is said to pr... » read more

Executive Insight: Aart de Geus


Aart de Geus, chairman and co-CEO of [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss machine learning and big data, the race toward autonomous vehicles, systems vs. chips, software vs. hardware, and the future of EDA. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The whole tech world is buzzing over data and how it gets used in areas such as... » read more

The 200mm Equipment Scramble


An explosion in 200mm demand has set off a frenzied search for used semiconductor manufacturing equipment that can be used at older process nodes. The problem is there is not enough used equipment available, and not all of the new or expanding 200mm fabs can afford to pay the premium for refurbished or new equipment. This may sound like a straightforward supply and demand issue, but behind t... » read more

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