5 Takeaways From BACUS

As usual, the recent SPIE Photomask Technology Conference, sometimes called BACUS, was a busy event. The event, which took place in San Jose, Calif., featured presentations on the usual subjects in the photomask sector. There were presentations on mask writers, inspection, metrology, repair and cleaning. And, of course, the papers included masks based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithograp... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tool and material vendors Applied Materials reported its results for the third quarter ended July 31. Net sales of $2.82 billion were up 15% sequentially and up 13% year over year. "AMAT reported impressive upside in July quarter and guided October quarter well ahead of expectations as the company is seeing sizable tailwinds across: 1) WFE uptick driven by foundry and NAND orders; 2) stron... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

In a surprising move, Intel is quietly in the process of acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a developer of multi-beam e-beam tools for mask writing applications, Semiconductor Engineering has learned. With the deal, Intel is moving into uncharted territory by buying a semiconductor equipment company. In the past, though, the chip giant has invested in equipment vendors, such as ASML, Nikon and... » read more

Survey: Mask Complexity To Increase

The eBeam Initiative today released its annual members’ perceptions survey, a set of results that reveals some new and surprising data about EUV, multi-beam and photomask technology. As part of the results in the new survey, there is a growing level of optimism for the implementation of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in high-volume manufacturing, as compared to last year’s result... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

SEMI released its book-to-bill report for the North American semiconductor industry. The ratio was 1.02 for the month of July, up from 0.98 in June and 0.99 in May. The ratio is a three-month moving average of bookings and billings, and for July the average hit $1.559 billion. That's the highest so far this year, and it's up 12.5% year over year. Brooks Automation acquired Contact Co.,... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Intel is in talks to buy Altera, according to The Wall Street Journal. If a deal is reached, Intel would enter the FPGA market amid a slowdown in its core processors business. Intel would also secure its largest foundry customer in Altera. For years, Altera’s sole foundry was TSMC. Then, not long ago, Altera selected Intel as its foundry partner for 14nm. TSMC still handles 20nm and above wor... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, Calif., there were several takeaways. First, the battle for lithography share is heating up at Intel. “We believe Nikon still holds a decent position at Intel, but with ASML gaining some share at 10nm. Nikon could regain some share with its new platform at 7nm, in our view, but it is early to tell. We believe Nikon has improved its posi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

For years, chipmakers have attempted to build fabs in India. So far, however, India has failed to set up modern fabs and for good reason. There are issues in terms of obtaining dependable power and water for a fab in India, according to Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, who added that India also suffers from government bureaucracy. India is still trying. Last week, Cricket Semicon... » read more

Multi-beam Sees The Light

The multiple-beam electron-beam market is going in two separate directions at once. Multi-beam for photomask writing is set to take off. The other market--multi-beam for direct-write lithography applications—is still in the early stages and remains in flux. In the multi-beam direct-write segment, for example, multiple sources indicate that KLA-Tencor is exiting this market to focus on its ... » read more

One-on-One: Naoya Hayashi

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the current and future challenges in the photomask industry with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at Dai Nippon Printing (DNP). SE: What are the big challenges for the photomask industry today? Hayashi: There are several challenges. Most of the challenges involve mask complexity. It is also quite difficult to handle the mask data, because it is ... » read more

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