200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

RF Device And Process Biz Heats Up


The RF device and process technology markets are heating up, especially for two critical components used in smartphones—RF switch devices and antenna tuners. RF device makers and their foundry partners continue to ramp up traditional RF switch chips and tuners based on RF SOI process technologies for today’s 4G wireless networks. And recently, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundri... » read more

Time For Massively Parallel Testing


Time is money in electronics, as in other industries, and the more time that is invested in testing chips means more costs being added to the product in question. To speed up testing for memory devices and other semiconductors, test equipment vendors have resorted to parallel testing technology, simultaneously testing multiple chips at a time. The industry also is turning to system-level tes... » read more

Custom Chip Verification Issues Grow


With the transition to finFETs, design conditions have grown more intense. They now include a wider PVT range and less headroom. As a result, electronic systems for applications such as mobile, consumer, and automotive increasingly are becoming more difficult to design due to the exacting performance requirements of these applications. This is particularly evident in custom design, including... » read more

China: Fab Boom or Bust?


China’s semiconductor industry continues to expand at a frenetic pace. At present there are nearly two dozen new fab projects in China. Whether all these fab projects get off the ground is not entirely clear because the dynamics in China remain fluid. What is clear is the motivation behind this building frenzy—China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continu... » read more

Advanced Wafer Level Packaging Of RF-MEMS With RDL Inductor


The market for portable and mobile data access devices that are wirelessly connected to the cloud anytime and anywhere is exploding. The trend to access any network from anywhere is driving increased functional convergence in the radio, which translates into increased packaging complexity and sophistication. This is creating unprecedented demand for RF components providing more integration- in ... » read more

Betting On Wafer-Level Fan-Outs


Advanced packaging is starting to gain traction as a commercially viable business model rather than just one more possible option, propelled by the technical difficulties in routing signals at 10nm and 7nm and skyrocketing costs of device scaling on a single die. The inclusion of a [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-out"] package for logic in Apple's iPhone 7, based on TSMC's Integrated Fan-Out (... » read more

What’s Missing In Advanced Packaging


Even though Moore's Law is running out of steam, there is still a need to increase functional density. Increasingly, this is being done with heterogeneous integration at the package or module level. This is proving harder than it looks. At this point there are no standardized methodologies, and tools often are retrofitted versions of existing tools that don't take into account the challenges... » read more

Foundries See Mixed Future


Amid a tumultuous business environment, the silicon foundry industry is projected to see steady growth in a number of process segments in 2017. As in past years, the foundry market is expected to grow faster than the overall IC industry in 2017. But at the same time, the IC industry—the foundry customer base—continues to witness a frenetic wave of merger and acquisition activity. Basical... » read more

Analog’s Rising Status


As more sensors and actuators are added into electronic devices, pressure is growing to more seamlessly move data seamlessly back and forth between analog and digital circuitry. [getkc id="37" kc_name="Analog"] and digital always have fit rather uncomfortably together, and that discomfort has grown as [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoCs"] are built using smaller feature sizes. While digital transis... » read more

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