Advanced Packaging Requires Better Yield


Whether Moore's Laws truly ends, or whether the semiconductor industry reaches into the Angstrom world after 3nm—the semiconductor industry dislikes fractions—advanced packaging increasingly will dominate semiconductor designs. Apple already is on board with its iPhone 7, using TSMC's fan-out approach. And all of the major foundries and OSATs are lining up with a long list of capabilitie... » 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

Grappling With Manufacturing Data


As complexity goes up with each new process node, so does the amount of data that is generated, from initial GDSII to photomasks, manufacturing, yield and post-silicon validation. But what happens to that data, and what gets shared, remain a point of contention among companies across the semiconductor ecosystem. The problem is that to speed up the entire design through manufacturing process,... » read more

Changing Economics In Chip Manufacturing


The foundry and equipment businesses are poised for significant changes that could affect the balance of power far beyond just the semiconductor manufacturing sector. It’s no secret that the number of companies developing new chips at 7nm is shrinking. There will be even fewer at 5nm. The business case for moving forward is that density must provide a competitive edge. But that density imp... » read more

Data Analytics To Drive IC Shift


The adoption of predictive analytics has the potential to drive the next round of IC industry innovation and growth. Much of the necessary data handling technology is now available from other sectors. However, to fully capitalize on the possibilities, the IC manufacturing world faces particular challenges in figuring out how to get a high yield of actionable information from its streams of vari... » read more

Behind The Scenes In Nanoimprint Lithography


Doug Resnick, VP of marketing and business development at Canon Nanotechnologies, talks about why Canon bought Molecular Imprints, the surprises behind that acquisition, and the problems faced by the semconductor industry moving forward. [youtube vid=NJTxFu-_6GI] » read more

Inside The OSAT Business


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the IC-packaging industry, foundries, China and other topics with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan's Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), the world's largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What is your overall outlook for 2016? Wu: Last year, the semi... » read more

7nm Lithography Choices


Chipmakers are ramping up their 16nm/14nm logic processes, with 10nm expected to move into early production later this year. Barring a major breakthrough in lithography, chipmakers are using today’s 193nm immersion and multiple patterning for both 16/14nm and 10nm. Now, chipmakers are focusing on the lithography options for 7nm. For this, they hope to use a combination of two technologies ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 8


Quantum computing At this week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in Washington, D.C., chipmakers, research institutes and universities presented a plethora of papers on several subjects. A large number of papers revolve around the same theme—How to extend Moore’s Law. For this, researchers are working on a number of short- and long-term technologies to propel device... » read more

Shrinking R&D Pool


The rule of thumb in business is that consolidation in a maturing industry improves the health of the surviving companies. In most market sectors that's true. In the semiconductor industry, that formula doesn't work. The reason is due to what might well be called foundational economics. While it's possible to reduce costs in making chips for years to come, at some point the basic building bl... » read more

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