How Many Nanometers?

What’s the difference between a 10nm and a 7nm chip? That should be a straightforward question. Math, after all, is the only pure science. But as it turns out, the answer is hardly science—even if it is all about numbers. Put in perspective, at 65nm, companies defined the process node by the half pitch of the first metal layer. At 40/45nm, with the cost and difficulty of developing n... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers Alain Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has resigned. This comes amid charges that Kaloyeros was involved in an alleged bid-rigging scheme, according to multiple reports. SUNY Poly, a high-tech educational ecosystem in New York, was recently formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Numbers IC Insights predicts TowerJazz and SMIC sales will jump this year, with the total pure-play foundry revenue forecast to grow 9%. That compares with 6% growth last year. TSMC is expected to shrink slightly to 58% market share, with GlobalFoundries staying flat at 11%. UMC will remain in third place in the rankings, followed by SMIC and TowerJazz. SEMI’s book-to-bill ratio jumped to... » read more

Getting The Jump On Analog/RF IP

When Magma Design was sold to Synopsys in 2012, then-president and COO Roy Jewell sat down with VC Lucio Lanza to figure out what to do next. As Jewell tells it, Lanza convinced him not to take another job. While it’s too early to tell if that was sage advice, it did trigger a search for a new business and a way of funding it. Jewell said that when Magma went looking for money, it raised $... » read more

Foundry Capacity Investment Led By Taiwan And China

The era of every company building a captive fab for next-generation products is ancient history, as foundries throughout the world provide leading-edge technology and flexible capacity in a timely and cost-effective manner. In today’s mobile-driven ecosystem, faster product development cycles and time-to-market have become the norm for the industry. Now, this trend is even spreading to the co... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tools Applied Materials has officially rolled out the Producer Selectra system, a selective etch tool. The system falls under the loosely defined category called atomic layer etch (ALE). Applied’s technology addresses a number of challenges. Today’s advanced chips have complex structures. They may also have deep and narrow trenches. One of the challenges is the inability of wet ... » read more

TSVs: Copper, Silicon, And CTE Mismatch

As previous articles in this series have discussed, advanced packages introduce new materials and new reliability concerns. Diffusion into solder bumps can create brittle, high resistance, intermetallic compounds. Heat transfer through an interposer can degrade the lifetime of even cool, low power chips. Still, through-silicon vias are unique in that they cut directly through the integrated cir... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

Mergers & Acquisitions Silvaco jumped into the IP market with its acquisition of commercialization and management company IPextreme. Founder and CEO Warren Savage will be staying on to head up the new division. Additionally, through wholly owned French subsidiary Infiniscale SA, Silvaco acquired a majority stake in edXact, which focused on parasitic reduction tools. Rambus acquired th... » read more

Fab Investment Increases In China

By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling Fab construction in China is heating up, driven by real and projected demand for IoT devices and the government's push for internally manufactured chips. [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], UMC and [getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] are all actively building up fab capacity inside of China, usually in conjunction with other local governme... » read more

What Will China Do Next?

China's attempts to buy up U.S. chip companies is undergoing more gyrations, this time spurred by the exchange rate set by the People's Bank of China and the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hikes. The central bank dropped the exchange rate of the yuan versus the dollar to its lowest rate since 2011, according to Bloomberg. The current rate is now 6.55 yuan per dollar, compared ... » read more

← Older posts