Seeing The Future Of Vision


Vision systems have evolved from cameras that enable robots to “see” on a factory floor to a safety-critical element of the heterogeneous systems guiding autonomous vehicles, as well as other applications that call for parallel processing technology to quickly recognize objects, people, and the surrounding environment. Automotive electronics and mobile devices currently dominate embedded... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Analysis After reading a blog post touting the Internet of Things for home security, Jon Hedren wrote this post detailing how IoT-based home systems can be easily compromised and could fail in multiple ways. “The IoT ‘dream’ as sold by the industry is pretty cool, but it’s still just a dream. For now, these devices remain generally shoddy, insecure, and easily breakable—and must be t... » 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

Bulk CMOS Vs. FD-SOI


The leading edge of the chip market increasingly is divided over whether to move to finFETs or whether to stay at 28nm using different materials and potentially even advanced packaging. Decisions about which approach to take frequently boil down to performance, power, form factor, cost, and the maturity of the individual technologies. All of those can vary by market, by vendor and by process... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers As reported, Samsung is expanding its efforts in the foundry business, a move that will put the company on a collision course with TSMC and others. Samsung's foundry unit is expanding is logic portfolio and moving into the specialty foundry front. It will also make its advanced packaging technology available, such as 2.5D interposers, to customers. In a blog, Samsung said it plans t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Qualcomm recently announced the new Snapdragon 820. The cell-phone chipset is based on Samsung Electronics’ new 14nm LPP (Low-Power Plus) process, the second-generation of the company’s 14nm finFET process technology. What’s next? Qualcomm is developing the Snapdragon 830. “Snapdragon 830 leaks indicate that the chip will sport 8GB of RAM, an enhanced Kryo custom architecture, and fabbe... » read more

What’s Next In Mobile Displays


The next wave of smartphones and wearables is invading the market. These systems will feature a new class of high-resolution displays, and in the near future displays will become foldable and rollable, although there are still some challenges with this technology. To be sure, mobile display technology is advancing on several fronts. On one front, for example, Apple and other systems vendor... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Is the sky falling in the IC equipment market? Not yet, but watch out below. Semi capital spending is expected to reach $60.37 billion in 2015, down 1% from 2014, according to Pacific Crest Securities. “Although we trimmed 2016 capex three weeks ago, we are trimming some more. We now see semiconductor capex down 4% in 2016. However, we do not see capex falling off a cliff in 2016 (i.e., down ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


In case you missed it, Apple rolled out its latest iPhones and other products. The latest iPhone 6 is using chips based on finFETs. So, who won Apple’s application processor foundry business for the iPhone 7? “In our foundry checks, it appears Apple is likely splitting the 14/16nm business for the recent product launches between TSMC and Samsung. We suspect Samsung’s 14nm is used for the ... » read more

Capex Growing To A Record High In 2015


Semiconductor companies are spending more than ever to stay competitive. In 2015, the total amount spent for capital expenditures is forecast to be $68.7 billion, up 9% from 2014’s $63.3 billion. This breaks the previous record set in 2011 at $63.8 billion, as shown in the following graph. Total Semiconductor Capital Expenditures, 2009-2015 Source: Semico Research Corp. The Top 15 A... » read more

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