Lam, KLA-Tencor Scrap Merger

After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Last year, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. Lam’s proposed and blockbuster move to acquire KLA-Tencor would supposedly create the world’s second largest fab tool maker, behind Applied Materials. O... » 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

200mm Equipment Shortfall

A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » 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

Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up

The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tool vendors In terms of sales for 2015, Applied Materials retained the No. 1 position in the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market with 1.3% growth last year, according to Garnter. Lam Research experienced the strongest growth of the top 10 vendors in 2015, moving into the No. 2 position. In the rankings, Lam jumped ahead of ASML and TEL. ASML was in third place, followed in order by TEL, KLA-... » read more

Ready For Nanoimprint?

Nanoimprint has been discussed, debated, and hyped since the term was first introduced in 1996. Now, a full 20 years later, it is being taken much more seriously in light of increasing photomask costs and delays in bringing alternatives to market. Nanoimprint lithography is something like a room-temperature UV cure embossing process. The structures are patterned onto a template or mold using... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Samsung plans to make a major entry into the drone market, according to reports. “Samsung is not alone in focusing on the drone market,” said Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, in a research note. “At CES next month in Las Vegas, one can expect new products from drone market leader DJI, but dozens of new drone models from Parrot and many other companies. Even GoPro chip maker A... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Looks Cloudy

Amid a slowdown in the foundry and DRAM sectors, the outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry looks somewhat cloudy, if not challenging, in 2016. In fact, for equipment vendors, 2016 could resemble the lackluster year in 2015. In 2015, for example, capital spending in the foundry sector fell during the year, although NAND flash began to pick up steam. In 2015, though, the big stor... » read more

Can Nano-Patterning Save Moore’s Law?

For years the academic community has explored a novel technology called selective deposition. Then, more than a year ago, Intel spearheaded an effort to bring the technology from the lab to the fab at 7nm or 5nm. Today, selective deposition is still in R&D, but it is gaining momentum in the industry. With R&D funding from Intel and others, selective deposition, sometimes called ALD-e... » read more

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