The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research For some time, DRAM shortages have plagued the market. Today, the situation remains the same. DRAMs are seeing strong demand. But yet, vendors are not adding any capacity. “Strained DRAM supply was even more evident during the third quarter as limited production capacity and limited technological progress for the memory industry encountered robust demand from data centers in ... » read more

What’s Next For Atomic Layer Etch?


After years in R&D, several fab tool vendors last year finally began to ship systems based a next-generation technology called atomic layer etch (ALE). [getkc id="284" kc_name="ALE"] is is moving into 16/14nm, but it will play a big role at 10/7nm and beyond. The industry also is working on the next wave of ALE technology for advanced logic and memory production. Used by chipmakers fo... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Bloomberg has reported that Broadcom is in talks to acquire Qualcomm for $70 per share or about $90 billion. Qualcomm is attempting to acquire NXP, but Broadcom has its sights on Qualcomm, not NXP. “We think AVGO would want to acquire QCOM assets not NXP,” said Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC. Samsung continues to reshuffle its management amid a plethora of changes at t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The IC market remains hot, as several market researchers are raising their forecasts--again. Gartner recently raised its overall IC forecast. Now, IC Insights has raised its IC market growth rate forecast for 2017 to 22%, up six percentage points from the 16% increase shown in its mid-year update. In March, IC Insights raised its worldwide IC market growth forecast for 201... » read more

Next-Gen Mask Writer Race Begins


Competition is heating up in the mask writer equipment business as two vendors—Intel/IMS and NuFlare—vie for position in the new and emerging multi-beam tool segment. Last year, Intel surprised the industry by acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a multi-beam e-beam mask writer equipment vendor. Also last year, IMS, now part of Intel, began shipping the world’s first multi-beam mask writer f... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has asked European antitrust regulators to investigate TSMC over alleged unfair competition, according to a report from Reuters. Commenting on the report, a spokeswoman for GlobalFoundries said: “We are not surprised that the European Commission is looking into anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct in the semiconductor sector. The semiconductor indu... » read more

Unsolved Litho Issues At 7nm


By Ed Sperling & Mark LaPedus EUV lithography is creating a new set of challenges on the photomask side for which there currently are no simple solutions. While lithography is viewed as a single technology, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] actually is a collection of technologies. Not all of those technologies have advanced equally and simultaneously, however. For example, aberrations... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Toshiba has changed its mind yet again about which group will buy its prized memory unit. On June 20, Toshiba chose a Japanese government-led consortium of INCJ/DBJ, Bain Capital and South Korea’s SK Hynix. Then, Toshiba changed its mind and selected a similar group with Western Digital (WDC), leaving SK Hynix on the outside looking in. This week, Toshiba signed a deal with a ... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

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