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

IP Challenges Ahead


The revenue from semiconductor [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] has risen steadily to become the largest segment of the EDA industry. Industry forecasts expect it to keep growing at a CAGR of more than 10% for the next decade. Part one of this article examined the possibility those forecasts are wrong and that large semiconductor companies are likely to start bringing IP development back in hous... » read more

Foundries Accelerate Auto Efforts


Foundries are ramping up their efforts in automotive chip production in preparation for a surge in semiconductors used in assisted and autonomous driving. All of the major foundry vendors are scrambling to assemble the pieces and expand their process portfolios for automotive customers. The foundries are seeing a growing demand from automotive IC customers amid the push toward advanced drive... » read more

IoT Myth Busting


The [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"] (IoT) means many things to a large number of people, but one thing is clear—every discussion involving the IoT invariably includes some rather dramatic growth predictions for how many connected devices will be sold and who will be the primary beneficiaries. While that data helps spice up speeches, and typically gets people to read and quote ... » read more

Is The IP Industry Healthy?


The semiconductor industry has been through many changes, each designed to reduce the total cost associated with the design and manufacture of chips. Twenty years ago, most companies had their own fabs and designed all of the circuitry on each chip. Today, only a handful of companies still own a fab and outsourcing design, in the form of intellectual property ([getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"]), has... » read more

Wirebond Technology Rolls On


Several years ago, many predicted the demise of an older interconnect packaging technology called wire bonding, prompting the need for more advanced packaging types. Those predictions were wrong. The semiconductor industry today uses several advanced packaging types, but wire bonding has been reinvented over the years and remains the workhorse in packaging. For example, Advanced Semiconducto... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Government Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting head of the Federal Trade Commission, said in an interview that she looks to manufacturers of Internet-connected devices to decide on best practices for the Internet of Things. Although the FTC has the legal authority to set regulations for a variety of industries, Ohlhausen said the commission is “not primarily a regulator,” in line with the new ad... » read more

Big Data On Wheels


By Jeff Dorsch & Ed Sperling All kinds of chips are going into driver-assisted and autonomous cars. On one side are arrays of sensors, which are generating huge amounts of data about everything from lane position and proximity to other cars to unexpected objects in the road. On the other side are the chips required to process that data at blazing speed. As the market for PCs and mobil... » read more

New Embedded Memories Ahead


The embedded memory market is beginning to heat up, fueled by a new wave of microcontrollers (MCUs) and related chips that will likely require new and more capable nonvolatile memory types. The industry is moving on several different fronts in the embedded memory landscape. On one front, traditional solutions are advancing. On another front, several vendors are positioning the next-generatio... » read more

The Power And Limits Of Money


[getperson id="11694" p_name="Wally Rhines"], CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss how semiconductor engineering teams make their dollars work even when budgets are limited. The issue is as important as ever, given the industry's unrelenting margin and cost pressure and the growing competition for top talent. What follows are... » read more

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