The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) opened with the theme “Smart, Intuitive & Connected: Semiconductor Devices Transforming the World.” Click here for some of the highlights at ISS. Here are more highlights from ISS. Korea is on a spending spree for fab tools. In total, Samsung and SK Hynix are forecast to invest over $20 billion in fab tools worldwide in 2018, ... » read more

A New Memory Contender?


Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

Five Trends In IC Packaging


At one time, chip packaging was an afterthought. Chipmakers were more worried about IC design. Packaging was considered a mere commodity, which was simply used to house the design. More recently, though, chip packaging has become a hot topic. The IC design is still important, but packaging is a key part of the solution. In fact, the industry can go down two paths. The traditional way is t... » read more

Radar Versus LiDAR


Demand is picking up for vision, radar and LiDAR sensors that enable assisted and autonomous driving capabilities in cars, but carmakers are now pushing for some new and demanding requirements from suppliers. The automotive market always has been tough on suppliers. OEMs want smaller, faster and cheaper devices at the same or improved safety levels for both advanced driver-assistance systems... » read more

Monday At DAC


The 54th DAC got started today in a very steamy Austin. While we may be a maturing industry, there is certainly no indications that the people within the industry have given up or intend to take it easy. The event really got started late Sunday when Laurie Balch, chief analyst for Gary Smith EDA, delivered her message. She said that the focus is becoming the verticals. "This change in focus is ... » 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: Manufacturing


Fab tool vendors In the wafer fab equipment (WFE) rankings, Applied Materials was the leader in terms of market share in 2016, according to Gartner. For WFE, Lam Research jumped from fourth place in 2015 to second place in the rankings in 2016, according to Gartner. ASML was third, followed by TEL. Meanwhile, VLSI Research recently released its ranking for both front-end and backend equipment.... » 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

CEO Outlook: Chip Design 2017


After two consecutive flat to slightly down years, the semiconductor industry is poised for growth in 2017. Cowan this month predicted 4.7% growth in semiconductor sales in 2017, while World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) put that figure at 3.3%. And last month, International Business Strategies (IBS) pegged the number at 4.6%, according to statistics compiled by the Global Semiconduc... » read more

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