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

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » 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

Litho Options For Panel Fan-out


Several packaging houses are inching closer to production of panel-level fan-out packaging, a next-generation technology that promises to reduce the cost of today’s fan-out packages. In fact, ASE, Nepes, Samsung and others already have installed the equipment in their panel-level fan-out lines with production slated for 2018 or so. But behind the scenes, panel-level packaging houses contin... » read more

How To Build A Trillion Connected Things


A trillion is a big number. A broadcaster reads about 1,000 words in a five-minute newscast. At that rate, it would take 6,000 years at that rate to finish a trillion-word newscast. We’re on a path in the technology industry to build and connect a trillion devices in the coming years. How are we going to do that, given the scale and sheer size of the task? Is it achievable in the time f... » 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

Improving Automotive Reliability


Semiconductor reliability requirements are rapidly evolving. New applications such as ADAS/self-driving cars and drones are pushing the limits for system reliability. A mobile phone that overheats in your pocket is annoying. In automobiles, it's a much different story. Overheating can impact the operation of backup sensors, which alert the driver that a pedestrian or obstacle is behind them.... » read more

Advanced Packaging’s Progress


Shim Il Kwon, CTO at STATS ChipPAC, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the current and future trends of chip packaging. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendors provide third-party IC-packaging and test services. What are the big challenges for OSATs today? Shim: The OSAT market is very competitive, w... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test, measurement and fab tools National Instruments (NI) has released a report that explores the future trends in the electronics industry. The report, called the NI Trend Watch 2018, looks at the technological advances and some of the biggest challenges engineers face in 2018. The report from NI looks at the following topics—machine learning; test challenges for 5G; IIoT; and effects of... » read more

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