The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s TSMC Technology Symposium in San Jose, Calif., TSMC rolled out a dizzying array of new processes and technologies. Perhaps the most surprising announcement was a 22nm bulk CMOS process, which is geared for ultra low-power planar chips. The technology will compete against a 22nm FD-SOI technology from GlobalFoundries. Stay tuned. The battle has just begun. As e... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Business Andes Technology went public this week on the Taiwan Stock Exchange with an initial stock listing of 40,611,915 shares at a price of NT$65.10 (USD $2.12) per share. The shares began trading March 14, 2017, under the TWSE ticker symbol “6533.TWO.” Andes plans to use the proceeds to expand the company's R&D effort, to fuel international expansion into the U.S. and Europe and t... » read more

TFETs Cut Sub-Threshold Swing


One of the main obstacles to continued transistor scaling is power consumption. As gate length decreases, the sub-threshold swing (SS) — the gate voltage required to change the drain current by one order of magnitude — increases. As Qin Zhang, Wei Zhao, and Alan Seabaugh of Notre Dame explained in 2006, SS faces a theoretical minimum of 60 mV/decade at room temperature in conventional MO... » read more

China: Fab Boom or Bust?


China’s semiconductor industry continues to expand at a frenetic pace. At present there are nearly two dozen new fab projects in China. Whether all these fab projects get off the ground is not entirely clear because the dynamics in China remain fluid. What is clear is the motivation behind this building frenzy—China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continu... » read more

Power Impacting Cost Of Chips


The increase in complexity of the power delivery network (PDN) is starting to outpace increases in functional complexity, adding to the already escalating costs of modern chips. With no signs of slowdown, designers have to ensure that overdesign and margining do not eat up all of the profit margin. The semiconductor industry is used to problems becoming harder at smaller geometries, but unti... » read more

Crossing The Chasm: Uniting SoC And Package Verification


Wafer-level packaging enables higher form factor and improved performance compared to traditional SoC designs. However, to ensure an acceptable yield and performance, EDA companies, OSAT companies, and foundries must collaborate to establish consistent and unified automated WLP design and physical verification flows, while introducing minimum disruption to already-existing package design flows.... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


SPIE news At this week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, the industry paid close attention to the progress of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Here’s the general report card: EUV is making noticeable progress, but there are still some challenges ahead, such as the power source, resists and pellicles. Several issues need to be resolved before chipmakers can put EUV into mass... » read more

Semiconductor CapEx To Increase 4.3% In 2017


Semiconductor capital expenditures are an important bellwether for the industry. Based on preliminary findings, Semico Research predicts 2017’s total will increase 4.3% to $69.7 billion, a record high, and a slightly larger increase than in 2016. Semico tracks more than 80 companies for CapEx and R&D spending, although many of those companies have merged, have been acquired, or gone ba... » read more

China Moves To Top Spot In Fab Equipment Spending


By Clark Tseng, Dan Tracy & Gavin Wang of SEMI With 20, and possibly more, new fab projects underway or announced in China since 2016, spending on fab equipment will surge to $10 billion or more, annually, by 2018 and to even higher levels in the following two years. As a result, China is projected to be the top spending region for fab equipment in 2019 and 2020. Robert Maire, of Semicon... » read more

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