Still Searching For Rare Earths

There is both good and bad news for buyers of rare earths. The good news: It’s a buyers’ market. Prices for rare earths remain depressed amid a glut in the marketplace. The bad news: The supplier base is shaky. China still accounts for 85% of the world’s total production of rare earths, but most Chinese suppliers are operating at a loss. And two of the main non-Chinese suppliers, M... » read more

It’s a Materials World, With Positive Forecast

By Michael Fury What’s the latest in materials forecasts for ALD/CVD precursors, CMP consumables, electronic gases, silicon wafers and sputtering targets? Techcet gives us an update. Metal Gate and Electrode Precursors to Double in Five Years Use of front-end Ta and W metal gate and Hf gate dielectric precursors will grow over 2.5x by 2020, according to a new report from Techcet, “20... » read more

Searching For Rare Earths Again

Rare earths are back in the spotlight again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semiconductor production, rare earths are used in high-k dielectrics, CMP slurries and other applications. Last year, the World Tr... » read more

More Problems Ahead

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss future scaling problems with Lars Liebmann, a fellow at IBM; Adam Brand, managing director of transistor technology at Applied Materials; Karim Arabi, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm; and Srinivas Banna, a fellow for advanced technology architecture at GlobalFoundries. SE: There seems to be some debate in this group about whether we’r... » read more

EU Due Diligence For Conflict Minerals Focuses Upstream, For Now

By Rania Georgoutsakou EU proposed legislation on responsible sourcing of ‘conflict minerals’, published on 5 March 2014, will create a voluntary scheme focusing on upstream suppliers that should help downstream users get the information they need to comply with the U.S. Dodd Frank Act. The EU proposals largely address concerns raised by SEMI and other industry associations, but things cou... » read more