Building Faster Chips

By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch An explosion in IoT sensor data, the onset of deep learning and AI, and the commercial rollout of augmented and virtual reality are driving a renewed interest in performance as the key metric for semiconductor design. Throughout the past decade in which mobility/smartphone dominated chip design, power replaced performance as the top driver. Processors ha... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Manufacturing United States President Barack Obama has announced the winner of the New Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute and manufacturing hub competition. The winner is the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC). This coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., brings together a consortium of nearly 200 partners from across academia, industry and non-profits. The idea is... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

MEMS manufacturing A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore has launched its third consortium to develop MEMS technologies. This would allow MEMS sensor devices to achieve better performance, higher power efficiency and a smaller form factor. The MEMS Consortium III consists of the following companies: Applied Materials, Coventor, Delta Electronics, GlobalFoundries, InvenS... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers IC Insights released its foundry rankings in terms of sales in 2015. TSMC was the leader with $26.4 billion in sales last year. Second ranked GlobalFoundries, which took over IBM’s IC business in 2015, made some gains. With IBM’s chip unit, GlobalFoundries’ quarterly sales in 4Q ‘15 were about $1.4 billion, an annual run-rate of $5.6 billion, about 12% greater than the compa... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Looks Cloudy

Amid a slowdown in the foundry and DRAM sectors, the outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry looks somewhat cloudy, if not challenging, in 2016. In fact, for equipment vendors, 2016 could resemble the lackluster year in 2015. In 2015, for example, capital spending in the foundry sector fell during the year, although NAND flash began to pick up steam. In 2015, though, the big stor... » read more

China’s Fab Tool Biz Heats Up

For years, China has been a steady growth market for suppliers of semiconductor equipment. Internally, though, the country is comprised of trailing-edge fabs and IC-assembly houses, which means equipment vendors sell relatively mature tools and compete on price. That’s about to change, however. Today, the IC equipment business is heating up in China as the nation begins to upgrade and pour... » read more

ALD Market Heats Up

Amid the shift to 3D NAND, finFETs and other device architectures, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) market is heating up on several fronts. Applied Materials, for example, recently moved to shakeup the landscape by rolling out a new, high-throughput ALD tool. Generally, [getkc id="250" kc_name="ALD"] is a process that deposits materials layer-by-layer at the atomic level, enabling thin and ... » read more

Advanced IC Packaging Biz Heats Up

After a number of false starts and lackluster adoption, the advanced IC packaging market is finally heating up. On one front, for example, a new wave of chips based on advanced [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D"] stacked-die is entering the market. And on another front, the momentum is building for new and advanced 2D packages, such as embedded package-on-package (PoP... » read more

Analysis: Applied-TEL Scrap Merger

After several delays due to a myriad of complex regulatory issues, Applied Materials’ proposed deal to buy Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) has been scrapped. It appears that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) stepped in and blocked the deal. Now that the deal has been terminated, Applied Materials and TEL are separately re-grouping, and are back to where they originally started as fierce comp... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Intel and Royal Caribbean International teamed up to integrate Intel-powered tablets onboard the Quantum of the Seas, the world’s first “smartship.” Royal Caribbean is installing 15,000 Intel-based Dell Venue tablets at point-of-sale locations on the new ship. When will Applied Materials’ proposed acquisition of Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) happen? “Timing-wise we still think that it ... » read more

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