200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

RF SOI Wars Begin


Several foundries are expanding their fab capacities for RF SOI processes amid huge demand and shortages of this technology for smartphones. A number of foundries are increasing their 200mm RF SOI fab capacities to meet soaring demand. Then, GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, TSMC and UMC are expanding or bringing up RF SOI processes in 300mm fabs in an apparent race to garner the first wave of RF ... » read more

OSAT Consolidation Continues


Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) are beginning the process of uniting the two companies, which are among the largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing contractors in the world. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately, while their shares are traded under the ASX symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. ASE I... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers As reported, Intel is struggling at 10nm. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant late last year pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half of 2017 to the first part of 2018, according to analysts. Intel continues to struggle with 10nm, and has delayed the volume ramp again, according to multiple reports. During its earnings... » read more

Design Rule Complexity Rising


Variation, edge placement error, and a variety of other issues at new process geometries are forcing chipmakers and EDA vendors to confront a growing volume of increasingly complex, and sometimes interconnected design rules to ensure chips are manufacturable. The number of rules has increased to the point where it's impossible to manually keep track of all of them, and that has led to new pr... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


R&D Late last month, the U.S. Congress finalized the federal spending for the remainder of the fiscal year. This includes R&D spending as well. “There was grave concern over the future of federal spending with the release of the president’s FY 2018 budget, which would have cut the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget by 11% and National Institutes of Standards & Technology (NIST) spend... » read more

Wireless Test Faces New Challenges


Your mobile phone is far more complex than it was even five years ago, and it’s about to become even more complex with new wireless technologies. That has set off a scramble among test equipment vendors to come up with solutions, methodologies and equipment that is affordable, effective and reliable enough to make sure all of this technology works as planned—and that it continues to work th... » read more

The Week in Review: IoT


Investment Microsoft this week said it will spend $5 billion over four years on Internet of Things programs in research, development, and partner enablement. The company previously spent $1.5 billion on developing IoT technology. The move could pay dividends for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and lead to wider use of Azure Stack, which pairs Microsoft software with hardware from approved p... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Trade President Trump this week announced his decisions on the actions the administration will take in response to China’s alleged unfair trade practices covered in the USTR Section 301 investigation of “China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.” Trump has proposed import tariffs that amount to about $60 billion on pro... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 5G


5G is coming, but not everywhere, not all at once, and not the fastest version of this technology right away. In fact, the probable scenario is that 5G will be rolled out first in densely populated urban areas, starting in 2020 or 2021, with increasingly widespread adoption over the next decade after that. But 5G is unlikely to ever completely replace 4G LTE, just as a smart phone today roll... » read more

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