Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

RF Device And Process Biz Heats Up


The RF device and process technology markets are heating up, especially for two critical components used in smartphones—RF switch devices and antenna tuners. RF device makers and their foundry partners continue to ramp up traditional RF switch chips and tuners based on RF SOI process technologies for today’s 4G wireless networks. And recently, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundri... » read more

LiDAR Completes Sensing Triumvirate


Fully autonomous vehicles of the future will depend on a combination of different sensing technologies – advanced vision systems, radar, and light imaging, detection, and ranging (LiDAR). Of the three, LiDAR is now the costliest part of that equation, and there are worldwide efforts to bring down those costs. Mechanical LiDAR units are currently available, priced in the hundreds of dollars... » read more

MEMS: A Tale Of Two Tough Markets


The MEMS market is growing rapidly, profits not so much. In most market segments, this would be a signal that more automation and standardization are required. But in the microelectromechanical systems world, fixes aren't so simple. And even where something can be automated, that automation doesn't work all the time. In fact, while MEMS devices are extremely difficult to design, build and ma... » read more

OSAT Biz: Growth And Challenges


Amid a challenging business environment, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) industry is projected to see steady to strong growth in a number of packaging segments this year. Right now, the [getkc id="83" kc_name="OSATs"]—which provide third-party IC-packaging and test services—are seeing brisk demand for both legacy and advanced chip packages. In addition, IDMs continu... » read more

GaN Power Semi Biz Heats Up


The market for devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology is heating up amid the push for faster and more power efficient systems. Today, [getkc id="217" kc_name="GaN"] is widely used in the production of LEDs. In addition, it is gaining steam in the radio-frequency (RF) market. And the GaN-based power semiconductor market finally appears ready to take off, after several false starts ... » read more

Packaging Wars Begin


The advanced IC-packaging market is turning into a high-stakes competitive battleground, as vendors ramp up the next wave of [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D"] technologies, high-density fan-out packages and others. At one time, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" comment="OSAT"]) vendors dominated and handled the chip-packaging requirement... » read more

Flexible Sensors Begin Ramping


Sensors are at the heart of the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"]. Flexible sensors promise to extend the Internet of Everything to the battlefield, the gymnasium, the hospital, and many other places. Flexible [getkc id="187" kc_name="sensors"] represent the forefront of a sea of change in electronics, marking the transition from rigid semiconductors made with silicon and other ha... » read more

Thinking Outside The Chip


Intel will begin adding 2.5D and 3D packaging into its processors, following the lead set by IBM and AMD in recognizing that new packaging approaches are essential for improving performance and lowering power. This shift won't derail the semiconductor industry's efforts to the reach future process nodes or continually shrink features, but it does add context for other factors that in... » read more

Keeping The Lights On


IoT is comprised of numerous industries. For the sake of analysis, these can be segmented into several tiers that function as independent networks or integrated complicated meshes. In my November post I examined the three-tier IoT architecture at a high level. Then last month I focused on the rapidly expanding market of intelligent gateways. Gateways receive information from cloud applicatio... » read more

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