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

MEMS: Flexible, Reusable Platforms Facilitate Innovation


As the game-changing enabler for whatever the emerging market of widespread fragmented intelligence turns out to look like, the MEMS sector is in some ways the bellwether for much of the greater semiconductor/components supply chain looking to rethink how to serve a wider range of fragmented applications with lower costs and faster time to market. Leaders from Cisco, InvenSense, Nasiri Ventures... » read more

Fan-Out Packaging Gains Steam


Fan-outs are creating a buzz and gaining steam in the market at a pace far beyond what anyone would have expected even at the start of the year. The approach, which has been around for several years, is a wafer-level packaging process that enables ultra-thin, high-density packages. So why the buzz? Apple is apparently moving to [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-out"] packaging, according to an... » read more

Why Packaging Matters


The semiconductor package is changing. What was until very recently considered an afterthought is now becoming a key part of the design process at all major chipmakers, and a critical factor in the extension of Moore's Law. This is a sharp reversal of what was almost universally an afterthought in planar silicon design and manufacturing. Rarely was the package an integral part of the archite... » read more

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