Author's Latest Posts


Emerging Apps And Challenges For Packaging


Advanced packaging is playing a bigger role and becoming a more viable option to develop new system-level chip designs, but it also presents chipmakers with a confusing array of options and sometimes a hefty price tag. Automotive, servers, smartphones and other systems have embraced advanced packaging in one form or another. For other applications, it's overkill, and a simpler commodity pack... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools PDF Solutions has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cimetrix. Under the terms, PDF will pay a cash amount of $35.0 million, net of cash on Cimetrix’s balance sheet as of closing, and subject to other closing adjustments. With the move, PDF will expand into new markets. Cimetrix is a provider of equipment connectivity products for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0... » read more

Upturn Seen For Silicon Wafer Market


After a downturn in 2019, the silicon wafer market is expected to rebound in 2020. 2021 looks even better for silicon wafers. Silicon wafers are a fundamental part of the semiconductor business. Every chipmaker needs to buy them in one size or another. Silicon wafer vendors produce and sell bare or raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, who in turn process them into chips. The silicon wafer ma... » read more

EUV Challenges And Unknowns At 3nm and Below


The chip industry is preparing for the next phase of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 3nm and beyond, but the challenges and unknowns continue to pile up. In R&D, vendors are working on an assortment of new EUV technologies, such as scanners, resists, and masks. These will be necessary to reach future process nodes, but they are more complex and expensive than the current EUV pro... » read more

What’s Next In AI, Chips And Masks


Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about AI and Moore’s Law, lithography, and photomask technologies. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In the eBeam Initiative’s recent Luminary Survey, the participants had some interesting observations about the outlook for the photomask market. What were those observations? Fujimur... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 17


Intel’s gate-all-around FETs At the upcoming IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Intel is expected to present papers on its efforts to develop gate-all-around transistors. One paper from Intel describes a more conventional gate-all-around transistor technology called a nanosheet FET. Another paper involves a next-generation NMOS-on-PMOS nanoribbon transistor technology. (F... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Apple has introduced a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini powered by the M1, the first in a family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac. Based on a 5nm process from TSMC, the M1 is packed with 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip. It features a CPU core, graphics, AI and other functions all in the same chip. In total... » read more

Challenges Linger For EUV


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask issues with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To vie... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 9


Open-source EUV resist metrology Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) has developed an open-source software technology for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) applications. The technology is targeted for EUV resist metrology. The technology, called SMILE (SEM-Measured Image Lines Estimator), is an open source software technology, which characterizes line and space patterns in a SEM. SMILE is used t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Earlier this year, the semiconductor industry saw little merger and acquisition activity. More recently, though, there has been a flurry of deals. In July, ADI moved to acquire Maxim. Then, Nvidia announced plans to acquire Arm for $40 billion, followed by AMD’s proposed move to buy Xilinx for $35 billion. Not to be outdone, Marvell has announced plans to buy Inphi. Companies a... » read more

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