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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers In its latest move to cut costs and focus on its core business, GlobalFoundries (GF) has announced plans to jettison its U.S. photomask operations in Burlington, Vt., but the foundry vendor will maintain a stake in its joint venture mask unit. Under the plan, Toppan Photomasks will acquire certain assets of GF’s Burlington photomask facility. “GF is transferring its mask tool... » read more

Outlook For Masks, Materials and Wafers


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. But what about other key technologies like materials, photomasks and silicon wafers? These are also critical for the semiconductor supply chain and are key indicators where the market is heading. In the first half of 2019, m... » read more

The Next New Memories


Several next-generation memory types are ramping up after years of R&D, but there are still more new memories in the research pipeline. Today, several next-generation memories, such as MRAM, phase-change memory (PCM) and ReRAM, are shipping to one degree or another. Some of the next new memories are extensions of these technologies. Others are based on entirely new technologies or involve ar... » read more

Wanted: More Fab Tool Part Standards


As chipmakers ramp up the next wave of processes and grapple with how to reduce defect levels, they are encountering problems from an unlikely source—components inside of the fab equipment. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yields and device performance. Typically, they are caused by an unforeseen glitch during the process flow. But a lesser-known problem involves defe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 13


Exascale supercomputers The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has signed a contract valued at $600 million with Cray to build NNSA’s first exascale supercomputer. The system, called El Capitan, is expected to be shipped in late 2022. El Capitan will be housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and will perform research to maintain ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out two new tools for use in the production of 3D NAND. The first tool, called the VECTOR DT, is geared for backside deposition. The second system, the EOS GS, is a wet etch tool for film removal on backside and bevel. Designed to control the wafer bow in 3D NAND manufacturing, the VECTOR DT system is the latest addition to Lam’s plasma-enhanced chemical ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 5


Chemical weapon sensors Using nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) technologies and other parts, Sandia National Laboratories has developed a tiny gas chromatograph sensor for use in detecting toxic gases and chemical weapons. Chemical identification involves the use of various instruments and systems. Larger systems are used in the lab. A portable version, called a mass spectrometer, is ava... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars Talks between the United States and China continue to stall and the two nations are still embroiled in a trade war. So this week, U.S. President Donald Trump would like to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion list of China-based imports starting Sept. 1, according to a report from Reuters. This in turn will impact the electronics and IC industries. In response to the... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 30


Scanning nanopore microscopes ETH Zurich has developed a new microscopy technique that can detect and analyze signals between individual cells in living organisms. The technology, called a force-controlled scanning nanopore microscope, is a new way to look at the behavior of individual cells. So far, researchers have tested the technology on rat brain tissue. It could one day be used to pro... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

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