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Manufacturing Bits: March 8


Two-beam EUV lithography At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Nikon gave a presentation on a two-beam extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. Still in the conceptual phase, Nikon’s so-called EUV Projection Optical Wafer Exposure Ruling Machine, or EUV Power Machine, is designed for the 1nm node or so. The proposed system has a minimum resolution of 10nm for lines ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) this week submitted its final report to Congress and the President. The goal is to develop a national strategy to maintain America’s AI advantages related to national security. As part of the long and complex report, the NSCAI came to a sobering conclusion: “The U.S. government is not prepared to defend t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 2


Next-gen AFM At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Imec, Infinitesima and others described a new metrology tool technology called a Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM). Infinitesima has shipped its first RPM 3D system, enabling three-dimensional (3D) metrology applications for leading-edge chips. The system was jointly developed with Imec. In the IEDM paper, Imec and Infinitesima... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Several chipmakers have not resumed production in their fabs in Texas for the second consecutive week. This follows power outages due to a major winter storm. As reported, a severe winter storm hit many parts of the United States, including Texas. Last week, utility providers began to prioritize service to residential areas in Austin, Texas. As a result, electricity and ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 23


Space crystals Northrop Grumman recently launch its Cygnus spacecraft into space, sending thousands of pounds of critical supplies and experiments to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch, which took place from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, will deliver a diversity of experiments to the ISS National Laboratory. In one experiment, Redwire’s sixth in-space man... » read more

Brazil Paves New Semiconductor Path


After struggling to get its semiconductor industry off the ground for the last several years, Brazil finally may have found its place in the market with the development of IC design services, memory modules and packaging. Brazil exists well under the radar when it comes to semiconductors. But with little or no fanfare, the nation over the years has been trying to build fabs, assemble chips a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs A severe winter storm has hit many parts of the United States, including Texas. In Austin, utility providers are prioritizing service to residential areas. As a result, electricity and natural gas providers have temporarily suspended service to Austin’s semiconductor manufacturers, including Samsung and NXP. "Due to the recent blackouts in Texas, Samsung Austin Semicon... » read more

More Silicon Wafer Consolidation


The silicon wafer business typically flies under the radar, but it’s a fundamental part of the semiconductor business. Every chipmaker needs to buy silicon wafers in one size or another. In the supply chain, silicon wafer vendors produce and sell bare or raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, who in turn process them into chips. So it’s important to keep an eye on the market. Today, the s... » read more

Shortages, Challenges Engulf Packaging Supply Chain


A surge in demand for chips is impacting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, key components, and equipment. Spot shortages in packaging surfaced in late 2020 and have since spread to other sectors. There are now a variety of choke points in the supply chain. Wirebond and flip-chip capacity will remain tight throughout 2021... » read more

Breaking The 2nm Barrier


Chipmakers continue to make advancements with transistor technologies at the latest process nodes, but the interconnects within these structures are struggling to keep pace. The chip industry is working on several technologies to solve the interconnect bottleneck, but many of those solutions are still in R&D and may not appear for some time — possibly not until 2nm, which is expected t... » read more

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