Author's Latest Posts


Rare Earth Battle Begins


Rare earths are back in the news. The United States is increasing its efforts to develop and source rare earths elements (REE) to reduce its dependence on China in the arena. But this might be too little and too late for the U.S. Found in the Earth’s crust, rare earths are critical elements used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems.... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The semiconductor capital spending race continues to escalate in the leading-edge logic space. Intel and Samsung have separately announced big capital spending plans in 2019. Intel’s latest CapEx budget is $15.5 billion in 2019, while Samsung’s CapEx is slated for $16.204 billion for the year, according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. Now, TSMC is raising the stakes. TSMC this... » read more

What’s The Best Advanced Packaging Option?


As traditional chip designs become more unwieldy and expensive at each node, many IC vendors are exploring or pursuing alternative approaches using advanced packaging. The problem is there are too many advanced packaging options on the table already, and the list continues to grow. Moreover, each option has several tradeoffs and challenges, and all of them are still relatively expensive. ... » read more

Mask Making Issues With EUV


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask trends with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Thomas Scheruebl, director of strategic business development and product strategy at Zeiss; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What fol... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 15


Sandia’s fab upgrade Sandia National Laboratories has completed the first phase of a three-year upgrade program in its semiconductor wafer fab. The goal of the program is to convert Sandia’s Albuquerque, N.M.-based fab from 150mm (6-inch) to 200mm (8-inch) wafer sizes. As part of the move, Sandia is converting its 0.35-micron (350nm) rad-hard process from 150mm to 200mm. The process is ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools A consortium of 31 companies have launched a new project, called the “Advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing in Europe.” The program is referred to as APPLAUSE. With a budget of 34 million euros, the project is being coordinated by ICOS, a division of KLA. “APPLAUSE will focus on advanced optics, photonics and electronics packagin... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 9


World’s strongest silver A group has developed what researchers say is the world’s strongest silver. The silver demonstrated a hardness of 3.05 GPa, which is 42% stronger than the previous world record. The University of Vermont, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the Ames Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and UCLA contributed to the work. Silver is an element with high electr... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test In a major deal that has some implications in the OSAT supply chain, South Korea’s Nepes has taken over Deca Technologies’ wafer-level packaging manufacturing line in the Philippines. In addition, Nepes has also licensed Deca’s M-Series wafer-level packaging technology. This includes fan-in technology as well as wafer- and panel-level fan-out. It also includes an ad... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 1


3D balloon printing Using an elastomeric or stretchy balloon, the University of Houston and the University of Colorado have developed a new 3D printing method as a means to develop three-dimensional curvy electronic products. The technology involves the field of 3D printing, sometimes known as additive manufacturing (AM). In 3D printing, the goal is to develop parts layer-by-layer using mat... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has satisfied all closing conditions for the full acquisition of Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd. (MIFS), the former 300mm wafer foundry joint venture between UMC and Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd. (FSL). The completion of the acquisition is scheduled for Oct. 1. In 2014, FSL and UMC agreed for UMC to acquire a 15.9% stake in MIFS from FSL through pr... » read more

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