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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Intel has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tower, a specialty foundry vendor, for approximately $5.4 billion. With the acquisition of Tower, Intel expands its efforts in the foundry business, and put its rivals on notice. With Tower, Intel gains access to mature processes as well as specialty technologies, such as analog, CMOS image sensor, MEMS, power management and RF. ... » read more

Technology Advances, Shortages Seen For Wire Bonders


A surge in demand for IC packages is causing long lead times for wire bonders, which are used to assemble three-fourths of the world’s packages. The wire bonder market doubled last year, alongside advanced packaging’s rise. Wirebonding is an older technology that typically flies under the radar. Still, packaging houses have multitudes of these key tools that help assemble many — but no... » read more

Silicon-based Power Semis Face Challenges


Suppliers of power semiconductors continue to develop and ship devices based on traditional silicon technology, but silicon is nearing its limits and faces increased competition from technologies like GaN and SiC. In response, the industry is finding ways to extend traditional silicon-based power devices. Chipmakers are eking out more performance and prolonging the technology, at least in th... » read more

Unsolved Issues In Next-Gen Photomasks


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss optical and EUV photomasks issues, as well as the challenges facing the mask business, with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at DNP; Peter Buck, director of MPC & mask defect management at Siemens Digital Industries Software; Bryan Kasprowicz, senior director of technical strategy at Hoya; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What f... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 15


Strong plastics The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a new material that is stronger than steel but is light as plastic. The new material, which can be made in large quantities, involves a two-dimensional polymer that self-assembles into sheets. The material’s Young modulus—or a measure of how much force it takes to deform a material—is between four and six times gr... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out a new suite of selective etch products for use in developing next-generation technologies, such as gate-all-around (GAA) transistors. In the fab, selective etch helps chipmakers with complex structures. These etch tools provide selective and precision etching without modifying or causing damage to other critical material layers. Composed of three new... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 7


Design tools for solid-state batteries Oak Ridge National Laboratory has devised a new tool designed to accelerate the development of energy-dense solid-state batteries. The tool, called the Solid-State Battery Performance Analyzer and Calculator (SolidPAC), enables researchers to assess the impact of battery designs and choice of cell components for solid-state batteries. It can be used to... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy The Government of Quebec and IBM have announced a new partnership to establish Quebec as a technology hub in the development of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and high-performance computing. The two entities have formed the Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator. The new technology hub aims to focus on developing new projects, collaborations, and skills-... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 1


Fab equipment cybersecurity In a major step to help provide security in the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain, SEMI has published the first cybersecurity specifications and standards for fab equipment. For some time, the semiconductor industry has been developing new cybersecurity standards for fab equipment in an effort to protect systems from potential cyberattacks, viruses, and IP... » read more

Next-Gen 3D Chip/Packaging Race Begins


The first wave of chips is hitting the market using a technology called hybrid bonding, setting the stage for a new and competitive era of 3D-based chip products and advanced packages. AMD is the first vendor to unveil chips using copper hybrid bonding, an advanced die-stacking technology that enables next-generation 3D-like devices and packages. Hybrid bonding stacks and connects chips usin... » read more

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