The Arm-Huawei Disconnect


Arm's move to stop licensing its processor IP to HiSilicon, the captive chipmaker for Huawei, has set off a panic across the semiconductor industry. While the underlying threat to the entire chip industry is very real, many of the conclusions being drawn about this move are misleading or just plain wrong. When the U.S. government blacklisted Huawei, it imposed export restrictions on shipping... » read more

Impact Of U.S.-China Trade War


The trade war between the United States and China is escalating and it is here to stay. Last year, the Trump administration started the trade war with China for basically two reasons. First, China has a massive trade surplus with the U.S. Second, U.S. companies have been the subject of IP theft in China, which has largely gone unchecked, according to the Trump administration. Many disagre... » read more

Challenges And Solutions For Silicon Wafer Bevel Defects During 3D NAND Flash Manufacturing


As semiconductor technology scales down in size, process integration complexity and defects are increasing in 3D NAND flash, partially due to larger stack deposits and thickness variability between the wafer center and the wafer edge. Industry participants are working to reduce defect density at the wafer edge to improve overall wafer yield. Attention has focused on common wafer bevel defects s... » read more

Multifunctional Materials Enable Single-Layer Temporary Bonding And Debonding


Many new wafer-level packaging (WLP) technologies involve the processing of thin wafers that must be mechanically supported during the manufacturing flow. These technologies include fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP), fan-in wafer-level chip-scale packaging (FI-WLCSP), 3-D FOWLP, 2.5-D integration with interposer technology, and true 3-D IC integration using through-silicon via (TSV) interco... » read more

Q1 2019 Unit Drop Impacts Wafer Demand For 2019


The Semico Wafer Demand Model update for Q1 2019 now results in a 5.9% decline in wafer demand for 2019. Along with process technology and productivity, Semico’s Wafer Demand Model is highly dependent on semiconductor unit sales. In the Q1 2019, total semiconductor units dropped by 7.4% compared to Q4 2018 and 3.8% compared to Q1 2018. The drop in units is significant because of the broad spe... » read more

Small Critical Subsystems Suppliers Outperform In Downturns


Clouds continue to persist over the semiconductor supply chain with little sign of lifting. In March, the decline in week-over-year chip sales appeared to be slowing, providing a glimmer of hope for the beginning of a new cycle. However, the recent rapid escalation of the tariff war between the U.S. and China heaped more uncertainty on the industry and visibility continues to remain low. Rev... » read more

New Imaging Tech Finds Buried Defects


By Shinsuke Mizuno and Vadim Kuchik Defects and contamination on the wafer can slow process development times and limit performance and yield. As chips get more complex, more defects can become buried within the increasing number of layers in the design. Finding and analyzing these buried defects is a major challenge for the industry, especially during the early learning cycles of new manufa... » read more

Renaissance In The Photomask Market?


The semiconductor industry has been on a roll for the past few years – and the rising tide has lifted segments spanning the supply chain. The photomask market, in particular, has seen exceptionally strong growth of 13 percent and 8 percent in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The upsurge is striking given that, in the early to mid-2000s, the photomask market averaged less than 4 percent annual gro... » read more

The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

More Rare Earth Rumblings


It’s time to look at the market for rare earths again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. These elements, which are critical, are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. So why worry about them? China produces and controls 80% of the world’s rare earths. Other nations depend on China for these materi... » read more

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