The Danger Of Twin Supply Chains


No matter how the ongoing dispute between the United States and China turns out, damage already has been done. It's not the kind of damage that is immediately visible to the outside world. It's more of the long-term, policy-shift kind of problem, which over time will likely prove much worse. Many executives have termed recent sanctions on Huawei and other Chinese companies "China's Sputnik m... » read more

China’s Latest Goal—More DRAMs


China is once again making a concerted effort to get its domestic DRAM industry off the ground. Past efforts have fallen short or failed. This time around, it’s unclear if China will succeed, but the industry should pay close attention here. So why would China want to play a bigger role in the tough and competitive DRAM business? For one thing, the U.S. and China are in the midst of a t... » read more

Process Control For Next-Generation Memories


The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are driving the need for higher speeds and more power-efficient computing. The industry is responding by bringing new memory technologies to the marketplace. Three new types of memory in particular—MRAM (magnetic random access memory), PCRAM (phase change RAM) and ReRAM (resistive RAM)—are emerging as leading candidat... » read more

Electronics Industry Business Cycles Look Promising


Although total electronics industry manufacturing activity is still far from expanding (3/12 is below 1.0), key global electronic industry monthly time series appear to have reached their 3/12 bottoms and now have begun to improve (Chart 1). Currently shipments are still shrinking, but at slowing rates. However real growth will only occur when these 3/12s exceed 1.0. Growth rates vary b... » read more

Controlling Variability Using Semiconductor Process Window Optimization


To ensure success in semiconductor technology development, process engineers must set the allowed ranges for wafer process parameters. Variability must be controlled, so that final fabricated devices meet required specifications. These specifications include critical dimensions, electrical performance requirements, and other device characteristics. Pre-production or ramp-up production Si wa... » read more

Factoring Reliability Into Chip Manufacturing


Making chips that can last two decades is possible, even if it's developed at advanced process nodes and is subject to extreme environmental conditions, such as under the hood of a car or on top of a light pole. But doing that at the same price point as chips that go into consumer electronics, which are designed to last two to four years, is a massively complex challenge. Until a couple of y... » read more

Falling Chip Forecasts


It’s time to take a pulse of the semiconductor market amid the memory downturn and trade frictions with China. For some time, the DRAM and NAND markets have been hit hard with falling prices and oversupply. Then, the Trump administration last year slapped tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated. And the trade war rages on between the U.S. and China. More recently, the U.S. Department... » read more

Material Solutions For FOWLP Die Shift And Wafer Warpage


By Shelly Fowler Today's fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP) processes use organic substrates composed of epoxy mold compound (EMC) created using a thermal compression process. EMC wafers are a cost-effective way to achieve lower-profile packages without using an inorganic substrate to produce chip packages that are thinner and faster without the need for interposers or through-silicon-via... » read more

New Applications Call For New Memory Types


The semiconductor industry is on the verge of a transformative computing era driven by Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, achieving the improvements in computing performance and efficiency needed for new AI and IoT applications represent some of the biggest technology challenges the industry has faced. Among the most critical requirements is del... » read more

Automotive Semiconductors Boost MCU, Analog Markets


Auto sales are expected to experience a slowdown in 2019, and even with the continued increase in electronics per vehicle, automotive semiconductor sales are also expected to experience a slowdown. Similar to prior years, 2019/2020 car models will include more automotive semiconductor devices to provide higher degrees of safety, comfort and convenience, driver assist capabilities, in-cabin ente... » read more

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