Fearless chip and fab tool forecasts


2019 is expected to be a challenging, if not confusing, year for the semiconductor and fab equipment industries. For example, Apple recently issued a warning about lackluster smartphone demand, which impacted several IC vendors and foundries. Then, the memory market is plummeting. In addition, the 10nm/7nm transition has proven to be difficult for many. And let’s not forget the geopolitica... » read more

5 Observations From Intel’s Event


Not long ago, Intel hosted its “Architecture Day,” where top executives from the chip giant revealed the company’s latest products and next-generation technologies. The company also discussed its strategy. To be sure, it’s a critical time for Intel. In June, Brian Krzanich was forced out as chief executive and the company is still looking for a permanent CEO. Plus, Intel has delayed it... » read more

What’s The Outlook for Memory?


What a difference a year makes in the memory business. At this time last year, the industry was in the midst of a boom cycle for both NAND and DRAM. More specifically, there was huge demand for 3D NAND. Then, starting in the first quarter of 2018, the NAND market began to decline and it continues to fall. And now, the DRAM market is also falling off the cliff. So, it’s time to take a q... » read more

Silicon Wafers: Tight Supply, High Prices


For years, the silicon wafer industry suffered from oversupply and depressed prices, causing considerable consolidation in the industry. Then, two or so years ago, the IC industry entered into a boom cycle. Silicon wafer vendors began to experience tight supply amid strong demand from IC makers. Some silicon wafer makers even raised their prices. Today, the silicon wafer market remains st... » read more

China’s Electric Car Ambitions


China, the world’s largest car market, is also leading the charge in the electric vehicle business. But with little or no fanfare, China also wants to dominate the critical ecosystem for battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the nation is already the world’s largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles. And it also controls a sizable part of the supply chain, such as the... » read more

Memory Startups To Watch


The next-generation memories are finally ramping up after years’ of delays and promises. Intel, for one, is shipping 3D XPoint, a next-generation technology based on phase-change memory. In addition, the big foundries are readying embedded MRAM. And, of course, there are a number of other players in the next-generation memory arena. There are also a number of startups that are flying un... » read more

Leti’s Next Focus


Emmanuel Sabonnadière, chief executive of Leti, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss R&D trends, a new deal with Soitec, and the latest developments at the France-based research organization. Leti is a research institute of CEA Tech. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Leti recently formed an alliance with Soitec. Under the terms, Leti and Soitec are formin... » read more

What’s Next In R&D?


Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss R&D challenges and what’s next in the arena. The Belgium R&D organization is working on AI, DNA storage, EUV, semiconductors and other technologies. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Moore’s Law is slowing down. And it is becoming more expensive to move fr... » read more

What’s Missing In EUV?


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is expected to move into production at 7nm and/or 5nm, but as previously reported, there are some gaps in the arena. At one time, the power source was the big problem, but that appears to be solved in the near term. Now, a phenomenon called stochastic effects, or random variations, are the biggest challenge for EUV lithography. But at most events, th... » read more

Too Many, Too Few Rare Earths


A team from Japan recently made a major discovery—they found massive deposits of rare earths on the ocean floor off the coast of Japan. The team of Waseda University, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) found a deposit that equates to 16 million tons of rare earths. Rare earths are a group of critical materials used in various ele... » read more

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