New Transistor Types Vs. Packaging


Plans are being formulated for the rollout of multiple types of gate-all-around FETs and literally dozens of advanced packaging options. The question now is which ones will achieve critical mass, because there aren't enough chips in the world to support all of them profitably. FinFETs, which were first introduced by Intel at 22nm, are running out of steam. While they will survive 10/7nm, and... » read more

The Best in Test


“The 10 Best Semiconductor Equipment Supplier Rankings for 2018” was recently released by VLSI Research. Teradyne and Advantest placed first and second, respectively, in the large-company rankings, each rating five stars, based on evaluations by customers. Xcerra placed fifth in the focused-company rankings, with four-and-a-half stars. The market research firm also ranked the top vendors... » read more

Temporary Bonding: Enabling the Next Generation of Ultrathin Wafers


Innovative materials are critical for maintaining integrity during advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes. Temporary bonding is being enabled by these new materials and is making a name for itself in the next generation of ultrathin wafer manufacturing. Semiconductor wafers are being forced to become thinner as the push to shrink feature sizes and introduce full-scale 3D integration ... » read more

Heart Of A Champion


The National Football League’s (NFL) pre-season games begin on August 2. To many of us, players in the NFL represent the toughest of the tough, combining size, speed and strength. But before we invest all of our expendable income on the game-worn jerseys of rifle-armed quarterbacks or the next “megatron” wide receivers, consider the accomplishments of those NFL players who have excelled i... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

NIWeek on Offer in May


National Instruments is putting on its annual NIWeek conference and exhibition this month, May 21-24 at the Austin Convention Center in the capital of Texas. Details on the agenda and the full four-day program are available here. I’ve attended NIWeek for the past two years, and it’s an opportunity to learn new things, see impressive product demonstrations, and hear about developments ... » read more

Surface Modification: Solving Semiconductor Manufacturing Challenges


Process reliability and faster technology deployment are two of the most pressing manufacturing challenges currently facing the semiconductor industry. In a world of ever-evolving technology and innovation, engineers are working to transform materials that don’t possess all the desired functions through a method called “surface modification” – the act of modifying a material’s surface... » read more

Toward Project-Based Learning


Project-based learning is one of the most frequently referenced learning models in engineering education. Since the 1990s, it has been an important movement in ensuring that students are building the correct expertise throughout the engineering curriculum by applying theory through hands-on activities. Engineering education has transitioned from a focus on the practice of engineering (design... » read more

The Race To Mass Customization


The number of advanced packaging options continues to rise. The choices now include different materials for interposers, at least a half-dozen fan-outs, not to mention hybrid fan-out/3D stacking, system-in-package, flip-chip and die-to-die bridges. There are several reasons for all of this activity. First, advanced packaging offers big improvements in performance and power that cannot be ac... » read more

Xcerra’s Stock Buoyed by Busted Deal


The stock chart for XCRA, Xcerra’s common shares traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, looks like a hockey stick since late February, when the company called off its acquisition by Chinese investors in the face of opposition by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That busted deal may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Xcerra, which posts impressive finan... » read more

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