Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 13


Power beams The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and PowerLight Technologies have demonstrated the ability to transmit energy using a long-range, free-space power beaming system. The system is being developed as part of the Power Transmitted Over Laser (PTROL) project. The system consists of two 13-foot-high towers. One tower consists of 2-kilowatt laser transmitter. The other tower consist o... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The IC industry once had several leading-edge vendors that invested and built new fabs. But over time, the field has narrowed due to soaring costs and a dwindling customer base. In 1994, the share of semiconductor industry capital spending held by the top five companies was 25%, according to IC Insights. This meant that a number of companies invested and built new fabs during the... » read more

Inspecting, Patterning EUV Masks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask trends with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Thomas Scheruebl, director of strategic business development and product strategy at Zeiss; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What fol... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 5


Nanoliter measurements The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an optofluidic measurement system that can measure the flow of liquids at the nanoliter scale. Targeted for the field of microfluidics, the system can measure the flow of liquids as small as 10 billionths of a liter per minute. A nanoliter (nL) is one billionth of a liter. A liter is 33.814 ounces... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers China has created a new $29 billion fund to help advance its semiconductor sector, according to reports from Bloomberg and others. Here's another report. The The U.S. and China are in the midst of a trade war. This has prompted China to accelerate its efforts to become more self-sufficient in semiconductor design and production. This includes DRAMs as well as logic/foundry. -----... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 29


Searching for dark energy The first tests have been conducted on a new cosmic cartography system that will soon search for dark energy and galaxies in the universe. The system, called the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), is a complex unit with 5,000 fiber-optic eyes. The DESI system is mounted on top of the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Ariz... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools It’s been a tough period for memory. But is there now a sign of a rebound? For the September 2019 quarter, Lam Research reported revenue of $2.166 billion, and net income was $466 million, or $3.09 per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis. The outlook at Lam (LRCX) is a bright spot. “LRCX posted strong results and guidance, noting strength from logic and foundry in the December ... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 22


3.5D chip packaging In a recent paper, PacTech has described a vertical laser assisted bonding process for use in developing advanced 3.5D chip packages. Laser assisted bonding (LAB) is an interconnection technology used in IC packaging. It uses a laser as a thermal energy, which in turn connects a die bump and a substrate pad, according to Amkor, which is the original developer of LAB tech... » read more

Rare Earth Battle Begins


Rare earths are back in the news. The United States is increasing its efforts to develop and source rare earths elements (REE) to reduce its dependence on China in the arena. But this might be too little and too late for the U.S. Found in the Earth’s crust, rare earths are critical elements used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems.... » read more

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