Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 22


Weighing protons The Max Planck Institute and Riken have conducted the world’s most precise measurement of the mass of a proton. Based on an experiment, researchers determined that the mass of a proton is 1.007276466583(15)(29) atomic mass units. This is three times more precise than the previous measurements from others. The numbers in parentheses refer to the statistical and systematic ... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Taiwan on Tuesday suffered a blackout after an accident occurred at a gas-fired plant, according to a report from Bloomberg. The outage, which lasted from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., impacted more than 6 million homes and disrupted some IC production on the island, according to the report. Taiwan’s president was criticized for the event, as the government plans to shutter the island’s nu... » read more

Machine Learning In The Fab


Machine learning is exploding, especially where there are massive amounts of data to contend with and lots of potential interactions. This leads to two obvious insertion points in the semiconductor field. One is on the design side, where just getting an advanced design to function is an enormous challenge. That challenge increases as the need for reliability in some market increases. It's d... » read more

Silicon Wafers: M&A, Price Hikes


Chipmakers need to keep a close eye on the silicon wafer industry, as the business continues to undergo a number of changes. On one front, the silicon wafer industry continues to consolidate. Then, after years of suffering from an oversupply and falling prices, many silicon wafer vendors are experiencing tight supply and have begun to raise prices. Silicon wafers are a fundamental part of... » read more

Ruthenium Liners Give Way To Ruthenium Lines


For several years now, integrated circuit manufacturers have been investigating alternative barrier layer materials for copper interconnects. As interconnect dimensions shrink, the barrier accounts for an increasing fraction of the total line volume. As previously reported, both cobalt and ruthenium have drawn substantial interest because they can serve as both barrier and seed layers, minimizi... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation And Manufacturing Challenges


As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur i... » read more

Using Data To Improve Yield


Semiconductor manufacturers are always looking for an edge to improve operating efficiency and to increase yields on chip lots. For some, the answers include big data analytics, as well as technology to move that data around more quickly. Chipmakers, board assemblers, and related businesses are turning to the Internet of Things, especially [getkc id="78" kc_name="Industrial IoT"] technology... » read more

Tech Talk: Smart Manufacturing


Tom Salmon, vice president of collaborative technology platforms at SEMI, examines the electronics supply chain and what the industry organization is doing to pull all of the pieces together. https://youtu.be/jWX9mayMaZo Related Stories Smart Manufacturing Gains Momentum Problems remain for legacy infrastructure, but adoption will continue to grow as gaps are identified and plugged. ... » read more

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