200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TrendForce released its foundry rankings for the first quarter of 2019. TSMC is still the clear leader, followed in order by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. It was a tough quarter for all foundries. Samsung has rolled out its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) product. The new solution, called Flashbolt, is the industry’s first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2Gbps... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Silicon Wafer Biz


After a period of record growth, the silicon wafer industry is off to a slow start in 2019 and facing a mixed outlook. Generally, 200mm silicon wafer supply remains tight. But demand for 300mm silicon wafers is cooling off in some segments, causing supply to move toward equilibrium after a period of shortages. On average, though, silicon wafer prices continue to rise despite the slowdown. ... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

RF SOI Wars Begin


Several foundries are expanding their fab capacities for RF SOI processes amid huge demand and shortages of this technology for smartphones. A number of foundries are increasing their 200mm RF SOI fab capacities to meet soaring demand. Then, GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, TSMC and UMC are expanding or bringing up RF SOI processes in 300mm fabs in an apparent race to garner the first wave of RF ... » read more

Get Ready For Integrated Silicon Photonics


Long-haul communications and data centers are huge buyers of photonics components, and that is leading to rapid advances in the technology and opening new markets and opportunities. The industry has to adapt to meet the demands being placed on it and solve the bottlenecks in the design, development and fabrication of integrated silicon photonics. "Look at the networking bandwidth used across... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

China: Fab Boom or Bust?


China’s semiconductor industry continues to expand at a frenetic pace. At present there are nearly two dozen new fab projects in China. Whether all these fab projects get off the ground is not entirely clear because the dynamics in China remain fluid. What is clear is the motivation behind this building frenzy—China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continu... » read more

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