Follow The Moving Money


Semiconductor economics are changing by market, by region, and by product node and packaging type, adding new complexity into decisions about which technology to use for which products and why. Money is the common denominator in all of these decisions, whether it's measured by return on invested capital, quarterly profits, or long-term investments that can include acquisitions, organic growt... » read more

Predictions: Manufacturing, Devices And Companies


Some predictions are just wishful thinking, but most of these are a lot more thoughtful. They project what needs to happen for various markets or products to become successful. Those far reaching predictions may not fully happen within 2018, but we give everyone the chance to note the progress made towards their predictions at the end of the year. (See Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA and Man... » read more

Warp Speed Ahead


The computing world is on a tear, but not just in one direction. While battery-powered applications are focused on extending the time between charges or battery replacements, there is a whole separate and growing market for massive improvements in speed. Ultimately, this is where quantum computing will play a role, probably sometime in the late 2020/early 2030 timeframe, according to multipl... » read more

Advanced Packaging Still Not So Simple


The promise of advanced packaging comes in multiple areas, but no single packaging approach addresses all of them. This is why there is still no clear winner in the packaging world. There are clear performance benefits, because the distance between two chips in a package can be significantly shorter than the distance that signals have to travel from one side of a die to another. Moreover, wi... » read more

Packaging Challenges For 2018


The IC packaging market is projected to see steady growth this year, amid ongoing changes in the landscape. The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" kc_name="OSAT"]) industry, which provides third-party packaging and test services, has been consolidating for some time. So while sales rising, the number of companies is falling. In late 2017, for example, [getentity id="2... » read more

Mixed-Signal Issues Worse At 10/7nm


Despite increasingly difficulty in scaling digital logic to 10/7nm, not all designs at the leading edge are digital. In fact, there are mixed-signal components in designs at almost all nodes down to 10/7nm. This may seem surprising because analog scaling has been an issue since about 90nm, but these are not traditional analog components. Analog IP increasingly includes highly integrated, mix... » read more

Reflections On 2017: Manufacturing And Markets


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. To see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but many have this year. This is the first of two parts that looks at the pred... » read more

Mixing Interface Protocols


Continuous and pervasive connectivity requires devices to support multiple interface protocols, but that is creating problems at multiple levels because each protocol is based on a different set of assumptions. This is becoming significantly harder as systems become more heterogeneous and as more functions are crammed into those devices. There are more protocols that need to be supported to ... » read more

Fan-Outs vs. TSVs


Two years ago, at the annual IMAPS conference on 2.5D and 3D chip packaging, the presentations were dominated by talk of fan-out wafer-level packaging. There was almost no talk of through-silicon vias, which previously had been heralded as vital to 2.5D and 3DIC packaging. Fast forward to this month's 3D Architectures for Heterogeneous Integration and Packaging conference in Burlingame, Cali... » read more

Advanced Packaging Is Suddenly Very Cool


The hottest chip markets today—automotive AI for autonomous and heavily assisted driving, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality—all are beginning to look at advanced packaging as the best path forward for improving performance and reducing power. Over the past four years, which is when 2.5D and fan-out wafer-level packaging first really began garnering interest, these and othe... » read more

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