The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

Advanced Packaging Goes Mainstream


The roadmap for shrinking digital logic will continue for at least the next 10 years. For others devices, particularly analog, it will slow down or end. And therein lies one of the most fundamental changes in semiconductor design and manufacturing in the past half century. This is no longer just talk. Apple is using a fan-out architecture in its iPhone 7. Memory makers are stacking NAND and ... » read more

Wirebond Technology Rolls On


Several years ago, many predicted the demise of an older interconnect packaging technology called wire bonding, prompting the need for more advanced packaging types. Those predictions were wrong. The semiconductor industry today uses several advanced packaging types, but wire bonding has been reinvented over the years and remains the workhorse in packaging. For example, Advanced Semiconducto... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools, test and packaging Brewer Science has sold its so-called Cee semiconductor processing equipment business. A former employee, Russ Pagel, has formed a new company, Cost Effective Equipment, to take over ownership and operate the Cee business. The new company, which will remain in Rolla, Mo., will sell spin coaters, bake plates, bonders and other systems. Taiwan’s Ministry of E... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Imagination has put the MIPS embedded processor and Ensigma mobile connectivity groups up for sale, refocusing on graphics after last month's announcement that Apple would no longer use the company's GPU IP. Imagination also began formal dispute resolution procedures with Apple. Tools Synopsys released new versions of its HSPICE, FineSim and CustomSim circuit simulation products, adding n... » read more

22nm Process War Begins


Many foundry customers at the 28nm node and above are developing new chips and are exploring the idea of migrating to 16nm/14nm and beyond. But for the most part, those companies are stuck because they can’t afford the soaring IC design costs at advanced nodes. Seeking to satisfy a potential gap in the market, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], [getentity id="22846" e_name="... » read more

Moore’s Law: A Status Report


Moore's Law has been synonymous with "smaller, faster, cheaper" for the past 52 years, but increasingly it is viewed as just one of a number of options—some competing, some complementary—as the chip industry begins zeroing in on specific market needs. This does not make [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] any less relevant. The number of companies racing from 16/14nm to 7nm is higher t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment and test VLSI Research has released its top 10 semiconductor equipment supplier ranking in terms of sales in 2016. Applied Materials topped the list again, achieving a growth of 18%. ASML was second, followed by Lam Research, TEL and KLA-Tencor. Fig. 1: Ranking based on 2016 sales. Source: VLSI Research. Unic Capital Management, a Chinese-based private equity fund, announ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Mask and fab equipment Seeking to speed up the semiconductor design and manufacturing process, D2S has rolled out its fifth-generation computational design platform (CDP). D2S, a supplier of GPU-accelerated computational systems or platforms, said the latest CDP is designed to enable faster simulations for a range of applications. Using Nvidia’s Pascal-based Tesla P40 GPUs, D2S’ fifth-... » read more

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