Making Interconnects Faster


In integrated circuits, interconnect resistance is a combination of wire and via resistance. Wire resistance of a conductor depends on several factors, one of which is the electron scattering at various surfaces and grain boundaries. Via resistance, on the other hand, is a function of the thickness or resistivity of the layers at the bottom of the via through which current must travel. T... » read more

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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research Intel retained its No. 1 position as the largest semiconductor manufacturer and grew its semiconductor revenue 4.6% in 2016, according to Gartner. Samsung Electronics continued to maintain the No. 2 spot with 11.7% market share. The largest mover in the top 25 was Broadcom, which moved up 12 places in the market share ranking, according to the firm. Worldwide silicon wafer a... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

U.S. Fab Investments Rise


Thin Film Electronics is opening a chip fabrication facility in San Jose, Calif., that will produce devices on rolls of flexible materials, using technology similar to inkjet printing, rather than the standard semiconductor production equipment geared toward silicon wafers. At the same time, Samsung Electronics and GlobalFoundries are expanding their wafer fabrication plants in Austin, Texas... » read more

Blog Review: April 26


Cadence's Paul McLellan provides an introduction to single-event effects and the challenges created when high-energy neutrons bombard chips. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi looks at the strange turf war between two worms battling for control of IoT security cameras. Mentor's Ayan Pahwa contends that it's the duty of IoT device developers to take security as paramount factor and provide good secur... » read more

Enabling Magnetic Tunnel Junctions Array Processing For Embedded STT MRAM


The semiconductor industry is entering a new era of next-generation memory technologies, with several major inflections taking shape. Among these is the emergence of Magnetic RAM (MRAM). Over several posts, I’ll provide background on what is driving the adoption of MRAM, highlight some of the initial challenges and discuss progress on making STT MRAM commerically viable. Today, a typical m... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tool vendors In the wafer fab equipment (WFE) rankings, Applied Materials was the leader in terms of market share in 2016, according to Gartner. For WFE, Lam Research jumped from fourth place in 2015 to second place in the rankings in 2016, according to Gartner. ASML was third, followed by TEL. Meanwhile, VLSI Research recently released its ranking for both front-end and backend equipment.... » 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

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