Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Apple has introduced a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini powered by the M1, the first in a family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac. Based on a 5nm process from TSMC, the M1 is packed with 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip. It features a CPU core, graphics, AI and other functions all in the same chip. In total... » read more

Deals That Change The Chip Industry


Nvidia's pending $40 billion acquisition of Arm is expected to have a big impact on the chip world, but it will take years before the effects of this deal are fully understood. More such deals are expected over the next couple of years due to several factors — there is a fresh supply of startups with innovative technology, interest rates are low, and market caps and stock prices of buyers ... » read more

Upturn Seen In Semi Equipment Biz


Business continues to get better in the semiconductor equipment sector. VLSI Research, for one, has raised its forecast in the arena. But there is still some uncertainty amid mixed growth for semiconductors, trade wars and other factors. After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor equipment market expected an upturn in 2020. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Suddenly, a large percentage... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Synopsys announced an electronic and photonic co-design platform for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design, layout implementation, and verification. The OptoCompiler provides schematic-driven layout and advanced photonic layout synthesis in the same platform. AI Rambus says it clocked 4.0 Gbps on its HBM2E memory interface (PHY and controller), which is a desirable speed for AI/ML traini... » read more

Finding Defects With E-Beam Inspection


Several companies are developing or shipping next-generation e-beam inspection systems in an effort to reduce defects in advanced logic and memory chips. Vendors are taking two approaches with these new e-beam inspection systems. One is a more traditional approach, which uses a single-beam e-beam system. Others, meanwhile, are developing newer multi-beam technology. Both approaches have thei... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers At its Architecture Day this week, Intel disclosed its roadmap for the company’s next-generation microprocessors, graphics chips, FPGAs and other products. As part of the event, Intel announced some new enhancements for its existing 10nm finFET technology. Basically, it’s a mid-life kicker for the technology. Intel calls it the 10nm SuperFin technology, which is a redefinitio... » read more

Semicon West Day One/Two


For years, the semiconductor and equipment industry has congregated at the annual Semicon West trade show in San Francisco. It’s an event to get an update on the latest equipment, test and packaging technologies. It’s also a good way to meet with people who you haven’t seen in a year, if not longer. It’s a great way to get a pulse on the industry. Needless to say, Semicon is a vir... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools, packaging/test VLSI Research has released its 200mm wafer fab equipment (WFE) market share figures for 2019. The top three suppliers--Applied Materials, TEL, and ASML—saw growth in the 2019 200mm WFE business. Lam Research was in fourth place, followed by KLA and Canon. In total, 200mm wafer fab equipment sales were $3.6 billion in 2019, declining 5% from 2018, according to the fi... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have sent a letter to officials from the Trump administration, demanding answers about TSMC’s recent announcement to build a fab in Ariz. As reported, TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, w... » read more

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