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

Process Control For Next-Generation Memories


The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are driving the need for higher speeds and more power-efficient computing. The industry is responding by bringing new memory technologies to the marketplace. Three new types of memory in particular—MRAM (magnetic random access memory), PCRAM (phase change RAM) and ReRAM (resistive RAM)—are emerging as leading candidat... » read more

Wide Band Gap—The Revolution In Power Semiconductors


New government regulations and industry standards are leading companies to adopt wide bandgap (WBG) power solutions, both to reduce their carbon footprint and to meet increasing demand for higher power systems aimed at electric vehicles, renewable energy, datacenters, and other markets. The automotive industry is one of the biggest markets driving demand for WBG power devices. The European U... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

Debate Over Health Of Moore’s Law Continues


Semicon West 2019 was kicked off by the ‘AI Design Forum’ and featured a panel of CEOs that debated if Moore’s Law was still making power, performance and area optimization possible in the same way as it had been. Synopsys chairman and co-CEO Aart de Geus asserted that Moore’s Law is completely alive. “The discussion of Moore's Laws invariably goes back to the ‘65 document, and t... » read more

Big Shifts In Big Data


The big data market is in a state of upheaval as companies begin shifting their data strategies from "nothing" or "everything" in the cloud to a strategic mix, squeezing out middle-market players and changing what gets shared, how that data is used, and how best to secure it. This has broad implications for the whole semiconductor supply chain, because in many cases it paves the way for ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. With the acquisition of Kokusai’s semiconductor equipment unit, Applied expands its customer base and gains a foothold in the batch processing equipment business, where a tool can process wafers in parallel. Applied’s strength is in the ... » read more

Blog Review: July 3


Cadence's Paul McLellan digs into 5G with a two-part post explaining the basics of the technology, what makes it so different from 4G, and the challenges ahead including the limitations of mmWave. Synopsys' Vikramjeet Bamel and Pankaj Sharma note the features that make GDDR6 a dominant memory in the high performance segment and allowing it to expand beyond graphics to automotive, AI, and AR/... » read more

Applied Buys Kokusai For $2.2B


Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. For years, Kokusai Electric was a subsidiary of Hitachi. It sells epitaxial, thermal processing and other equipment. Then, as part of a complex business deal, KKR in 2017 acquired the semiconductor equipment business of Hitachi Kokusai Electric from Hitachi. ... » read more

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