Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research What are the hot chip markets for 2020? IC Insights released its rankings of sales growth rates for each of the 33 IC product categories defined by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization. “After posting the two worst growth rates among all IC product categories in 2019, NAND flash and DRAM are forecast to be among the top three fastest-growing IC segment... » read more

SiC Foundry Business Emerges


Several third-party foundry vendors are entering or expanding their efforts in the silicon carbide (SiC) business amid booming demand for the technology. However, making a significant dent in the market will not be so easy for SiC foundry vendors and their customers. They are facing stiff competition from traditional SiC device vendors such as Cree, Infineon, Rohm and STMicroelectronics. ... » read more

5/3nm Wars Begin


Several foundries are ramping up their new 5nm processes in the market, but now customers must decide whether to design their next chips around the current transistor type or move to a different one at 3nm and beyond. The decision involves the move to extend today’s finFETs to 3nm, or to implement a new technology called gate-all-around FETs (GAA FETs) at 3nm or 2nm. An evolutionary step f... » read more

Finding Defects In IC Packages


Several equipment makers are ramping up new inspection equipment to address the growing defect challenges in IC packaging. At one time, finding defects in packaging was relatively straightforward. But as packaging becomes more complex, and as it is used in markets where reliability is critical, finding defects is both more difficult and more important. This has prompted the development of a ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test TrendForce has released its top-10 OSAT rankings in terms of sales for the third quarter of 2019. ASE was in first place in the rankings, followed by Amkor and JCET. “According to the latest research from TrendForce, the decline in the global OSAT industry showed signs of a gradual halt in 3Q19, since the drop in memory prices began to slow down, and smartphone sales stead... » read more

Planning For Panel-Level Fan-out


Several companies are developing or ramping up panel-level fan-out packaging as a way to reduce the cost of advanced packaging. Wafer-level fan-out is one of several advanced packaging types where a package can incorporate dies, MEMS and passives in an IC package. This approach has been in production for years, and is produced in a round wafer format in 200mm or 300mm wafer sizes. Fan-out... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The IC industry once had several leading-edge vendors that invested and built new fabs. But over time, the field has narrowed due to soaring costs and a dwindling customer base. In 1994, the share of semiconductor industry capital spending held by the top five companies was 25%, according to IC Insights. This meant that a number of companies invested and built new fabs during the... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers China has created a new $29 billion fund to help advance its semiconductor sector, according to reports from Bloomberg and others. Here's another report. The The U.S. and China are in the midst of a trade war. This has prompted China to accelerate its efforts to become more self-sufficient in semiconductor design and production. This includes DRAMs as well as logic/foundry. -----... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools It’s been a tough period for memory. But is there now a sign of a rebound? For the September 2019 quarter, Lam Research reported revenue of $2.166 billion, and net income was $466 million, or $3.09 per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis. The outlook at Lam (LRCX) is a bright spot. “LRCX posted strong results and guidance, noting strength from logic and foundry in the December ... » read more

What’s The Best Advanced Packaging Option?


As traditional chip designs become more unwieldy and expensive at each node, many IC vendors are exploring or pursuing alternative approaches using advanced packaging. The problem is there are too many advanced packaging options on the table already, and the list continues to grow. Moreover, each option has several tradeoffs and challenges, and all of them are still relatively expensive. ... » read more

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