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China Accelerates Foundry, Power Semi Efforts


China has unveiled several initiatives to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, including a new and massive fab expansion campaign in the foundry, gallium-nitride (GaN), and silicon carbide (SiC) markets. The nation is making a big push into what it calls “third-generation semiconductors,” which is a misnomer. The term actually refers to two existing and common power semiconductor... » read more

Fabs Drive Deeper Into Machine Learning


Advanced machine learning is beginning to make inroads into yield enhancement methodology as fabs and equipment makers seek to identify defectivity patterns in wafer images with greater accuracy and speed. Each month a wafer fabrication factory produces tens of millions of wafer-level images from inspection, metrology, and test. Engineers must analyze that data to improve yield and to reject... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

China’s Foundry Biz Takes Big Leap Forward


China continues to advance its foundry industry with huge investments in new fabs and technology, despite trade tensions and a slowdown in the IC market. China has the most fab projects in the world, with 30 new facilities or lines in construction or on the drawing board, according to data from SEMI’s World Fab Forecast Report. Of those, 13 fabs are targeted for the foundry market, accordi... » read more

E-beam Inspection Makes Inroads


E-beam inspection is gaining traction in critical areas in fab production as it is becoming more difficult to find tiny defects with traditional methods at advanced nodes. Applied Materials, ASML/HMI and others are developing new e-beam inspection tools and/or techniques to solve some of the more difficult defect issues in the fab. [gettech id="31057" t_name="E-beam"] inspection is one of tw... » read more

Improving Optical Overlay And Measurement


By Adam Ge and Shimon Levi Patterning challenges for the semiconductor industry are growing as the number of multi-patterned layers being used in the 10nm and beyond nodes increase. Patterning requires highly accurate overlay which has always been an issue, but with the added complexities of multi-patterning, smaller dimensions and subsequent tightening overlay error budget, it is now a majo... » 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

China’s Fab Tool Biz Heats Up


For years, China has been a steady growth market for suppliers of semiconductor equipment. Internally, though, the country is comprised of trailing-edge fabs and IC-assembly houses, which means equipment vendors sell relatively mature tools and compete on price. That’s about to change, however. Today, the IC equipment business is heating up in China as the nation begins to upgrade and pour... » read more

Advanced IC Packaging Biz Heats Up


After a number of false starts and lackluster adoption, the advanced IC packaging market is finally heating up. On one front, for example, a new wave of chips based on advanced [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D"] stacked-die is entering the market. And on another front, the momentum is building for new and advanced 2D packages, such as embedded package-on-package (PoP... » read more

All Together Now!


Consolidation is changing the face of our industry. It is tempting to think that a narrower more consolidated industry is easier to navigate and might require less facilitated coordination and collaboration. However, it turns out the reverse is true. With fewer, but much bigger companies, the bets become exponentially bigger.  At the same time technical challenges — such as advanced tra... » read more

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