Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » 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

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Samsung Austin Semiconductor plans to invest more than $1 billion in its fab in Austin, Texas. Today, the fab continues to ramp up the company’s 14nm finFET technology. At the same time, Samsung is expanding its advanced finFET foundry process technology offerings with its fourth-generation 14nm process (14LPU) and its third-generation 10nm technology (10LPU). Graphcore is developing a so-... » read more

What Transistors Will Look Like At 5nm


Chipmakers are currently ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm just around the corner. The industry also is working on 5nm. TSMC hopes to deliver a 5nm process by 2020. GlobalFoundries, Intel and Samsung are doing R&D for that node. But 5nm technology presents a multitude of unknowns and challenges. For one thing, the exact timing and specs of 5nm remain cloudy. The... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tool vendors In terms of sales for 2015, Applied Materials retained the No. 1 position in the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market with 1.3% growth last year, according to Garnter. Lam Research experienced the strongest growth of the top 10 vendors in 2015, moving into the No. 2 position. In the rankings, Lam jumped ahead of ASML and TEL. ASML was in third place, followed in order by TEL, KLA-... » read more

ALD Market Heats Up


Amid the shift to 3D NAND, finFETs and other device architectures, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) market is heating up on several fronts. Applied Materials, for example, recently moved to shakeup the landscape by rolling out a new, high-throughput ALD tool. Generally, [getkc id="250" kc_name="ALD"] is a process that deposits materials layer-by-layer at the atomic level, enabling thin and ... » read more

Fab Issues At 7nm And 5nm


The race toward the 7nm logic node officially kicked off in July, when IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and Samsung jointly rolled out what the companies claim are the industry’s first 7nm test chips with functional transistors. They're not alone, of course. Intel and TSMC also are racing separately to develop 7nm technology. And in the R&D labs, chipmakers also are working on technologies f... » read more

Dealing With Atoms


Chipmakers are ramping up a new range of device architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But to enable current and future devices, IC vendors will require new breakthroughs, including tools that can process tiny structures and films, even at the atomic level. The problem? There are gaps in terms of techniques that can process chips at the atomic level. Looking to help fill part of the ... » read more