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

Inspecting, Patterning EUV Masks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask trends with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Thomas Scheruebl, director of strategic business development and product strategy at Zeiss; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What fol... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The semiconductor capital spending race continues to escalate in the leading-edge logic space. Intel and Samsung have separately announced big capital spending plans in 2019. Intel’s latest CapEx budget is $15.5 billion in 2019, while Samsung’s CapEx is slated for $16.204 billion for the year, according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. Now, TSMC is raising the stakes. TSMC this... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 27


Holographic lithography Switzerland’s Nanotech SWHL GmbH has come out of stealth mode and disclosed its initial technology—a holographic lithography system. Founded in 2015, Nanotech SWHL has developed a sub-wavelength holographic lithography system that generates and prints 3D images on surfaces with one mask at one exposure. Still in R&D, the system is initially targeted for advanced ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars Talks between the United States and China continue to stall and the two nations are still embroiled in a trade war. So this week, U.S. President Donald Trump would like to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion list of China-based imports starting Sept. 1, according to a report from Reuters. This in turn will impact the electronics and IC industries. In response to the... » read more

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

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC posted mixed results for the second quarter. It also presented a mixed outlook for the third quarter, according to various reports. TSMC and Samsung are in the midst of a foundry battle at 7nm and 5nm. “TSMC raised its 2019 capex outlook to over $11B, up from prior guidance of $10B-$11B. The increased capex is to support 5nm and 7nm ramps, with accelerated 5G investment a... » read more

EUV, Deep Learning Issues In Mask Making


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, photomask technologies and machine learning issues with Emily Gallagher, principal member of the technical staff at Imec; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Chris Spence, vice president of advanced technology development at ASML; Banqiu Wu, senior director of process development at Applied Materials;... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research In terms of overall IC sales, Intel has replaced Samsung as the number one quarterly semiconductor supplier in 4Q18 after losing the lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17, according to IC Insights. “While Samsung held the full-year number one ranking in 2017 and 2018, Intel is forecast to easily recapture the number one ranking for the full-year of 2019, a position it previously held ... » read more

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