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In The Spotlight: What Is Responsible For The Surging Demand For CIS?


After TSMC announced plans to construct a new fab in Arizona, the Taiwan-based company disclosed that they are considering building new fabs in Japan and Germany. While the Arizona fab will focus on producing 5nm nodes using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) technology, the new plant in Japan reportedly would focus on the 28nm node. This 28nm fab in Japan would be in addition to a 28nm fab ... » read more

What’s Ahead For DRAM, NAND?


For the last year, the semiconductor industry has been in the midst of a boom cycle. But if you look close enough, there are mixed signals in the market, especially in memory. Still, it’s a banner year for semiconductors. In total, the semiconductor market is expected to grow by 18.1% in 2021, according to Semico Research. That compares to 6.6% growth in 2020, according to Semico. Today... » read more

Specialty Technologies Bring New Functionality


As a materials engineer, I am very proud of the fact that key advances in human civilization have been driven by materials innovation. The stone age, bronze age, and iron age were all essential steps in setting the human race on the path that we are on today. Innovations are not without their downsides, but they have enabled progress in agriculture, medicine, transportation, communication, a... » read more

Chip Shortages Grow For Mature Nodes


The current wave of chip shortages is expected to last for the foreseeable future, particularly for a growing list of critical devices produced in mature process nodes. Chips manufactured at mature nodes typically fall under the radar, but they are used in nearly every electronic device, including appliances, cars, computers, displays, industrial equipment, smartphones, and TVs. Many of thes... » read more

Scaling CMOS Image Sensors


After a period of record growth, the CMOS image sensor market is beginning to face some new and unforeseen challenges. CMOS image sensors provide the camera functions in smartphones and other products, but now they are facing scaling and related manufacturing issues in the fab. And like all chip products, image sensors are seeing slower growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manufactured a... » read more

Advances In 3D CMOS Image Sensors Optical Modeling: Combining Realistic Morphologies With FDTD


This paper describes an innovative methodology to investigate the relationship between device morphology and the optical performance of CMOS image sensors. By coupling a FDTD-based 3D Maxwell solver with silicon-accurate process modeling software, we have been able to analyze the sensitivity of image sensor quantum efficiency with respect to statistical variations in nm-scale device topology. A... » read more

Foundries See Mixed Future


Amid a tumultuous business environment, the silicon foundry industry is projected to see steady growth in a number of process segments in 2017. As in past years, the foundry market is expected to grow faster than the overall IC industry in 2017. But at the same time, the IC industry—the foundry customer base—continues to witness a frenetic wave of merger and acquisition activity. Basical... » read more