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


Deals Apple will pay $1 billion to buy Intel's smartphone modem unit. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will hire 2,200 Intel employees and acquire Intel's IP and equipment. The deal, expected to close in Q4, puts an end to Intel's attempts to win a piece of the smartphone market. But the chipmaker retains the right to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, including PCs, IoT de... » read more

Node Within A Node


Enough margin exists in manufacturing processes to carve out the equivalent of a full node of scaling, but shrinking that margin will require a collective push across the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. Margin is built into manufacturing at various stages to ensure that chips are manufacturable and yield sufficiently. It can include everything from variation in how lines are... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Big Shifts In Big Data


The big data market is in a state of upheaval as companies begin shifting their data strategies from "nothing" or "everything" in the cloud to a strategic mix, squeezing out middle-market players and changing what gets shared, how that data is used, and how best to secure it. This has broad implications for the whole semiconductor supply chain, because in many cases it paves the way for ... » read more

Addressing High Precision Automated Optical Inspection Challenges With 3D Technology


Driven by the continued decrease in the size of electronics packaging, combined with the increase in density, there is a critical need for highly accurate 3D inspection for defect detection. Using multi-view 3D sensors and parallel projection, it is possible to capture more of the board at a faster rate as compared to serial image acquisition which is more time consuming. Precise 3D image re... » read more

Data Confusion At The Edge


Disparities in pre-processing of data at the edge, coupled with a total lack of standardization, are raising questions about how that data will be prioritized and managed in AI and machine learning systems. Initially, the idea was that 5G would connect edge data to the cloud, where massive server farms would infer patterns from that data and send it back to the edge devices. But there is far... » read more

Extending 3D MRS Sensor Technology To Address Challenging Measurement And Inspection Applications


There is an increasing need for highly accurate 3D inspection and measurement capabilities for applications in SMT, semiconductor and metrology markets. 3D Multiple Reflection Suppression (MRS) sensor technology has been effectively combined with Automated Optical Inspection for several years and is now being utilized for many SPI applications such as microelectronics and sub-100-micron sold... » read more

Inspection, Metrology Challenges Grow For SiC


Inspection and metrology are becoming more critical in the silicon carbide (SiC) industry amid a pressing need to find problematic defects in current and future SiC devices. Finding defects always has been a challenging task for SiC devices. But it’s becoming more imperative to find killer defects and reduce them as SiC device vendors begin to expand their production for the next wave of a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Cree posted its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 ended March 31. Revenue from continuing operations was $274 million, a 22% increase compared to revenue from continuing operations of $225 million in the like period a year ago. As previously announced, Cree executed a definitive agreement to sell its Lighting Products business to IDEAL. As a result, Cree’s Wolfspeed ... » read more

Newer posts →