The 3D Printing Revolution


3D printing always has been intriguing. More recently, it has become truly useful. And in the near future, it will become increasingly controversial. There are videos on YouTube documenting entire homes that are being printed in as little as 8 hours, priced as low as $4,000. So while there is a lot of buzz about AI eliminating jobs, 3D printing could add become another significant threat. ... » read more

The Power Of De-Integration


The idea that more functionality can be added into a single chip, or even into a single system, is falling out of vogue. For an increasing number of applications, it's no longer considered the best option for boosting performance or lowering power, and it costs too much. Hooman Moshar, vice president of engineering at Broadcom, said in a keynote speech at Mentor's User2User conference this w... » read more

Wafer Demand: Under Pressure But Still Growing


Wafer demand grew 10.7% in 2017 while total semiconductor units grew 13.4%. Due to the tight supply of silicon wafers and increased prices, most manufactures placed an even higher priority on improving yields. The industry’s focus on yield improvements is relentless but especially important when the cost of key input materials is on the rise. In 2017 the semiconductor products that con... » read more

Executive Insight: Wally Rhines


Wally Rhines, president and CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of industry and technology changes and how that will play out over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What will happen in the end markets? Rhines: The end markets are perhaps more exciting from a... » read more

Giant Auto Industry Disruption Ahead


The move to self-driving vehicles over the next decade or so will result in a massive restructuring of entire segments of the global economy that have evolved to create and support automobiles and the people who drive them. The shift will create many new jobs-particularly for semiconductors and electronic systems-and conservatively it will eliminate hundreds of thousands of existing ones. It... » read more

Hedging The Chip Industry


The chip industry has changed significantly since the last big downturn. And while there is no indication a downturn is on the horizon, analysts are beginning to ask questions about what comes next. Inventory is building at systems companies because of weaknesses in some of the key markets such as mobile phones and tablet computers, and there is a growing risk of trade wars due to recently impo... » read more

Follow The Moving Money


Semiconductor economics are changing by market, by region, and by product node and packaging type, adding new complexity into decisions about which technology to use for which products and why. Money is the common denominator in all of these decisions, whether it's measured by return on invested capital, quarterly profits, or long-term investments that can include acquisitions, organic growt... » read more

Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

Good Solutions Create Problems


I am amazed at the array of products available these days – products that I had no idea existed or needed. And yet, globalization has made it possible for anyone with an idea to get the product made cheaply and can sell it on amazon, even giving it lots of attention by claiming it is worth 10 times the cost to produce and then discounting it 80%. When 3D printing becomes a little more afforda... » read more

China’s Ambitious Automotive Plans


China has big plans for cars—and other related markets. After years of trailing behind Japanese, European and U.S.-based carmakers in automotive technology, reliability, status, and even market share within its own political borders, the country is making a concerted push into internally developed and manufactured assisted- and self-driving vehicles. The strategy plays out well for China o... » read more

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