Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

Fundamental Shifts In 2018


What surprised the industry in 2018?  While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon. As 2018 comes to a close, most companies are pretty happy with the way everything turned out. Business has been booming, new product categories developing, and profits are meeting or beating market expectations. "2018 was indeed a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Test There is more consolidation in the ATE business. In October, Cohu completed the acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of ATE and other products. Then, Astronics this week entered into an agreement for the sale of the intellectual-property and certain assets associated with its semiconductor test business to Advantest for $185 million in cash. The sale additionally includes a $30 million earn-... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries said that the company’s 22nm FD-SOI technology has delivered more than $2 billion worth of client design win revenue. With more than 50 total client designs, the technology is designed for automotive, 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT). Helic has announced that its electromagnetic (EM) modeling engine has been certified for GlobalFoundries’ 22nm ... » read more

What Happened To Nanoimprint Litho?


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is re-emerging amid an explosion of new applications in the market. Canon, EV Group, Nanonex, Suss and others continue to develop and ship NIL systems for a range of markets. NIL is different than conventional lithography and resembles a stamping process. Initially, a lithographic system forms a pattern on a template based on a pre-defined design. Then, a separa... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers and OEMs Last month, Arizona approved Google’s Waymo unit to begin testing a commercial self-driving vehicle program. And recently, Waymo released a video showing its first autonomous ride-hailing service. “This development inches us closer than ever to a ‘first-man-on-the-moon’ landmark for Level 5 autonomous transport,” said Derek Viita, an analyst from Strategy Analytic... » read more

Cheaper Fan-Outs Ahead


Packaging houses continue to ramp up fan-out wafer-level packages in the market, but customers want lower cost fan-out products for a broader range of applications, such as consumer, RF and smartphones. So in R&D, the industry for some time has been developing next-generation fan-out using a panel-level format, a technology that could potentially lower the cost of fan-out. But there are ... » read more

Challenges For Future Fan-Outs


The fan-out wafer-level packaging market is heating up. At the high end, for example, several packaging houses are developing new fan-out packages that could reach a new milestone and hit or break the magic 1µm line/space barrier. But the technology presents some challenges, as it may require more expensive process flows and equipment like lithography. Fig. 1: Redistribution layers. Source: L... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Inotera, known as Micron Technology Taiwan, suspended its operations after an accident occurred at its Fab 2 facility in Taoyuan City on July 1, according to TrendForce. Inotera is responsible for manufacturing Micron’s LPDDR4 products that go into Apple’s supply chain for the iPhone, according to the market research firm. The problem involved a malfunction in the fab. “Th... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab and test equipment The wafer inspection market is heating up. For example, Applied Materials announced its new e-beam inspection system for use in foundry, logic, DRAM and 3D NAND applications. In addition, KLA-Tencor introduced six wafer defect inspection and review systems for leading-edge IC device manufacturing. National Instruments has rolled out a second-generation vector sig... » read more

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