Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

What Is Spin Torque MRAM?


The memory market is going in several different directions at once. On one front, the traditional memory types, such as DRAM and flash, remain the workhorse technologies. Then, several vendors are readying the next-generation memory types. As part of an ongoing series, Semiconductor Engineering will explore where the new and traditional memory technologies are heading. For this segment, P... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 8


Ferroelectric films Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) is creating a buzz again. For years, FRAMs have been shipping for embedded applications, although the technology has taken a backseat to MRAM, phase-change and ReRAM. Using a ferroelectric capacitor to store data, FRAM is a nonvolatile memory with unlimited endurance. FRAM is faster than EEPROM and flash. FRAM performs an over-write function in ... » read more

What’s Next For NOR Flash?


The flash memory market is the tale two of cities. Today, NAND and NOR are the two main flash memory types. Over the years, the NAND flash market has exploded. Targeted for data storage, NAND flash has moved into flash cards, solid-state storage drives (SSDs) and other products. The excitement for NAND continues to mount, as the technology is moving from planar to a 3D structure. In fact, 3D... » read more

New Embedded Memories Ahead


The embedded memory market is beginning to heat up, fueled by a new wave of microcontrollers (MCUs) and related chips that will likely require new and more capable nonvolatile memory types. The industry is moving on several different fronts in the embedded memory landscape. On one front, traditional solutions are advancing. On another front, several vendors are positioning the next-generatio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Is Nikon’s semiconductor lithography equipment business on the ropes? Amid losses and dwindling market share, the company has announced a major restructuring plan for this unit. It will reduce fixed costs related to its 193nm immersion scanner business “by headcount rationalization and re-assignments of 1,000 employees,” according to Nikon. In addition, Nikon is reassessing its... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and materials After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Amid a possible proxy battle, Kulicke & Soffa Industries has named Fusen Chen as president and chief executive, effective Oct. 31. He was also elected to the board of K&S. Jonathan Chou, chief financial officer and interim CEO, w... » read more

Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory


In the data center and related environments, high-end systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing demands in data processing. There are several bottlenecks in these systems, but one segment that continues to receive an inordinate amount of attention, if not part of the blame, is the memory and storage hierarchy. [getkc id="92" kc_name="SRAM"], the first tier of this hierarchy, is... » read more

7nm Market Heats Up


The 7nm finFET market is heating up in the foundry business amid the ongoing push to develop chips at advanced nodes. Not long ago, TSMC announced plans to enter the 7nm finFET market. In addition, Intel and Samsung are also separately planning to enter the 7nm finFET race. Now, GlobalFoundries is formally announcing its 7nm finFET technology. Slated for 2018, GlobalFoundries’ 7nm fin... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The wearables market has taken another hit. Intel has issued a safety recall for a smartwatch line from its Basis Science subsidiary. "We are issuing this safety recall of the Basis Peak watch because the watch can overheat, which could result in burns or blisters on the skin surface. It is important that you stop using your watch immediately and return it. Although we are stopping ... » read more

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