Scaling Sideways


The next steps in semiconductor technology don't follow the same vectors. While 3nm chips are likely to roll out at some point in the future, it's not clear what the business case will be for developing them. What's clear is the number of companies developing chips at that node will shrink to a handful (or less), because they're going to be far too expensive to design, verify and manufacture... » read more

7nm Design Challenges


Ty Garibay, CTO at ArterisIP, talks about the challenges of moving to 7nm, who’s likely to head there, how long it will take to develop chips at that node, and why it will be so expensive. This also raises questions about whether chips will begin to disaggregate at 7nm and 5nm. https://youtu.be/ZqCAbH678GE » read more

Advanced Packaging Confusion


Advanced packaging is exploding in all directions. There are more chipmakers utilizing different packaging options, more options for the packages themselves, and a confusing array of descriptions and names being used for all of these. Several years ago, there were basically two options on the table, 3D-ICs and 2.5D. But as chipmakers began understanding the difficulty, cost and reduced benef... » read more

OSAT Consolidation Continues


Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) are beginning the process of uniting the two companies, which are among the largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing contractors in the world. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately, while their shares are traded under the ASX symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. ASE I... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

The Race To Mass Customization


The number of advanced packaging options continues to rise. The choices now include different materials for interposers, at least a half-dozen fan-outs, not to mention hybrid fan-out/3D stacking, system-in-package, flip-chip and die-to-die bridges. There are several reasons for all of this activity. First, advanced packaging offers big improvements in performance and power that cannot be ac... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

Looking At Test Differently


Wilhelm Radermacher, executive advisor at [getentity id="22816" e_name="Advantest"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss how the impact of rapid market changes, advanced packaging approaches and increasing complexity on test strategies and equipment. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As we move into new markets where use models and stresses on devices are dif... » read more

Fan-Out Wars Begin


Several packaging houses are developing the next wave of high-density fan-out packages for premium smartphones, but perhaps a bigger battle is brewing in the lower density fan-out arena. Amkor, ASE, STATS ChipPAC and others sell traditional low-density fan-out packages, although some new and competitive technologies are beginning to appear in the market. Low-density fan-out, or sometimes cal... » 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

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