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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC has posted strong results and raised its capital spending budget to $30 billion, up from its prior guidance of $25 billion to $28 billion in 2021. “Its outlook indicates broad-based semiconductor demand continues to strengthen amid supply chain tightness,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst at KeyBanc, in a research note. “TSMC posted another quarter of strong demand for leadi... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back PC maker Dell Technologies is spinning off 81% equity ownership of VMWare to two standalone public companies. VMWare, founded in 1998, provides software to manage networking, apps, and cloud/data center. VMWare will pay a special dividend to its investing, which will generate $9.3 – $9.7 billion for Dell to use toward cutting it... » read more

AI In Inspection, Metrology, And Test


AI/ML is creeping into multiple processes within the fab and packaging houses, although not necessarily for the purpose it was originally intended. The chip industry is just beginning to learn where AI makes sense and where it doesn't. In general, AI works best as a tool in the hands of someone with deep domain expertise. AI can do certain things well, particularly when it comes to pattern m... » read more

What Goes Wrong In Advanced Packages


Advanced packaging may be the best way forward for massive improvements in performance, lower power, and different form factors, but it adds a whole new set of issues that were much better understood when Moore's Law and the ITRS roadmap created a semi-standardized path forward for the chip industry. Different advanced packaging options — system-in-package, fan-outs, 2.5D, 3D-IC — have a... » read more

Testing VCSEL Devices On-Wafer


Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers, or VCSELs, are seeing unparalleled demand, thanks to new uses for them in smartphone and automotive applications. 3D sensing for facial recognition is the key application in smartphones, with up to three VCSEL dies being integrated into a single phone. Emerging automotive applications such as driver monitoring, infotainment control and LiDAR will provide... » read more

Automotive IC Production Wafer Test In A Zero-Defect World


By Amy Leong, FormFactor. Innovations in automotive semiconductor ICs post a high bar for wafer test. FormFactor’s Chief Marketing Officer, Amy Leong, provides insights into the challenges associated with automotive IC production wafer testing amid the requirement for zero-defects. Click here to continue reading. » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


OEMs and chipmakers In recent times, automotive companies have been impacted by chip shortages, forcing vendors to temporarily shutter their plants. OEMs are experiencing manufacturing disruptions due to semiconductor shortages as some semiconductor foundries allocate production, according to IDC. "Semiconductor content growth in vehicles continues to outpace vehicle unit sales growth, with gr... » read more

Testing Silicon Photonics In Production


As silicon photonics costs come down, the technology is being worked into new applications, from connectivity to AI. But full commercial production requires testing those photonic circuits before shipping them. Photonics testing is only getting started. Volume production is still not happening, and test equipment and techniques are still being developed. What exists today is a blend of exist... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Third Point, a hedge fund, released a letter, saying that Intel needs to explore its strategic alternatives. This includes the breakup of the chip giant. Obtained by Yahoo and others, the letter says Intel needs to decide “whether Intel should remain an integrated device manufacturer” and should divest certain failed acquisitions. Here’s another analysis of the sit... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers SMIC’s shares fell following the resignation of the company co-CEO, according to a report from Bloomberg. Liang Mong Song, co-CEO of the Chinese foundry company, has proposed to resign and the company has become aware of Liang’s intention of conditional resignation, according to a filing. A former technologist at TSMC and Samsung, Liang has opposed the appointment of a new board... » read more

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