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Behind The Intel-GlobalFoundries Rumor


A Wall Street Journal report that Intel is looking to buy GlobalFoundries has sparked discussions across the industry. But what exactly this would mean, and why now versus a couple years ago, needs some context. There are layers upon layers of irony behind this would-be deal, and it dates back decades to some rather famous encounters. Consider former AMD CEO Jerry Sanders' 1991 comment that ... » read more

Bumps Vs. Hybrid Bonding For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging continues to gain steam, but now customers must decide whether to design their next high-end packages using existing interconnect schemes or move to a next-generation, higher-density technology called copper hybrid bonding. The decision is far from simple, and in some cases both technologies may be used. Each technology adds new capabilities in next-generation advanced pac... » read more

Reliability Costs Becoming Harder To Track


Ensuring reliability in chips is becoming more complex and significantly more expensive, shifting left into the design cycle and right into the field. But those costs also are becoming more difficult to define and track, varying greatly from one design to the next based upon process node, package technology, market segment, and which fab or OSAT is used. As the number of options increases fo... » read more

Designs Beyond The Reticle Limit


Designs continue to grow in size and complexity, but today they are reaching both physical and economic challenges. These challenges are causing a reversal of the integration trend that has provided much of the performance and power gains over the past couple of decades. The industry, far from giving up, is exploring new ways to enable designs to go beyond the reticle size, which is around 8... » read more

How Secure Is The Package?


Advanced packaging is a viable way of extending the benefits of Moore's Law without the excessive cost of shrinking everything to fit on a single die, but it also raises some issues about security for which there are no clear answers at the moment. OSATs and foundries have been working the kinks out of how to put the pieces together in the most cost-effective and reliable way for the better ... » read more

Momentum Builds For Advanced Packaging


The semiconductor industry is stepping up its efforts in advanced packaging, an approach that is becoming more widespread with new and complex chip designs. Foundries, OSATs and others are rolling out the next wave of advanced packaging technologies, such as 2.5D/3D, chiplets and fan-out, and they are developing more exotic packaging technologies that promise to improve performance, reduce p... » read more

Is This The Year Of The Chiplet?


Customizing chips by choosing pre-characterized — and most likely hardened IP — from a menu of options appears to be gaining ground. It's rare to go to a conference these days without hearing chiplets being mentioned. At a time when end markets are splintering and more designs are unique, chiplets are viewed as a way to rapidly build a device using exactly what is required for a particul... » read more

Moore’s Law, Supply Chains And Security


The debate about the future of Moore's Law continues, while other parts of the industry look for alternatives. In between, supply chains are being pulled in multiple directions, with safety and security often in the middle. All across the semiconductor industry, significant changes are underway. Some of these have been in the works for some time. Others are new or accelerating faster than an... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

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