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

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

Finding New Dimensions Of Innovation


Whenever a company announces a major strategy shift and restructuring, such as pivoting away from 7nm FinFET technology development, it’s understandable that confusion, uncertainty and misunderstandings may arise. The best way to allay these concerns is to take an objective look at the situation: Demand for chips for the automotive, IoT, mobility and data center/wireless infrastructure mar... » read more

Matching Between Simulations and Measurements As a Key Driver for Reliable Overlay Target Design


By S. Lozenko, B. Schulz, L. Fuerst, C. Hartig, and M. Ruhm of GlobalFoundries and T. Shapoval, G. Ben-Dov, Z. Lindenfeld,  R. Haupt, and R. Wang of KLA-Tencor Abstract Numerical simulation of overlay metrology targets has become a de-facto standard in advanced technology nodes. While appropriate simulation software is widely available in the industry alongside with metrics that allow sel... » read more

180nm HVIC Technology for Digital AC/DC Power Conversion


This paper presents a new high-voltage integrated circuit (HVIC) technology that is optimized for AC/DC power conversion applications with increased digital content. The cost-effective process uses 3.3V CMOS and a 180nm backend process to provide about 10X greater digital circuit density compared with conventional 0.5μm 5V CMOS solutions while maintaining excellent analog circuit performance. ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade SEMI has voiced support and encouragement for trade discussions between U.S. President Donald Trump and the People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping. The talks are planned for Dec. 1 during the G20 Summit in Argentina. SEMI expressed hope for a deal and offered principles beneficial to the microelectronics supply chain. Recent tariffs and trade tensions, on top of rumored expor... » read more

The Next Materials Race


Trade wars are costly on many fronts, and a trade war between the United States and China is bound to cause a variety of problems that no one anticipated. But in some areas, there may be a silver lining. And where there is no silver lining available, other materials may suffice. For decades, big chipmakers have been squeezing the entire semiconductor supply chain in a race to double the num... » read more

Testing Millimeter Wave for 5G


By Susan Rambo and Ed Sperling The telecommunications world is hurtling toward 5G, but there is no consistency about how this next-gen wireless technology will be rolled out across various regions and plenty of unknowns about how it will be tested and how reliable it will be initially. A fair amount of confusion exists around what 5G constitutes in the first place. There is sub-6GHz 5G, w... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted Chinese DRAM maker Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (JHICC), Taiwan's UMC and three individuals, charging them with alleged crimes related to a conspiracy to steal, convey, and possess stolen trade secrets from Micron Technology for the benefit of a company controlled by the China government. In addition, the U.S. filed a civil lawsuit seeking... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things The expensive implementation of 5G cellular communications may be justified by the Internet of Things, writes Hatem Zeine, founder and chief technology officer of Ossia, a developer of wireless power technology. Bain & Company forecasts the B2B IoT market will be worth more than $300 billion by 2020. IDC predicts overall IoT spending will hit $1.2 trillion in 2022. Mi... » read more

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