200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » 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

Circuit Aging Becoming A Critical Consideration


Circuit aging was considered somebody else's problem when most designs were for chips in consumer applications, but not anymore. Much of this reflects a shift in markets. When most chips were designed for consumer electronics, such as smart phones, designs typically were replaced every couple of years. But with the mobile phone market flattening, and as chips increasingly are used in automot... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research IC Insights has released its forecast for chips in terms of applications. Communications is still the biggest IC market, but automotive is growing the fastest. In its first forecast of artificial intelligence (AI) edge processors, International Data Corp. (IDC) estimates that worldwide shipments of AI-optimized processors for edge systems will reach 340.1 million units in 20... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Infineon Technologies will acquire Cypress Semiconductor for $23.85 per share in cash, or $10.1 billion. The deal will place Infineon as the number eight chip manufacturer in the world based on 2018 revenues and create an automotive powerhouse, making the combined company the largest supplier of chips to the automotive market. Infineon sees potential to reach into new industrial and co... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Products/Services Achronix Semiconductor selected the Rambus GDDR6 PHY for its next-generation Speedster7t line of field-programmable gate arrays. The Rambus GDDR6 PHY is used in advanced driver-assistance systems, artificial intelligence, graphics, machine learning, and networking applications. Arm and Marvell Technology Group will work together on design and development of Marvell’s nex... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test In the rankings, ASE was the top OSAT in terms of sales in the first quarter of 2019, according to TrendForce. Amkor and JCET were next in the rankings. “Judging from the falling phone sales 1Q19 impacted by the U.S.-China trade dispute and the oversupply situation in memory markets, the total revenue of the top ten businesses in packaging and testing are predicted to st... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things The Wing unit of Alphabet this summer will begin making drone deliveries in the Vuosarri district of Helsinki, Finland. The unmanned aerial vehicles will bear food and other items from Herkku Food, a gourmet market, and the Café Monami restaurant. The drones will bear deliveries of up to 3.3 pounds over distances of up to 6.2 miles. Comcast is reportedly developing an in... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Marvell will acquire Avera Semiconductor, the ASIC business of GlobalFoundries, for $650 million in cash at closing plus an additional $90 million in cash if certain business conditions are satisfied within the next 15 months. The agreements include transfer of Avera's revenue base, strategic design wins with infrastructure OEMs, and a new long-term wafer supply agreement between Globa... » read more

Partitioning In 3D


The best way to improve transistor density isn't necessarily to cram more of them onto a single die. Moore’s Law in its original form stated that device density doubles about every two years while cost remains constant. It relied on the observation that the cost of a processed silicon wafer remained constant regardless of the number of devices printed on it, which in turn depended on litho... » read more

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