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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test In a major deal that has some implications in the OSAT supply chain, South Korea’s Nepes has taken over Deca Technologies’ wafer-level packaging manufacturing line in the Philippines. In addition, Nepes has also licensed Deca’s M-Series wafer-level packaging technology. This includes fan-in technology as well as wafer- and panel-level fan-out. It also includes an ad... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials is expected to remain the world’s largest semiconductor equipment supplier in terms of projected sales for 2018, according to a preliminary forecast of the rankings from VLSI Research. Applied will have $14 billion in sales in 2018, according to the firm. Applied is the leader in terms of overall projected sales in 2018, followed in order by ASM... » read more

Inspecting Unpatterned Wafers


Unpatterned wafer inspection, which has flown well under the radar for most of the semiconductor industry, is becoming more critical amid the need to find defects earlier in the manufacturing process flow. Finding those defects is getting harder as critical dimensions shrink. It's more difficult to actually detect smaller defects on bare wafers, there is more data to process, and there is mo... » read more

What’s Next For Atomic Layer Etch?


After years in R&D, several fab tool vendors last year finally began to ship systems based a next-generation technology called atomic layer etch (ALE). [getkc id="284" kc_name="ALE"] is is moving into 16/14nm, but it will play a big role at 10/7nm and beyond. The industry also is working on the next wave of ALE technology for advanced logic and memory production. Used by chipmakers fo... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Who will buy Toshiba’s memory business? In the latest of what is becoming a confusing saga, Toshiba has signed a deal to sell its memory unit to a group led by Bain Capital. The Bain-led consortium will hold a 49.9% stake in the memory unit, while Toshiba will hold 40.2% and Japan’s Hoya will own 9.9%. Other members in the group include Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate. In add... » read more

Etching Technology Advances


Let’s get really, really small. That directive from leading semiconductor companies and their customers is forcing the whole semiconductor supply chain to come up with new ways to design and manufacture ever-shrinking dimensions for chips. The current push is to 10nm and 7nm, but R&D into 5nm and 3nm is already underway. To put this in perspective, there are roughly two silicon atom... » read more

Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up


The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

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