Leasing and Rental in T&M


Buying a high-end oscilloscope or a brand-new logic analyzer may be a tall order financially for small companies. In such cases, leasing or renting an expensive test instrument can be an affordable alternative. Having reliable test and measurement equipment is vital to product development in electronics. National Instruments has built a billion-dollar business on offering instrument hardware... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research IC Insights has released its capital spending forecast by company. In total, there are 15 companies that are forecast to have semiconductor capital expenditures of $1.0 billion or more in 2017, up from 11 in 2016, according to IC Insights. Four companies—Intel, Samsung, GlobalFoundries, and SK Hynix—are expected to represent the bulk of the increase in spending, accord... » read more

The Future of Testing


In our previous test blog posts, we looked at the history of automated test equipment for semiconductors and for printed circuit boards. This month, we look ahead to the test technologies that are emerging. The chip ATE field has essentially boiled down to Advantest, Teradyne, and Xcerra (LTX-Credence), while the board test market is dominated by Teradyne and Keysight Technologies (formerly ... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The finFET market is heating up. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are ramping 16nm/14nm finFETs. And 10nm and 7nm finFETs are in the works. The market will shortly have a new competitor—Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC). Some years ago, UMC licensed finFET technology from IBM. UMC has been a bit quiet about the 14nm finFET technology, but it has made si... » read more

Will Open-Source Work For Chips?


Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more

Decoding The Brain


At the Design Automation Conference this year, Lou Scheffer, principal scientist for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, gave a visionary talk entitled Learning from Life: Biologically Inspired Electronic Design. Scheffer is an IC design guy who came through Stanford and Caltech and worked for HP and [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"] before switching to the medical field eight years a... » read more

Neuromorphic Chip Biz Heats Up


It’s no secret that today’s computers are struggling to keep up with the enormous demands of data processing and bandwidth, and the whole electronics industry is searching for new ways to enable that. The traditional approach is to continue to push the limits of today’s systems and chips. Another way is to go down the non-traditional route, including an old idea that is generating stea... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


In 2015, Korea outspent all other countries ($9 billion) on front-end semiconductor fab equipment, according to SEMI. But Korea is expected to drop to second place in 2016, as Taiwan takes over with the largest CapEx spending at $8.3 billion, according to SEMI. In 2015, Americas ranked third in overall regional CapEx spending with about $5.6 billion and is forecast to increase only slightly to ... » read more

Laws Don’t Apply Anymore


One of the nifty things about technology is that it's always new and always being refreshed. That creates problems, though. The speed with which technology is overhauled or changed out is so much faster than the social and legal infrastructure built to support and protect the people buying it, that the two worlds are now years, if not decades, out of sync. The first whiff of this came in 198... » read more

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