Regaining The Edge In U.S. Chip Manufacturing


The United States is developing new strategies to prevent it from falling further behind Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps even China in semiconductor manufacturing, as trade tensions and national security concerns continue to grow. For years, the U.S. has been a leader in the development of new chip products like GPUs and microprocessors. But from a chip manufacturing standpoint, the U.S. is losin... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade As reported, the U.S. recently implemented more restrictions on U.S. chip sales to Huawei. In response, SEMI has released the following statement in response to the new export control rule changes announced by the U.S. Commerce Department: “SEMI recognizes the role of export control measures to address threats to U.S. national security. However, we are very concerned the new export ... » read more

Power Amp Wars Begin For 5G


Demand is increasing for power amplifier chips and other RF devices for 5G base stations, setting the stage for a showdown among different companies and technologies. The power amplifier device is a key component that boosts the RF power signals in base stations. It's based on two competitive technologies, silicon-based LDMOS or RF gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a III-V technology, outperforms ... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

Latest IC Outlook: More Uncertainty


So far in 2020, it’s been a difficult period in the semiconductor industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and other issues. And heading into the second half of 2020, the industry faces more challenges, if not uncertainty, in the market. Many segments in the semiconductor industry face some headwinds, but there might be some positive news in the equipment business. To be sure,... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Select foundries are beginning to ramp up their new 5nm processes with 3nm in R&D. There are already signs that the foundries have pushed out their 3nm production schedules. So, expect 7nm and 5nm to become long-running nodes. At 3nm, Samsung and TSMC are going in different directions. Samsung is developing a gate-all-around (GAA) technology called nanosheet FETs. TSMC will e... » read more

2020 IC Outlook: Uncertainty


After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor and equipment industries looked promising at the start of 2020. In 2019, the downturn was primarily due to the memory markets, namely DRAM and NAND. Both DRAM and NAND saw lackluster demand and falling prices last year. At the start of 2020, though, the memory markets were beginning to recover. Unlike memory, the logic and foundry markets were s... » read more

DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

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