Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 12


3D diodes At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) presented a paper on what they call the world’s first back-illuminated 3D-stacked, single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) in 45nm CMOS technology. A SPAD is one type of a photodetector. These... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 5


Intel vs. GlobalFoundries At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) this week, GlobalFoundries and Intel will square off and present papers on their new logic processes. Intel will present more details about its previously-announced 10nm finFET technology, while GlobalFoundries will discuss its 7nm finFET process. As expected, Intel and GlobalFoundries will use 193nm immersi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 24


Redefining unit measurements At a recent meeting, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) took the next step towards the expected redefinition of four base units within the International System of Units (SI). The SI base units include the following metrics or constants--meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and the candela. Here’s the fundamental constant... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The IC market remains hot, as several market researchers are raising their forecasts--again. Gartner recently raised its overall IC forecast. Now, IC Insights has raised its IC market growth rate forecast for 2017 to 22%, up six percentage points from the 16% increase shown in its mid-year update. In March, IC Insights raised its worldwide IC market growth forecast for 201... » read more

Neuromorphic Computing: Modeling The Brain


Can you tell the difference between a pedestrian and a bicycle? How about between a skunk and a black and white cat? Or between your neighbor’s dog and a colt or fawn? Of course you can, and you probably can do that without much conscious thought. Humans are very good at interpreting the world around them, both visually and through other sensory input. Computers are not. Though their sheer... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

Notes From The Chip Beat


Over the last several months, I’ve attended a number of conferences, such as IEDM, SPIE, the FD-SOI Summit and others. At each conference, there is a dizzying amount of information and data. Eventually, some information turns into an article, while most ends up buried in a reporter’s notebook. In any case, here are five observations I’ve made, based on those and other events in the pa... » read more

Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 16


Musical learning chips Imec has demonstrated a neuromorphic chip. The brain-inspired chip, based on OxRAM technology, has the capability of self-learning and has been demonstrated to have the ability to compose music. Imec has combined state-of-the-art hardware and software to design chips that feature these characteristics of a self-learning system. Imec’s goal is to design the process t... » read more

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