Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out two new tools for use in the production of 3D NAND. The first tool, called the VECTOR DT, is geared for backside deposition. The second system, the EOS GS, is a wet etch tool for film removal on backside and bevel. Designed to control the wafer bow in 3D NAND manufacturing, the VECTOR DT system is the latest addition to Lam’s plasma-enhanced chemical ... » read more

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

Machine Learning Inferencing Moves To Mobile Devices


It may sound retro for a developer with access to hyperscale data centers to discuss apps that can be measured in kilobytes, but the emphasis increasingly is on small, highly capable devices. In fact, Google staff research engineer Pete Warden points to a new app that uses less than 100 kilobytes for RAM and storage, creates an inference model smaller than 20KB, and which is capable of proce... » read more

Inspection, Metrology Challenges Grow For SiC


Inspection and metrology are becoming more critical in the silicon carbide (SiC) industry amid a pressing need to find problematic defects in current and future SiC devices. Finding defects always has been a challenging task for SiC devices. But it’s becoming more imperative to find killer defects and reduce them as SiC device vendors begin to expand their production for the next wave of a... » read more

SiC Demand Growing Faster Than Supply


The silicon carbide (SiC) industry is in the midst of a major expansion campaign, but suppliers are struggling to meet potential demand for SiC power devices and wafers in the market. In just one example of the expansion efforts, Cree plans to invest up to $1 billion to increase its SiC fab and wafer capacities. As part of the plan, Cree is developing the world’s first 200mm (8-inch) SiC f... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Cree posted its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 ended March 31. Revenue from continuing operations was $274 million, a 22% increase compared to revenue from continuing operations of $225 million in the like period a year ago. As previously announced, Cree executed a definitive agreement to sell its Lighting Products business to IDEAL. As a result, Cree’s Wolfspeed ... » read more

Electric Cars Gain Traction, But Challenges Remain


Battery-powered electric vehicles are expected to reach a milestone in terms of shipments in 2019, but the technology faces several significant hurdles to gain wider adoption in the market. Limited driving range, high costs, battery issues, and a spotty charging infrastructure are the main challenges for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). In addition, there are issues with various power semic... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools ASML said it has disagreed with any implication that it has been a victim of “Chinese espionage,” as stated in an article in a Dutch newspaper. The article discusses the results of a public court case in the United States that ASML won last year. In the case, XTAL was found by a jury to have misappropriated ASML’s confidential and proprietary information as well as trade secret... » read more

More Devices Will See In 3D


The 3D optical sensing market is once again surging – and it’s all thanks to Apple. What will we see in the next wave of end products enhanced by this technology, how will other market segments approach – and eventually use – 3D optical sensing, and which suppliers stand to gain the most from this very vital technology? Although 3D sensing, facial recognition and optical authenticati... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Apple purchased a portfolio of eight granted and pending patents that belonged to Lighthouse AI, a smart home security camera startup that ceased operations near the end of 2018. The portfolio was acquired at about the same time, according to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; financial terms weren’t revealed. Also not disclosed, as usual, is what Apple will do with t... » read more

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