Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries said that it is putting its 7nm finFET program on hold indefinitely and has dropped plans to pursue technology nodes beyond 7nm. To be sure, it was a tough decision by GF to put 7nm on hold. But generally, analysts believe that GF made the right decision. “There’s only a handful of semiconductor companies that will require high-volume 7nm technology right when... » read more

The Chiplet Race Begins


Momentum is building for the development of advanced packages and systems using so-called chiplets, but the technology faces some challenges in the market. A group led by DARPA, as well as Marvell, zGlue and others are pursuing chiplet technology, which is a different way of integrating multiple dies in a package or system. In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Semi Biz


Both the IC and fab equipment industries have been enjoying a boom cycle for some time, but they could be facing speed bumps and possibly turbulence in the second half of this year and into 2019. In the first half of 2018, the industry was fueled by the momentum carried over from 2017. DRAM prices remained relatively high, which contributed to the revenue growth in the overall IC industry. M... » read more

Bridges Vs. Interposers


The number of technology options continue to grow for advanced packaging, including new and different ways to incorporate so-called silicon bridges in products. For some time, Intel has offered a silicon bridge technology called Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), which makes use of a tiny piece of silicon with routing layers that connects one chip to another in an IC package. In ... » read more

Big Trouble At 3nm


As chipmakers begin to ramp up 10nm/7nm technologies in the market, vendors are also gearing up for the development of a next-generation transistor type at 3nm. Some have announced specific plans at 3nm, but the transition to this node is expected to be a long and bumpy one, filled with a slew of technical and cost challenges. For example, the design cost for a 3nm chip could exceed an eye-p... » read more

Will China Succeed In Memory?


China's fledging memory makers are expected to reach a major milestone and move into initial production this year, although vendors are already running into various roadblocks. China's domestic vendors are focusing on two markets, 3D NAND and DRAM. In both cases local vendors are either behind in technology, struggling to develop these products, or both. And one vendor recently was hit with ... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » 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

China Factors Heavily In Policy And Business Considerations


The year begins with intensified attention to China’s rapid semiconductor industry growth, which was a central theme of the recent SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) and also weighed heavily in a new report from a Presidential advisory council. Speaking at the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS), Handel Jones, CEO of International Business Strategies (IBS), forecast the global sem... » read more