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Steering The Semiconductor Industry


Progress in semiconductors has been one of the most successful engineering feats, and the industry has ridden an exponential curve longer than anything else in history. It is also a highly conservative industry that has pushed away many disruptive changes in favor of small incremental changes that minimize risk. There have been significant changes over the decades, and they often required a ... » read more

The Increasingly Uneven Race To 3nm/2nm


Several chipmakers and fabless design houses are racing against each other to develop processes and chips at the next logic nodes in 3nm and 2nm, but putting these technologies into mass production is proving both expensive and difficult. It's also beginning to raise questions about just how quickly those new nodes will be needed and why. Migrating to the next nodes does boost performance an... » read more

The Quest For Curvilinear Photomasks


The semiconductor industry is making noticeable progress on the development of advanced curvilinear photomasks, a technology that has broad implications for chip designs at the most advanced nodes and the ability to manufacture those chips faster and cheaper. The question now is when will this technology move beyond its niche-oriented status and ramp up into high-volume manufacturing. For ye... » read more

Focus Shifting From 2.5D To Fan-Outs For Lower Cost


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

One-On-One: Mike Muller


Arm CTO Mike Muller sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of technology and market shifts, including the impact of machine learning, where new market opportunities will show up and how the semiconductor industry will need to change to embrace them. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: It's getting to the point where instead of just developing chips, w... » read more

Security Issues Up With Heterogeneity


The race toward heterogeneous designs is raising new security concerns across the semiconductor supply chain. There is more IP to track, more potential for unexpected interactions, and many more ways to steal data or IP. Security is a difficult problem no matter what kind of chip is involved, and it has been getting worse as more devices, machines and systems are connected to the Internet. B... » read more

Tech Talk: System In Package


ASE fellow and senior technical advisor William Chen talks about advanced packaging options and why they are now so important. » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

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