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Fabs Drive Deeper Into Machine Learning


Advanced machine learning is beginning to make inroads into yield enhancement methodology as fabs and equipment makers seek to identify defectivity patterns in wafer images with greater accuracy and speed. Each month a wafer fabrication factory produces tens of millions of wafer-level images from inspection, metrology, and test. Engineers must analyze that data to improve yield and to reject... » read more

Automotive: Innovations, Trends And The Intersection With Semiconductors


The semiconductor industry performed better than expected in 2020 despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and is preparing for accelerated growth in 2021 and beyond. The global coronavirus pandemic significantly increased demand for communications electronics and fueled the growth in cloud computing to support remote work and learning. Semiconductor manufacturers, many running at p... » read more

Designing Chips For Test Data


Collecting data to determine the health of a chip throughout its lifecycle is becoming necessary as chips are used in more critical applications, but being able to access that data isn't always so simple. It requires moving signals through a complex, sometimes unpredictable, and often hostile environment, which is a daunting challenge under the best of conditions. There is a growing sense of... » read more

Why Wafer Bumps Are Suddenly So Important


Wafer bumps need to be uniform in height to facilitate subsequent manufacturing steps, but a push for 100% inspection in packaging in mission-critical markets is putting a strain on existing measurement technologies. Bump co-planarity is essentially a measure of flatness. Specifically, it measures the variation in bump height, which may have a target, for example, of about 100 microns. As a ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Taiwan’s Foxconn continues to expand its efforts in the semiconductor business. Foxconn has acquired a 6-inch wafer fab and the equipment from Taiwan’s Macronix for NT$2.52 billion (US$90.76 million). With the fab, Foxconn plans to enter the wideband gap semiconductor market, namely silicon carbide (SiC). SiC devices are used in electric vehicles, a market that Foxconn is making... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Intel has outlined its new process technology roadmap with plans to regain the leadership position in the market. As part of the move, Intel has changed the way it designates the nodes, revealed its new gate-all-around (GAA) transistor, and disclosed a customer for the GAA technology--Qualcomm. And not to be outdone, Intel has broadened its packaging portfolio. Intel is changing ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs The industry is still wondering if Intel will buy GlobalFoundries (GF). In the meantime, GF has announced a fab expansion plan in upstate New York. These plans include immediate investments at its existing Fab 8 facility as well as construction of a new fab on the same campus. That will double the capacity at the site. Intel has reported its second-quarter 2021 financial... » read more

Chip Shortages Grow For Mature Nodes


The current wave of chip shortages is expected to last for the foreseeable future, particularly for a growing list of critical devices produced in mature process nodes. Chips manufactured at mature nodes typically fall under the radar, but they are used in nearly every electronic device, including appliances, cars, computers, displays, industrial equipment, smartphones, and TVs. Many of thes... » read more

MicroLEDs Moving From Lab to Fab


Every disruptive technology has its "aha" moment — the time when everyone from engineers to investors realizes that, yes, this technology is the real deal and it won’t be scrapped on the R&D floor. For many, it was Samsung’s recent announcement of a 110-inch microLED TV that irrevocably put microLEDs on the map. The TV’s price is $155,000, but as with most consumer electronics th... » read more

Automotive Innovations In Semiconductors


By Jeff Barnum, Janay Camp, and Cathy Perry Sullivan The semiconductor industry performed better than expected in 2020 despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and is preparing for accelerated growth in 2021 and beyond. The global coronavirus pandemic significantly increased demand for communications electronics and fueled the growth in cloud computing to support remote work and ... » read more

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