Tech Brief: Elements of Electroplating


Electroplating is a common manufacturing process that applies a thin layer of one metal onto another. The U.S. penny, for example, has been made of zinc with a thin, electroplated coating of copper since 1982. Jewelry and flatware are also frequently electroplated to improve visual appearance or provide wear and corrosion resistance. Today, electroplating is widely performed in the electronics ... » read more

Packaging Biz Faces Challenges in 2019


The IC packaging industry is bracing for slower growth, if not uncertainty, in 2019, even though advanced packaging remains a bright spot in the market. Generally, IC packaging houses saw strong demand in the first part of 2018, but the market cooled in the second half of the year due to a slowdown in memory. Going forward, the slower IC packaging market is expected to extend into the first ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools/manufacturing Lam Research has accepted Martin Anstice’s resignation as chief executive and a member of the board. Lam has named Tim Archer as president and chief executive effective immediately. Archer, who served as Lam’s president and chief operating officer, has been named to the board. One analyst provided a comment on the situation at Lam. “In our view, Mr. Archer is very... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

EUV Mask Blank Battle Brewing


Amid the ramp of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, suppliers of EUV mask blanks are expanding their production. And a new player—Applied Materials—is looking to enter the market. AGC and Hoya, the two main suppliers of EUV mask blanks, are adding capacity for these critical components that are used for EUV photomasks. A mask blank serves as the substrate for a photomas... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 31


Mentor's Joe Hupcey III digs into handling memories effectively with formal through abstraction and the easiest ways to address memory-related inconclusive results. Cadence's Paul McLellan explains DARPA's CHIPS program that aims to lower semiconductor design costs through chiplet-based designs, the current status of the work, and what the next steps will be. Synopsys' Sangeeta Kulkarni c... » read more

CMOS Area Scaling And The Need For High Aspect Ratio Vias


Resolving internal routing congestion will be essential to enable CMOS area scaling to the N5 node and beyond. The solution will require new design maneuvers in place and route (PnR), as well as patterning innovations. In this work, we present inter-layer high aspect ratio vias or ‘SuperVia’ (SV) as one technology element that could enable track height scaling to 4.5T at aggressive N5 dime... » read more

3D NAND: Challenges Beyond 96-Layer Memory Arrays


Unlike scaling practices in 2D NAND technology, the direct way to reduce bit costs and increase chip density in 3D NAND is by adding layers. In 2013, Samsung shipped the first V-NAND product using 24 layers and MLC [1]. Five years later, in 2018, vendors of 3D-NAND have all announced production plans for 96-Layer NAND using TLC [2]. According to recent news reports, vendors are already working ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Amid ongoing delays with its 10nm process, Intel has reorganized its manufacturing unit, according to a report from The Oregonian/OregonLive. Sohail Ahmed, who has jointly led the unit since 2016, will retire next month, according to the report. The industry is racing to put extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production. TSMC recently taped-out its first 7nm chip using E... » read more

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