Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced the readiness of its new 22nm process. The process enables new 22nm designs or allows customers to migrate from 28nm to 22nm. UMC’s 22nm maintains its existing 28nm design architectures. UMC's 22nm process features a 10% area reduction, better power-to-performance ratio and enhanced RF capabilities, compared to the company’s 2... » read more

Multi-Patterning EUV Vs. High-NA EUV


Foundries are finally in production with EUV lithography at 7nm, but chip customers must now decide whether to implement their next designs using EUV-based multiple patterning at 5nm/3nm or wait for a new single-patterning EUV system at 3nm and beyond. This scenario revolves around ASML’s current extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool (NXE:3400C) versus a completely new EUV system with... » read more

Weighing Wafers Simplifies Metrology


Building semiconductors is an incredibly exacting process, with critical dimensions posing significant equipment challenges – and with the possibility that small process excursions can cause the yield to decrease. For this reason, it has always been important to measure and monitor the most critical process steps to ensure that no further processing is done on a faulty lot and so that equipme... » read more

DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research Smartphone shipments in China stood at 98.9 million units in the third quarter of 2019, down 3.6% year-on-year, according to IDC. Of that, 5G phone shipments in China have grown from virtually zero not long ago to 485,000 units in the third quarter of 2019, according to IDC. Vendors shipped devices amid the launch of commercial 5G services in October. The early smartphone le... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 30


Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out the future of the automotive industry, the options for making the transition to autonomous driving, and how experience with electric vehicles influences perception of them. In a video, Mentor's Colin Walls digs into the challenges of testing memory in an embedded system. A Synopsys writer looks at doubling bandwidth in PCIe 5.0, the PHY logical changes a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools It’s been a tough period for memory. But is there now a sign of a rebound? For the September 2019 quarter, Lam Research reported revenue of $2.166 billion, and net income was $466 million, or $3.09 per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis. The outlook at Lam (LRCX) is a bright spot. “LRCX posted strong results and guidance, noting strength from logic and foundry in the December ... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » read more

Making Random Variation Less Random


The economics for random variation are changing, particularly at advanced nodes and in complex packaging schemes. Random variation always will exist in semiconductor manufacturing processes, but much of what is called random has a traceable root cause. The reason it is classified as random is that it is expensive to track down all of the various quirks in a complex manufacturing process or i... » read more

Scaling Up And Down


You don’t have to look very far in the semiconductor world before you see the word “scaling.” Perhaps you read an industry news article headline about transistor scaling – how those nearly nanoscale components are shrinking even smaller in size down to the atomic scale. Or maybe you heard a reference to memory capacity scaling – how our favorite mobile devices can store more high-reso... » read more

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