The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Who will buy Toshiba’s memory business? In the latest of what is becoming a confusing saga, Toshiba has signed a deal to sell its memory unit to a group led by Bain Capital. The Bain-led consortium will hold a 49.9% stake in the memory unit, while Toshiba will hold 40.2% and Japan’s Hoya will own 9.9%. Other members in the group include Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate. In add... » read more

Blog Review: Sept. 27


Synopsys' Mukul Dawar highlights the biggest changes coming to the PCIe 4.0 specification, plus a peek at what's new in PCIe 5.0. Cadence's Paul McLellan considers why EDA startups are less common than they used to be. Mentor's David Abercrombie and Alex Pearson discuss new requirements for detecting double patterning errors at advanced nodes. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff reports that secur... » read more

Looming Issues And Tradeoffs For EUV


Momentum is building for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, but there are still some major challenges to solve before this long-overdue technology can be used for mass production. [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography—a next-generation technology that patterns tiny features on a chip—was supposed to move into production around 2012. But over the years, EUV has encountered se... » read more

5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

What Happened To ReRAM?


Resistive RAM (ReRAM), one of a handful of next-generation memories under development, is finally gaining traction after years of setbacks. Fujitsu and Panasonic are jointly ramping up a second-generation ReRAM device. In addition, Crossbar is sampling a 40nm ReRAM technology, which is being made on a foundry basis by China’s SMIC. And not to be outdone, TSMC and UMC recently put ReRAM on ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries. Lam Research held an analyst event at the recent Flash Memory Summit. The topics included 3D NAND and other technologies. In a blog, here’s what executives from Lam said at the event. Analysts from RBC Cap... » read more

Blog Review: Aug. 30


Cadence's Meera Collier explains machine learning, unsupervised algorithms, and why Facebook's recently publicized AI chatbot conversation isn't as inscrutable as it sounds. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi considers recently proposed legislation which seeks to mitigate the risk of botnets commandeering IoT devices used in the U.S. government, including limiting the use of hard-coded passwords and ce... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

The 200mm Equipment Scramble


An explosion in 200mm demand has set off a frenzied search for used semiconductor manufacturing equipment that can be used at older process nodes. The problem is there is not enough used equipment available, and not all of the new or expanding 200mm fabs can afford to pay the premium for refurbished or new equipment. This may sound like a straightforward supply and demand issue, but behind t... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

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