Rogue Valley Microdevices: MEMS Foundry


Venturing into the MEMS manufacturing market is a shaky proposition. The investment is high, the returns are questionable, and the competition can be fierce. Rogue Valley Microdevices is one of a handful of pure-play MEMS foundries in the United States, a difficult market divided into two distinct parts. One on side are a handful of higher-margin new technologies, such as piezoelectric micro... » read more

Shedding Pounds In Automotive Electronics


Weight is emerging as a key concern for carmakers as more electronic circuitry is added into vehicles that are either fully or partially powered by batteries. As a result, chipmakers and OEMs are exploring alternative substrate materials, different types of sensor fusion, and new ways to reduce the number of wires. Adding pounds reduces driving range for electric or hybrid vehicles. The auto... » read more

Lithography Challenges For Fan-out


Higher density fan-out packages are moving toward more complex structures with finer routing layers, all of which requires more capable lithography equipment and other tools. The latest high-density fan-out packages are migrating toward the 1µm line/space barrier and beyond, which is considered a milestone in the industry. At these critical dimensions (CDs), fan-outs will provide better per... » read more

MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress Focuses on Automotive, Emerging MEMS


This year’s MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress (MSTC), February 19-20, 2019, features a deep dive into the changing automotive sensor landscape, a look at emerging MEMS technologies, and an exploration of integration standards. The more technically focused of SEMI’s annual MEMS events, MSTC returns to Monterey, California, in conjunction with FLEX, the conference that highlights new form... » read more

Autonomous Drive Requires Smart Sensor Systems


While exotic technology for autonomous drive cars draw wonder all around the world, individual smart sensor systems with “simple” jobs to do are equally important. LiDAR sensors with specialized AI chips for object identification are fascinating. But “simple” smart sensor systems, like passenger airbag deployment systems, are also key to autonomous drive vehicles. A typical trait of a s... » read more

Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Dirty Data: Is the Sensor Malfunctioning?


Sensors provide an amazing connection to the physical world, but extracting usable data isn't so simple. In fact, many first-time IoT designers are unprepared for how messy a sensor’s data can be. Every day the IoT motion-sensor company MbientLab struggles to tactfully teach its customers that the mountain of data they are seeing is not because the sensors are faulty. Instead, the system d... » read more

Collaborative IC Design Mandates Integrated Data Management


Due to complexity and multi-domain expertise, custom IC design typically requires a team to successfully design and verify the project. Often, specific blocks are assigned to team members based on analog, digital, MEMS, RF expertise, across multiple geographies, and separate verification team members focus on block and system validation. This means that unstructured design files with multiple c... » read more

New Metrology and Inspection Technologies Needed for More-Than-Moore Markets


The escalating costs of following Moore’s Law have shifted the semiconductor industry’s focus to More-than-Moore (MtM) technologies, where analog/mixed-signal, RF, MEMS, image sensing, power or other technologies may be integrated with CMOS in a variety of planar, 2.5D and 3D architectures. The integration of these and other key technologies is enabling a host of fast-growing application... » read more

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