200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

Toward Autonomous Farming


While the automotive industry works diligently towards self-driving vehicles, it's possible the carrots you've eaten recently were semi-autonomously planted and harvested with Case IH equipment by Bolthouse Farms, one of the largest carrot growers in the United States. And the U.S. is hardly alone. Autonomous agriculture is coming everywhere, and it's happening much faster than autonomous ca... » read more

Embedded Die Packaging Emerges


Embedded die packaging is seeing renewed demand amid the push towards chips and systems that require smaller form factors. ASE, AT&S, GE, Shinko, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Würth Elektronik and others compete in the merchant embedded die packaging market, according to Yole Développement. In fact, ASE and TDK have a joint venture in the arena, which is beginning to ramp up production. Additional... » read more

Mesh Networking Grows For ICs


Mesh networks were invented to create rich interaction among groups of almost-unrelated peers, but now they are showing up in everything from advanced chip packages to IoT networks. The flexibility of a many-to-many peer-connection model made the mesh approach a favorite for two-dimensional network-on-a-chip topologies, to the point where they began to supplant data-bus connections during th... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

How To Build A Better MEMS Microphone


We are seeing a lot of interest in simulating noise, particularly for condenser microphones. With any transducer, noise reduction is always a plus, and with microphones there are two specific applications that need low noise. One is where the microphone is positioned away from the sound source, such as in video calling or when using voice commands with tablet computers. The other is where multi... » read more

Testing Analog Chips


The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » read more

Sensors Are Fundamental To New Intelligent Systems


The evolution of intelligent electronic sensors is creating a revolution for IoT and Industrial IoT as companies bring new sensor-based, intelligent systems to market. These systems now incorporate processors and software and they include communication hardware in order to move data into the Cloud for analysis. While the sensor market continues to garner billions of dollars, the average selling... » read more

Metal Markets In Flux


Markets for critical metals are becoming turbulent, creating shortages and widespread supply chain concerns. Critical metals are the raw elements and materials used in the production of aerospace/defense systems, automobiles, batteries, computers and electronic products. Many critical metals also are scarce, and there is high risk associated with their supply. In a recent report, the Europea... » read more

Terrific Year, Terrific Outlook


2017 was a terrific year. Chip revenues closed at nearly $440B, an impressive 22 percent year-over-year growth. The equipment industry surpassed revenue levels last reached in the year 2000. Semiconductor equipment posted sales of nearly $56B and semiconductor materials $48B in 2017. For semiconductor equipment, this was a giant 36 percent year-over-year growth. Samsung, alone, invested $26... » read more

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