What’s Next In Scaling, Stacking


An Steegen, executive vice president of semiconductor technology and systems at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss IC scaling, chip stacking, packaging and other topics. Imec is an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Chipmakers are shipping 16nm/14nm processes with 10nm and 7nm technologies... » read more

Testing IoT Devices


Internet of Things devices present new challenges in testing. Some devices can be tested the same way as standard semiconductors are now tested, but others call for different approaches. Microcontrollers and other chips that go into safety-critical applications — medical devices, military/aerospace systems, and automotive electronics — need their own kind of testing to make sure they wil... » read more

Automotive’s Unsung Technology


Sound systems are becoming a critical design element in vehicles, and not just for music. Thanks to evolving technology, automotive audio has reached a point where it is taking on a much broader role for applications both within and outside the vehicle. Most people associate automotive audio with the car radio, which has been a fixture in cars for decades. But in the future, these systems al... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Will Higher Production Costs Hamper IoT Growth?


No question, 2017 is expected to be a good year for the semiconductor industry. Semiconductor revenues for 2017 are expected to increase more than 9% this year. A 6% increase in unit sales, as well as higher average selling prices for memory products, will help drive the revenue growth rate to its highest level since 2010. Wafer demand is forecast to grow by almost 8%. The higher revenue growth... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Conferences The Internet of Things World conference is on tap next week at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley. There will be more than 250 exhibitors on the show floor, with 11,000 attendees expected. More than 400 speakers will make presentations over three days, May 16-17-18. ON Semiconductor will have a number of IoT-related products to demonstrate at its booth, including i... » read more

The Future of Testing


In our previous test blog posts, we looked at the history of automated test equipment for semiconductors and for printed circuit boards. This month, we look ahead to the test technologies that are emerging. The chip ATE field has essentially boiled down to Advantest, Teradyne, and Xcerra (LTX-Credence), while the board test market is dominated by Teradyne and Keysight Technologies (formerly ... » read more

Wirebond Technology Rolls On


Several years ago, many predicted the demise of an older interconnect packaging technology called wire bonding, prompting the need for more advanced packaging types. Those predictions were wrong. The semiconductor industry today uses several advanced packaging types, but wire bonding has been reinvented over the years and remains the workhorse in packaging. For example, Advanced Semiconducto... » read more

Whatever Happened To High-Level Synthesis?


A few years ago, [getkc id="105" comment="high-level synthesis"] (HLS) was probably the most talked about emerging technology. It was to be the heart of a new Electronic System Level (ESL) flow. Today, we hear much less about the progress being made in this area. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss this with Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering for high level design and verificati... » read more

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