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Specialty Technologies Bring New Functionality


As a materials engineer, I am very proud of the fact that key advances in human civilization have been driven by materials innovation. The stone age, bronze age, and iron age were all essential steps in setting the human race on the path that we are on today. Innovations are not without their downsides, but they have enabled progress in agriculture, medicine, transportation, communication, a... » read more

Wafer-Level Fan-Out For High-Performance, Low-Cost Packaging Of Monolithic RF MEMS/CMOS


Navigating the trade-offs between performance, size, cost and reliability can be a challenge when considering integrated circuit (IC) packaging and the end-application. The integration of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), either monolithic or heterogeneous, introduces yet another level of complexity that has only recently been a major focus of multi-device packaging [1]. Wafer-level fanou... » read more

Automotive Lidar Technologies Battle It Out


Lidar is likely to be added to the list of sensors that future cars will use to help with navigation and safety, but most likely it won't be the large rotating mirror assembly on the top of vehicles. Newer solid-state radar technologies are being researched and developed, although it’s not yet clear which of these will win. “The benefits of lidar technology are well known dating back to ... » read more

MEMS: New Materials, Markets And Packaging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about future developments and challenges for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) with Gerold Schropfer, director of MEMS products and European operations in Lam Research's Computational Products group, and Michelle Bourke, senior director of strategic marketing for Lam's Customer Support Business Group. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.... » read more

Principles, Applications, And The Future Of Piezoelectric MEMS


Piezoelectricity is a property of certain materials to become electrically polarized under strain and stress. This phenomenon has been studied extensively since it was first discovered in the mid-18th century. Piezoelectric materials can generate an electric charge in response to an applied mechanical stress and can also generate mechanical stress upon an applied electrical charge. These mater... » read more

Improving Your Understanding Of Advanced Inertial MEMS Design


Micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) based inertial sensors are used measure acceleration and rotation rate. These sensors are integrated into units to measure motion, direction, acceleration or position, and can be found in a wide range of applications including smart phones, consumer electronics, medical devices, transportation systems, oil/gas exploration, military, aeronautical and sp... » read more

Foundry Wars Begin


Leading-edge foundry vendors are gearing up for a new, high-stakes spending and technology race, setting the stage for a possible shakeup across the semiconductor manufacturing landscape. In March, Intel re-entered the foundry business, positioning itself against Samsung and TSMC at the leading edge, and against a multitude of foundries working at older nodes. Intel announced plans to build ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 8


Non-toxic, printable piezoelectric Researchers at RMIT University and University of New South Wales developed a flexible and printable piezoelectric material that could be used in self-powered electronics including wearables and implantables. "Until now, the best performing nano-thin piezoelectrics have been based on lead, a toxic material that is not suitable for biomedical use," said Dr N... » read more

WLFO For High-Performance Low-Cost Packaging Of RFMEMS-CMOS


Navigating the trade-offs between performance, size, cost and reliability can be a challenge when considering integrated circuit (IC) packaging and the end-application. The integration of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), either monolithic or heterogeneous, introduces yet another level of complexity that has only recently been a major focus of multi-device packaging. Wafer-level fanout (W... » read more

200mm Demand Surges


A surge in demand for various chips is causing shortages for select 200mm foundry capacity as well as 200mm fab equipment, and it shows no signs of abating in 2021. Foundry customers will face a shortfall of 200mm capacity at select foundries at least in the first half of 2021, and perhaps beyond. Those customers will need to plan ahead to ensure they obtain enough 200mm capacity in 2021. Ot... » read more

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