Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 11


Thread transistor Researchers at Tufts University developed a thread-based transistor that can be fashioned into simple, all-thread based logic circuits and integrated circuits which could be woven into fabric or worn on the skin, or even surgically implanted. The thread-based transistor (TBT) is made of a linen thread coated with carbon nanotubes, creating a semiconductor surface. Two thin... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


China's DRAM efforts Two memory vendors from China, Tsinghua Unigroup and ChangXin Memory Technology, have disclosed more details about their respective efforts to enter the DRAM arena. As reported, Tsinghua Unigroup wants to enter the DRAM business. Now, the China-based firm has secured land to build a new DRAM fab. The firm recently signed an agreement with the Chongqing government to e... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 5


Chemical weapon sensors Using nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) technologies and other parts, Sandia National Laboratories has developed a tiny gas chromatograph sensor for use in detecting toxic gases and chemical weapons. Chemical identification involves the use of various instruments and systems. Larger systems are used in the lab. A portable version, called a mass spectrometer, is ava... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

HW/SW Design At The Intelligent Edge


Adding intelligence to the edge is a lot more difficult than it might first appear, because it requires an understanding of what gets processed where based on assumptions about what the edge actually will look like over time. What exactly falls under the heading of Intelligent Edge varies from one person to the next, but all agree it goes well beyond yesterday’s simple sensor-based IoT dev... » read more

CEO Outlook: Rising Costs, Chiplets, And A Trade War


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

New Advancements in Using Statistical Models as Part of a Standard MEMS Design Flow


This paper presents the benefits of using statistical models during MEMS design, through the virtual reproduction of a test structure for measuring a beam’s pull-in voltage. This electrical measurement is used as a functional indicator of the process quality for manufactured wafers. Statistical variations of process parameters (material properties, silicon thickness, sidewall angle and edge s... » read more

CEO Outlook: It Gets Much Harder From Here


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

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

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