Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers In its latest move to cut costs and focus on its core business, GlobalFoundries (GF) has announced plans to jettison its U.S. photomask operations in Burlington, Vt., but the foundry vendor will maintain a stake in its joint venture mask unit. Under the plan, Toppan Photomasks will acquire certain assets of GF’s Burlington photomask facility. “GF is transferring its mask tool... » read more

HBM2E: The E Stands for Evolutionary


Samsung introduced the first memory products in March that conform to JEDEC’s HBM2E specification, but so far nothing has come to market—a reflection of just how difficult it is to manufacture this memory in volume. Samsung’s new HBM2E (sold under the Flashbolt brand name, versus the older Aquabolt and Flarebolt brands), offers 33% better performance over HBM2 thanks to doubling the de... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

Debate Over Health Of Moore’s Law Continues


Semicon West 2019 was kicked off by the ‘AI Design Forum’ and featured a panel of CEOs that debated if Moore’s Law was still making power, performance and area optimization possible in the same way as it had been. Synopsys chairman and co-CEO Aart de Geus asserted that Moore’s Law is completely alive. “The discussion of Moore's Laws invariably goes back to the ‘65 document, and t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research What’s the CapEx outlook for 2020? Semiconductor capital spending is down in 2019, but the industry faces another slump in 2020, according to IC Insights. The firm sees a 15% decline in CapEx for 2019 with a 5% drop expected in 2020. New 300mm fab construction in Korea is still going strong despite the memory downturn, according to SEMI. “Korea’s fab construction spen... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars In recent testimony before a U.S. government panel considering tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, SEMI called for the removal of about 30 tariff lines. These items are central to the semiconductor manufacturing process. “SEMI asserts that these tariffs will harm not only companies operating in the U.S., but other companies as well in the semiconductor supply chain... » read more

Falling Chip Forecasts


It’s time to take a pulse of the semiconductor market amid the memory downturn and trade frictions with China. For some time, the DRAM and NAND markets have been hit hard with falling prices and oversupply. Then, the Trump administration last year slapped tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated. And the trade war rages on between the U.S. and China. More recently, the U.S. Department... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

Finding The Bottom Of The Memory Trough


In announcing its Q2 fiscal 2019 results, Micron Technology, Inc. provided lower-than-expected revenue guidance of between $46 billion and $50 billion for the current quarter. However, what was particularly noteworthy was the company’s announcement to cut output by 5 percent due to weaker-than-expected market demand and its prediction that its customers’ inventory correction will last until... » read more

3D NAND Metrology Challenges Growing


3D NAND vendors face several challenges to scale their devices to the next level, but one manufacturing technology stands out as much more difficult at each turn—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems and ensure yields for all chip types. In the case of 3D NAND, the metrology tools are becoming more expensive at each iteration... » read more

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