DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The IC industry once had several leading-edge vendors that invested and built new fabs. But over time, the field has narrowed due to soaring costs and a dwindling customer base. In 1994, the share of semiconductor industry capital spending held by the top five companies was 25%, according to IC Insights. This meant that a number of companies invested and built new fabs during the... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Micron acquired FWDNXT, an AI software and hardware startup. Founded in 2017 and based in Lafayette, Indiana, FWDNXT, specializes in building machine learning deep neural network inference accelerators scalable from edge devices to server-class performance as Xilinx FPGAs, SoCs, or SDK. The company's engine already powers Micron's Deep Learning Accelerator (DLA) technology. “FWDNXT is an a... » read more

Curvilinear Full-Chip ILT


Leo Pang, chief product officer and executive vice president at D2S, talks about the speed improvements with full-chip inverse lithography technology, why it is so critical in stitching together large chips, and how this approach differs from traditional litho approaches. » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has satisfied all closing conditions for the full acquisition of Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd. (MIFS), the former 300mm wafer foundry joint venture between UMC and Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd. (FSL). The completion of the acquisition is scheduled for Oct. 1. In 2014, FSL and UMC agreed for UMC to acquire a 15.9% stake in MIFS from FSL through pr... » read more

Using Machine Learning In Fabs


Amid the shift towards more complex chips at advanced nodes, many chipmakers are exploring or turning to advanced forms of machine learning to help solve some big challenges in IC production. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, uses advanced algorithms in systems to recognize patterns in data as well as to learn and make predictions about the information. In the fab, ... » read more

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

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