Challenges In Making And Testing STT-MRAM


Several chipmakers are ramping up a next-generation memory type called STT-MRAM, but there are still an assortment of manufacturing and test challenges for current and future devices. STT-MRAM, or spin-transfer torque MRAM, is attractive and gaining steam because it combines the attributes of several conventional memory types in a single device. In the works for years, STT-MRAM features the ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 23


Sorting nuclei CERN and GSI Darmstadt have begun testing the first of two giant magnets that will serve as part of one of the largest and most complex accelerator facilities in the world. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, recently obtained two magnets from GSI. The two magnets weigh a total of 27 tons. About 60 more magnets will follow over the next five years. These ... » read more

Comparing New Memory Types


After decades of research and development, three new types of memory—magnetic RAM (MRAM), phase change memory (PCRAM) and resistive RAM (ReRAM)—are moving toward commercial adoption, making this an exciting time for the semiconductor and computing industries. All three of these emerging memories are enabled by new materials and will require breakthroughs in process technology and manufactur... » read more

More Memory And Processor Tradeoffs


Creating a new chip architecture is becoming an increasingly complex series of tradeoffs about memories and processing elements, but the benefits are not always obvious when those tradeoffs are being made. This used to be a fairly straightforward exercise when there was one processor, on-chip SRAM and off-chip DRAM. Fast forward to 7/5nm, where chips are being developed for AI, mobile ph... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers How bad is the slowdown in the IC industry? The memory market is terrible, while other markets are slowing. One company—Renesas--is feeling the brunt. Citing the IC slowdown, Renesas will temporarily halt production at 13 of the company's 14 production facilities, according to a report from Nikkei. Renesas confirmed the move. “Renesas is considering implementing measures to ... » read more

In-Memory Vs. Near-Memory Computing


New memory-centric chip technologies are emerging that promise to solve the bandwidth bottleneck issues in today’s systems. The idea behind these technologies is to bring the memory closer to the processing tasks to speed up the system. This concept isn’t new and the previous versions of the technology fell short. Moreover, it’s unclear if the new approaches will live up to their billi... » read more

Unsticking Moore’s Law


Sanjay Natarajan, corporate vice president at Applied Materials with responsibility for transistor, interconnect and memory solutions, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about variation, Moore's Law, the impact of new materials such as cobalt, and different memory architectures and approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Reliability is becoming more of an... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

Embedded Phase-Change Memory Emerges


The next-generation memory market for embedded applications is becoming more crowded as another technology emerges in the arena—embedded phase-change memory. Phase-change memory is not new and has been in the works for decades. But the technology has taken longer to commercialize amid a number of technical and cost challenges. Phase-change memory, a nonvolatile memory type that stores data... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

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