Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers AMD and Xilinx have entered into a definitive agreement for AMD to acquire Xilinx in an all-stock transaction valued at $35 billion. With the proposed deal, AMD will enter the FPGA business, putting it further in competition with Intel. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the AMD and Xilinx boards. The transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2021. U... » read more

What’s Ahead For Chips & Equipment?


It’s been a topsy-turvy year in the semiconductor industry. 2020 was supposed to be a strong year. Then, the coronavirus outbreak hit. Countries implemented various measures to mitigate the outbreak, such as stay-at-home orders and store closures. Economic turmoil and job losses soon followed. Earlier in the year, the chip market looked bleak. Now, business appears to be strong. To gain... » read more

New Architectures, Much Faster Chips


The chip industry is making progress in multiple physical dimensions and with multiple architectural approaches, setting the stage for huge performance increases based on more modular and heterogeneous designs, new advanced packaging options, and continued scaling of digital logic for at least a couple more process nodes. A number of these changes have been discussed in recent conferences. I... » read more

What Happened To Execute-in-Place?


Executing code directly from non-volatile memory, where it is stored, greatly simplifies compute architectures — especially for simple embedded devices like microcontrollers (MCUs). However, the divergence of memory and logic processes has made that nearly impossible today. The term “execute-in-place,” or ”XIP,” originated with the embedded NOR memory in MCUs that made XIP viable. ... » read more

What’s Next For Semis?


It’s been a turbulent year in the semiconductor industry. 2020 was supposed to be a strong year. Then, the coronavirus outbreak hit. Suddenly, a large percentage of countries implemented various measures to mitigate the outbreak, such as stay-at-home orders as well as business and store closures. Economic turmoil and job losses soon followed, not to mention the human tragedy involved. M... » read more

Compute-In Memory Accelerators Up-End Network Design Tradeoffs


An explosion in the amount of data, coupled with the negative impact on performance and power for moving that data, is rekindling interest around in-memory processing as an alternative to moving data back and forth between the memory and the processor. Compute-in-memory (CIM) arrays based on either conventional memory elements like DRAM and NAND flash, as well as emerging non-volatile memori... » read more

Inside The New Non-Volatile Memories


The search continues for new non-volatile memories (NVMs) to challenge the existing incumbents, but before any technology can be accepted, it must be proven reliable. “Everyone is searching for a universal memory,” says TongSwan Pang, Fujitsu senior marketing manager. "Different technologies have different reliability challenges, and not all of them may be able to operate in automotive g... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research The coronavirus is having a major impact on the semiconductor, smartphone and related markets. For example, global fab equipment spending promises to rebound from its 2019 downturn and see a modest recovery this year, according to a report from SEMI. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has eroded fab equipment spending in China and elsewhere in 2020, according to the rep... » read more

2020 IC Outlook: Uncertainty


After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor and equipment industries looked promising at the start of 2020. In 2019, the downturn was primarily due to the memory markets, namely DRAM and NAND. Both DRAM and NAND saw lackluster demand and falling prices last year. At the start of 2020, though, the memory markets were beginning to recover. Unlike memory, the logic and foundry markets were s... » read more

Speeding Up Process Optimization Using Virtual Fabrication


Author: Joseph Ervin Director, Semiconductor Process and Integration Lam Research Advanced CMOS scaling and new memory technologies have introduced increasingly complex structures into the device manufacturing process. For example, the increase in NAND memory layers has achieved greater vertical NAND scaling and higher memory density, but has led to challenges in high aspect ratio etch patte... » read more

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