Lithography Options For Next-Gen Devices


Chipmakers are ramping up extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for advanced logic at 7nm and/or 5nm, but EUV isn’t the only lithographic option on the table. For some time, the industry has been working on an assortment of other next-generation lithography technologies, including a new version of EUV. Each technology is different and aimed at different applications. Some are here today, w... » 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

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TrendForce released its foundry rankings for the first quarter of 2019. TSMC is still the clear leader, followed in order by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. It was a tough quarter for all foundries. Samsung has rolled out its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) product. The new solution, called Flashbolt, is the industry’s first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2Gbps... » read more

5 Top Storylines For NAND Biz


2019 is expected to be a busy, if not difficult, year in the NAND flash memory market. Vendors will continue to ramp up 3D NAND, the successor to traditional 2D or planar NAND. Then, over the last year, prices for NAND have dropped with oversupply in the market. What’s in store in 2019? Vendors are expected to rush out their next-generation products. Then, there is a debate whether the... » 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

What’s the Right Path For Scaling?


The growing challenges of traditional chip scaling at advanced nodes are prompting the industry to take a harder look at different options for future devices. Scaling is still on the list, with the industry laying plans for 5nm and beyond. But less conventional approaches are becoming more viable and gaining traction, as well, including advanced packaging and in-memory computing. Some option... » read more

Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Fab Equipment


As 2018 dawned, the semiconductor industry appeared to be poised for a rare fourth consecutive year of equipment investment growth. That rosy outlook is about to change as clouds gather in what until now has been the sunny sky. The latest edition of the World Fab Forecast Report, published by SEMI in December 2018, reveals a downward revision of total fab equipment spending growth for 2018 ... » read more

What’s The Outlook for Memory?


What a difference a year makes in the memory business. At this time last year, the industry was in the midst of a boom cycle for both NAND and DRAM. More specifically, there was huge demand for 3D NAND. Then, starting in the first quarter of 2018, the NAND market began to decline and it continues to fall. And now, the DRAM market is also falling off the cliff. So, it’s time to take a q... » read more

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