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

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

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

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted Chinese DRAM maker Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (JHICC), Taiwan's UMC and three individuals, charging them with alleged crimes related to a conspiracy to steal, convey, and possess stolen trade secrets from Micron Technology for the benefit of a company controlled by the China government. In addition, the U.S. filed a civil lawsuit seeking... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research For some time, DRAM shortages have plagued the market. Today, the situation remains the same. DRAMs are seeing strong demand. But yet, vendors are not adding any capacity. “Strained DRAM supply was even more evident during the third quarter as limited production capacity and limited technological progress for the memory industry encountered robust demand from data centers in ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers 2017 is just getting underway and there appears to be more restructuring in the IC industry. Toshiba is looking to spin off its semiconductor division and Western Digital (WD) plans to take a minority stake, according to Nikkei, which added that Toshiba would sell a 20% stake for 200-300 billion yen ($1.78-$2.65 billion). “The arrangement would provide Toshiba with short term fund... » read more

Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Looks Cloudy


Amid a slowdown in the foundry and DRAM sectors, the outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry looks somewhat cloudy, if not challenging, in 2016. In fact, for equipment vendors, 2016 could resemble the lackluster year in 2015. In 2015, for example, capital spending in the foundry sector fell during the year, although NAND flash began to pick up steam. In 2015, though, the big stor... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


In a major and surprising move in the fab tool business, Lam Research has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion in cash and stock. "Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have been working to tie together process and process control in an effort to expand process windows and better enable complex production steps, like multi-patterning. This acquisition form... » read more

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