Getting Smarter About Tool Maintenance


Chipmakers have begun to shift to predictive maintenance for process tools, but the hefty investment in analytics and engineering efforts means it will take some time for smart maintenance to become a widespread practice. Semiconductor manufacturers need to maintain a diverse set of equipment to process the flow of wafers, dies, packaged parts, and boards running through factories. OSAT and ... » read more

Metrology Strategies For 2nm Processes


Metrology and wafer inspection processes are changing to keep up with evolving and new device applications. While fab floors still have plenty of OCD tools, ellipsometers, and CD-SEMs, new systems are taking on the increasingly 3D nature of structures and the new materials they incorporate. For instance, processes like hybrid bonding, 3D NAND flash devices, and nanosheet FETs are pushing the bo... » read more

Effect Of RF Plasma Process Gas Chemistry And Electrode Configuration On The Removal Of Copper Lead Frame Oxidation


By Daniel Chir and Johnson Toh Lead frame surface oxidation can lead to surface delamination after molding or wire bonding issues. The application of plasma treatment has been proven to be safe and effective solution to address these issues. However, the effectiveness of plasma treatment for removing oxide is dependent on the correct use of recipe parameters, gas chemistry and electrode conf... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government funding President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law on Tuesday, saying “America is back and leading the way.” That same day Micron touted a $40 billion investment through to 2030, which it expects will create 40,000 American jobs. “This legislation will enable Micron to grow domestic production of memory from less than 2% to up to 10% of the global market in t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers, OEMs Reports have surfaced that TSMC has delayed its 3nm process. But TSMC says the technology remains on track. Volume production for TSMC’s 3nm is still scheduled for the second half of 2022. On the flip side, there is speculation that TSMC may increase its wafer prices by up to 20%, according to a report from the Taipei Times. Here's another report. This is due to chip shortag... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research What’s in store for the IC market in 2020 and 2021? Here’s the latest IC forecasts from IC Insights, Semico, Semiconductor Intelligence, WSTS and others. “We at Semiconductor Intelligence find it difficult to expect much of an increase in the world semiconductor market in 2020. However, the strength of the PC market and the relatively optimistic 3Q 2020 guidance of severa... » read more

Finding Defects In IC Packages


Several equipment makers are ramping up new inspection equipment to address the growing defect challenges in IC packaging. At one time, finding defects in packaging was relatively straightforward. But as packaging becomes more complex, and as it is used in markets where reliability is critical, finding defects is both more difficult and more important. This has prompted the development of a ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Semiconductor IP startup eVaderis has demonstrated a design platform through an ultra-low-power microcontroller (MCU) in Beyond Semiconductor’s BA2X product line. The software, system and memory IP developed by eVaderis make Beyond Semiconductor’s new MCU ideally suited for battery-powered applications in IoT and wearable electronics. By incorporating the latest STT-MRAM tec... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Packaging and test A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has formed a fan-out wafer-level packaging consortium comprising of OSATs, materials vendors, equipment suppliers and others. The group is called the FOWLP Development Line Consortium. As part of the announcement, Singapore’s IME has established a development line to accelerate the development of fan-out. Located in IME’s... » read more