Scaling Battery Technology


Batteries are an essential ingredient for the growth of electronics from small devices used for IoT as well as large batteries for electric cars. Historically, battery energy density improves 5%-8% per year. While this is much slower than the historical improvements from Moore’s Law, it’s still the kind of growth that can result in leaps in efficiency, opening the door for a better experien... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Products/Services Visa agreed to acquire the token and electronic ticketing business of Rambus for $75 million in cash. The business involved is part of the Smart Card Software subsidiary of Rambus. It includes the former Bell ID mobile-payment businesses and the Ecebs smart-ticketing systems for transit providers. Meanwhile, Rambus expanded its CryptoManager Root of Trust product line. “Sec... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 18


Making microvias in packages At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, Georgia Institute of Technology, Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK) and Panasonic presented a paper on a technology that enables ultra-small microvias for advanced IC packages. Researchers demonstrated a picosecond UV laser technology as well as materials, which enabled 2μm to 7μm vias... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test Lam Research has developed a new self-maintaining or self-cleaning chamber for its etch tools. With the technology, Lam announced a new industry benchmark has been set for productivity in etch processing using its self-maintaining equipment. Etch process modules are typically cleaned weekly or monthly. Recently, Lam and a chipmaker reached the milestone of going 365 days... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Smart-building technology is a factor in marketing new facilities to prospective tenants. The new Cambridge Crossing development in Cambridge, Mass., aspires to attract tech-oriented tenants much like nearby Kendall Square, this analysis notes. Philips has agreed to lease seven floors in Cambridge Crossing’s first office building, making that location its North American he... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials Wesfarmers, an Australian diversified firm, has made an unsolicited bid to acquire Lynas, one of the world’s largest suppliers of rare earths outside of China. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semicond... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Tony Franklin, Intel’s general manager for Internet of Things Segments, is interviewed by Lorin Fries on how the chipmaker is helping to develop smart farming applications. “We focus primarily on high-performance computer technologies, as well as communication technologies, which have great applicability for food systems. We work closely with a broad ecosystem of partner... » read more

China’s Electric Car Ambitions


China, the world’s largest car market, is also leading the charge in the electric vehicle business. But with little or no fanfare, China also wants to dominate the critical ecosystem for battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the nation is already the world’s largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles. And it also controls a sizable part of the supply chain, such as the... » read more

Cobalt Shortages Ahead


Rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating an enormous demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material. Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal and one of the key materials used in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, notebook PCs, battery-electric cars and hybrids. It also is used in alloys and semiconductors. And while the IC industry co... » read more

Next-Gen Memory Ramping Up


The next-generation memory market is heating up as vendors ramp a number of new technologies, but there are some challenges in bringing these products into the mainstream. For years, the industry has been working on a variety of memory technologies, including carbon nanotube RAM, FRAM, MRAM, phase-change memory and ReRAM. Some are shipping, while others are in R&D. Each memory type is di... » read more

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