Inspecting Unpatterned Wafers


Unpatterned wafer inspection, which has flown well under the radar for most of the semiconductor industry, is becoming more critical amid the need to find defects earlier in the manufacturing process flow. Finding those defects is getting harder as critical dimensions shrink. It's more difficult to actually detect smaller defects on bare wafers, there is more data to process, and there is mo... » read more

Blog Review: June 20


Mentor's Randy Allen digs into OpenACC, a collection of directives and routines to help a compiler uncover and schedule parallelism, plus an examination of the GCC implementation's performance. Cadence's Paul McLellan takes a look at the shifting opinions on FD-SOI vs. finFET as Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research finds most see the two as complementary technologies in his latest survey. Synop... » read more

Litho Options For Panel Fan-out


Several packaging houses are inching closer to production of panel-level fan-out packaging, a next-generation technology that promises to reduce the cost of today’s fan-out packages. In fact, ASE, Nepes, Samsung and others already have installed the equipment in their panel-level fan-out lines with production slated for 2018 or so. But behind the scenes, panel-level packaging houses contin... » read more

Cheaper Fan-Outs Ahead


Packaging houses continue to ramp up fan-out wafer-level packages in the market, but customers want lower cost fan-out products for a broader range of applications, such as consumer, RF and smartphones. So in R&D, the industry for some time has been developing next-generation fan-out using a panel-level format, a technology that could potentially lower the cost of fan-out. But there are ... » read more

Going Vertical?


The topic of transistor scaling has been traditionally covered at SEMICON West in its own right. This year’s event, however, will also explore scaling in 3D, as well as using packaging to accomplish similar objectives. Along with traditional transistor scaling, speakers will tackle design and metrology considerations for scaling the package, and address the economic decisions that inform dens... » read more

2.5D, Fan-Out Inspection Issues Grow


As advanced packaging moves into the mainstream, packaging houses and equipment makers are ratcheting up efforts to solve persistent metrology and inspection issues. The goal is to lower the cost of fan-outs, [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] and [getkc id="42" kc_name="3D-IC"], along with a number of other packaging variants consistent with the kinds of gains that are normally associated with Moo... » 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

Grappling With Manufacturing Data


As complexity goes up with each new process node, so does the amount of data that is generated, from initial GDSII to photomasks, manufacturing, yield and post-silicon validation. But what happens to that data, and what gets shared, remain a point of contention among companies across the semiconductor ecosystem. The problem is that to speed up the entire design through manufacturing process,... » read more

Data Analytics To Drive IC Shift


The adoption of predictive analytics has the potential to drive the next round of IC industry innovation and growth. Much of the necessary data handling technology is now available from other sectors. However, to fully capitalize on the possibilities, the IC manufacturing world faces particular challenges in figuring out how to get a high yield of actionable information from its streams of vari... » 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

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