Will AI Drive Scaling Forward?


The almost ubiquitous rollout of AI and its offshoots—machine learning, deep learning, neural nets of all types—will require significantly more processing power as the amount of data that needs to be processed continues to grow by orders of magnitude. What isn't clear yet is how that will affect semiconductor manufacturing or how quickly that might happen. AI is more than the latest buz... » 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 the... » read more

5 Observations From Intel’s Event


Not long ago, Intel hosted its “Architecture Day,” where top executives from the chip giant revealed the company’s latest products and next-generation technologies. The company also discussed its strategy. To be sure, it’s a critical time for Intel. In June, Brian Krzanich was forced out as chief executive and the company is still looking for a permanent CEO. Plus, Intel has delayed it... » read more

Security, Scaling and Power


If anyone has doubts about the slowdown and increasing irrelevance of Moore's Law, Intel's official unveiling of its advanced packaging strategy should leave little doubt. Inertia has ended and the roadmap is being rewritten. Intel's discussion of advanced packaging is nothing new. The company has been public about its intentions for years, and started dropping hints back when Pat Gelsinger ... » read more

Packaging Biz Faces Challenges in 2019


The IC packaging industry is bracing for slower growth, if not uncertainty, in 2019, even though advanced packaging remains a bright spot in the market. Generally, IC packaging houses saw strong demand in the first part of 2018, but the market cooled in the second half of the year due to a slowdown in memory. Going forward, the slower IC packaging market is expected to extend into the first ... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things DHL Supply Chain reports that it will spend $300 million to install Internet of Things sensors and collaborative robots in its North American warehouses, bringing 60% of those facilities up to automation capabilities already implemented in 85 of DHL’s 430 warehouses in North America. The company will also employ robotic process automation software and other programs to red... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has announced that its advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) offering is available for prototyping on 300mm wafers. GF’s SiGe technology has been shipping on its 200mm production line in Burlington, Vt. The technology, a 90nm SiGe process, is moving to 300mm wafers at GF’s Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill, N.Y. The SiGe technology is called 9HP. “The increasing ... » read more

2 Big Shifts, Lots Of Questions


The proliferation of AI everywhere, and ongoing efforts by big systems companies to develop their own chips, could have a profound effect on semiconductor manufacturing for years to come. AI is a multi-faceted topic, but what makes this particularly interesting from a semiconductor standpoint is the architecture of AI-specific chips. So far, most of these chips have been developed for data c... » read more

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

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