Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research VLSI Research has raised its forecast for semiconductors and fab equipment in 2020. In its previous forecast, VLSI Research projected that the equipment market would reach $84.8 billion in 2020, up 10.1% over 2019. Now, in its latest forecast (See page 2), the equipment market is projected to hit $89.8 billion in 2020, up 16.6%. “The equipment business is booming,” said ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 25


Lidar-on-a-chip At the upcoming IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Samsung will present a paper on the industry’s first single-chip lidar beam scanner. (Go to this link and then look for paper 7.2, “Single-Chip Beam Scanner with Integrated Light Source for Real-Time Light Detection and Ranging,” J. Lee et al, Samsung.) Lidar, or light imaging, detection, and ranging, ... » read more

EUV Challenges And Unknowns At 3nm and Below


The chip industry is preparing for the next phase of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 3nm and beyond, but the challenges and unknowns continue to pile up. In R&D, vendors are working on an assortment of new EUV technologies, such as scanners, resists, and masks. These will be necessary to reach future process nodes, but they are more complex and expensive than the current EUV pro... » read more

Designs Beyond The Reticle Limit


Designs continue to grow in size and complexity, but today they are reaching both physical and economic challenges. These challenges are causing a reversal of the integration trend that has provided much of the performance and power gains over the past couple of decades. The industry, far from giving up, is exploring new ways to enable designs to go beyond the reticle size, which is around 8... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade and government The U.S. continues to tighten its export controls for hi-tech, including a move to restrict fab technologies that enable 5nm chip production. The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed controls on six more technologies, bringing the total to 37. They include: hybrid additive manufacturing/computer controlled tools; computational lithography software designed for EUV masks... » read more

Regaining The Edge In U.S. Chip Manufacturing


The United States is developing new strategies to prevent it from falling further behind Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps even China in semiconductor manufacturing, as trade tensions and national security concerns continue to grow. For years, the U.S. has been a leader in the development of new chip products like GPUs and microprocessors. But from a chip manufacturing standpoint, the U.S. is losin... » read more

What’s Ahead For Chips & Equipment?


It’s been a topsy-turvy year in the semiconductor industry. 2020 was supposed to be a strong year. Then, the coronavirus outbreak hit. Countries implemented various measures to mitigate the outbreak, such as stay-at-home orders and store closures. Economic turmoil and job losses soon followed. Earlier in the year, the chip market looked bleak. Now, business appears to be strong. To gain... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 12


MoSi2 pellicles for EUV Hanyang University has presented a paper that describes a novel molybdenum disilicide (MoSi2) pellicle membrane for use in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. With a 28nm thickness, a MoSi2 membrane has demonstrated a 89.33% transmittance for EUV lithography. The pellicle technology is still in R&D. MoSi2, which is a silicide of molybdenum, is a refractory cer... » read more

DRAM, 3D NAND Face New Challenges


It’s been a topsy-turvy period for the memory market, and it's not over. So far in 2020, demand has been slightly better than expected for the two main memory types — 3D NAND and DRAM. But now there is some uncertainty in the market amid a slowdown, inventory issues and an ongoing trade war. In addition, the 3D NAND market is moving toward a new technology generation, but some are enc... » read more

Industry Pushes For Fab Tool Security Standards


The semiconductor industry is developing new cybersecurity standards for fab equipment in an effort to protect systems from potential cyberattacks, viruses, and IP theft. Two new standards are in the works, which are being formulated under the auspices of the SEMI trade group with leadership from chipmakers and others. Led by Intel and Cimetrix, the first standard deals with malware-free equ... » read more

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