Advanced Packaging Confusion


Advanced packaging is exploding in all directions. There are more chipmakers utilizing different packaging options, more options for the packages themselves, and a confusing array of descriptions and names being used for all of these. Several years ago, there were basically two options on the table, 3D-ICs and 2.5D. But as chipmakers began understanding the difficulty, cost and reduced benef... » read more

Blog Review: June 13


Synopsys' Taylor Armerding looks at what the flaws in OpenPGP and S/MIME encryption means for the IoT and warns that the problems of patching such devices could lead to an increasing chance of security failures. Cadence's Paul McLellan takes a peek at Imec's roadmap to see what the path to 3nm looks like, how nanosheets fit in, and why design and system technology co-optimization is necessar... » read more

New Transistor Types Vs. Packaging


Plans are being formulated for the rollout of multiple types of gate-all-around FETs and literally dozens of advanced packaging options. The question now is which ones will achieve critical mass, because there aren't enough chips in the world to support all of them profitably. FinFETs, which were first introduced by Intel at 22nm, are running out of steam. While they will survive 10/7nm, and... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Applied Materials has launched a suite of products that will enable cobalt metallization schemes for contacts and interconnects in chips at advanced nodes. The products from Applied enable a complete cobalt fill process. The tools include CMP, CVD, PVD and RTP systems. At advanced nodes, cobalt promises to reduce unwanted resistance in the critical parts of a chip. Cobalt is bein... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has announced that its 22nm FD-SOI technology platform has been certified to AEC-Q100 Grade 2 for production. As a part of the AEC-Q100 certification, devices must withstand reliability stress tests for an extended period of time and over a wide temperature range in order to achieve Grade 2 certification. Presto Engineering has joined GlobalFoundries’ ecosystem ... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test VLSI Research released its annual "Customer Satisfaction Survey" and listed "THE BEST Suppliers" of 2018. VLSI Research received feedback from more than 94% of the chip market and 76% of subsystems customers for this year’s survey. Who are the winners? Applied Materials reported its second quarter results, along with its business outlook. Compared to the second quarter ... » read more

OSAT Consolidation Continues


Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) are beginning the process of uniting the two companies, which are among the largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing contractors in the world. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately, while their shares are traded under the ASX symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. ASE I... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test and packaging In a major surprise, Cohu has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Xcerra for approximately $796 million. With the deal, Cohu will enter the ATE market. Last year, a group from China entered into a definitive agreement under which it would acquire Xcerra. But the U.S. blocked Xcerra’s sale to the Chinese group. Ironically, at one time, Cohu was reportedly lobbyin... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

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