Is This The Year Of The Chiplet?


Customizing chips by choosing pre-characterized — and most likely hardened IP — from a menu of options appears to be gaining ground. It's rare to go to a conference these days without hearing chiplets being mentioned. At a time when end markets are splintering and more designs are unique, chiplets are viewed as a way to rapidly build a device using exactly what is required for a particul... » read more

SiC Foundry Business Emerges


Several third-party foundry vendors are entering or expanding their efforts in the silicon carbide (SiC) business amid booming demand for the technology. However, making a significant dent in the market will not be so easy for SiC foundry vendors and their customers. They are facing stiff competition from traditional SiC device vendors such as Cree, Infineon, Rohm and STMicroelectronics. ... » read more

Finding Defects In EUV Masks


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is finally in production at advanced nodes, but there are still several challenges with the technology, such as EUV mask defects. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which can impact yield and performance. They can crop up during the chip manufacturing process, including the production of a mask or photomask, sometimes called a reticle. Fortunately... » read more

5/3nm Wars Begin


Several foundries are ramping up their new 5nm processes in the market, but now customers must decide whether to design their next chips around the current transistor type or move to a different one at 3nm and beyond. The decision involves the move to extend today’s finFETs to 3nm, or to implement a new technology called gate-all-around FETs (GAA FETs) at 3nm or 2nm. An evolutionary step f... » read more

CES 2020 Highlights New Automotive Tech


Another year, another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) packed with innovative technology. In the many years I’ve been coming to the show, I’ve seen it evolve from a launchpad for the year’s mainstream devices – televisions, laptops, smartphones – to encompass all manner of smart devices within the home and beyond. As the head of automotive at Arm, it’s that ‘beyond’... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A fire broke out this week at a joint NAND flash fab between Western Digital (WD) and Kioxia. Kioxia is the former Toshiba NAND flash unit that was recently spun out by the Japanese company. “On Monday, January 6, (morning, January 7 local time) a small fire occurred at one of our joint venture facilities in Yokkaichi, Japan. Local firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and w... » read more

What Worked, What Didn’t In 2019


2019 has been a tough year for semiconductor companies from a revenue standpoint, especially for memory companies. On the other hand, the EDA industry has seen another robust growth year. A significant portion of this disparity can be attributed to the number of emerging technology areas for semiconductors, none of which has reached volume production yet. Some markets continue to struggle, a... » read more

What’s Next For High Bandwidth Memory


A surge in data is driving the need for new IC package types with more and faster memory in high-end systems. But there are a multitude of challenges on the memory, packaging and other fronts. In systems, for example, data moves back and forth between the processor and DRAM, which is the main memory for most chips. But at times this exchange causes latency and power consumption, sometimes re... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs TrendForce has released its projected foundry rankings for the fourth quarter of 2019. TSMC remains in first place, followed by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. “TrendForce projects the foundry industry’s 4Q19 revenue performance to exceed previous expectations,” according to the firm. “Nonetheless, the ongoing U.S-China trade war and uncerta... » read more

Multi-Patterning EUV Vs. High-NA EUV


Foundries are finally in production with EUV lithography at 7nm, but chip customers must now decide whether to implement their next designs using EUV-based multiple patterning at 5nm/3nm or wait for a new single-patterning EUV system at 3nm and beyond. This scenario revolves around ASML’s current extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool (NXE:3400C) versus a completely new EUV system with... » read more

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