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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy At one point, there was a school of thought that the Biden administration would relax the current tariffs and export controls in regards to China. So far, the Biden administration hasn’t changed any of the previous policies and is doubling down on those efforts. The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) this week added seven Chinese supercomput... » read more

New Uses For AI


AI is being embedded into an increasing number of technologies that are commonly found inside most chips, and initial results show dramatic improvements in both power and performance. Unlike high-profile AI implementations, such as self-driving cars or natural language processing, much of this work flies well under the radar for most people. It generally takes the path of least disruption, b... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Intel has re-entered the foundry business after a failed attempt several years ago. In its new efforts, Intel is establishing a new standalone business unit called Intel Foundry Services. As part of those efforts, Intel has announced plans to build two new fabs in Arizona. This build-out represents an investment of approximately $20 billion. “INTC hosted a strategy update with ... » read more

Semiconductor CapEx To Grow 13.0% In 2021


Semiconductor capital expenditures grew 9.2% in 2020 to US$112.1 billion. This is $14.1 billion higher than our spring 2020 forecast, and $3.2 billion higher than our fall 2020 forecast. As shown in the graph below, the total 2020 CapEx was $9.4 billion larger than the $102.7 billion spent in 2019. Semico is forecasting 2021 CapEx to reach $127 billion, an increase of 13.0%. Source: Semico... » read more

EUV Pellicles Finally Ready


After a period of delays, EUV pellicles are emerging and becoming a requirement in high-volume production of critical chips. At the same time, the pellicle landscape for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is changing. ASML, the sole supplier of EUV pellicles, is transferring the assembly and distribution of these products to Mitsui. Others are also developing pellicles for EUV, a next-gen... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy For the last four years, the U.S. and China have been embroiled in a trade war, especially on the technology front. The U.S. has implemented a number of export control measures and tariffs in the arena. But there might be a thawing in the tense relationship between the two superpowers. “Reports surfaced Thursday indicating the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA)... » read more

MRAM Evolves In Multiple Directions


Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) is one of several new non-volatile memory technologies targeting broad commercial availability, but designing MRAM into chips and systems isn't as simple as adding other types of memory. MRAM isn’t an all-things-for-all-applications technology. It needs to be tuned for its intended purpose. MRAMs targeting flash will not do as well targeting SRAMs, and vice vers... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) this week submitted its final report to Congress and the President. The goal is to develop a national strategy to maintain America’s AI advantages related to national security. As part of the long and complex report, the NSCAI came to a sobering conclusion: “The U.S. government is not prepared to defend t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Several chipmakers have not resumed production in their fabs in Texas for the second consecutive week. This follows power outages due to a major winter storm. As reported, a severe winter storm hit many parts of the United States, including Texas. Last week, utility providers began to prioritize service to residential areas in Austin, Texas. As a result, electricity and ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs A severe winter storm has hit many parts of the United States, including Texas. In Austin, utility providers are prioritizing service to residential areas. As a result, electricity and natural gas providers have temporarily suspended service to Austin’s semiconductor manufacturers, including Samsung and NXP. "Due to the recent blackouts in Texas, Samsung Austin Semicon... » read more

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