Silicon Wafers: M&A, Price Hikes


Chipmakers need to keep a close eye on the silicon wafer industry, as the business continues to undergo a number of changes. On one front, the silicon wafer industry continues to consolidate. Then, after years of suffering from an oversupply and falling prices, many silicon wafer vendors are experiencing tight supply and have begun to raise prices. Silicon wafers are a fundamental part of... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

Using Data To Improve Yield


Semiconductor manufacturers are always looking for an edge to improve operating efficiency and to increase yields on chip lots. For some, the answers include big data analytics, as well as technology to move that data around more quickly. Chipmakers, board assemblers, and related businesses are turning to the Internet of Things, especially [getkc id="78" kc_name="Industrial IoT"] technology... » read more

Tech Talk: Smart Manufacturing


Tom Salmon, vice president of collaborative technology platforms at SEMI, examines the electronics supply chain and what the industry organization is doing to pull all of the pieces together. https://youtu.be/jWX9mayMaZo Related Stories Smart Manufacturing Gains Momentum Problems remain for legacy infrastructure, but adoption will continue to grow as gaps are identified and plugged. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Lam Research held an analyst event this week. The company indicated that the industry is in the midst of a memory boom, including both DRAM and 3D NAND. According to Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC, here was one of the big takeaways at the event: “The memory spend portion of WFE is more sustainable than previously assumed due to end-market drivers such as big data, automation, ... » read more

The Rising Value Of Data


The volume of data being generated by a spectrum of devices continues to skyrocket. Now the question is what can be done with that data. By Cisco's estimates, traffic on the Internet will be 3.3 zetabytes per year by 2021, up from 1.2 zetabytes in 2016. And if that isn't enough, the flow of data isn't consistent. Traffic on the busiest 60-minute period in a day increased 51% in 2016, compare... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has generated sales from its recently-announced 14nm finFET technology. The foundry vendor also plans to enter the 22nm process technology market. UMC will join other players in the 22nm arena, such as GlobalFoundries, Intel and TSMC. “So we do have a plan to introduce our 22nm as well and it will be available around 2018,” said Jason Wang, the newly appointed co-president o... » read more

Explosive Growth Ahead


Over the next five years, sales across the semiconductor supply chain will double from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, during the opening presentation at Semicon West this month. These are gigantic numbers, and they reflect some massive shifts now underway across the semiconductor industry. Many chipmakers have been trying to figure out the next big ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment ASML posted strong sales in the quarter and is apparently nearly sold out of scanners based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, according to analysts. “ASML posted strong 2Q results and 2Q guidance, providing further evidence that demand remains high for semiconductor equipment,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “Demand d... » read more

Can A Supply Chain Be Too Efficient?


The semiconductor industry is a model of efficiency—literally. When other industries look at adding smart manufacturing into their operations, they often look to chip manufacturing as a shining example. After decades of business gyrations, semiconductor companies have figured out how to instill efficiency into every aspect of making chips. This is evident in device scaling. At 90nm, the co... » read more

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