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

AI Accelerating Discovery


In early April 2018, the Materials Research Society held their spring meeting and exhibit at the Phoenix, Arizona convention center. With more than 110 symposium presentations, it was difficult to select which sessions to attend. But one forum caught my eye, “AI for Materials Development”. These days AI seems to be everywhere. As we all speculate about the impact of AI on autonomous driv... » read more

Wafer Demand: Under Pressure But Still Growing


Wafer demand grew 10.7% in 2017 while total semiconductor units grew 13.4%. Due to the tight supply of silicon wafers and increased prices, most manufactures placed an even higher priority on improving yields. The industry’s focus on yield improvements is relentless but especially important when the cost of key input materials is on the rise. In 2017 the semiconductor products that con... » read more

SoC + AI = SiPx


The market for third-party semiconductor intellectual property (SIP) continues to exhibit growth well beyond the (CAGR) Compound Annual Growth Rate for the semiconductor industry. Semico just completed an in-depth analysis and breakdown of the SIP market in a report called Licensing, Royalty and Service Revenues For 3rd Party SIP (SC105-18). The 2017 to 2022 CAGR is projected to be 10.9%, about... » read more

Memory Market: Will History Repeat Itself?


While updating the Semico Fab Database and capital investment projections for 2018, China's investment in memory capacity sparked a lot of discussion at our weekly Semico roundtable. Will China's investment in memory production capacity be successful, or will it just ruin the party for all memory players? Here are some of the highlights of our discussion. Additional data and insights are includ... » read more

Getting Serious About Chiplets


Demand for increasingly complex computation, more features, lower power, and shorter lifecycles are prompting chipmakers to examine how standardized hard IP can be used to quickly assemble systems for specific applications. The idea of using chiplets, with or without a package, has been circulating for at least a half-dozen years, and they can trace their origin back to IBM's packaging schem... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 22


ARM's Jem Davies talks about an upcoming documentary on AI and where the lines need to be drawn between machine intelligence and human emotional intelligence. Mentor's Saunder Peng examines the impact of merging physical verification databases, which can cost time and resources, and how that can be streamlined. Cadence's Paul McClellan takes a look back at the Xerox Alto and how it change... » read more

Semiconductor Wafer Demand: Growing Pains


Semico Research is forecasting total semiconductor unit growth to exceed 13% this year, the first double-digit growth year since 2010. The exceptional unit growth is what the industry hopes for, but it does come with some growing pains. MOS logic, optoelectronics, MEMS and sensors, and even analog and discrete products are experiencing more than 10% unit growth in 2017. The challenge is that... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

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