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

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

Smart Manufacturing Gains Momentum


Smart manufacturing is gaining traction as a way of addressing increased market fragmentation while still leveraging economies of scale. The goal is to add a level of flexibility into manufacturing processes that until recently was considered impossible. Although the approach makes sense in theory, real-world implementation is proving far from consistent. Sometimes referred to as Industr... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Faces Challenges In 2017


After experiencing a gradual recovery and positive growth in 2016, the semiconductor equipment industry sees a mixed picture as well as some uncertainty in 2017. In the near term, though, business is robust. Several chipmakers started to place a sizeable number of fab tool orders in the latter part of 2016, particularly in three areas—3D NAND, logic and foundry. Now, after buying the in... » read more

Advanced Packaging Requires Better Yield


Whether Moore's Laws truly ends, or whether the semiconductor industry reaches into the Angstrom world after 3nm—the semiconductor industry dislikes fractions—advanced packaging increasingly will dominate semiconductor designs. Apple already is on board with its iPhone 7, using TSMC's fan-out approach. And all of the major foundries and OSATs are lining up with a long list of capabilitie... » read more

Politics And (Low) Power


This week the entire semiconductor market woke up with a severe political hangover. Aside from the initial shock of the election results themselves, the winning platform of "America First" could have far-reaching implications for an industry that has spent decades optimizing a global supply chain the way it has finely tuned other processes to reduce the cost per transistor. There are many un... » read more

Grappling With Manufacturing Data


As complexity goes up with each new process node, so does the amount of data that is generated, from initial GDSII to photomasks, manufacturing, yield and post-silicon validation. But what happens to that data, and what gets shared, remain a point of contention among companies across the semiconductor ecosystem. The problem is that to speed up the entire design through manufacturing process,... » read more

Changing Economics In Chip Manufacturing


The foundry and equipment businesses are poised for significant changes that could affect the balance of power far beyond just the semiconductor manufacturing sector. It’s no secret that the number of companies developing new chips at 7nm is shrinking. There will be even fewer at 5nm. The business case for moving forward is that density must provide a competitive edge. But that density imp... » read more

Data Analytics To Drive IC Shift


The adoption of predictive analytics has the potential to drive the next round of IC industry innovation and growth. Much of the necessary data handling technology is now available from other sectors. However, to fully capitalize on the possibilities, the IC manufacturing world faces particular challenges in figuring out how to get a high yield of actionable information from its streams of vari... » read more

Behind The Scenes In Nanoimprint Lithography


Doug Resnick, VP of marketing and business development at Canon Nanotechnologies, talks about why Canon bought Molecular Imprints, the surprises behind that acquisition, and the problems faced by the semconductor industry moving forward. [youtube vid=NJTxFu-_6GI] » read more

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