Factoring Reliability Into Chip Manufacturing


Making chips that can last two decades is possible, even if it's developed at advanced process nodes and is subject to extreme environmental conditions, such as under the hood of a car or on top of a light pole. But doing that at the same price point as chips that go into consumer electronics, which are designed to last two to four years, is a massively complex challenge. Until a couple of y... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research In the second quarter of 2019, TrendForce said that the top-5 foundry rankings remained identical with that of last year. But sixth to tenth place showed some changes. Who is up or down in what is a tough business climate? Global fab equipment spending will rebound in 2020, growing 20% to $58.4 billion after dropping 19% to $48.4 billion in 2019, according to SEMI. However, ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars The trade war between the United States and China is escalating and it is here to stay. Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at think tank Hoover Institution, said the United States is at a crossroads with China. It could define America’s security and the international order for decades to come. Here’s the latest blog on trade tensions between the U.S. and China. “Tensions ... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Here comes the battle between 5nm and 6nm processes at two foundry vendors—Samsung and TSMC. Meanwhile, Intel is behind and scrambling to get 10nm out the door. (Intel's 10nm is equivalent to 7nm from the foundries.) Last week, TSMC announced delivery of a complete version of its 5nm design infrastructure. TSMC’s 5nm technology is based on a finFET. This week, Samsung anno... » read more

The Long And Detailed Road To Automotive Compliance


Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality. This is particularly onerous for chipmakers, which face a high bar for IC integrity and reliability. They must meet specifications and be free of design errors. Improper behavior in corner-case s... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers How bad is the slowdown in the IC industry? The memory market is terrible, while other markets are slowing. One company—Renesas--is feeling the brunt. Citing the IC slowdown, Renesas will temporarily halt production at 13 of the company's 14 production facilities, according to a report from Nikkei. Renesas confirmed the move. “Renesas is considering implementing measures to ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade Trade tensions between the United States and China continue. The U.S. last year slapped a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China retaliated with a 10% tariff on $60 billion of U.S. imports. The U.S. said it wants to increase the tariffs on Chinese goods to 25%, but that action has been postponed. This was the week that the U.S. was supposed to raise tariffs by 25%. I... » read more

The Mighty Sensor In The Fab


The days of scheduled maintenance on fab equipment are coming to an end. In fact, the entire service model as we know it is about to undergo a mammoth change. The addition of more sensors into manufacturing equipment may seem like an evolutionary step, but the impact is going to be much more significant than it might appear. Rather than just alerting fab managers or equipment makers when a p... » read more

Unsticking Moore’s Law


Sanjay Natarajan, corporate vice president at Applied Materials with responsibility for transistor, interconnect and memory solutions, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about variation, Moore's Law, the impact of new materials such as cobalt, and different memory architectures and approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Reliability is becoming more of an... » read more

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