Lithography Challenges For Fan-out


Higher density fan-out packages are moving toward more complex structures with finer routing layers, all of which requires more capable lithography equipment and other tools. The latest high-density fan-out packages are migrating toward the 1µm line/space barrier and beyond, which is considered a milestone in the industry. At these critical dimensions (CDs), fan-outs will provide better per... » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

Fearless chip and fab tool forecasts


2019 is expected to be a challenging, if not confusing, year for the semiconductor and fab equipment industries. For example, Apple recently issued a warning about lackluster smartphone demand, which impacted several IC vendors and foundries. Then, the memory market is plummeting. In addition, the 10nm/7nm transition has proven to be difficult for many. And let’s not forget the geopolitica... » read more

Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Intel Mark Bohr, a senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel, is retiring, according to the company. Bohr, who will retire at the end of February 2019, held various technology positions during his 41-year career at Intel. Here is a quick bio on Bohr. Others have also recently retired from Intel’s manufacturing unit amid a massive reorganization in the depart... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools/manufacturing Lam Research has accepted Martin Anstice’s resignation as chief executive and a member of the board. Lam has named Tim Archer as president and chief executive effective immediately. Archer, who served as Lam’s president and chief operating officer, has been named to the board. One analyst provided a comment on the situation at Lam. “In our view, Mr. Archer is very... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


RISC-V Western Digital announced big plans for RISC-V with a new open source RISC-V core, an open standard initiative for cache coherent memory over a network, and an open source RISC-V instruction set simulator. The SweRV Core features a 2-way superscalar design with a 32-bit, 9 stage pipeline core. It has clock speeds of up to 1.8Ghz on a 28mm CMOS process technology and will be used in vari... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has announced that its advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) offering is available for prototyping on 300mm wafers. GF’s SiGe technology has been shipping on its 200mm production line in Burlington, Vt. The technology, a 90nm SiGe process, is moving to 300mm wafers at GF’s Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill, N.Y. The SiGe technology is called 9HP. “The increasing ... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP UltraSoC debuted functional safety-focused Lockstep Monitor, a set of configurable IP blocks that are protocol aware and can be used to cross-check outputs, bus transactions, code execution, and register states between two or more redundant systems. It supports all common lockstep / redundancy architectures, including full dual-redundant lockstep, split/lock, master/checker, and... » read more

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