Chiplets, Faster Interconnects, More Efficiency


Big chipmakers are turning to architectural improvements such as chiplets, faster throughput both on-chip and off-chip, and concentrating more work per operation or cycle, in order to ramp up processing speeds and efficiency. Taken as a whole, this represents a significant shift in direction for the major chip companies. All of them are wrestling with massive increases in processing demands ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers In its latest move to cut costs and focus on its core business, GlobalFoundries (GF) has announced plans to jettison its U.S. photomask operations in Burlington, Vt., but the foundry vendor will maintain a stake in its joint venture mask unit. Under the plan, Toppan Photomasks will acquire certain assets of GF’s Burlington photomask facility. “GF is transferring its mask tool... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out two new tools for use in the production of 3D NAND. The first tool, called the VECTOR DT, is geared for backside deposition. The second system, the EOS GS, is a wet etch tool for film removal on backside and bevel. Designed to control the wafer bow in 3D NAND manufacturing, the VECTOR DT system is the latest addition to Lam’s plasma-enhanced chemical ... » read more

The Great Test Blur


As chip design and manufacturing shift left and right, concerns over reliability are suddenly front and center. But figuring out what exactly what causes a chip to malfunction, or at least not meet specs for performance and power, is getting much more difficult. There are several converging trends here, each of which plays an integral role in improving reliability. But how significant a role... » read more

More Semiconductor Data Moving To Cloud


The cloud is booming. After years of steady growth it has begun to spike, creating new options for design, test, analytics and AI, all of which have an impact on every segment of the semiconductor industry. The initial idea behind the cloud is that it would supplement processing done on premises, adding extra processing power wherever necessary, such as in the verification and debug stages o... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Deals Apple will pay $1 billion to buy Intel's smartphone modem unit. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will hire 2,200 Intel employees and acquire Intel's IP and equipment. The deal, expected to close in Q4, puts an end to Intel's attempts to win a piece of the smartphone market. But the chipmaker retains the right to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, including PCs, IoT de... » read more

Creating 2D Compounds


A 2D material, by definition, has no surface dangling bonds. A bulk material with plate-like structure, such as graphite, is composed of thin layers with a weakly bonded cleavage plane between. What this means is a monolayer of graphite will seek to satisfy its exposed dangling bonds by absorbing other materials. A monolayer of graphene, in contrast, is energetically complete without a secon... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

CEO Outlook: Rising Costs, Chiplets, And A Trade War


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

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