Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research What’s the CapEx outlook for 2020? Semiconductor capital spending is down in 2019, but the industry faces another slump in 2020, according to IC Insights. The firm sees a 15% decline in CapEx for 2019 with a 5% drop expected in 2020. New 300mm fab construction in Korea is still going strong despite the memory downturn, according to SEMI. “Korea’s fab construction spen... » read more

Playing Into China’s Hands


The fallout over blacklisting Huawei in particular, and China in general, has set the tone for a nasty global race. But it is almost certain to produce a different result than the proponents of a trade war are expecting. The idea behind tariffs and the blacklisting of Huawei is to starve China of vital technology. So far, the impact has been minimal. Reports from inside of China are equa... » read more

Improved Accuracy And Robustness For Advanced DRAM With Tunable Multi-Wavelength Imaging Scatterometry Overlay Metrology


By Honggoo Lee, Sangjun Han, Minhyung Hong, Jieun Lee, Dongyoung Lee, Ahlin Choi and Chanha Park of SK Hynix, and Dohwa Lee, Seongjae Lee, Jungtae Lee, Jeongpyo Lee, DongSub Choi, Sanghuck Jeon, Zephyr Liu, Hao Mei, Tal Marciano, Eitan Hajaj, Lilach Saltoun, Dana Klein, Eran Amit, Anna Golotsvan, Wayne Zhou, Eitan Herzl, Roie Volkovich and John C. Robinson of KLA. Abstract Overlay process c... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test Lam Research has developed a new self-maintaining or self-cleaning chamber for its etch tools. With the technology, Lam announced a new industry benchmark has been set for productivity in etch processing using its self-maintaining equipment. Etch process modules are typically cleaned weekly or monthly. Recently, Lam and a chipmaker reached the milestone of going 365 days... » read more

3D NAND Metrology Challenges Growing


3D NAND vendors face several challenges to scale their devices to the next level, but one manufacturing technology stands out as much more difficult at each turn—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems and ensure yields for all chip types. In the case of 3D NAND, the metrology tools are becoming more expensive at each iteration... » read more

March’19 Startup Funding: Money Springs Forth


Another month, another couple of billion-dollar rounds. Singapore-based Grab raised nearly $1.5 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing its total private funding to more than $4.5 billion and valuing the company at around $14 billion. Grab has acquired Uber’s ride-hailing business in Southeast Asia and now competes chiefly with Go-Jek of Indonesia in Thailand and other emerging mar... » read more

Slow And Cautious Start To 2019 For Memory Manufacturers


Both NAND and DRAM prices began dropping in the second half of 2018 after a couple years at record highs. Product oversupply and excess inventories are signaling a bleak outlook for the memory market in the first half of 2019. With these conditions in mind, SK Hynix and Samsung have slowed or put on hold their plans for capacity expansion in 2H18 and 2019. The chart below shows DRAM capacity... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Cypress Semiconductor has received regulatory antitrust approval for the closing of its previously-announced joint venture with SK Hynix. The new joint venture, SkyHigh Memory, will provide single-level cell (SLC) NAND memory solutions. Cree has announced the execution of a definitive agreement to sell its Lighting Products business unit (Cree Lighting), which includes t... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

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