Startup Funding: February 2020


AI drew the biggest investments last month, with two AI hardware companies and one autonomous driving software startup pulling in nine-figure sums. Investors also pumped money into semiconductor manufacturing and test equipment, notably around EUV lithography and advanced packaging. AI Hardware SambaNova Systems received $250M in Series C funding for its software-defined hardware for AI, le... » read more

The Risk Of Two Supply Chains


Ever since the Trump administration weaponized trade restrictions against individual companies — first ZTE, then Huawei — China has begun developing a second supply chain for electronics. Inside of China, this is viewed as a necessary step for survival. In April 2018, the U.S. government banned ZTE from sourcing U.S. components for seven years, nearly putting that company out of business... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs IC Insights has released its rankings of the 25 largest wafer capacity leaders in terms of monthly installed capacity in 200mm-equivalents as of December 2019. Samsung was in first place, followed by TSMC, Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia, formerly Toshiba Memory, according to IC Insights. Combined capacity of the top five companies represented 53% of total global wafer capa... » read more

DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The IC industry once had several leading-edge vendors that invested and built new fabs. But over time, the field has narrowed due to soaring costs and a dwindling customer base. In 1994, the share of semiconductor industry capital spending held by the top five companies was 25%, according to IC Insights. This meant that a number of companies invested and built new fabs during the... » read more

Outlook For Masks, Materials and Wafers


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. But what about other key technologies like materials, photomasks and silicon wafers? These are also critical for the semiconductor supply chain and are key indicators where the market is heading. In the first half of 2019, m... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars Talks between the United States and China continue to stall and the two nations are still embroiled in a trade war. So this week, U.S. President Donald Trump would like to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion list of China-based imports starting Sept. 1, according to a report from Reuters. This in turn will impact the electronics and IC industries. In response to the... » read more

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

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