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

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » 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

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

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Paris-based Parrot Drones and five other companies were selected by the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit and the U.S. Army to adapt off-the-shelf commercial drones for combat applications as part of the Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance program. SRR seeks to develop unmanned aerial vehicles that have a flight time of 30 minutes, a range of three kilometers (nearly two ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade More trade news: "The Trump administration is hiking duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products to 25% from 10%," according to CNBC. The following is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in response to President Trump’s plan to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25%: “The president is seeking a bet... » read more

Creating A Roadmap For Hardware Security


The U.S. Department of Defense and private industry consortiums are developing comprehensive and cohesive cybersecurity plans that will serve as blueprints for military, industrial and commercial systems. What is particularly noteworthy in all of these efforts is the focus on semiconductors. While software can be patched, vulnerabilities such as Spectre, Meltdown and Foreshadow need to be de... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers IC Insights has released the process technology roadmaps for chipmakers and foundries. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung, SMIC, TSMC and UMC are highlighted. GlobalFoundries has announced that the company’s 8SW RF SOI technology has delivered more than a $1 billion of client design win revenue since its launch in 2017. RF SOI is designed for RF switches and other devices in 4G/... » read more

China’s Foundry Biz Takes Big Leap Forward


China continues to advance its foundry industry with huge investments in new fabs and technology, despite trade tensions and a slowdown in the IC market. China has the most fab projects in the world, with 30 new facilities or lines in construction or on the drawing board, according to data from SEMI’s World Fab Forecast Report. Of those, 13 fabs are targeted for the foundry market, accordi... » read more

Embedded Phase-Change Memory Emerges


The next-generation memory market for embedded applications is becoming more crowded as another technology emerges in the arena—embedded phase-change memory. Phase-change memory is not new and has been in the works for decades. But the technology has taken longer to commercialize amid a number of technical and cost challenges. Phase-change memory, a nonvolatile memory type that stores data... » read more

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