Demand Picks Up For 200mm


Demand is growing for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, setting the stage for possible shortages in coming months. But there are also some uncertainties, if not warning signs, in the 200mm market and the entire IC industry. Trade disputes, as well as the current coronavirus outbreak in China, likely will impact the chip and equipment markets. The size of the impact and the duration rema... » 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

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A fire broke out this week at a joint NAND flash fab between Western Digital (WD) and Kioxia. Kioxia is the former Toshiba NAND flash unit that was recently spun out by the Japanese company. “On Monday, January 6, (morning, January 7 local time) a small fire occurred at one of our joint venture facilities in Yokkaichi, Japan. Local firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and w... » 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

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

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