DRAM, 3D NAND Face New Challenges


It’s been a topsy-turvy period for the memory market, and it's not over. So far in 2020, demand has been slightly better than expected for the two main memory types — 3D NAND and DRAM. But now there is some uncertainty in the market amid a slowdown, inventory issues and an ongoing trade war. In addition, the 3D NAND market is moving toward a new technology generation, but some are enc... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 21


Intel’s next-gen MRAM At the recent 2020 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, Intel presented a paper on a CMOS-compatible spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM) device. Still in R&D, SOT-MRAM is a next-generation MRAM designed to replace SRAM. Generally, processors integrate a CPU, SRAM and a variety of other functions. SRAM stores instructions that are rapidly needed by the processo... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Neuromorphic Computing Drives The Landscape Of Emerging Memories For Artificial Intelligence SoCs


The pace of deep machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world of computing at all levels of hardware architecture, software, chip manufacturing, and system packaging. Two major developments have opened the doors to implementing new techniques in machine learning. First, vast amounts of data, i.e., “Big Data,” are available for systems to process. Second, advanced ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 21


Memristors reappear The University of Massachusetts Amherst has taken a step towards of the realization of neuromorphic computing--it has devised bio-voltage memristors based on protein nanowires. In neuromorphic computing, the idea is to bring the memory closer to the processing tasks to speed up a system. For this, the industry is attempting to replicate the brain in silicon. The goal is ... » read more

Inside The New Non-Volatile Memories


The search continues for new non-volatile memories (NVMs) to challenge the existing incumbents, but before any technology can be accepted, it must be proven reliable. “Everyone is searching for a universal memory,” says TongSwan Pang, Fujitsu senior marketing manager. "Different technologies have different reliability challenges, and not all of them may be able to operate in automotive g... » read more

Memory Issues For AI Edge Chips


Several companies are developing or ramping up AI chips for systems on the network edge, but vendors face a variety of challenges around process nodes and memory choices that can vary greatly from one application to the next. The network edge involves a class of products ranging from cars and drones to security cameras, smart speakers and even enterprise servers. All of these applications in... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research The coronavirus is having a major impact on the semiconductor, smartphone and related markets. For example, global fab equipment spending promises to rebound from its 2019 downturn and see a modest recovery this year, according to a report from SEMI. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has eroded fab equipment spending in China and elsewhere in 2020, according to the rep... » read more

Testing Embedded MRAM IP For SoCs


The challenges of embedded memory test and repair are well known, including maximizing fault coverage to prevent test escapes and using spare elements to maximize manufacturing yield. With the surge in availability of promising non-volatile memory architectures to augment and potentially replace traditional volatile memories, a new set of SoC level memory test and repair challenges are emerging... » read more

MRAM Process Development And Production Briefing


By Dr. Meng Zhu, Dr. Roman Sappey, and Jeff Barnum MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random-Access Memory) is a type of non-volatile memory (NVM) that utilizes magnetic states to store information. The basic structure of MRAM is a magnetic-tunnel junction (MTJ), which consists of two ferromagnetic (FM) layers separated by an insulating tunnel barrier (Fig.1). When the magnetizations of the two magnetic... » read more

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