Scaling CMOS Image Sensors


After a period of record growth, the CMOS image sensor market is beginning to face some new and unforeseen challenges. CMOS image sensors provide the camera functions in smartphones and other products, but now they are facing scaling and related manufacturing issues in the fab. And like all chip products, image sensors are seeing slower growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manufactured a... » read more

What Is DRAM’s Future?


Memory — and DRAM in particular — has moved into the spotlight as it finds itself in the critical path to greater system performance. This isn't the first time DRAM has been the center of attention involving performance. The problem is that not everything progresses at the same rate, creating serial bottlenecks in everything from processor performance to transistor design, and even the t... » read more

What’s Next For High Bandwidth Memory


A surge in data is driving the need for new IC package types with more and faster memory in high-end systems. But there are a multitude of challenges on the memory, packaging and other fronts. In systems, for example, data moves back and forth between the processor and DRAM, which is the main memory for most chips. But at times this exchange causes latency and power consumption, sometimes re... » 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 In its latest move to cut costs and focus on its core business, GlobalFoundries (GF) has announced plans to jettison its U.S. photomask operations in Burlington, Vt., but the foundry vendor will maintain a stake in its joint venture mask unit. Under the plan, Toppan Photomasks will acquire certain assets of GF’s Burlington photomask facility. “GF is transferring its mask tool... » read more

Advanced Patterning Techniques For 3D NAND Devices


By Yu De Chen and Jacky Huang Driven by Moore’s law, memory and logic semiconductor manufacturers pursue higher transistor density to improve product cost and performance [1]. In NAND Flash technologies, this has led to the market dominance of 3D structures instead of 2D planar devices. Device density can be linearly increased by increasing stack layer counts in a 3D NAND device [2]. At th... » read more

SiC Demand Growing Faster Than Supply


The silicon carbide (SiC) industry is in the midst of a major expansion campaign, but suppliers are struggling to meet potential demand for SiC power devices and wafers in the market. In just one example of the expansion efforts, Cree plans to invest up to $1 billion to increase its SiC fab and wafer capacities. As part of the plan, Cree is developing the world’s first 200mm (8-inch) SiC f... » 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

Electric Cars Gain Traction, But Challenges Remain


Battery-powered electric vehicles are expected to reach a milestone in terms of shipments in 2019, but the technology faces several significant hurdles to gain wider adoption in the market. Limited driving range, high costs, battery issues, and a spotty charging infrastructure are the main challenges for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). In addition, there are issues with various power semic... » 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

← Older posts