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Ways To Address The Materials Crunch


Stellar growth over the last two years and the seemingly insatiable demand for chips, at least through 2025, is sparking massive investment by chip firms — as much as $500B over the next five years. But without significant boosts in raw materials, parts for tools, and silicon to fuel facilities, such numbers are unlikely to be met. Materials are the Achilles heel to the rapidly expanding c... » read more

More Options, Less Dark Silicon


Chipmakers are beginning to re-examine how much dark silicon should be used in a heterogenous system, where it works best, and what alternatives are available — a direct result of a slowdown in Moore's Law scaling and the increasing disaggregation of SoCs. The concept of dark silicon has been around for a couple decades, but it really began taking off with the introduction of the Internet ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers, OEMs UMC plans to build a new fab next to its existing 300mm fab in Singapore. The new fab, called Fab12i P3, will manufacture wafers based on UMC’s 22nm/28nm processes. The planned investment for this project will be $5 billion. The first phase of this greenfield fab will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 wafers with production expected to commence in late 2024. To account fo... » read more

Technology Advances, Shortages Seen For Wire Bonders


A surge in demand for IC packages is causing long lead times for wire bonders, which are used to assemble three-fourths of the world’s packages. The wire bonder market doubled last year, alongside advanced packaging’s rise. Wirebonding is an older technology that typically flies under the radar. Still, packaging houses have multitudes of these key tools that help assemble many — but no... » read more

Scaling Bump Pitches In Advanced Packaging


Interconnects for advanced packaging are at a crossroads as an assortment of new package types are pushing further into the mainstream, with some vendors opting to extend the traditional bump approaches while others roll out new ones to replace them. The goal in all cases is to ensure signal integrity between components in IC packages as the volume of data being processed increases. But as d... » read more

Making Chip Packaging More Reliable


Packaging houses are readying the next wave of IC packages, but these products must prove to be reliable before they are incorporated into systems. These packages involve several advanced technologies, such as 2.5D/3D, chiplets and fan-out, but vendors also are working on new versions of more mature package types, like wirebond and leadframe technologies. As with previous products, packaging... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs A severe winter storm has hit many parts of the United States, including Texas. In Austin, utility providers are prioritizing service to residential areas. As a result, electricity and natural gas providers have temporarily suspended service to Austin’s semiconductor manufacturers, including Samsung and NXP. "Due to the recent blackouts in Texas, Samsung Austin Semicon... » read more

Defect Challenges Grow For IC Packaging


Several vendors are ramping up new inspection equipment based on infrared, optical, and X-ray technologies in an effort to reduce defects in current and future IC packages. While all of these technologies are necessary, they also are complementary. No one tool can meet all defect inspection requirements. As a result, packaging vendors may need to buy more and different tools. For years, p... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Pervasive computing — data center, edge, IoT, 5G Qualcomm settled its 5G licensing disagreement with Huawei, which will pay $1.8 billion in back royalties and will pay for licensing going forward. Huawei is also now the world’s largest supplier of smartphones, surpassing Samsung Electronics Co. Qualcomm also announced a super-fast charging platform this week for Android devices that is sup... » read more

The Race To Much More Advanced Packaging


Momentum is building for copper hybrid bonding, a technology that could pave the way toward next-generation 2.5D and 3D packages. Foundries, equipment vendors, R&D organizations and others are developing copper hybrid bonding, which is a process that stacks and bonds dies using copper-to-copper interconnects in advanced packages. Still in R&D, hybrid bonding for packaging provides mo... » read more

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