Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools PDF Solutions has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cimetrix. Under the terms, PDF will pay a cash amount of $35.0 million, net of cash on Cimetrix’s balance sheet as of closing, and subject to other closing adjustments. With the move, PDF will expand into new markets. Cimetrix is a provider of equipment connectivity products for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0... » read more

EUV Challenges And Unknowns At 3nm and Below


The chip industry is preparing for the next phase of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 3nm and beyond, but the challenges and unknowns continue to pile up. In R&D, vendors are working on an assortment of new EUV technologies, such as scanners, resists, and masks. These will be necessary to reach future process nodes, but they are more complex and expensive than the current EUV pro... » read more

Yield Enhancement Technology: Efforts To Suppress Nanosized Particles In Semiconductor Production Equipment


The currently dominant semiconductor process size is in the range between a few and a few dozen nanometers. That means if a nanosized particle smaller than a virus (hereinafter simply “particle”) is present on a silicon substrate, it could cause a defect in the semiconductor device, lowering the production yield (i.e., the percentage of good chips produced in a manufacturing process). Preve... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade and government The U.S. continues to tighten its export controls for hi-tech, including a move to restrict fab technologies that enable 5nm chip production. The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed controls on six more technologies, bringing the total to 37. They include: hybrid additive manufacturing/computer controlled tools; computational lithography software designed for EUV masks... » read more

Regaining The Edge In U.S. Chip Manufacturing


The United States is developing new strategies to prevent it from falling further behind Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps even China in semiconductor manufacturing, as trade tensions and national security concerns continue to grow. For years, the U.S. has been a leader in the development of new chip products like GPUs and microprocessors. But from a chip manufacturing standpoint, the U.S. is losin... » 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: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs AMD is in talks to acquire Xilinx in a deal that could be worth more than $30 billion, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. If the deal transpires, AMD will enter the FPGA business, putting it further in competition with Intel. No deal has been struck, though. --------------------------------------------- Multiple sources believe that China’s Huawei i... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs NXP has announced the grand opening of its 150mm (6-inch) RF gallium nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Ariz. This is said to be the most advanced fab dedicated to 5G RF power amplifiers in the United States. NXP’s new Chandler-based GaN fab is qualified now, with initial products ramping in the market and expected to reach full capacity by the end of 2020. GaN, a III-V techn... » read more

Deals That Change The Chip Industry


Nvidia's pending $40 billion acquisition of Arm is expected to have a big impact on the chip world, but it will take years before the effects of this deal are fully understood. More such deals are expected over the next couple of years due to several factors — there is a fresh supply of startups with innovative technology, interest rates are low, and market caps and stock prices of buyers ... » read more

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

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