Building An MRAM Array


MRAM is gaining traction in a variety of designs as a middle-level type of memory, but there are reasons why it took so long to bring this memory to market. A typical magnetoresistive RAM architecture is based on CoFeB magnetic layers, with an MgO tunneling barrier. The reference layer should have zero net magnetization to make sure that it doesn’t influence the orientation of the free lay... » read more

Wanted: More Fab Tool Part Standards


As chipmakers ramp up the next wave of processes and grapple with how to reduce defect levels, they are encountering problems from an unlikely source—components inside of the fab equipment. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yields and device performance. Typically, they are caused by an unforeseen glitch during the process flow. But a lesser-known problem involves defe... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » 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

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test In the rankings, ASE was the top OSAT in terms of sales in the first quarter of 2019, according to TrendForce. Amkor and JCET were next in the rankings. “Judging from the falling phone sales 1Q19 impacted by the U.S.-China trade dispute and the oversupply situation in memory markets, the total revenue of the top ten businesses in packaging and testing are predicted to st... » read more

Single Vs. Multi-Patterning EUV


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography finally is moving into production, but foundry customers now must decide whether to implement their designs using EUV-based single patterning at 7nm, or whether to wait and instead deploy EUV multiple patterning at 5nm. Each patterning scheme has unique challenges, making that decision more difficult than it might appear. Targeted for 7nm, single pattern... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Taiwan specialty foundry vendor Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) will acquire GlobalFoundries’ Fab 3E facility in Singapore for $236 million. Fab 3E manages a monthly capacity of approximately 35,000 200mm wafers. The transaction includes buildings, facilities, and equipment, as well as IP associated with GF’s MEMS business. VIS currently has three 200mm fa... » read more

Variation Issues Grow Wider And Deeper


Variation is becoming more problematic as chips become increasingly heterogeneous and as they are used in new applications and different locations, sparking concerns about how to solve these issues and what the full impact will be. In the past, variation in semiconductors was considered a foundry issue, typically at the most advanced process node, and largely ignored by most companies. New p... » read more

Embedded Phase-Change Memory Emerges


The next-generation memory market for embedded applications is becoming more crowded as another technology emerges in the arena—embedded phase-change memory. Phase-change memory is not new and has been in the works for decades. But the technology has taken longer to commercialize amid a number of technical and cost challenges. Phase-change memory, a nonvolatile memory type that stores data... » read more

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