Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

2 Big Shifts, Lots Of Questions


The proliferation of AI everywhere, and ongoing efforts by big systems companies to develop their own chips, could have a profound effect on semiconductor manufacturing for years to come. AI is a multi-faceted topic, but what makes this particularly interesting from a semiconductor standpoint is the architecture of AI-specific chips. So far, most of these chips have been developed for data c... » read more

EUV Mask Blank Battle Brewing


Amid the ramp of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, suppliers of EUV mask blanks are expanding their production. And a new player—Applied Materials—is looking to enter the market. AGC and Hoya, the two main suppliers of EUV mask blanks, are adding capacity for these critical components that are used for EUV photomasks. A mask blank serves as the substrate for a photomas... » read more

Panel Fan-out Ramps, Challenges Remain


After years of R&D, panel-level fan-out packaging is finally beginning to ramp up in the market, at least in limited volumes for a few vendors. However, panel-level fan-out, which is an advanced form of today’s fan-out packaging, still faces several technical and cost challenges to bring this technology into the mainstream or high-volume manufacturing. Moreover, several companies are d... » read more

EDA Cloud Adoption Hits Speed Bumps


If moving semiconductor design to the Cloud was easy and beneficial, everyone would be doing it. But so far, few have done more than dip a toe. The level of difficulty associated with migrating to the Cloud varies, depending upon who you talk to. The reality is that not everyone makes it as easy as it could be, or is not willing to put the necessary effort into making it easier. There is cer... » read more

Carmakers To Chipmakers: Where’s The Data?


The integration of electronics into increasingly autonomous vehicles isn't going nearly as smoothly as the marketing literature suggests. In fact, it could take years before some of these discrepancies are resolved. The push toward full autonomy certainly hasn't slowed down, but carmakers and the electronics industry are approaching that goal from very different vantage points. Carmakers and... » read more

A Crisis In DoD’s Trusted Foundry Program?


The U.S. Department of Defense’s Trusted Foundry program is in flux due to GlobalFoundries’ recent decision to put 7nm on hold, raising national security concerns across the U.S. defense community. U.S. DoD and military/aerospace chip customers currently have access to U.S.-based “secure” foundry capacity down to 14nm, but that's where it ends. No other foundries provide similar “s... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Amid ongoing delays with its 10nm process, Intel has reorganized its manufacturing unit, according to a report from The Oregonian/OregonLive. Sohail Ahmed, who has jointly led the unit since 2016, will retire next month, according to the report. The industry is racing to put extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production. TSMC recently taped-out its first 7nm chip using E... » read more

EUV’s Uncertain Future


The ground appears to be solidifying under EUV. Intel announced this week it is reducing its stake in ASML to less than 3%, the second such move in a year. Apparently ASML no longer needs outside help. According to the company's earnings report, ASML turned in net sales of €2.776 billion, a slight increase over the €2.447 billion (GAAP) the company reported in Q3 and way up over the €... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » read more

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