Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

What Is Spin Torque MRAM?


The memory market is going in several different directions at once. On one front, the traditional memory types, such as DRAM and flash, remain the workhorse technologies. Then, several vendors are readying the next-generation memory types. As part of an ongoing series, Semiconductor Engineering will explore where the new and traditional memory technologies are heading. For this segment, P... » read more

Packaging Enters New Phase


The race is on to make advanced packaging less expensive than shrinking everything down onto the same die—much less expensive, in fact. Following several years of speculation and rather shaky market predictions at the beginning of this decade, packaging houses and foundries spent the last four years proving that packaging really does provide a viable alternative to shrinking die in terms o... » read more

Cheaper Fan-Outs Ahead


Packaging houses continue to ramp up fan-out wafer-level packages in the market, but customers want lower cost fan-out products for a broader range of applications, such as consumer, RF and smartphones. So in R&D, the industry for some time has been developing next-generation fan-out using a panel-level format, a technology that could potentially lower the cost of fan-out. But there are ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has generated sales from its recently-announced 14nm finFET technology. The foundry vendor also plans to enter the 22nm process technology market. UMC will join other players in the 22nm arena, such as GlobalFoundries, Intel and TSMC. “So we do have a plan to introduce our 22nm as well and it will be available around 2018,” said Jason Wang, the newly appointed co-president o... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment ASML posted strong sales in the quarter and is apparently nearly sold out of scanners based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, according to analysts. “ASML posted strong 2Q results and 2Q guidance, providing further evidence that demand remains high for semiconductor equipment,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “Demand d... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon


At the recent Semicon West trade show in San Francisco, there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the outlook for ICs, equipment and packaging. Clearly, though, the show is much smaller with fewer attendees, as compared to past years. Most of the big companies no longer have booths. Hardly any have press events or med... » read more

Foundries Accelerate Auto Efforts


Foundries are ramping up their efforts in automotive chip production in preparation for a surge in semiconductors used in assisted and autonomous driving. All of the major foundry vendors are scrambling to assemble the pieces and expand their process portfolios for automotive customers. The foundries are seeing a growing demand from automotive IC customers amid the push toward advanced drive... » read more

Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research SEMI has released its mid-year forecast at Semicon West. SEMI reported that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase by 19.8% to a total of $49.4 billion in 2017, marking the first time that the semiconductor equipment market has exceeded the market high of $47.7 billion set in 2000. In 2018, 7.7% growth is expected, resulting in an... » read more

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