Stacking Memory On Logic, Take Two


True 3D-ICs, where a memory die is stacked on top of a logic die using through-silicon vias, appear to be gaining momentum. There are a couple reasons why this is happening, and a handful of issues that need to be considered before even seriously considering this option. None of this is easy. On a scale of 1 to 10, this ranks somewhere around 9.99, in part because the EDA tools needed to rem... » read more

Mixed Picture Seen For EUV Masks


The confidence level of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography continues to grow as the technology moves into production, but the EUV mask infrastructure remains a mixed picture, according to new surveys released by the eBeam Initiative. The EUV mask infrastructure involves several technologies that are in various stages of development. On one front, the outlook for several mask tool technol... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


China's DRAM efforts Two memory vendors from China, Tsinghua Unigroup and ChangXin Memory Technology, have disclosed more details about their respective efforts to enter the DRAM arena. As reported, Tsinghua Unigroup wants to enter the DRAM business. Now, the China-based firm has secured land to build a new DRAM fab. The firm recently signed an agreement with the Chongqing government to e... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has filed suits in the U.S. and Germany, alleging that semiconductor manufacturing technologies used by TSMC infringe upon 16 of GF's patents. The suits were filed in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Federal District Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Western District of Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germ... » read more

Advanced Packaging Options Increase


Designing, integrating and assembling heterogeneous packages from blocks developed at any process node or cost point is proving to be far more difficult than expected, particularly where high performance is one of the main criteria. At least part of the problem is there is a spectrum of choices, which makes it hard to achieve economies of scale. Even where there is momentum for a particular ... » read more

Outlook For Masks, Materials and Wafers


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. But what about other key technologies like materials, photomasks and silicon wafers? These are also critical for the semiconductor supply chain and are key indicators where the market is heading. In the first half of 2019, m... » read more

More Semiconductor Data Moving To Cloud


The cloud is booming. After years of steady growth it has begun to spike, creating new options for design, test, analytics and AI, all of which have an impact on every segment of the semiconductor industry. The initial idea behind the cloud is that it would supplement processing done on premises, adding extra processing power wherever necessary, such as in the verification and debug stages o... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC posted mixed results for the second quarter. It also presented a mixed outlook for the third quarter, according to various reports. TSMC and Samsung are in the midst of a foundry battle at 7nm and 5nm. “TSMC raised its 2019 capex outlook to over $11B, up from prior guidance of $10B-$11B. The increased capex is to support 5nm and 7nm ramps, with accelerated 5G investment a... » read more

China’s Latest Goal—More DRAMs


China is once again making a concerted effort to get its domestic DRAM industry off the ground. Past efforts have fallen short or failed. This time around, it’s unclear if China will succeed, but the industry should pay close attention here. So why would China want to play a bigger role in the tough and competitive DRAM business? For one thing, the U.S. and China are in the midst of a t... » read more

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