The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The IC market remains hot, as several market researchers are raising their forecasts--again. Gartner recently raised its overall IC forecast. Now, IC Insights has raised its IC market growth rate forecast for 2017 to 22%, up six percentage points from the 16% increase shown in its mid-year update. In March, IC Insights raised its worldwide IC market growth forecast for 201... » read more

Next-Gen Mask Writer Race Begins


Competition is heating up in the mask writer equipment business as two vendors—Intel/IMS and NuFlare—vie for position in the new and emerging multi-beam tool segment. Last year, Intel surprised the industry by acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a multi-beam e-beam mask writer equipment vendor. Also last year, IMS, now part of Intel, began shipping the world’s first multi-beam mask writer f... » read more

Improving Automotive Reliability


Semiconductor reliability requirements are rapidly evolving. New applications such as ADAS/self-driving cars and drones are pushing the limits for system reliability. A mobile phone that overheats in your pocket is annoying. In automobiles, it's a much different story. Overheating can impact the operation of backup sensors, which alert the driver that a pedestrian or obstacle is behind them.... » read more

Advanced Packaging’s Progress


Shim Il Kwon, CTO at STATS ChipPAC, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the current and future trends of chip packaging. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendors provide third-party IC-packaging and test services. What are the big challenges for OSATs today? Shim: The OSAT market is very competitive, w... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test, measurement and fab tools National Instruments (NI) has released a report that explores the future trends in the electronics industry. The report, called the NI Trend Watch 2018, looks at the technological advances and some of the biggest challenges engineers face in 2018. The report from NI looks at the following topics—machine learning; test challenges for 5G; IIoT; and effects of... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Who will buy Toshiba’s memory business? In the latest of what is becoming a confusing saga, Toshiba has signed a deal to sell its memory unit to a group led by Bain Capital. The Bain-led consortium will hold a 49.9% stake in the memory unit, while Toshiba will hold 40.2% and Japan’s Hoya will own 9.9%. Other members in the group include Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate. In add... » read more

Looming Issues And Tradeoffs For EUV


Momentum is building for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, but there are still some major challenges to solve before this long-overdue technology can be used for mass production. [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography—a next-generation technology that patterns tiny features on a chip—was supposed to move into production around 2012. But over the years, EUV has encountered se... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has asked European antitrust regulators to investigate TSMC over alleged unfair competition, according to a report from Reuters. Commenting on the report, a spokeswoman for GlobalFoundries said: “We are not surprised that the European Commission is looking into anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct in the semiconductor sector. The semiconductor indu... » read more

5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

Fab Equipment Spending Sets New Record


Fab equipment spending (new and refurbished) is expected to increase by 37% for 2017, reaching a new annual spending record of about $55 billion. The World Fab Forecast also forecasts that in 2018, fab equipment spending will increase even more, another 5%, for a record high of about $58 billion. The last record spending was in 2011 with about $40 billion. The spending in 2017 is now expected t... » read more

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