Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials A major setback has been dealt to the United States’ efforts to develop rare earths. The U.S. is attempting to develop its own supply of rare earths, hoping to reduce its reliance on China. China controls nearly 90% of the world’s rare earths, which are used in magnets and various electronic systems. In April, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded two U.S.-based firms, Lyn... » read more

Challenges In Printed And Disposable Chips


Printing inexpensive chips using technology developed for newspapers and magazines is gaining traction across a wide range of applications, from photovoltaic cells to sensors on a flexible substrate. But it's also adding a slew of new challenges that are unique to this approach. The world of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) — printing integrated circuits on or attaching thin IC chips to a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced the readiness of its new 22nm process. The process enables new 22nm designs or allows customers to migrate from 28nm to 22nm. UMC’s 22nm maintains its existing 28nm design architectures. UMC's 22nm process features a 10% area reduction, better power-to-performance ratio and enhanced RF capabilities, compared to the company’s 2... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools It’s been a tough period for memory. But is there now a sign of a rebound? For the September 2019 quarter, Lam Research reported revenue of $2.166 billion, and net income was $466 million, or $3.09 per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis. The outlook at Lam (LRCX) is a bright spot. “LRCX posted strong results and guidance, noting strength from logic and foundry in the December ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 3


Gamma-ray inspection The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started a program to develop gamma-ray inspection techniques. The effort, called the Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) program, is aimed to develop gamma-ray radiation sources in compact form factors for use in national security, industrial, and medical applications. [caption id="attachment_24151285" alig... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 6


GaN trusted foundry HRL Laboratories--an R&D venture between Boeing and General Motors--has launched a new foundry service for use in advanced millimeter-wave (mmWave) gallium-nitride (GaN) technology applications. HRL’s process, called T3-GaN, is a high-electron-mobility transistor technology. It will enable the fabrication of GaN-based monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 3


3D printed military drones The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has begun testing 3D printed drones for use in on-demand military missions. The technology, called the On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System (ODSUAS), enables a soldier to input the mission requirements in software. Then, a 3D printer devises the optimal configuration for an unmanned aerial vehicle. And it’s printed and deliv... » read more

Photonics Moves Closer To Chip


Silicon photonics is resurfacing after more than a decade in the shadows, driven by demands to move larger quantities of data faster, using extremely low power and with minimal heat. Until recently, much of the attention in photonics focused on moving data between servers and storage. Now there is growing interest at the PCB level and in heterogeneous multi-chip packages. Government, academi... » read more

DoD Scratches Its Head Over Foundry Security


When the GlobalFoundries deal with IBM to acquire its foundries closes, as it is slated to sometime during 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense has a small problem on its hands. Military programs no longer will have access to a trusted fab to manufacture semiconductors. How do you ensure that the foundry did not modify or alter your design, add backdoor access or implement a remote control mech... » read more