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Foundry Wars Begin


Leading-edge foundry vendors are gearing up for a new, high-stakes spending and technology race, setting the stage for a possible shakeup across the semiconductor manufacturing landscape. In March, Intel re-entered the foundry business, positioning itself against Samsung and TSMC at the leading edge, and against a multitude of foundries working at older nodes. Intel announced plans to build ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy President Biden has rolled out a proposal to boost the infrastructure in the U.S. As part of the plan, the president is calling on Congress to invest $50 billion in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and research. The proposal must pass Congress, which isn’t going to be easy. “The President’s plan would invest ambitiously in U.S. semiconductor workers, manufacturing, and ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Intel has re-entered the foundry business after a failed attempt several years ago. In its new efforts, Intel is establishing a new standalone business unit called Intel Foundry Services. As part of those efforts, Intel has announced plans to build two new fabs in Arizona. This build-out represents an investment of approximately $20 billion. “INTC hosted a strategy update with ... » read more

What Goes Wrong In Advanced Packages


Advanced packaging may be the best way forward for massive improvements in performance, lower power, and different form factors, but it adds a whole new set of issues that were much better understood when Moore's Law and the ITRS roadmap created a semi-standardized path forward for the chip industry. Different advanced packaging options — system-in-package, fan-outs, 2.5D, 3D-IC — have a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy For the last four years, the U.S. and China have been embroiled in a trade war, especially on the technology front. The U.S. has implemented a number of export control measures and tariffs in the arena. But there might be a thawing in the tense relationship between the two superpowers. “Reports surfaced Thursday indicating the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA)... » read more

Shortages, Challenges Engulf Packaging Supply Chain


A surge in demand for chips is impacting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, key components, and equipment. Spot shortages in packaging surfaced in late 2020 and have since spread to other sectors. There are now a variety of choke points in the supply chain. Wirebond and flip-chip capacity will remain tight throughout 2021... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and several chip executives have sent a joint letter to President Biden, urging the administration to include substantial funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. As reported, the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today. “Semiconductors pow... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test Intel has invested an additional $475 million in its chip assembly and test manufacturing facility in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in Vietnam. This takes Intel’s total investment in the Vietnam facility to $1.5 billion. The site assembles and tests Intel’s 5G products and processors. TSMC recently announced a huge increase in capital spending for 2021. A large perce... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


The CXL Consortium published the Compute Express Link 2.0 specification. CXL is an interconnect that maintains memory coherency between the CPU memory space and memory on attached devices. CXL 2.0 adds support for switching for fan-out to connect to more devices, memory pooling for increased memory utilization efficiency and providing memory capacity on demand, and support for persistent memory... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility Chip makers in Taiwan will “do their best” to “squeeze out more chips” said Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua after having lunch with representatives of TSMC, UMC, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp, and Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., according to the Taipei Times. After the auto industry initially cut automotive chip orders bec... » read more

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