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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Lam Research held an analyst event this week. The company indicated that the industry is in the midst of a memory boom, including both DRAM and 3D NAND. According to Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC, here was one of the big takeaways at the event: “The memory spend portion of WFE is more sustainable than previously assumed due to end-market drivers such as big data, automation, ... » 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

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » 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

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Ansys acquired Computational Engineering International (CEI), the developer of a suite of products that helps analyze, visualize and communicate simulation data. Founded in 1994 as a spin-off from Cray Research, the company's program covers a wide range of data formats. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IP Efabless launched an open source framework that allows community members... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has appointed two senior vice presidents--S.C. Chien and Jason Wang--as co-presidents of the company, following Po-Wen Yen’s retirement as UMC’s CEO. The co-presidents are accountable for the overall performance of UMC. They will report to UMC Chairman Stan Hung. Chien will focus on the core manufacturing and technology aspects of UMC, including R&D and operations. Wang wil... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research IC Insights has released its capital spending forecast by company. In total, there are 15 companies that are forecast to have semiconductor capital expenditures of $1.0 billion or more in 2017, up from 11 in 2016, according to IC Insights. Four companies—Intel, Samsung, GlobalFoundries, and SK Hynix—are expected to represent the bulk of the increase in spending, accord... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

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