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

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

Notes From The Chip Beat


Over the last several months, I’ve attended a number of conferences, such as IEDM, SPIE, the FD-SOI Summit and others. At each conference, there is a dizzying amount of information and data. Eventually, some information turns into an article, while most ends up buried in a reporter’s notebook. In any case, here are five observations I’ve made, based on those and other events in the pa... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 9


China’s quantum computer In its latest achievement, China has built a quantum computer. With its technology, the University of Science and Technology of China and Zhejiang University claimed to have set two records in quantum computing. In classical computing, the information is stored in bits, which can be either a “0” or “1”. In quantum computing, information is stored in quant... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has expanded its process portfolio within its joint fab venture in China. The Taiwan government has approved UMC’s application to license its 28nm technology to its subsidiary company in China--United Semiconductor. The subsidiary has been ramping up 40nm technology. “This licensing approval will help Fab 12X to ramp its manufacturing scale, e... » read more

RF Device And Process Biz Heats Up


The RF device and process technology markets are heating up, especially for two critical components used in smartphones—RF switch devices and antenna tuners. RF device makers and their foundry partners continue to ramp up traditional RF switch chips and tuners based on RF SOI process technologies for today’s 4G wireless networks. And recently, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundri... » read more

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