Will China Succeed In Memory?


China's fledging memory makers are expected to reach a major milestone and move into initial production this year, although vendors are already running into various roadblocks. China's domestic vendors are focusing on two markets, 3D NAND and DRAM. In both cases local vendors are either behind in technology, struggling to develop these products, or both. And one vendor recently was hit with ... » read more

Transistor Options Beyond 3nm


Despite a slowdown in chip scaling amid soaring costs, the industry continues to search for a new transistor type 5 to 10 years out—particularly for the 2nm and 1nm nodes. Specifically, the industry is pinpointing and narrowing down the transistor options for the next major nodes after 3nm. Those two nodes, called 2.5nm and 1.5nm, are slated to appear in 2027 and 2030, respectively, accord... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers China has struck again, as the nation continues to acquire semiconductor technology. In December, Silicon Labs announced plans to acquire Sigma Designs for $282 million. The deal involves Sigma’s Z-Wave chip business. Now, Sigma Designs has sold its connectivity chip business unit to Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). In 2015, a Chinese consortium of investors led by Uph... » read more

Cheaper Packaging Options Ahead


Lower-cost packaging options and interconnects are either under development or just being commercialized, all of which could have a significant impact on the economics of advanced packaging. By far, the most cited reason why companies don't adopt advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] is cost. Currently, silicon [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposers"] add about $30 to the price of a med... » read more

Driving By Ethernet


The race to add more sophisticated and safety-critical electronics into cars is forcing carmakers to revisit the communications systems within increasingly electrified and connected vehicles. Until very recently, communication between components within a vehicle was simplistic, and communication between vehicles was non-existent. All of that is changing quickly. Rapid and secure communicatio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The IC industry continues to consolidate. For example, Qualcomm has a proposed plan to buy NXP. And then, Broadcom wants to buy Qualcomm. Who is next? In a research note, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves said: “According to Bloomberg, Microsemi is exploring a sale and we think logical acquirers could include Skyworks. We continue to view Microsemi as a notable strategic as... » read more

Nodes Vs. Nodelets


Foundries are flooding the market with new nodes and different process options at existing nodes, spreading confusion and creating a variety of challenges for chipmakers. There are full-node processes, such as 10nm and 7nm, with 5nm and 3nm in R&D. But there also is an increasing number of half-nodes or "node-lets" being introduced, including 12nm, 11nm, 8nm, 6nm and 4nm. Node-lets ar... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Intel and Micron have ended their long-running NAND joint development partnership. The companies will continue to develop NAND, but they will work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. The companies have agreed to complete the development of their third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered towards the end of 2018. That is expected to be a 96-layer ... » read more

Packaging Challenges For 2018


The IC packaging market is projected to see steady growth this year, amid ongoing changes in the landscape. The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" kc_name="OSAT"]) industry, which provides third-party packaging and test services, has been consolidating for some time. So while sales rising, the number of companies is falling. In late 2017, for example, [getentity id="2... » read more

A New Memory Contender?


Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

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