Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail Worsens At 7/5nm


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

Return Of The Organic Interposer


Organic interposers are resurfacing as an option in advanced packaging, several years after they were first proposed as a means of reducing costs in 2.5D multi-die configurations. There are several reasons why there is a renewed interest in this technology: More companies are pushing up against the limits of Moore's Law, where the cost of continuing to shrinking features is exorbitant. ... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » 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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

Sizing up China’s Fab Tool Biz


China is pouring billions of dollars into its semiconductor industry and is building several new fabs. As reported, China is bolstering its IC industry for good reason. China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continues to import a large percentage of its chips from foreign vendors. Behind the scenes, China also continues to develop its domestic semiconductor eq... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Applied Materials has officially rolled out the Producer Selectra system, a selective etch tool. The system falls under the loosely defined category called atomic layer etch (ALE). Applied’s technology addresses a number of challenges. Today’s advanced chips have complex structures. They may also have deep and narrow trenches. One of the challenges is the inability of wet ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


MEMS manufacturing A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore has launched its third consortium to develop MEMS technologies. This would allow MEMS sensor devices to achieve better performance, higher power efficiency and a smaller form factor. The MEMS Consortium III consists of the following companies: Applied Materials, Coventor, Delta Electronics, GlobalFoundries, InvenS... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers IC Insights released its top chip makers in terms of sales for the first quarter of 2016. The top-20 ranking includes three pure-play foundries (TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and UMC) and six fabless companies. Intel remained in the top spot, followed in order by Samsung and TSMC. The biggest movers in the ranking were made by the new Broadcom (Avago/Broadcom) and Nvidia. Broadcom jumped f... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tool vendors In terms of sales for 2015, Applied Materials retained the No. 1 position in the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market with 1.3% growth last year, according to Garnter. Lam Research experienced the strongest growth of the top 10 vendors in 2015, moving into the No. 2 position. In the rankings, Lam jumped ahead of ASML and TEL. ASML was in third place, followed in order by TEL, KLA-... » read more

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