Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


The American Foundries Act, a bipartisan initiative to revive U.S. leadership in the global microelectronics sector, was announced by U.S. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer from New York. “The economic and national security risks posed by relying too heavily on foreign semiconductor suppliers cannot be ignored, and Upstate New York, which has a robust semiconductor sector, is the perfect place... » read more

The Next Advanced Packages


Packaging houses are readying their next-generation advanced IC packages, paving the way toward new and innovative system-level chip designs. These packages include new versions of 2.5D/3D technologies, chiplets, fan-out and even wafer-scale packaging. A given package type may include several variations. For example, vendors are developing new fan-out packages using wafers and panels. One is... » read more

Improving Reliability For GaN And SiC


Suppliers of gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) power devices are rolling out the next wave of products with some new and impressive specs. But before these devices are incorporated in systems, they must prove to be reliable. As with previous products, suppliers are quick to point out that the new devices are reliable, although there are some issues that can occasionally surface... » read more

The Good And Bad Of Chiplets


The chiplet model continues to gain traction in the market, but there are still some challenges to enable broader support for the technology. AMD, Intel, TSMC, Marvell and a few others have developed or demonstrated devices using chiplets, which is an alternative way to develop an advanced design. Beyond that, however, the adoption of chiplets is limited in the industry due to ecosystem issu... » read more

EUV’s Uncertain Future At 3nm And Below


Several foundries have moved extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production at both 7nm and 5nm, but now the industry is preparing for the next phase of the technology at 3nm and beyond. In R&D, the industry is developing new EUV scanners, masks and resists for the next nodes. 3nm is slated for 2022, followed by 2nm a year or two later. Nonetheless, it will require massive funding... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, will utilize TSMC’s 5nm technology and will produce 20,000 wafers per month. TSMC’s total spending on this project will be approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029. Construction is planned to start in 2021 with production targeted to begin in 202... » read more

New Uses For Manufacturing Data


The semiconductor industry is becoming more reliant on data analytics to ensure that a chip will work as expected over its projected lifetime, but that data is frequently inconsistent or incomplete, and some of the most useful data is being hoarded by companies for competitive reasons. The volume of data is rising at each new process node, where there are simply more things to keep track of,... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The Trump administration has held talks with Intel and TSMC to build more leading-edge fabs in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets. IC Insights has released its rankings of the top-10 chip vendors in terms of sales for the first quarter. Intel remains in first place, followed by Samsung and TSMC. The big surprise is China-based fabless IC supplie... » read more

Scaling CMOS Image Sensors


After a period of record growth, the CMOS image sensor market is beginning to face some new and unforeseen challenges. CMOS image sensors provide the camera functions in smartphones and other products, but now they are facing scaling and related manufacturing issues in the fab. And like all chip products, image sensors are seeing slower growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manufactured a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC posted mixed results for the quarter, although there was a capital spending surprise. “It maintained its 2020 capex at $15B-$16B despite smartphone softness, primarily to support a strong 5nm ramp, led by demand from 5G and HPC customers,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst at KeyBanc, in a research note. “Despite lowering its industry outlook, TSMC still expects to grow its o... » read more

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