Time To Watch China’s Equipment Efforts


For years, China has been developing its own semiconductor equipment and materials industry. The goal has been to reduce its dependence on foreign equipment and material vendors. Some China-based equipment vendors have made their presence felt. But overall, China’s equipment companies have barely made a dent in the market. Hardly anyone has been paying attention to China’s equipment ... » read more

Speeding Up The R&D Metrology Process


Several chipmakers are making some major changes in the characterization/metrology lab, adding more fab-like processes in this group to help speed up chip development times. The characterization/metrology lab, which is generally under the radar, is a group that works with the R&D organization and the fab. The characterization lab is involved in the early analytical work for next-generati... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Blog Review: July 15


Synopsys' Mike Borza explains DARPA's Automatic Implementation of Secure Silicon (AISS) program and why prioritizing security in the chip development and manufacturing process is so important. Mentor's Jacob Wiltgen checks out how accurate early cycle safety analysis, aided by automation, can help avoid the problem of unmet safety goals and expensive later cycle iterations. Cadence's Paul... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools, packaging/test VLSI Research has released its 200mm wafer fab equipment (WFE) market share figures for 2019. The top three suppliers--Applied Materials, TEL, and ASML—saw growth in the 2019 200mm WFE business. Lam Research was in fourth place, followed by KLA and Canon. In total, 200mm wafer fab equipment sales were $3.6 billion in 2019, declining 5% from 2018, according to the fi... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

Pandemics And Panic Chip Buying


U.S.-China trade tensions are creating uncertainty in the semiconductor market, but it is also causing another event right now—panic chip buying. At present, some but not all foundry vendors are seeing “rush orders” for select products and are running their fabs at full capacity. It’s not just leading-edge devices, but also mature technologies. A surge of chip orders started in Ma... » read more

Blog Review: June 10


Cadence's Paul McLellan considers the issues around benchmarking neural networks running on different hardware and challenges in comparing designs. Mentor's Shivani Joshi points to a few of the different types of jitter and some key factors to review when trying to limit jitter. Synopsys' Fred Bals notes that while the National Vulnerability Database is a good source for information on public... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test KLA has announced the formation of a new business group for its Electronics, Packaging and Components (EPC) businesses. The new EPC group includes the ICOS, Orbotech and the SPTS Technologies organizations. The group will be headed by Oreste Donzella, KLA’s executive vice president. In 2018, KLA acquired Orbotech for $3.4 billion, a deal that included two organizations-... » read more

Latest IC Outlook: More Uncertainty


So far in 2020, it’s been a difficult period in the semiconductor industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and other issues. And heading into the second half of 2020, the industry faces more challenges, if not uncertainty, in the market. Many segments in the semiconductor industry face some headwinds, but there might be some positive news in the equipment business. To be sure,... » read more

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