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Where All The Semiconductor Investments Are Going


Companies and countries are funneling huge sums of money into semiconductor manufacturing, materials, and research — at least a half-trillion dollars over the next decade, and maybe much more — to guarantee a steady supply of chips and know-how to support growth across a wide swath of increasingly data-centric industries. The build-out of a duplicate supply chain that can guarantee capac... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


President Biden signed an executive order on Sept. 15, limiting foreign investments in U.S. technology by "competitor or adversarial nations" that are deemed a threat to national security. In the past, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) largely limited its actions to the sale of U.S. companies. The new directive expands that to include investments involving "U.S. s... » read more

How Quickly Can SiC Ramp?


Device makers across the globe are ramping silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing, with growth set to really take off starting in 2024. It’s been almost five years since Tesla and STMicroelectronics threw down the gauntlet with SiC in the Model 3. Now, no one doubts the market pull for electric vehicles, but consumers are still clamoring for better range and faster charging. SiC devices are a... » read more

Wafer Shortage Improvement In Sight For 300mm, But Not 200mm


The supply chain for bare wafers is off-kilter. Demand is appreciably higher than the wafer suppliers can keep up with, creating shortages that could last for years. For 300mm starting wafers, the top five big players — SEH and Sumco of Japan, Siltronic of Germany, GlobalWafers of Taiwan, and SK Siltron of Korea — finally took action over the last year, spending billions on new wafer fac... » read more

Parasitic Characterization Comes To Power Design Simulation


Two power design challenges are taking teams into unfamiliar territory. Wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors target greater efficiency and density. Stricter EMI compliance regulations now come standard in mission-critical industries. Power design practices are still catching up. Simulation often takes a back seat to respinning hardware prototypes until success. What’s missing that could make sim... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy Hoping to resolve the ongoing worldwide chip shortage situation, the U.S. Department of Commerce late last month launched a “request for information (RFI)” initiative, which involved sending questionnaires to various semiconductor companies. The U.S. government is asking all parts of the supply chain – producers, consumers, and intermediaries – to voluntarily share in... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive Qualcomm and SSW Partners, an investment partnership, now have a definitive agreement to acquire advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) company Veoneer for $37.00 per share in an all-cash transaction that equals $4.5 billion in equity value. A few months ago, Qualcomm made the proposal to Veoneer after the company already had an agreement in place with Magma, a 60-year-old automo... » read more

Power Amp Wars Begin For 5G


Demand is increasing for power amplifier chips and other RF devices for 5G base stations, setting the stage for a showdown among different companies and technologies. The power amplifier device is a key component that boosts the RF power signals in base stations. It's based on two competitive technologies, silicon-based LDMOS or RF gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a III-V technology, outperforms ... » read more

Beyond-Line-Of-Sight Troposcatter Communications Primer


Though tropospheric scatter (troposcatter, or tropo) communications technology has existed since the 1950s and was used by the U.S. military from 1960 to 2002, this legacy technology is being revitalized in the wake of concerns around the reliability of tactical satellite communications (Satcom). For several decades, satellites were a reliable and secure method of communications that provided s... » read more

Generalized Class-E Power Amplifier With Shunt Capacitance And Shunt Filter


This paper presents a generalized analysis of the Class-E power amplifier (PA) with a shunt capacitance and a shunt filter, leading to a revelation of a unique design flexibility that can be exploited either to extend the maximum operating frequency of the PA or to allow the use of larger active devices with higher power handling capability. The proposed PA fulfills zero voltage switching (ZVS)... » read more

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