Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The semiconductor capital spending race continues to escalate in the leading-edge logic space. Intel and Samsung have separately announced big capital spending plans in 2019. Intel’s latest CapEx budget is $15.5 billion in 2019, while Samsung’s CapEx is slated for $16.204 billion for the year, according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. Now, TSMC is raising the stakes. TSMC this... » read more

Blog Review: April 24


Rambus' Steven Woo checks out changes in the hardware used for neural network training and the importance of co-design of hardware and software. Cadence's Meera Collier makes an argument for why vehicle sensors watching the driver could prevent some distraction and fatigue-related crashes. Synopsys' Dan Lyon and Garrett Sipple point to some best practices for how to deal with a changing t... » read more

SiC Chip Demand Surges


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test and packaging In a major surprise, Cohu has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Xcerra for approximately $796 million. With the deal, Cohu will enter the ATE market. Last year, a group from China entered into a definitive agreement under which it would acquire Xcerra. But the U.S. blocked Xcerra’s sale to the Chinese group. Ironically, at one time, Cohu was reportedly lobbyin... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Packaging and test IoT chip startup zGlue recently announced its technology, dubbed the zGlue Integrated Platform (ZiP). In ZiP, chip customers select and configure their designs based on chiplets. Chiplets are proven silicon IP from existing vendors. Then, the technology automatically generates potential implementations of a design. As part of the effort, zGlue has selected Advanced Semicondu... » read more

Foundries Accelerate Auto Efforts


Foundries are ramping up their efforts in automotive chip production in preparation for a surge in semiconductors used in assisted and autonomous driving. All of the major foundry vendors are scrambling to assemble the pieces and expand their process portfolios for automotive customers. The foundries are seeing a growing demand from automotive IC customers amid the push toward advanced drive... » read more

The Future Of MEMS Design: Making MEMS Design More Like CMOS Design


MEMS-based component suppliers want to rapidly ramp their designs into high-volume production. This demand is driving MEMS suppliers to focus on ways to more efficiently re-use established process steps, stacks or technology platforms. To meet this need, we see the emergence of standard MEMS technology and design platforms similar to those used in CMOS design. The semiconductor industry and ... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s TSMC Technology Symposium in San Jose, Calif., TSMC rolled out a dizzying array of new processes and technologies. Perhaps the most surprising announcement was a 22nm bulk CMOS process, which is geared for ultra low-power planar chips. The technology will compete against a 22nm FD-SOI technology from GlobalFoundries. Stay tuned. The battle has just begun. As e... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers IC Insights has released its rankings of the top 10 pure-play foundries in 2016. TSMC was the largest foundry in terms of sales, followed by GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC, according to IC Insights. TSMC held a 59% share in 2016. According to IC Insights, the three top-10 pure-play foundry companies that displayed the highest growth rates in 2016 were X-Fab (54%), SMIC (31%) and To... » read more

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