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More Fabs Seen In Chip Boom


Over the last year, the semiconductor industry has seen an amazing turnaround. The industry happens to be in a boom cycle. Today, chip demand remains strong. And some fab projects have been accelerated to meet this demand, according to Christian Dieseldorff, an analyst at SEMI. It wasn’t always this way. In early 2020, the business looked bright, but the IC market dropped amid the Covid... » read more

3D NAND’s Vertical Scaling Race


3D NAND suppliers are accelerating their efforts to move to the next technology nodes in a race against growing competition, but all of these vendors are facing an assortment of new business, manufacturing, and cost challenges. Two suppliers, Micron and SK Hynix, recently leapfrogged the competition and have taken the scaling race lead in 3D NAND. But Samsung and the Kioxia-Western Digital (... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research VLSI Research has raised its forecast for semiconductors and fab equipment in 2020. In its previous forecast, VLSI Research projected that the equipment market would reach $84.8 billion in 2020, up 10.1% over 2019. Now, in its latest forecast (See page 2), the equipment market is projected to hit $89.8 billion in 2020, up 16.6%. “The equipment business is booming,” said ... » read more

What’s Ahead For Chips & Equipment?


It’s been a topsy-turvy year in the semiconductor industry. 2020 was supposed to be a strong year. Then, the coronavirus outbreak hit. Countries implemented various measures to mitigate the outbreak, such as stay-at-home orders and store closures. Economic turmoil and job losses soon followed. Earlier in the year, the chip market looked bleak. Now, business appears to be strong. To gain... » read more

DRAM, 3D NAND Face New Challenges


It’s been a topsy-turvy period for the memory market, and it's not over. So far in 2020, demand has been slightly better than expected for the two main memory types — 3D NAND and DRAM. But now there is some uncertainty in the market amid a slowdown, inventory issues and an ongoing trade war. In addition, the 3D NAND market is moving toward a new technology generation, but some are enc... » 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

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research The coronavirus pandemic continues to reduce the outlook for worldwide GDP as well as the electronics and IC markets. For example, IC Insights has lowered its IC forecast from 3% to minus 4% in 2020. The IC market is now expected to hit $345.8 billion in 2020, which is $39.0 billion less than the original forecast, which called for an 8% increase this year. Due to the imp... » read more

China’s Latest Goal—More DRAMs


China is once again making a concerted effort to get its domestic DRAM industry off the ground. Past efforts have fallen short or failed. This time around, it’s unclear if China will succeed, but the industry should pay close attention here. So why would China want to play a bigger role in the tough and competitive DRAM business? For one thing, the U.S. and China are in the midst of a t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. With the acquisition of Kokusai’s semiconductor equipment unit, Applied expands its customer base and gains a foothold in the batch processing equipment business, where a tool can process wafers in parallel. Applied’s strength is in the ... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

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