Blog Review: Nov. 25


Mentor's Harry Foster finds growing complexity in FPGA design by looking at the number of embedded microprocessors, asynchronous clock domains, and safety/security features in the 2020 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study. Cadence's Paul McLellan points to the interim SRC/SIA Decadal Plan for Semiconductors and five big shifts it identifies in information and communication tec... » read more

Are Today’s MEMS Gyros “Good Enough”?


The gyroscope market is heating up, fueled by increasingly autonomous vehicles, robots, and industrial equipment, all of which are demanding greater precision and ever-smaller devices. Gyroscopes historically have been a staple in navigation for years. However, classic designs are macro-mechanical, and high-performance units can be very expensive. For lower-performance applications, micro-el... » 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

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

MOCVD Vendors Eye New Apps


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up new metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems in the market, hoping to capture the next wave of growth applications in the arena. Competition is fierce among the various MOCVD equipment suppliers in the market, namely Aixtron, AMEC and Veeco. In addition, MOCVD equipment suppliers are looking for renewed growth in 2020, but b... » read more

SiC Foundry Business Emerges


Several third-party foundry vendors are entering or expanding their efforts in the silicon carbide (SiC) business amid booming demand for the technology. However, making a significant dent in the market will not be so easy for SiC foundry vendors and their customers. They are facing stiff competition from traditional SiC device vendors such as Cree, Infineon, Rohm and STMicroelectronics. ... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

MicroLEDs: The Next Revolution In Displays?


Flat-panel display technology is exploding on several fronts as more screens are required for more devices. But one type of display is generating an enormous amount of buzz in the market—microLEDs. Dozens of companies are working on micro-light emitting diodes (microLEDs), a technology that promises to provide better and brighter displays than current solutions in the market. Apple, Facebo... » read more

Inspecting IC Packages Using Die Sorters


The shift toward more complex IC packages requires more advanced inspection systems in the production flow to capture unwanted defects in products. This includes traditional optical inspection tools in the in-line production flow, but it also now requires new die sorting equipment with advanced inspection capabilities. Die sorters are not the kind of equipment that typically attracts attenti... » read more

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