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The Silicon Carbide Race Begins


The growing adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) for a variety of automotive chips has reached the tipping point where most chipmakers now consider it a relatively safe bet, setting off a scramble to stake a claim and push this wide-bandgap technology into the mainstream. SiC holds great promise for a number of automotive applications, particularly for battery electric vehicles. It can extend d... » read more

System-In-Package Thrives In The Shadows


IC packaging continues to play a big role in the development of new electronic products, particularly with system-in-package (SiP), a successful approach that continues to gain momentum — but mostly under the radar because it adds a competitive edge. With a SiP, several chips and other components are integrated into a package, enabling it to function as an electronic system or sub-system. ... » read more

Chip Shortages Grow For Mature Nodes


The current wave of chip shortages is expected to last for the foreseeable future, particularly for a growing list of critical devices produced in mature process nodes. Chips manufactured at mature nodes typically fall under the radar, but they are used in nearly every electronic device, including appliances, cars, computers, displays, industrial equipment, smartphones, and TVs. Many of thes... » read more

MicroLEDs Moving From Lab to Fab


Every disruptive technology has its "aha" moment — the time when everyone from engineers to investors realizes that, yes, this technology is the real deal and it won’t be scrapped on the R&D floor. For many, it was Samsung’s recent announcement of a 110-inch microLED TV that irrevocably put microLEDs on the map. The TV’s price is $155,000, but as with most consumer electronics th... » read more

Fan-Out Packaging Options Grow


Chipmakers, OSATs and R&D organizations are developing the next wave of fan-out packages for a range of applications, but sorting out the new options and finding the right solution is proving to be a challenge. Fan-out is a way to assemble one or more dies in an advanced package, enabling chips with better performance and more I/Os for applications like computing, IoT, networking and sma... » read more

Geopolitical And Economic Outlook For Chips And Equipment


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss geopolitical and economic changes and how they affect the chip industry with Jean-Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Developpement; Risto Puhakka, president of VLSI Research; Carolyn Evans, chief economist at Intel; Duncan Meldrum, chief economist at Hilltop Economics; and Rozalia Beica, head of the semiconductor business at AT&S... » read more

Shortages, Challenges Engulf Packaging Supply Chain


A surge in demand for chips is impacting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, key components, and equipment. Spot shortages in packaging surfaced in late 2020 and have since spread to other sectors. There are now a variety of choke points in the supply chain. Wirebond and flip-chip capacity will remain tight throughout 2021... » read more

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

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