Device-Architecture

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9


Alchimer CEO Predicts Demise of Vapor Deposition Processes for TSVs by 2009

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
(March 17 2008) Massy, France — After being appointed CEO of Alchimer SA, Steve Lerner immediately predicted the demise of vapor deposition processes for depositing nanoscale films in through silicon vias (TSVs) within a year. Steve Lerner is a technologist with 29 years' experience in semiconductor development and manufacturing. He founded advanced packaging and device companies Alpha Szenszor, GigSys, and CS2, and has held executive positions at Amkor, Swire, and AME.

Tessera Receives Job Development Investment Grant from North Carolina

Mon, 3 Mar 2008
(March 17, 2008) Charlotte, NC & San Jose, CA — The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee has awarded a job development investment grant (JDIG) to Tessera Technologies Inc., a provider of miniaturization technologies for the electronics industry. This grant will support Tessera's consumer optics plans, enabling the company to add 185 jobs and invest approximately $30 million in its Charlotte-based wafer-level optics facilities during the next five years.

Packaging of fiber collimators

Tue, 1 Jan 2002
Packaging and assembly still dominate the overall cost of any fiber optic devices,1 largely because fiber optic alignment and attachment are difficult and time consuming

Data Bank

Tue, 7 Jul 2003

Data Bank

Fri, 8 Aug 2003

IBM Prototypes Optical SiP

Mon, 3 Mar 2007
(March 26, 2007) ANAHEIM, CA and YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY — Based on the concept of reducing costs through packaging integration, IBM researchers will introduce an optical chipset prototype for supercomputing applications that incorporates optical and CMOS components in one system-in-package (SiP), or optical module, at the 2007 Optical Fiber Conference, March 25–29 in Anaheim.

DRAM Probe Card

Tue, 5 May 2007
For testing smaller-sized, smaller-density DRAM devices (512 Mb and below), the PH150XP wafer probe card incorporates a MicroSpring contact design that accommodates more than 25,000 contacts. It suits testing of consumer and mobile DRAM packages with high pin counts.

DRAM Collaboration for SiPs and MCPs

Thu, 5 May 2007
(May 31, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA and HSIN-CHU, Taiwan — Inapac Technology, Inc. (Hsin-chu), partnered with DRAM manufacturer ProMOS Technologies (San Jose) to develop a low-power, 256 Mb DDR SDRAM based on Inapac's SiPFLOW platform. ProMOS will manufacture the bare-die product in known good die (KGD) from system-in-package (SiP) and multi-chip package (MCP) devices.

Cadence Improves Co-design Platform

Tue, 5 May 2007
(May 15, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA — Cadence Design Systems, Inc., released product and technology enhancements within its Allegro system interconnect design platform for PCB design, including constraint-driven flow and global routing.

Microsoft, SanDisk Enter Joint Venture

Mon, 5 May 2007
(May 14, 2007) REDMOND, WA and MILPITAS, CA — To develop a next-generation hardware and software solution for USB flash drives, Microsoft and SanDisk Corporation will collaborate and open an entity for licensing compatible hardware designs and intellectual property (IP). Revenues from the joint venture will be shared. Microsoft is discussing licensing software with third-party hardware vendors.

Next-generation Flash Programmers Ship

Fri, 8 Aug 2007
(August 10, 2007) HOUSTON — BPM Microsystems shipped the first units of its next-generation NAND and NOR flash device programmer, Flashstream. Flashstream is the company's first dedicated hardware design for flash memories.

Exopack Acquires Electronics Films Division

Fri, 8 Aug 2007
(August 10, 2007) SOUTH HADLEY, MA and SPARTANBURG, SC — InteliCoat Technologies sold its electronic and engineered films (EEF) business unit to Exopack Holding, Inc., for an undisclosed amount. The division gives Exopack a European facility and new markets.

SPICE Model for 90 nm

Tue, 6 Jun 2007
Developed at the University of Hiroshima (Japan) with professor Mitiko Miura-Mattausch, the HiSIM SPICE modeling solution targets modeling and simulation based on the physics of 90-nm CMOS geometries and below. It incorporates the surface potential-based model.

Memory Collaboration for MCPs

Fri, 4 Apr 2007
(April 27, 2007) MILPITAS, CA and MUNICH, Germany — SanDisk Corporation and Qimonda AG will jointly develop and manufacture muli-chip packages (MCPs), incorporating SanDisk NAND flash and controllers with Qimonda low-power mobile DRAM, through a jointly owned company in Portugal. The MCPs target high-capacity memory requirements of data-intensive mobile applications.

Samsung Develops DRAM Stack with TSVs

Mon, 4 Apr 2007
(April 23, 2007) SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., has developed an all-DRAM stacked-memory package using through-silicon vias (TSVs) housed in aluminum pads to avoid performance slow-downs caused by the redistribution layer. The company applied a proprietary wafer-thinning technique to eliminate warped die in the low-profile package.

Dense CNTs Viable 3D Interconnects

Thu, 6 Jun 2007
(June 14, 2007) TROY, NY — As part of research designed to manufacture carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as viable replacements for copper in 3D die-stacking applications, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have implemented a method for compacting CNTs into bundles, enabling better thermal and electrical conductivity. Densification occurs post-growth, allowing scientists to use a known, conventional CNT growth process. CNT density was increased 5–25× in the experiments.

Toshiba Touts 3D Memory

Tue, 6 Jun 2007
(June 12, 2007) TOKYO — Presenting at the VLSI Symposium this week in Japan, Toshiba says it has developed a 3D memory cell array structure using through-silicon vias (TSVs) that could be a potential candidate for higher-density NAND flash devices.

Untangling CNT Interconnect Issues

Tue, 6 Jun 2007
(June 5, 2007) SAN DIEGO — Since carbon nanotubes (CNTs) tend to grow with erratic kinks and bends in the tube structure, a group of engineers from Stanford University has devised circuit-simulation algorithms that eliminate bad connections caused by errant CNTs. The work, which involves fine grids rather that direct interconnects, is being presented at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), June 4–8 in San Diego.

Flash Advancing in Media Industry

Tue, 6 Jun 2007
(June 6, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, CA — Flash memory will become a large factor in the portable media player (PMP) market by 2011, reports analyst firm iSuppli. Flash is expected to grow 25× in this sector by 2011, bringing the quantity of flash-equipped PMPs to 150.2 million units. In 2007, shipments of PMPs with flash components will reach 54.8 million units. iSuppli predicts NAND packages will replace HDDs, based on storage capacity requirements for video as well as audio output.

SEZ Taps Korean Market

Wed, 1 Jan 2007
(January 31, 2007) SEOUL, South Korea and VILLACH, Austria — A major Korean semiconductor manufacturer placed an order with the SEZ Group for Da Vinci systems, to be used for back-end-of-line (BEOL) polymer removal. The four systems will perform aluminum/copper polymer cleans on 300- and 200-nm DRAM memory devices with sub-90-nm process technologies.

Hynix Stacks 24 Chips

Wed, 9 Sep 2007
(September 5, 2007) SEOUL, South Korea — Hynix Semiconductor reportedly developed a multichip package (MCP) with 24 stacked NAND flash memory chips, improving on its existing design, according to Korea Times.

SiP Ballast IC

Mon, 7 Jul 2007
A highly integrated ballast IC, the FAN7710 — targeting compact fluorescent lam (CFL) assemblies — combines a high-side 625-V gate-driver circuit, two 550-V MOSFETs, a frequency-control circuit, and a shunt regulator in an 8-DIP system-in-package (SiP).

ZyCube Intros Buried Interconnects

Fri, 7 Jul 2007
(July 27, 2007) TOKYO — ZyCube Co. developed a chip-sized packaging technology, ZyCSP, for CMOS image sensors used for cell-phone cameras. ZyCube will market the technology and a line of chips it manufactures using ZyCSP globally, reports the Nikkei Business Daily.

Environmentally Safe Flux Remover
ZESTRON

Tue, 9 Sep 2007
An MPC Technology product, VIGON RC 101 cleans accumulated flux residues from ovens and general solder waste from wave soldering machines. The chemistry has no flash point, and removes eutectic and lead-free flux residues.

Redshift Systems Partners with IMT to Develop Next-gen Thermal Imaging Device

Thu, 9 Sep 2007
(September 20, 2007) BURLINGTON, MA— RedShift Systems, provider of next-generation thermal imaging solutions, will join forces with MEMS manufacturer,Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) to produce a solid-state, passive optical component that shifts long-wavelength thermal infrared radiation to visible light to allow standard CMOS and CCD digital cameras to "see heat."

Raytheon Signs on to Ziptronix Bonds

Thu, 4 Apr 2007
(April 5, 2007) MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Ziptronix, Inc., in conjunction with Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS), demonstrated compatibility with multi-layer CMOS IC production for its Direct Bond Interconnect (DBI) process. The die-to-wafer/wafer-to-wafer bond process uses no external pressure or heat to produce stacked die. Raytheon selected the process to manufacture focal-plane imagers and high-performance sensor arrays, said Stefan Baur, RVS director for advanced technology.

Analysts Weigh In

Tue, 4 Apr 2007
As 2007 progresses, analysts are examining the past and future for electronic components and advanced technology applications. Following are summaries of reports from iSuppli, Henderson Ventures, Yole Développement and SEMI, and In-Stat, covering MEMS, NAND and NOR flash, SoC, and other technologies.

Micron Intros Multichip Packages

Thu, 2 Feb 2007
(February 15, 2007) BOISE, ID — Micron Technology, Inc., will incorporate its next-generation 1Gb mobile DRAM into "bundle" packages with the company's NAND flash memory. The multichip packages (MCPs) will target high-end mobile phone applications.

IMEC Names Fellows for Nanotech, Organics Study

Thu, 2 Feb 2007
(February 8, 2007) LEUVEN, Belgium — IMEC admitted Guido Groeseneken and Paul Heremans to the level of scientific fellow for their work in CMOS device technology and solar/organic technology, respectively. IMEC's scientific career program ranges from senior scientist to senior fellow, rewarding researchers who advance IMEC's technical position and contribute to technology transfers to industry partners. Promotions are based on research, global recognition, and academic activities.

Toshiba introduces new medium-power packages

Thu, 11 Nov 2001
Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. has expanded its lineup of medium-power packaging solutions to include US-Flat, S-Flat, M-Flat, thin flat package (TFP) and VS-6 devices

Intel packaging technology aims to enable 20-GHz processors by 2006

Sat, 12 Dec 2001
Intel Corp. recently announced that it has demonstrated a new packaging technology that could enable the development of 20-GHz microprocessors by 2006 or 2007

Silver lining

Sat, 12 Dec 2001
One of the clichés that you hear during slow times in the electronics industry is that a lull gives manufacturers the chance to develop new products rather than focusing on getting more of the same old products out the door

Motorola innovates packaging with new strategies

Mon, 1 Jan 2001
Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) is the strong, silent type. The industry might characterize the company as having been elusive in terms of its packaging developments in recent years, but behind this silence comes some good news for the packaging arena

IBM tops speeds on computer circuits

Sat, 4 Apr 2000
IBM Research has announced breakthrough results in developing a family of experimental high-speed computer circuits that run at test speeds up to five times faster than today`s top chips. The new circuits employ an innovative design called Interlocked Pipelined CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) to reach speeds of 3.3 to 4.5 billion cycles per second (3.3 to 4.5 GHz) using conventional silicon transistors, while dramatically reducing power consumption. IBM researchers estimate that c

Spansion consolidates test and assembly ops

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE) will consolidate its 2 semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS) operations, closing its facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to reduce costs by about $30 million annually.


Xilinx FPGA boasts 6.8B transistors

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq:XLNX) began shipping its Virtex-7 2000T field programmable gate array (FPGA), a programmable logic device with 6.8 billion transistors: 2 million logic cells, a die-stack architecture, low power consumption, and a more flexible design than large ASICS and monolithic FPGAs.


ADI unveils digital isolator package to meet 8mm creepage reqs

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) introduced a packaging technology for digital isolators that achieves a minimum of 8mm creepage distance required by global industry standards to ensure safe operation in high-voltage medical and industrial applications.


Samsung embedded memory fits 8 die in 1.4mm stack

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. developed a high-performance 64GB embedded memory with 64Gb NAND. The package contains an 8 die stack in a low profile for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.


STATS ChipPAC Expands QFN Portfolio

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
(November 24, 2008) SINGAPORE — STATS ChipPAC Ltd. has expanded its quad flat no-lead (QFN) packaging portfolio with a strip-etch version for applications requiring increased design flexibility and higher input/output (I/O) performance in a small, thin package profile. The new QFN package family, referred to as QFNs-se, reportedly features a higher number of very thin I/O terminal pads than conventional single or dual-row QFN or leadframe-based quad flat packages (QFPs).

IMEC and Panasonic Join Forces for CMOS Research

Fri, 11 Nov 2008
(November 14, 2008)OSAKA, Japan and LEUVEN, Belgium — IMEC and Panasonic Corporation have signed a joint research contract that will focus on advanced technologies in the semiconductor, networks, wireless, and biomedical fields. For this purpose, the Panasonic IMEC Center will be established at the IMEC premises in December 2008.

Packaging Requirements Key to Advancing Wafer Bonding Technology

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
By Paul Lindner, EV Group, St. Florian, Austria
Well-established as a process for forming silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates, wafer bonding is broadening its horizons to encompass bonding wafers for a variety of fast-growing applications. Regardless of the materials involved, packaging has emerged as the primary underlying driver. As wafer bonding technology evolves, key market, application, and industry trends can be linked to emerging advanced packaging requirements.

STMicroelectronics to Manufacture TSV-based Image Sensors on EV Group 300-mm Tools

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
(July 8, 2008) ST FLORIAN, AUSTRIA — EV Group(EVG)announced the order and successful installation of its 300-mm bonding, alignment, and photoresist fully automatic processing tools at ST Microelectronics'(ST) 300-mm through-silicon-via (TSV) pilot line in Crolles, France. The company says the tools will be used in the manufacture of CMOS imaging sensors (CIS) Using TSV technology.

Entorian Introduces Novel Package-on-Package Technology

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
(June 14, 2008) AUSTIN, TX — Offered as an alternative to dual-die package stacking, Entorian Technologies, provider of advanced electronic technologies and solutions for enterprise, consumer and other high-growth markets, has introduced RC Stakpak, a low-cost, package-on-package (PoP) stacking technology for DRAM memory.

Photonic Interconnects Enable the Continuation of Moore's Law

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
By Fran

IMEC Research Energetically Stacks Up

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
by Gail Flower, Editor-in-Chief, Advanced Packaging
IMEC remains on the forefront of research in many areas including nanotechnology, RF MEMS packaging, flip-chip, substrates, organic electronics, CMOS-based research, solar cells, and 3D stacked integrated circuits. In 3D stacked packages an area of predicted high-growth, IMEC has announced notable achievements.

Advanced Materials CVD and ALD Tool

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
The AltaCVD chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool from Altatech combines a unique vaporizer technology, chamber design, and gas/liquid panel integration. The combination of a proprietary reactor design and precursor introduction path with a pulsed liquid injection and vaporization is said to enable nanoscale control of thickness, uniformity, composition, and stoichiometry in complex materials.

Solder-free Connectors Using Buckled Pillars

Fri, 9 Sep 2008
By Peter Salmon, Salmon Technologies
A particularly versatile form of wafer bumping is stud bumping, using either gold or copper wire. The equipment required is an adaptation of a traditional wire bonder. A ball bond is made at a first contact pad using heat and ultrasonic energy. The wire is extended in a precise direction and a flying lead is created by terminating the wire, for example using electronic flame-off (EFO).

C4NP Process Update

Mon, 10 Oct 2008
Proven for high-volume 300mm manufacturing
By Emmet Hughlett, SUSS MicroTec, Inc.
In July 2007, IBM announced the qualification of C4NP for 200µm pitch lead-free solder bumping for shipped product. Since then, IBM has qualified 150µm pitch C4NP lead-free bumped wafers on a fully populated high-volume production line. SUSS MicroTec is completing build of additional C4NP equipment to meet ramping demand at IBM's Hopewell Junction bumping facility.

Executive Panel Addresses Options in WLP

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
By Fran

Wafer Bonder for CMOS Image Sensors

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
In response to market needs for 300mm process equipment capabilities to demonstrate 3D processes, SUSS MicroTec has introduced The XBC300. The XBC300 is designed for 3D integration and 3D packaging with through silicon vias (TSVs) and is ideal for the CMOS image sensor (CIS) early adopter market.

Combating Component Obsolescence — A Visit to Rochester Electronics

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
By Meredith Courtemanche, managing editor, SMT Magazine
"In a perfect world." This is a phrase uttered by many a project leader or product designer compiling a bill of materials (BOM) for a new product, new run of an existing assembly, or modified design. In a perfect world, market trends, materials changes, and technology advances would have no effect on the availability of components. No component would ever be obsolesced.

EMC3D Consortium Achieves Cost Goal for TSV

Mon, 9 Sep 2008
(September 8, 2008) SANTA CLARA, CA — 2 years ago, the EMC3D Consortium, open consortia of equipment and materials manufacturers, established itself and set out to develop a process flow and cost model for 3D integration. Focusing on via-first TSVs as the method of interconnect, the intention was to find a solution to achieving this for $200/wafer cost of ownership (CoO) on a 3-year timeline. It appears, however, that they've beaten their own goal ahead of schedule.

Tegal to Acquire Alcatel Micro Machining Systems Product Line

Fri, 9 Sep 2008
(September 5, 2008) PETALUMA, CA — Tegal Corporation announced an agreement with Alcatel Micro Machining Systems (AMMS) and Alcatel-Lucent to acquire their deep reactive ion etch (DRIE) and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) products, and the related intellectual property. The addition of these capabilities to Tegal's plasma-etch and deposition systems will reportedly enable Tegal to further expand into MEMS and 3D wafer level packaging applications.

Technologists Investigate Challenges for 3D Interconnect Metrology

Wed, 7 Jul 2009
July 1, 2009 -- To gain a better understanding of how new and existing wafer metrology technologies can be used, modified, or enhanced to measure and improve 3D interconnect processes, SEMATECH will host a workshop dedicated to 3D interconnect metrology on July 15 in conjunction with SEMICON West in San Francisco, CA.

3D integration: A status report

Tue, 7 Jul 2009
3D IC technology, an alternative approach to wire-bonded chip stacking utilizing interconnets with through-silicon vias (TSVs) fabricated with front-end-like processes, is a hot topic at SEMICON West, and the focus of an on-line virtual forum hosted by public relations firm MCA.

VLSI Forecast for Semiconductor Equipment

Thu, 7 Jul 2009
Semiconductor equipment manufacturers posted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.01 in June, according to VLSI Research. It was the first increase above parity since July 2008. Although bookings and billings remain well below normal levels, business activity is beginning to improve. Back-end suppliers are seeing a considerable pick up in business activity amid soaring utilization rates at the subcontractors.

Nemotek wafer-level camera integrates CMOS image sensors

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Nemotek Technologie uncrated the Exiguus, with a VGA wafer-level camera integrating wafer-level optics assembled with CMOS image sensors (CIS).


iPad teardown reveals Apple's hardware supremacy

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

Apple Inc.'s iPad has thus far thwarted competitive tablets in design efficiency, according to an IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis of eight tablet models from IHS. Major savings come from Apple's control of chips like SDRAM and applications processors.

 


Data I/O's next-gen pre-placement programmer prevents operator errors

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

Data I/O Corporation (NASDAQ: DAIO) debuted the RoadRunner3 in-line programming system, a just-prior-to-placement programming tool with modules to automate processes and eliminate operator interventions.


TI achieves volume production with stacked clip-bonded QFN

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

Texas Instruments has shipped more than 30 million units of its PowerStack packaging technology, a combination of chip stacking and clip bonding that is designed to improve performance and chip densities in power management devices.


Optomec aerosol jet printing featured as wire bond, TSV alternative at IMAPS Device Packaging

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Optomec Aerosol Jet product manager Mike O’Reilly will give a presentation titled "Aerosol Jet Printing as an Alternative to Wire Bond and TSV Technology for 3D Interconnect Applications" at the IMAPS Device Packaging Conference on March 9.


Samsung announces wide I/O DRAM with TSVs for mobile apps

Sun, 2 Feb 2011

Weeks after announcing a 40nm 8GB DDR3 memory with 3D through-silicon vias (TSV), Samsung is showing a wide I/O 1GB DRAM also utilizing 3D TSVs, targeting mobile applications.


STATS ChipPAC launches flip chip packaging for advanced silicon nodes

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

STATS ChipPAC launched fcCuBE technology, an advanced flip chip packaging technology that features copper (Cu) column bumps, bond-on-lead (BOL) interconnection and enhanced assembly processes. STATS ChipPAC claims the flip chip package is cost-comprable to standard packaging processes, and compatible with shrinking semiconductor device nodes down to 28nm.


Camtek logs CMOS image sensor inspection unit orders

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Camtek Ltd. (Nasdaq:CAMT; TASE:CAMT) received an order for multiple wafer inspection systems from one of the world's largest manufacturers of CMOS image sensors (CIS).


Intel Capital leads InVisage Series C venture funding

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

InVisage pixel capture as compared to traditional image sensors.InVisage Technologies, image sensor technology start-up, received its series C round of venture funding, led by Intel Capital. The undisclosed amount will be used to bring the company's quantum-dot-based QuantumFilm technology and products into mass production.


Samsung Electronics ramps embedded multi-chip packaging with memory products

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Samsung Electronics began producing embedded multi-chip package (eMCP) memory for use in entry- to mid-level smartphones. The products use low power double-data-rate 2 (LPDDR2) 30nm DRAM and 20nm NAND flash memory.


JEDEC publishes wide-I/O mobile DRAM standard

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association released a new standard for wide I/O mobile DRAM: JESD229 Wide I/O Single Data Rate. Wide I/O mobile DRAM increases die integration -- stacking chips with TSV interconnects with a SoC -- and improves bandwidth, latency, power, weight, and form factor.


Direct chip bonding, all-SiC design increase power density in Mitsubishi Electric inverter

Wed, 5 May 2012

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation developed a prototype forced-air-cooled three-phase 400V output inverter with all-silicon carbide (SiC) power modules and direct lead bonding that has a power density of 50kVA per liter.


Flexible silicon on polymer CMOS enables 3DICs flexible tablet PCs

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

FleX Silicon-on-Polymer replaces the mechanical substrate of a traditional silicon wafer with a pliable polymer. Compatible with CMOS wafers from varioius foundries, FleX is a wafer-scale process that can be used to produce single die up to full 200mm flexible wafers.


Stacked silicon interconnect is better than 3D stacking Xilinx

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

ElectroIQ caught up with Suresh Ramalingam, director of advanced package design and development at Xilinx, at the January MEPTEC luncheon, where he gave a presentation on the company's stacked silicon interconnect technology. In an interview with Debra Vogler, Ramalingam discusses SSIT in relation to die stacking and TSV.


Gate structure and 3D stacking winners will determine semiconductor industry direction

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Arthur W. Zafiropoulo, Ultratech, sees the 20/22nm node as a competition for gate-first and gate-last proponents to discover which will lead the semiconductor industry. Device makers that master TSV chip stacking will be the winners over the course of this decade, he says. This is an online exclusive essay in SST's Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality series.


Ziptronix accuses Omnivision, TSMC of patent infringement

Fri, 1 Jan 2011

Dr. Phil Garrou takes a closer look at an IP dispute lobbed by Ziptronix against Omnivision and TSMC over low-temperature oxide bonding, used in making backside-illumination CMOS image sensors.


TSV can deal with stress says Synopsys

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Victor Moroz discusses the strong but doable effects of stress on TSVs. TSV stress ranges are comparable to the size of the TSV, and analog behaves differently than digital. Synopsys recently presented results (part of a collaboration with imec) at a SEMATECH event.


Samsung licenses Tessera OptiML zoom tech

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

The System LSI Division of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has licensed the OptiML Zoom image enhancement solution from Tessera Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA).


Hynix Semiconductor joins SEMATECH 3D Interconnect Program at UAlbany NanoCollege

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Hynix Semiconductor Inc., DRAM and flash memory supplier, joined SEMATECH's 3D Interconnect program at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex to address industry infrastructure and technology gaps in materials, equipment, integration and product-related issues for high-volume adoption of through silicon vias (TSV).


X-FAB Silicon Foundries adopts SFT software

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, a More-than-Moore semiconductor foundry, has used SFT's R3D (Resistive 3D) software for its 0.18

USPTO seeks nominees for National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The USPTO is looking to increase the diversity of honorees for its annual National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI), honoring "this nation's creative geniuses."


Lifting the veil on silicon interposer pricing

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Are we closer than we think to our needed mass production costs for silicon interposers? Phil Garrou gleans some insights from the year-ending RTI Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference.


Singapore IME launches 2.5D silicon interposer MPW

Wed, 12 Dec 2012

Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has launched a new multiproject wafer service for 2.5D through-silicon interposers, to provide a cost-effective platform for R&D prototyping and proof-of-concept in the technology.


Will the $2 interposer be silicon or glass?

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Dr. Phil Garrou reports from the 2nd annual Georgia Tech 2.5D Interposer Conference: what's the market projection for silicon and glass interposers, what's preventing high-volume manufacturing, and is there a crossover with flat-panel display glass manufacturing?


Alchimer pursuing partners with new CEO, CTO

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Alchimer SA says it is seeking partnerships with various semiconductor equipment and materials companies as it welcomes two top execs: Bruno Morel is the company's CEO since May of this year, and product development director Fr

Deca tips new M-Series chip-scale packaging offering

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

Deca Technologies has introduced a new chip-scale packaging (CSP) product line for applications where its existing wafer-level CSP option isn't a good fit. Details and analysis to come.


KIT develops "photonic wire bond" for optical chip connections

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) say they have developed a novel optical connection process for semiconductors using "photonic wire bonding" that achieves data transmission rates of several Tbit/sec.


UMC, ST to develop 65nm backside CMOS image sensors

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

SiliconBlue 40nm mobileFPGA roadmap targets sensor management, mobile display

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

SiliconBlue Technologies unveiled its mobileFPGA platform device roadmap using TSMC's 40nm low power standard CMOS process. The two distinct families target the two areas where smartphones and other handhelds differentiate.


Thinfilm PARC bring printed electronics commercialization engagement forward

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and PARC, a Xerox company, entered the next phase of their co-innovation engagement for printed memory devices. This next phase extends the engagement to prototyping the product for manufacturing readiness.


Invensas demos DFD implementation of its xFD technology

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Invensas president Simon McElrea explains the company's new wire bond-based multi-die face-down (xFD) packaging technology, demo'd at this year's Intel Developer Forum, and its advantages in terms of performance and manufacturing cost reductions.


Backside-illuminated image sensors: Optimizing manufacturing for a sensitivity payoff

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Backside-illuminated image sensors require more precise wafer processing -- uniform extreme wafer thinning, dopant control, epitaxy growth, trench manipulation, etc. -- but the payoff in image quality is significant. Researchers at imec experimented with different wafer fab technologies to make a record BSI sensor. They also consider new architectures/packaging techniques for this technology.


MOSAID taps Winpac to package fastest NAND Flash device

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

MOSAID launched the 256Gb HLNAND2 semiconductor memory device, operating at up to 800MB/s per channel for mass storage applications. Winpac will package and distribute HLNAND devices for MOSAID.


SRC attacks 3DIC reliability, design tools with new effort

Thu, 5 May 2011

Semiconductor Research Corporation is leading an effort to address key roadblocks for wide-scale adoption of the emerging 3D ICs and systems. These new initiatives will address critical reliability and design tool issues and leverage partnership between researchers from universities and the semiconductor industry.


Flip chip still in growth phase, even at $16B

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

2010 total flip chip market value. Split by cost-of-ownership supply chain segments (substrates for LCD drivers excluded, service margin included). SOURCE: Flip Chip report, Yole Développement, April 2011.Yole reports on the flip chip market, and finds that this $16 billion industry, with diverse applications, is still growing. New flip chip technologies, such as copper pillars, and technology demands, such as fragile 28nm chips, are driving demand.


If wide I/O DRAM and other 3D technologies can go HVM standards are needed

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Mechanical stresses can prevent successful implementation of 3D packaging technologies, says Larry Smith, SEMATECH. He argues for a DFM-like solution to identify and manage stress on thinned and stacked die in 3D ICs. To complicate matters, foundries, OSATs, and memory suppliers could inflict different stresses on the die, and the whole industry is too new at 3D packaging to present concrete answers.


MENT tailors 3D and 2.5D IC test

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Mentor Graphics (MENT) says many of its EDA customers are designing, verifying, manufacturing and testing integrated circuit products using multi-die vertical stacking technology, 3D-IC. The company is deploying a multiple-component Tessent design-for-test product line for integrated multi-die hierarchical scan and built-in self-test  methodologies.


IBM fabs Micron memory cube with TSV tech

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Using the advanced through-silicon via (TSV) fabrication process at IBM (NYSE:IBM), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) will begin producing its Hybrid Memory Cube. The companies claim that this is the first CMOS design to go commercial with TSV interconnects.


Partnership forms to commercialize advanced photonic chip innovations

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

The Institute of Microelectronics, a research institute of Singapore's A*STAR, plans to commercialize key innovations in silicon photonic chips designed to support high-speed, high-bandwidth optical communications.


Leti on 3D CMOS and photonics interconnect

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

Leti

NeoPhotonics doubles PIC production capacity

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Citing rising demand and a potential industry shortage, NeoPhotonics is in the process of more than doubling its production capacity of narrow linewidth tunable lasers with minimal expected additional capital expenditures.


Fairchild, Infineon compatibility agreement aligns power MOSFET packages

Thu, 4 Apr 2010

Fairchild Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies formed a packaging partnership for their power MOSFETs in the MLP 3x3 (Power33 or S3O8) and PowerStage 3x3 packages.


22nm requires foundry-to-packaging-house cooperation

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

At the 22nm node, die fragility and challenging interconnect materials will necessitate foundry collaborations with packaging houses, co-designing silicon and package, asserts E. Jan Vardaman, TechSearch International.


CSCD commissions curve tracers for on-wafer power device test

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

CT-3100/3200 Curve Tracers from Cascade Microtech will provide wafer-level measurement for the growing power device market. The curve tracer units complement CSCD's Tesla probe systems' high-voltage and high-current capabilities.


Silicon interposers: building blocks for 3D-ICs

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
Silicon interposers seem set to stay as a valid alternative implementation to full 3D-IC designs. Matthew Hogan, Mentor Graphics, Wilsonville, OR

Elpida, PTI, UMC finalize 3D IC partnership

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Updating on plans announced a year ago, Elpida, Powertech, and UMC say they have finalized their partnership to develop a "one-chip" logic+DRAM 3D IC solution incorporating 28nm interface design, through-silicon via (TSV) formation, wafer thinning, testing, and chip stacking assembly.


NXP assembles RF power transistors in plastic packages

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) launched overmolded plastic (OMP) RF power devices with 2.5-200W peak power. The plastic packages are a lower-cost option alongside NXP's ceramic package RF devices.


New power MOSFET package from IRF minimizes form factor

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

ternational Rectifier, (IR, NYSE:IRF), power management technology provider, introduced a PQFN 2 x 2mm with <1mm profile package featuring its latest HEXFET MOSFET silicon. The new package is ultra-compact, high density and efficient for lower-power applications.


FEI plasma FIB tool targets packaging apps

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

High-speed sectioning of TSVs with plasma FIB. The device was located, cross-sectioned, polished, and imaged with PFIB. SOURCE: FEI FEI's new Vion plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) system based on inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) source technology using a xenon ion beam generates more than a micro-amp of beam current and can remove material faster than liquid metal ion sources, says product marketing manager Peter Carleson.


FormFactor next-gen DRAM tester contacts 850+ die in parallel

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

FormFactor (NASDAQ:FORM) introduced its new generation of the SmartMatrix 300mm full wafer contact probe cards for DRAM device test. The SmartMatrix 100XP probe card uses FORM's MicroSpring 3D MEMS contact technology and increases probe card parallelism to over 850 die, enabling single touchdown DRAM wafer test.


3D stacked IC design flow gets boost from imec, Atrenta partnership

Wed, 5 May 2011

imec's 3D integration industrial affiliation program (IIAP) partnered with Atrenta Inc., SoC realization products provider to semiconductor and electronic systems industries, to developed an advanced planning and partitioning design flow for heterogeneous 3D stacked ICs.


3D integration: Bringing it home with supply-chain buy-in

Thu, 5 May 2011

A recurring theme at this year's Confab is that 3D integration shows tremendous promise, particularly with many fabless companies, yet many barriers remain -- and the first and biggest is preparing the supply chain.


Non-planar device scaling: SEMATECH talks TSV, SoC, SiP

Thu, 5 May 2011

The semiconductor industry is moving to 3D device structures, says Raj Jammy, SEMATECH, at The ConFab 2011, discussing TSV and system-in-package (SiP) opportunities and challenges. He also summarizes logic and memory roadmaps.


RFaxis' pure-CMOS on-die coexistence filter reduces package size, current consumption

Tue, 5 May 2011

RFaxis released its patent-pending On-Die Coexistence Filter technology, designed to replace "bulky and expensive" stand-alone coexistence filters for cellular, mobile, and other devices.


Hybrid Memory Cube interface specification draft includes protocol, short-reach PHY interconnection

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium released the initial draft of the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) interface specification, with the final version planned for end of 2012.


ASIC developers can now access multi-project wafer runs at Tektronix Component Solutions

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Tektronix Component Solutions, a custom microelectronics services provider, tapped supply chain aggregator MOSIS to help its customers develop complete, high-performance ASICs with lower early-stage ASIC development costs.


EDA in a 3D semiconductor world: Walden Rhines

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

In this video interview from SEMICON West 2010, Walden Rhines, Mentor Graphics, discusses 3D technologies. EDA tools need to be extended to meet the needs of 3D -- parasitic extraction and timing, place-and-route, and other steps are different with 3D. The tools are evolving for the various 3D technologies. He also touches on lithography evolution.


Workshop addresses simulating, measuring 3D IC stress using TSVs

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

SEMATECH and Fraunhofer IZFP hosted a follow-up meeting in conjunction with SEMICON West (Tuesday, July 13) to evaluate a design-for-manufacturing (DFM) approach to managing stress in 3D interconnects, and to drive consensus and support for these techniques across the industry.


Cu protrusion, keep-out zones highlight 3D talks at IEDM

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Dr. Phil Garrou looks at 3D IC technology discussions at IEDM 2010, including details of TSMC's integration of 3D into its advanced CMOS foundry processes, and a close examination of 3D-induced stresses.


SemiSouth-sends-SiC-die-to-Micross-for-hermetic-packaging-aimed-at-mil-aero-drilling-apps

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

Micross Components, Inc. and SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc. announced a collaborative effort to expand SemiSouth's line of Silicon Carbide (SiC) Power JFETs and Schottky Diodes. SemiSouth will provide select JFET and diode die to Micross for packaging and test in metal hermetic packages


DIOD releases first product in thermally enhanced PowerDI5060 package

Fri, 12 Dec 2010

Diodes Incorporated (Nasdaq: DIOD) released its first device in its unique PowerDI5060 package, the DMP3010LPS 30V rated p-channel enhancement mode MOSFET.


Vishay Intertechnology enters into new $450 million credit facility

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (NYSE: VSH) has entered into a new five-year $450 million credit facility. The senior secured facility, which matures on December 1, 2015, replaces VSH's prior $250 million revolving credit facility, which was scheduled to mature on April 20, 2012.


Alpha and Omega Semiconductor buys Agape Package Manufacturing

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

The consideration for the acquisition is approximately $38 million, comprising of approximately $17 million in cash and 1.8 million AOS's common shares. Prior to this acquisition, AOS held 43% equity stake in APM.


Picotest Signal Injectors improve regulator, power supply test accuracy

Mon, 9 Sep 2010

Picotest released a new family of Signal Injectors, or adapters, to improve voltage regulator, LDO, and power supply testing accuracy. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, crosstalk, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, and crosstalk tests along with non-invasive in-circuit testing (ICT) for load transients, stability and output impedance. Picotest released a new family of Signal Injectors, or adapters, to improve voltage regulator, LDO, and power supply testing accuracy. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, crosstalk, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, and crosstalk tests along with non-invasive ICT for load transients, stability and output impedance.


Optoelectronics project initiated by packaging group

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

The HDP User Group's Optical Interconnect project aims to alleviate intra-cabinet interconnect bottlenecks envisaged in Tbps systems by connecting electronic devices with optical paths. The project is developing optical interconnect architectures that can respond to capacity and energy efficiency needs of future high-speed systems.


Interfacial properties of Cu-Cu direct bonds for TSV integration

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
With varying process conditions, the quantitative analysis of the interfacial adhesion energy of Cu-Cu thermo-compression bonds was performed. Bioh Kim, et al, EV Group, Inc., Tempe, AZ USA; Eun-Jung Jang, et al, Andong National University, Andong, Korea

TSMC-work-on-Si-interposers-TSV-die-stacking

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

TSMC packaging interviewDi Ma spoke with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, ElectroIQ, about TSMC's work with silicon interposers, die stacking with through-silicon vias (TSV), and gate-last transistor fab.


FDSOI-to-TSV-IEDM-preview-CEA-Leti research

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

CEA-Leti will present 10 papers, including two invited papers, at the IEDM/IEEE 2010 International Electron Devices Meeting December 6-8, in San Francisco, CA. The papers will cover More than Moore, FDSOI, memory (phase-change and charge-trapping), silicon nanowires, TSVs, high-k dielectrics, and more.


Tessera and Nanium, formerly Qimonda Portugal, sign packaging technology licensing agreement for DRAM and other semiconductor devices

Fri, 2 Feb 2010

Tessera Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:TSRA) semiconductor packaging subsidiary, Tessera Inc., signed a technology licensing agreement with Nanium S.A. Nanium, formerly known as Qimonda Portugal, previously was the largest semiconductor packaging assembly and test operation within Qimonda. Nanium has now reorganized as an independent company and will focus on providing assembly and test services for the DRAM memory market and other semiconductor products. Products manufactured by Nanium will be incorporated into computers, servers and various electronic devices such as MP3 players, mobile phones, cameras, and game consoles. The initial term of the license agreement runs through the end of 2017.


Process equipment readiness for through-silicon via technologies

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
Unit processes, integration schemes, and equipment are in place to enable development and pilot production of TSV technologies and all parts of the value chain do exist today at 300mm to enable integration technology qualification, end-product samples, and limited pilot production. Sesh Ramaswami, Applied Materials, Santa Clara, CA USA

SiC, MOSFET package from IXYS improves power, weight

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

IXYS Corporation (NASDAQ:IXYS) integrated silicon carbide (SiC) technology and super junction MOSFET technology into a single package, enabling increased power density and higher efficiency in fast switching power supplies and solar inverter applications. The MKE product line is said to allow easier mechanical layouts and reduce parasitic losses over separate discrete package designs.


Xilinx boosts silicon and electronics engineering in Ireland

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Xilinx will invest $50 million to expand its electronics engineering operations, located at the company

3D and 2.5D Integration: A Status Report preview with TechSearch International

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Solid State Technology is hosting 3D and 2.5D Integration: A Status Report, sponsored by EVG and ALLVIA, and is free for all attendees. This preview shares a sneak peek at

Xilinx speaker joins 3D packaging webcast roster

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Solid State Technology is hosting a free webcast, 3D and 2.5D Integration: A Status Report. A fourth presenter has just been announced, Brent Przybus, Senior Director, Product Line Marketing, Xilinx Inc.


New speaker added for 3D and 2.5D Integration webcast

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

Solid State Technology will present 3D and 2.5D Integration: A Status Report on June 27, free for all attendees. William Chen, ASE, will join speakers David McCann, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and E. Jan Vardaman, TechSearch International.


Conference report: IITC closes with talks from EUV to TSV

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Day 3 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference) opened in San Jose, CA under clear sunny skies and a pleasant breeze. The herd thinned a bit, down to ~150 hearty souls from the original 230 the prior two days.


SEMICON West workshop addresses stress management for 3D ICs using TSVs

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Speakers at a SEMATECH/Fraunhofer-hosted workshop at SEMICON West looked at stress management for 3D ICS using TSVs: the state of reliability testing, failure analysis techniques, and why an engineering paradigm shift is needed.


EV Group joins Ga. Tech's 3D packaging center

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

EV Group will contribute its know-how and technology in temporary bonding and debonding, chip-to-wafer bonding, and lithography technology to the Georgia Tech's PRC's Silicon and Glass Interposer Industry (SiGI) Consortium research program.


Elpida begins sampling 8Gb DDR3 SDRAM

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Elpida Memory is now sampling a new 8Gb TSV DRAM consisting of four 2Gb layers based on TSV stacking technology.


Elpida tips 4-layer mobile DRAM package

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

Elpida Memory has come up with what it says is the thinnest available DRAM device, a new 0.8mm four-layer package of 2GB DDR2 mobile RAM chips, assembled using package-on-package (PoP).


NCCAVS on 3D packaging: Bring on the TSVs

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

A standing-room crowd gathered at SEMI for a special NCCAVS usergroup meeting to hear about issues relevant to 3D packaging, including CMP for through-silicon vias (TSV), a DFM methodology for 3D TSV packaging designs, and TSV process integration challenges.


Vishay Siliconix Medical MOSFETs marks foray into implantable apps

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (NYSE: VSH) released two devices in its first family of power MOSFETs built on an enhanced process flow with strict manufacturing process controls for implantable medical applications.


austriamicrosystems extends beyond standard foundry offering into advanced packaging

Thu, 10 Oct 2010

austriamicrosystems Full Service Foundry introduced "More Than Silicon," a comprehensive service and technology package that goes beyond standard foundry services. Foundry customers receive access to leading-edge technology add-ons, advanced packaging services, and dedicated support engineers to enable first-time-right designs.


Tessera sues Sony, Renesas on IP use, UTAC-Taiwan on contract breach

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Tessera Technologies (NASDAQ:TSRA) took 2 new legal actions via its semiconductor packaging subsidiary, Tessera Inc., against Sony and Renesas, claiming lapsed licensing of its packaging technology. Tessera also logged a complaint in US District Court against UTAC (Taiwan) for breach of contract. Tessera provides a status update on ongoing legal actions.


CSP Test Socket Features Adjustable Pressure Pad

Thu, 6 Jun 2009
Aries Electronics, an international manufacturer of standard, programmed and custom interconnection products, now offers its 27mm CSP (chip scale package)/MicroBGA (ball grid array) test and burn-in sockets with an optional adjustable pressure pad.

Yole Report: Memory Packaging & Integration Trends

Fri, 5 May 2009
(May 8, 2009) LYON, France — The memory semiconductor industry is about to go through major technological changes as new integration trends and disruptive packaging technologies pave the way to the future growth, reports Yole. The study presents the end applications driving the use of 3D integrated memories and their key players. It also includes an overview of the memory packaging market, its forecasted evolutions with new applications and growth in flash and DRAM.

New Method to Form Ultra-Thin Device Wafers

Tue, 8 Aug 2009
August 11, 2009

CSP Test Socket Features Adjustable Pressure Pad

Fri, 8 Aug 2009
August 21 -- Aries Electronics, an international manufacturer of standard, programmed and custom interconnection products, has expanded its line of CSP (chip scale package)/MicroBGA (ball grid array) test and burn-in sockets with an optional adjustable pressure pad to include a version that accommodates devices 13 mm squared or smaller, with a pitch of 0.30 mm or higher.

NOR flash revenue set to grow in 2010 after downturn

Fri, 5 May 2010

Buoyed by improved demand and a brightening macroeconomic environment, NOR flash memory market revenue is projected to return to growth in 2010, according to iSuppli Corp. The climb will be modest: from $4.6 billion in 2009 to $4.8 billion in 2010.


Novellus develops copper seed PVD process for TSV packaging

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Novellus Systems (NASDAQ: NVLS) created an advanced copper barrier-seed physical vapor deposition (PVD) process for the emerging through-silicon-via (TSV) packaging market. The process uses Novellus’ established INOVA platform with patented hollow cathode magnetron (HCM) technology to produce highly conformal copper seed films that are reportedly four times thinner than the conventional PVD seed approaches used for TSV applications. Novellus announced that the HCM TSV process delivers excellent sidewall and bottom coverage, and enables void-free copper fill during the subsequent TSV electroplating step.


Design Platform for 3D Stacked ICs

Tue, 2 Feb 2009
The j360 Silicon PathFinder 3D Platform from Javelin Design Automations supports 3D stacked IC design using through silicon vias (TSV). The design tool reportedly extends the Javelin PathFinding methodology and j360 Silicon PathFinder platform to support virtual chip design for co-optimization of system design and 3D interconnect-packaging technologies

Power savings of embedded computing modules (ECMs) over FR-4 implementations

Thu, 12 Dec 2009

Silicon circuit board (SiCB) technology allows bare-die FPGAs, CPUs, and memory to be placed together on a single silicon substrate. Embedded computing modules using SiCB offer better performance than FR-4 material -- notably 22% reduced power consumption in a typical system, reports David Blaker from siXis Inc.


Micron sampling new NAND+DRAM multichip package

Wed, 11 Nov 2009

Micron Technology says it is now sampling a multichip package combing its 34nm-based 4Gb SLC NAND flash and 50nm-based 2Gb low-power DDR DRAM memories, a combination it says offers better cost and power savings for mobile devices.


Report: "Astonishing" evolution in 3D ICs, TSVs

Sat, 11 Nov 2009

Updates to a pair of reports from Yole Developpement aim to help better identify remaining integration challenges and high-volume production implementation strategies for 3D ICs and through-silicon vias (TSV).


Alchimer: Higher-AR TSV saves $700/wafer

Wed, 11 Nov 2009

A new study suggests that through-silicon vias (TSV) with higher aspect ratios (20:1 or 10:1, vs. 5:1) offer a significant payback by saving space on a die, up to $700 per wafer.


IMEC: 3D challenges, integrating DRAM on logic

Tue, 10 Oct 2009

Bart Swinnen, IMEC's director of interconnect and process technology unit, discusses with SST/AP the research center's 3D program, from its annual press event in Leuven, Belgium.


Avoiding ASIC expense and risk with SiCB technology

Mon, 10 Oct 2009

Embedded computing modules employing "silicon circuit board" technology as an alternative to expensive ASIC developments offer advantages in performance and power for integrating memory and logic -- and are a practical alternative to 3D integration due to thermal and supply chain issues, explains siXis' David Blaker.


Elpida stacks 8 DRAMs with TSV

Wed, 9 Sep 2009

Elpida Memory recently pushed vertical stacking of DRAM to new heights by connecting eight 1G chips using through-silicon vias, creating what it calls the world's largest-capacity DRAM with ~8GB of storage.


IMEC sets major step towards 3D integration of DRAM on logic

Wed, 9 Sep 2009

IMEC and its 3D integration partners have taped-out Etna, a new 3D chip integrating a commercial DRAM chip on top of a logic IC. The new 3D stack resembles as close as possible to future commercial chips. It consists of a 25µm thick logic die on top of which a commercial DRAM is stacked using through-silicon vias (TSVs) and micro-bumps.


Package on Package

Tue, 3 Mar 2009
Amkor's TMVPoP is a next-generation package-on-package (PoP) that incorporates the company's proprietary through mold via (TMV) technology, which uses lasers to create interconnect vias through the mold cap. TMV technology reportedly provides a stable bottom package that enables use of thinner substrates with a larger die to package ratio.

Revisiting the Path to Burn-in

Tue, 3 Mar 2009
by James A. Forster, Ph.D., Antares Advanced Test Technologies
As IC manufacturers rely more on the burn-in process to bring the latest devices from fabs to consumers, it is important to understand burn-in test. As feature size is reduced into the nanometer range, designers can place more circuits on a square of silicon. As the number of transistors and the total amount of circuitry on a chip increases, the potential for a defect increases, leading to immediate or future failures.

3D roadmaps begin to converge

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Last month's SEMICON Taiwan 3D Technology Forum shed some insight into what several foundries, assembly houses and customers are thinking about the timing for 3D interposers and full 3D IC, reports Phil Garrou.


Bart Swinnen, IMEC, Discusses TSVs

Fri, 8 Aug 2009

In this video interview from SEMICON West 2009, Bart Swinnen, reviews the established interconnect bonding and through-silicon via (TSV) technologies at the system-integration level. He also discusses the newer TSV possibilities and different application-specific TSVs.


BrightSpots 3D IC Forum: Summary of Discussions

Wed, 8 Aug 2009
The BrightSpots 3D IC Forum came to a close on Friday, July 24. Out of 3 topic areas covering technology progress, supply chain issues, and standards development, the discussions around technology progress were clearly the most active, both from a panelist and attendee perspective. What follows is a summary of each discussion. Where topics overlapped, and discussions were brief, the summaries have been combined into one.

IGI releases WYSIWYG phototool editing, definition, viewing, and ordering product

Wed, 6 Jun 2010

Infinite Graphics Incorporated (IGI) debuted the IGI Phototooling Toolbox for niche applications with specialized requirements not addressed by traditional mainstream PCB and IC products.


Doesn’t Happen Often

Sun, 4 Apr 2007
Nearly a year after the presentation of “A Case for Socket Reuse,” by Paul Gaschke of IBM, at the 2006 Burn-in and Test Socket (BiTS) Workshop, I wondered whether compression-mount sockets (which enabled the socket reuse he described) were seeing more widespread acceptance and application by users, and being added to suppliers’ product portfolios.

Novati to use Ziptronix bonding tech for 3D assembly

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Novati Technologies Inc. has licensed Ziptronix's direct bonding technologies, "direct bond interconnect" (DBI) and "direct oxide bonding (ZiBond), to offer 3D stacking services and test to customers.


Compact All-optical Buffers on a Silicon Chip

Mon, 1 Jan 2007
he use of light signals to connect different chips within a computer or different parts within a chip has attracted lots of attention due to the huge bandwidth provided by optics.

ON Semiconductor, Phoenix, Ariz., opened a facility in Piestany, Slovakia, where full production of metal-gate CMOS logic devices will begin in the first quarter of 2000.

Tue, 2 Feb 2000

Memory madness in the telecommunications industry

Mon, 5 May 2000
Digital wireless content is everywhere. Cellular phones, internet applications, pagers and other personal communications devices are capable of receiving and storing a wide variety of message types, including e-mail, voice, fax and executable code.

SIA forecasts 21% growth in 2000, 20% in 2001

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
SAN JOSE, CALIF. - The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has recently announced its predictions for industry growth. SIA forecasts that 2000-2001 growth rates will exceed 20 percent, part of a strong surge in growth overall from 1999-2002. The trade group predicts that the worldwide semiconductor industry will grow 15 percent with sales topping $144 billion in 1999, marking the first sustained period of growth since 1995. Sales are expected to surge 21 percent to $174 billion in 2000. Con

Flash memory partnership

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
InterWorks Computer Products, a provider of modular solutions to telecom, internetworking and embedded subsystems, has formed a strategic partnership with Houston`s BP Microsystems. The latter firm, which markets a range of engineering and production device programmers, will work with InterWorks to augment its flash memory support services in the areas of programming, test and verification.

Plug and Socket System

Wed, 3 Mar 2000
The 3M .8 mm Board-to-Board Straight Surface Mount Plug and Socket Interconnect System is a 200 position, PCB stacking interconnect. It is parallel mounted and has snap-in connections and polarized contacts. It features beryllium-copper alloy active contacts with bellows design, a high insertion/withdrawal rate, a 1.8 mm mating length and a 5.0 mm PCB stacking height.

SMD-0.5 Package

Wed, 3 Mar 2000
The SMD-0.5 package is said to have two times the power-handling capability as the 18-pin leadless chip carrier. Designed to accommodate up to a die size 3, the newproduct reportedly can be used with any RAD-Hard MOSFET, HEXFRED diodes, Schottky or standard HEXFET power MOSFET device. This compact surface mount package comes in at 1.0 g and dimensions of 0.296 x 0.400 x 0.115 in.

Auto-test Contactor

Wed, 3 Mar 2000
The HP 95000 auto-test contactor is designed for use with the HP 95000 tester and provides 1 GHz performance with less than 1 ns pulse widths for testing direct rambus DRAM. The contacts feature 0.75 mm pitch, 1.3 to 1.6 nH self inductance, 0.02 to 0.09 capacitance and 9.3 GHz bandwidth at 1.0 dB for accurate test results from -55 to 150°C. The contactor uses a proprietary socket design with interchangeable package inserts that allow the contactor to be refigured for different packages by c

MOSAID multi-chip package stacks 16 NAND Flash die on 1 channel

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

MOSAID Technologies Inc. is sampling a 16-die stack NAND Flash device operating on a single high-performance channel, the 5126Gb HLNAND.


Semiconductors see some softness in Q1 2012

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Semiconductor lead times decreased at the end of February 2012, reports analyst firm Gartner Inc. Although Gartner still expects the semiconductor industry to grow in 2012, Q1 showed some signs of softness.


Hynix brings NAND Flash memory to NOR maker Spansion

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE) and SK Hynix formed an alliance to deliver Spansion SLC NAND Flash products at the 4x, 3x, and 2x nodes to the embedded market. Spansion is known as a NOR Flash memory provider.


Semiconductor sales flat through February 2012

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) measured worldwide semiconductor sales at $22.9 billion in February 2012, down 1.3% from January’s $23.2 billion and 7.3% from February 2011.


Analog appraised: Demand and inventories at top chip makers

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Sterne Agee analyzes top analog semiconductor companies and the analog sector as a whole. Demand is stable (industrial, automotive) to improving (computing), and distributor inventories are low.


SEMICON West heralds 22nm, EUVL, 450mm, mobile electronics speakers

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Intel, SEMATECH, and other top chip makers, suppliers, and research organizations will send speakers to SEMICON West, July 10-12 in San Francisco. The event will single out new transistor architectures, advanced lithography, 450mm wafers, and other major developments.


Qualcomm IC design and engineering R&D center to bolster Singapore hub

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) will establish an integrated circuit (IC) design and engineering R&D center in Singapore.


MOCVD advances, InGaN enable record HEMT material from Kopin

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Kopin Corporation achieved record 1290cm2/V.s electron mobility and 240ohms/square sheet resistance results from GaN-based high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) materials.


Transparent memory chip under development at Rice U

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Rice University is developing transparent, flexible memory devices based on silicon oxide, enabling future consumer applications with flexible touchscreens, transparent batteries, see-through ICs, and more.


CMOS power amplifiers grab market share from GaAs

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

In its report, "RF filters, PAs, Antenna Switches & Tunability for Cellular Handsets," Yole Développement notes that new technologies are changing the power amplifier sector. PAs are strategic RF components in cell phones.


ARM’s Segars sees changing requirements for electronics driven by mobile

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

At the recent Common Platform Technology Forum -- produced by Global Foundries, Samsung and IBM -- Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager of the physical IP division at ARM, spoke about the impact of the internet of things and mobile computing on the way electronics are designed and used.


2011 ITRS: DRAM, 3D Flash, MEMS, nano scaling steal the show

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

The 2011 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has been publicly released. Several areas of advancement are highlighted in the 2011 ITRS: DRAM and Flash memory, and MEMS.


Compound semiconductor makers focus on growing high-frequency market

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Handset products dominate compound semiconductor revenue, but microelectronics companies focus development on high-performance, high-frequency applications where volumes are lower and products are differentiated by performance, reports Strategy Analytics.


UPDATED: Record semiconductor sales in 2011, 2012 outlook

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

The SIA shows 2011 worldwide semiconductor sales hit $299.5 billion, a 0.4% year-on-year increase and new record. Semico Research's forecast for 2012 shows a 10.11% growth in semiconductors revenues over 2011. Barclays Capital and Strategy Analytics also weigh in.


Micron (MU) CEO dies unexpectedly; company shares succession plan

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU) long-time CEO and chairman Steve Appleton passed away. MU named Mark Durcan, Micron president and COO, to fill the vacant CEO post, and serve on the Board.


AMD outlines SoC-centric strategy

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

AMD's (NYSE:AMD) new president and CEO Rory P. Read detailed what he called an "ambidextrous" strategy for the company, building on its x86 and graphics IP while incorporating other technologies and IP for differentiation in the electronics marketplace.


Smart mobile consumer electronics head for 25%+ growth

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

Consumer electronics devices are shifting from specific functions to multiple functions and Internet connectivity, creating an overlap of features and functions between product categories not only in the mobile segment, but also in other CE devices like digital TVs and set top boxes. This entire category is morphing into a larger "smart devices" grouping.


Wireless leads semiconductor-related OEM spending in 2011

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

Propelled by the appeal of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, the wireless communications sphere surpassed computers to lead all segments in semiconductor-related spending among top OEMs in 2011.


Semiconductor foundry Dongbu HiTek recruits leadership from Samsung, MagnaChip

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Dongbu HiTek named Dr. Chang-Sik Choi, former EVP of Samsung Electronics, as its president and CEO and Chan-Hee Lee, former EVP of MagnaChip Semiconductor, as president of its foundry business.


Silicon germanium grown monolithically to avoid crystal defects

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

European researchers have manufactured defect-free structures of different semiconductors on silicon wafers, using semiconductor manufacturing processes.


LED lighting to illuminate power semiconductor sector

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

The global market for power semiconductors used in LED lighting is forecast to reach over $3 billion in 2016. LED lighting systems require complex electronics, IMS Research notes.


3M expands silicon battery-anode manufacturing in US, bolsters research

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

3M is investing in research and manufacturing of novel silicon (Si) based battery anode materials, for mobile electronics and electric vehicles.


Samsung, IBM and GlobalFoundries look to the future: A report from the Common Platform Technology Forum

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Execs from Samsung, IBM, GlobalFoundries and ARM looked to the future at The Common Technology Platform Forum in Santa Clara. They focused on the innovation pipeline for 20nm and 14nm technology nodes, and the role that EUV, FinFETs, TSVs, CNTs and DSA will play.


Gallium nitride development accelerates at microelectronics companies

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

As products using gallium nitride (GaN) technology continue to gain acceptance in military and commercial applications, development activities at microelectronics companies are accelerating.


Texas Instruments, SMIC sprout new IC research labs in US and China

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

TI opened a CA-based research lab for analog and mixed-signal circuits, tapping into local universities for a portion of the research. SMIC is teaming with Brite Semiconductor and Zhejiang University for an IC research program in China. Both aim to develop a "home-grown" and dynamic semiconductor industry workforce.


How Toshiba's NAND biz survived Japan's Great East Earthquake 1 year ago

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Japan's NAND flash memory supplier Toshiba rapidly rebounded from the devastating Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami that hit one year ago this week, says IHS, thanks to fortunate fab location, quick wafer supply replenishment, and strong demand.


SiC semiconductor maker SemiSouth expands capacity

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

SemiSouth Laboratories Inc., high-voltage silicon-carbide (SiC) semiconductor device manufacturer, launched its second major capacity expansion within 18 months.


2012 semiconductor spending forecast nearly doubled at Gartner

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to total $316 billion in 2012, a 4% increase from 2011, according to Gartner Inc. This outlook is up from Gartner's previous forecast, made in Q4 2011, for 2.2% growth.


Conference report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 2

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the second day: OLED TFT displays, single transistor DRAMs, silicon photonic wires, CNTs, 3D optical interconnects, graphene for RF and sensing, transparent ZnO, epidermal electronic systems, stretchable electronics, ultra-low-k dielectrics, patterning of electroceramics, PRAM (an alternative to NRAM), and inkjet printing of superconducting films.


Commercialization of stretchable electronics: The mc10 example

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Commercialization of stretchable electronics: The mc10 example

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Attend joint sessions at VLSI Technology and Circuits

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

The 2012 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, this June in Honolulu, HI, will foster joint interactions among device technologists and circuit/system designers with overlapping technical programs of both symposia, and joint focus sessions on important topics.


SMIC doubles guidance on improved semiconductor wafer fab utilization

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC, NYSE:SMI, SEHK:981) revised upward its first quarter revenue and gross margin guidance for the three months ended March 31, 2012.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 1

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco, describing recent work with graphene, organic electrochemical transistors, pentacene organic TFTs, and functional inks made of CNTs and other nanomaterials.


TSMC begins Fab 14 expansion for 20nm-node semiconductors

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE:TSM) began Phase 5 of its Fab 14 GigaFab at the South Taiwan Science Park in Tainan, planned to be a “key production center” for advanced 20nm semiconductor chips.


Elpida bidders and the future mobile DRAM landscape

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Since Elpida Memory filed for bankruptcy protection, reported bidders have included Micron, Hynix, and Toshiba, and now private equity firms TPG Capital and Hony Capital. CJ Muse of Barclay Capital shares the likely and unlikely scenarios for Elpida, and how these will affect DRAM overall.


ADI names top suppliers

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ:ADI) honored 14 companies with the 11th Annual “Supplier Excellence Awards,” selected from among the more than 2,000 companies that contribute to ADI’s global semiconductor manufacturing operations.


HDD industry hits reset on prices, markets, technologies post-floods

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

 

Worldwide HDD unit shipments experienced a year-over-year decline of 4.5% in 2011. Efforts to clean and repair flooded HDD factory buildings and equipment will take most of H1 2012. HDD and HDD component production should return to pre-flood output levels in H2, reports IDC.


Top 25 semiconductor company rankings reveal big winners, big losers

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The top 10 and top 25 semiconductor suppliers registered 7% and 4% growth, respectively. However, 15 of the top 25 semiconductor sales leaders posted negative results in 2011. Only 9 of the top 25 suppliers outperformed the total worldwide semiconductor industry 2011/2010 growth rate.


Intel 22nm trigate transistor process chosen for next-gen Netronome flow processors

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Flow processor developer Netronome extended its strategic relationship with Intel Corp., manufacturing its next-generation Netronome flow processors (NFP) using Intel’s 22nm tri-gate transistor architecture.


Power electronics grow on SiC and GaN innovation

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Power electronics will grow to $15 billion in sales of discrete components in 2020, says Lux Research. New materials -- SiC and GaN -- are taking a 22% market share for $3.3B in sales. Expect this year to set a record for funding to power electronics companies.


Top 5 counterfeited semiconductors: Analog ICs top the list

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The top-5 most commonly counterfeit components (based on reported cases) are analog ICs, microprocessors, memory ICs, programmable logic devices, and transistors, shows IHS.


Mobile semiconductor companies see high M&A, flat growth

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

2011 was a big year for M&A in the mobile device semiconductor market, from Intel’s acquisition of Infineon Technologies AG Wireless Solutions, Qualcomm's Atheros buy, to NVIDIA’s purchase of Icera. Despite all the M&A activity, however, the market is still projected to remain relatively flat.


ISS draws to a close with innovation on the mind

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., Techcet Group, reports from SEMI’s International Semiconductor Strategy meeting, with a closing day focused on innovation and new applications.


SEMI award honors quantum dot research at QD Vision

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

SEMI presented its annual SEMI Award for North America to QD Vision. QD Vision team members made significant progress on the integration and manufacturing processes essential to the commercialization of quantum dot (QD) technology.


ISS day 2: Cloud computing to drive 450mm, closer collaboration

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Day 2 of SEMI’s Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2012 included talks by Mike Splinter of Applied Materials, Mark Thirsk of Linx Consulting, Tim Hendry of Intel, David Lazovsky of Intermolecular, a panel session on could computing run by Harvey Frye of TEL, Handel Jones of IBS and another panel session focused on 450mm, moderated by G. Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research. Michael A. Fury of Techcet reports.


Smart electronics subject of Renesas ConFab keynote

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

The ConFab's second-day keynote will be "Smart Society, the Sensing Era and Signal Chain" presented by Ali Sebt, CEO of Renesas Electronics America.


European microelectronics fab database tracks major changes over past 5 years

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

Yole Developpement released "European Microelectronic Fabs Database & Report 2012," a database and report on the European microelectronics and microsystem manufacturing fabs, pilot lines, and major R&D organizations.


IEEE Frederik Philips Award goes to C.Y. Lu

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

Chih-Yuan (C. Y.) Lu, a semiconductor engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur in Taiwan, is being honored by IEEE with the 2012 IEEE Frederik Philips Award.


IC industry headed for 7% growth in 2012; 11 of 33 categories will outperform

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

IC Insights forecasts 7% growth for the total IC industry in 2012. 27 of the 33 major IC product categories will experience growth in 2012. 11 will grow faster than 7%. 6 will show double-digit growth.


Semiconductor metrology beyond 22nm: FinFET metrology

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

SEMATECH authors discuss semiconductor metrology solutions currently being investigated to address the challenges of future nodes. FinFETs raise new metrology complexities, as the entire 3D structure becomes critical for process control, including fin and gate dimensions, profiles and roughness, and metal gate undercuts.


Georgia Institute of Technology, PARC + Thin Film Electronics, Western Michigan University win FLEXIs for flexible electronics advances

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

FlexTech Alliance awarded its 2012 FLEXI Awards for flexible, printed electronics and displays industry to PARC and Thin Film Electronics, Western Michigan University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.


ISS kicks off with IC industry reality talks

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) kicked off today in Half Moon Bay, CA under blustery skies with choppy seas, an apt metaphor for the information about to be shared inside, says blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet.


Advanced NAND flash memory scaling prompts ECC acquisitions

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

NAND flash memories are scaling below 2Xnm process nodes and bit errors are increasing. Research and Markets sees this as the reason for Apple buying Anobit Technologies and Micron buying Storage Genetics (both startups were developing advanced ECC and signal processing technologies).


Organic printed electronics roadmap recognizes market entry

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

The Organic Electronics Association released its "OE-A Roadmap for Organic and Printed Electronics," covering application clusters such as flexible displays and smart systems, as well as the outlook on materials, substrates, and patterning processes.


Apple shares list of suppliers

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

For the first time, Apple Inc. has publicly published a list of over 150 companies that the electronics giant says represent 97% of its procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing, and assembly of products worldwide.


Renesas Electronics America taps company veteran as president and CEO

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Renesas Electronics America Inc. named Ali Sebt, who has served 20 years at the company, as its new president and CEO. Sebt succeeds the retiring Daniel Mahoney.


DRAM oversupply could worsen in 2012

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

The dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market is encountering an "alarming" rise in inventory, low capex, and reduced demand from end-market applications, show analysts from IHS iSuppli, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays Capital.


IBM discovers magnetic storage limit at 12 atoms

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

IBM Research demonstrated the ability to store information in as few as 12 magnetic atoms, 100-10,000x less than today's information storage technologies.


Intel's CES keynote: Highlights from Otellini's talk

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Intel's Paul Otellini spoke at the International CES in Las Vegas, providing information on Intel's smartphone moves and ultrabook momentum, and debuting the 32nm Intel Atom SoC for tablets and hybrids.


Ramtron builds 1st 3V F-RAM on IBM fab line

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Ramtron International Corporation shipped 50,000 initial low-energy, custom, nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (F-RAM) devices built on its new IBM manufacturing line in Burlington, VT.


SEMI names Stanley Myers a director emeritus

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Former SEMI president and CEO Stanley T. Myers was named a director emeritus of the association by itsl Board of Directors. Myers led SEMI for 15 years, was a board member for 24, and has been part of the semiconductor industry for more than 50.


ORNL finds nano-metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have observed metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains, using piezoresponse force microscopy.


7 semiconductor and display suppliers to benefit from tablet wars

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Turner Investments shares the 7 display and semiconductor/microelectronics makers it expects to benefit the most from tablet PC proliferation out of Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.com.


GaN branches out from military apps

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Gallium nitride (GaN) technology isn't shrinking from military applications any time soon, but GaN adoption is increasing in the commercial sector, from less than $1 million in 2010 to $58 million in 2015, shows Strategy Analytics.


GaAs trends: Foundry outsourcing, rapid market upswing

Sun, 1 Jan 2012

The GaAs device market recovered sharply in 2010, driven mobile handsets. Increased use of pure-play foundries met the surge in demand and was in-line with a trend toward outsourcing, says Strategy Analytics.


Graphene nanowiggles exhibit specific bandgap and magnetic properties

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

RPI scientists studying a promising form of graphene -- graphene nanowiggles -- with exceptionally different properties for each nanowiggle structure. All of the nanoribbon-edge structures have a wiggly appearance like a caterpillar inching across a leaf.


SuVolta raises $17.6M for IC power-control tech

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

SuVolta Inc. secured $17.6 million in venture funding from all existing investors as well as new investor Bright Capital. SuVolta developed the PowerShrink low-power IC technology, which cuts chip power consumption by 50-90%.


Chip inventories contract, reversing 7 quarter trend

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Chip inventories held by semiconductor suppliers declined in the third quarter of 2011, putting a halt to the steady expansion of the previous seven quarters, as the industry cut production in order to reduce oversupply, shows IHS iSuppli research.


Semiconductor sales tip downward in November

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reports worldwide sales of semiconductors were $25.1 billion for the month of November 2011. The semiconductor industry closed 2011 with growth and looks towards 2012 for further improvement.


Graphene FET enables high-frequency mixer circuits

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Chalmers University of Technology researchers created a graphene FET (G-FET) that is compatible with silicon devices and offers space and high-frequency benefits over traditional mixer transistors.


Will 22nm need a mid-node?

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Art Zafiropoulo of Ultratech shares predictions for 22nm: that everyone will be using gate-last fabrication, that there may be a mid-node at 20nm, and that TSVs and 450mm wafers will play an important role at the new node.


22nm node semiconductors: Technical forecasts

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Solid State Technology asked top analysts and technologists to provide insights on the transition to 22nm semiconductor devices. Read through the whole 10-forecast series, or check out the individual articles as you have time to see perspectives on lithography, device architecture, and more.


South Korean companies' IC sales surpass Japan for 1st time

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

North American companies made a minor gain in semiconductor marketshare in 2011, keeping the them in the majority worldwide. South Korean companies have gained more than two points of marketshare since 2009, says IC Insights.


Luxtera supports optoelectronics foundry service

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Luxtera is teaming up with the new foundry service for Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon (OpSIS), making Luxtera’s Silicon CMOS Photonics device library and process open to the OpSIS community, which shares the cost of fabricating complex chip-scale systems across many projects.


40nm manycore processors roll out at Tilera

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Tilera launched its 36 and 16-core TILE-Gx 64-bit processors with low power consumption and high performance. The chips increase the number of cores on one die, without complicated redesigns, and are Tilera's first 40nm design.


TI closes semiconductor fabs in TX and Japan

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Texas Instruments (TI, NASDAQ:TXN) will close 2 older semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Hiji, Japan and Houston, TX over the course of the next 18 months. Production from these analog chip sites will be moved to more advanced TI facilities.


President Obama's Intel visit: Fab 42 update, American manufacturing themes

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

President Barack Obama visited the Intel Ocotillo campus in Chandler, AZ. The President spoke about Intel's technological innovation, and manufacturing jobs in America.


Apple iPhone 4S steals smartphone show in Q4 2011; Samsung wins the year

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

While Apple's release of the iPhone 4S in Q4 2011 "unleashed tremendous pent-up demand" from consumers, Samsung used its broad range of smartphones to take the top spot, reports IHS.


Soitec joins SEMATECH metrology work on SOI wafers

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Soitec joined SEMATECH's Front End Processes and Advanced Metrology Programs, bringing SOI wafers and other advanced engineered wafers into the group to work on new processes and technologies enabling high-performance, low-power IC applications.


Thai flood update: HDD production returning at expected pace

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

The late-2011 flooding in Thailand caused major disruptions in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing communities, most acutely felt in hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturing. FBR Capital Markets provides this update on Thai HDD production.


Bilayer graphene's "Higgs boson" insulating property

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

UC Riverside researchers identified the "Higgs boson" property of bilayer graphene: when the electrons come close to 0, BLG becomes insulating. This spontaneous symmetry breaking is the same principle that endows mass for particles in high energy physics.


Apple tops semiconductor buyer list in 2011

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Leading electronic equipment manufacturers accounted for $105.6 billion of semiconductors on a design TAM basis in 2011, 35% of semiconductor vendors' worldwide chip revenue, according to Gartner. Apple bought the most, spending $17,257 million.


SEMATECH highlights from VLSI-TSA

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

SEMATECH experts reported on innovative processes for advanced CMOS logic and memory device technologies and 3D TSV manufacturing at the International VLSI Technology, System and Applications Symposium (VLSI-TSA).


Understanding semiconductor wafer demand growth in 2012

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

Wafer demand grows at a CAGR of about 8-9%, but capital investment in wafer fab capacity does not stick with an 8-10% investment rate every year. Semico tracks wafer demand, which is “anything but stable.”


2012 semiconductor revenue forecast bumped up 1 point at IHS

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

The overall semiconductor industry will grow 4.3% in 2012, according to IHS, which raised its forecast 1 percentage point based on consumer demand for wireless products like smartphones and tablets.


Texas Instruments (TI, TXN) reports broad orders increase in Q1 2012

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

"As we expected, our business cycle bottomed in the first quarter, and early signs of growth began to emerge." -- Rich Templeton, TI's chairman, president and CEO.


Intel’s first 22nm trigate transistor products debut

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Intel Corporation introduced its first product built on the 22nm 3D trigate transistor: the quad-core 3rd-generation Intel Core processor family for desktop, laptop and all-in-one (AIO) designs.


AMD Q1 shows steady improvement, 28nm readiness, heavy competition

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced Q1 2012 revenue of $1.59 billion, a net loss of $590 million and operating loss of $580 million. Analysts share their takes on AMD's 32nm and 28nm situation, ASPs, and more.


Qualcomm’s first 28nm semiconductor outperforms 45nm siblings by 25%

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

The HTC One S HSPA phone runs Android 4.0.3, based on Qualcomm’s first 28nm processor, the MSM8260A, with an Adreno 225 GPU core. ABI Research performed a teardown on the handset.


Toshiba builds semiconductor fab in Thailand to replace flooded fab

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) will rebuild its semiconductor manufacturing operations in Thailand by relocating Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand Co., Ltd. (TST) to a new manufacturing facility.


Freescale Semiconductor CEO plans retirement, seeks successor

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Freescale Semiconductor Holdings (NYSE:FSL) launched a formal process to identify a successor to Chairman and CEO Rich Beyer, who will retire as CEO after a transition.


Semiconductor investments from venture capital sector fall in March

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Investments in fabless companies, semiconductor suppliers, and other chip companies fell more than 80% month/month and year/year in March, reports the Global Semiconductor Association (GSA).


IBM adds membrane, chemical suppliers to lithium-air battery project

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

IBM welcomed Asahi Kasei and Central Glass to its Battery 500 Project team, collaborating on far-reaching research to improve electric vehicles. Asahi Kasei will engineer membrane technologies and Central Glass will develop electrolytes and additives for lithium-air batteries.


Multi-core semiconductor scaling enabled with memory communication research

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation have identified a path to overcome challenges for scaling multi-core semiconductors by addressing how to scale memory communications among the cores.


NAND flash memory sees steady growth thanks to ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The NAND flash memory market will grow 8% in 2012 to $22.9 billion, thanks to major sales drivers such as solid-state-drive (SSD) equipped ultrabooks, according to the IHS iSuppli Data Flash Market Tracker.


Intel’s Q1 2012 earnings: Key takeaways

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) posted quarterly revenue of $12.9 billion, operating income of $3.8 billion, and net income of $2.7 billion. Analysts from FBR Capital Markets and Barclays Capital break down the numbers.


EPIC names new director general, promises closer ties with EU

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, announced at its annual general meeting that Carlos Lee has been appointed as director general, succeeding Thomas Pearsall, who has led the association since its founding in 2003.


Texas Instruments (TI, TXN) names top suppliers

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Texas Instruments awarded 15 of its 12,000 suppliers with Supplier Excellence Awards for delivering outstanding service and support, based on cost, environmental responsibility, technology responsiveness, assurance of supply, and quality.


ASMC will focus on productivity and technology challenges

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

The 23rd Annual SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC 2012) will be held May 15-17 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The conference will feature presentations of more than 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts covering critical process technologies and fab productivity. This year’s event features a panel discussion on “Competing for R&D Dollars,” moderated by Solid State Technology Editor-in-Chief Pete Singer.


Soitec's fully depleted (FD) semiconductor product roadmap

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Soitec, semiconductor materials supplier, released its fully depleted product roadmap, comprising two products designed for both planar and three-dimensional approaches to building semiconductor transistors.


Top 10 semiconductor vendors: Intel broadens lead, Qualcomm sees most growth

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $306.8 billion in 2011, up $5.4 billion, or 1.8% from 2010, according to Gartner Inc.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 5

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the fourth day: electronic skin, energy storage with nanowires, printable inks, gas sensing, inkjet printing, semiconductor polymers for organic devices, CNTs, OFETs, touch screen fabrics, and the coffee breaks.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 4

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the fourth day: nanowire FETs, laminate MEMS, nanoparticles in security printing, graphene nanoribbons, Ta2O5 memristors, redox flow batteries, graphene, and more.


Chip sector sets up for high demand in H2

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital and FBR Capital Markets share their takes on earnings season for public semiconductor companies. Both predict a cycle of inventory replenishment in the semiconductor supply chain that will bode well for chip makers in 2012.


JEDEC taps Nokia, Micron, Samsung Semiconductor for non-volatile wireless memory subcommittee

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association will form a subcommittee to its JC-64 Committee for Embedded Memory Storage and Removable Memory Cards focused on standardization of non-volatile memory (NVM) in wireless applications.


Sony restructures to boost leading-edge display, electronics products

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

Sony Corporation will implement series of initiatives, under its new management team, to “revitalize and grow the electronics business to generate new value, while further strengthening the stable business foundations of the Entertainment and Financial Service businesses.”


Intel, Xilinx fund chip design software company Oasys

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Oasys Design Systems added Intel Capital and Xilinx to its investors in a Series B round. Oasys will use the funds to expand R&D and build a global support structure.


Graphene grown on 300mm wafers with AIXTRON tool in Japan

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan is using its AIXTRON SE BM 300 system to grow monolayer graphene on 300mm wafers.


Top 25 fabless IC companies in 2011

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The top 25 fabless IC suppliers captured 80% of a total $64.9 billion fabless IC market in 2011, according to IC Insights. Sales topped $1 billion at 12 fabless companies; Qualcomm topped the list with nearly $10 billion in sales. US-based suppliers captured 8 of the top 10 rankings.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 3

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the third day: leakage and TDDB in low- κ dielectrics, flexible energy storage and conversion, Mn capping layers and diffusion barriers, hard masks for Cu interconnects, nanogenerators, Cu in RF, flexible temperature sensors, NEMS and MEMS in HDD, ZnO nanostructures, and various aspects of CMP.


Economy, fabless relationships, 450mm and more on deck at The ConFab 2012

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The ConFab 2012, an invitation-only global conference and business meeting on semiconductor manufacturing, June 3-6 in Las Vegas, selected speakers and sessions for 2012.


Semiconductor foundries expect double-digit growth through 2015

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

The pure-play semiconductor foundry business will ride the growth of tablets, ultrabooks, and smartphones to $29.6 billion in revenues, according to an IHS iSuppli Semiconductor Manufacturing and Supply Market Tracker report.


International Solid-State Circuits preview: imec's wireless sensor, organic electronics work

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

At International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), imec and Holst Centre are presenting 14 papers on low-power design for wireless communication and wireless sensor networks, and organic electronics.


Present at the Flash Memory Summit

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

The Flash Memory Summit covers the current state of flash memory and its applications via tutorials, panel discussions, keynote speeches, paper sessions, and more. Submit your abstract by March 16.


Intel (INTC) plans high capex and fast node shrinks, expects chipmaker consolidation

Fri, 5 May 2012

At Intel’s annual investor day, the chipmaker reported that capital spending will be high in 2012 and 2013, noting that its 22nm and 14nm node capabilities are differentiators. Intel focused on its Ultrabook launches, consolidation in the chip industry, and reiterated that capex is for internal use not foundry services.


Micron confirms Elpida takeover discussions

Fri, 5 May 2012

Memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU) confirmed that it is engaged in discussions to take over the assets of bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida Memory Inc.


President Obama speaks at Albany Nano-Tech Complex today

Tue, 5 May 2012

President Barack Obama toured the SUNY - Albany Nano-Tech Complex today, speaking about the economy and education in the CNSE NanoFab Extension Building.


III-V Lab shares silicon and compound semiconductor work 1 year in

Mon, 5 May 2012

III-V Lab, a joint lab of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France, Thales Research and Technology and CEA-Leti, provides an update one year into its 4 main research area projects. III-V lab combines compound semiconductor and silicon semiconductor technologies for applications in telecom, industrial control, environmental testing, defense, security, and space.


Micron expected to win Elpida assets in DRAM maker's bankruptcy negotiations

Mon, 5 May 2012

Elpida informally chose Micron to sponsor its restructuring, report severals sources. Micron reportedly will pay about USD1 billion more than it originally offered, investing another $1.25 billion to upgrade 2 fabs in Japan.


Texas Instruments (TI, TXN) shares strategy at Analyst Day

Fri, 5 May 2012

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:TXN, TI) hosted an Analyst Day this week to discuss and review key strategies and progress achieved over the past 15 years. Barclays Capital “heard few surprises” at TI's Analyst Day; its analysts maintain their view that TI is a “high-quality analog company” that raises some concerns that it is not able to benefit from its scale advantages, with a growth trajectory of only GDP-plus (i.e. in line with overall semiconductors). FBR Capital Markets analysts agree that “little new surfaced.”


Organic complementary logic aim of 2 European research projects

Fri, 5 May 2012

The Heterogeneous Technology Alliance in Europe is focusing on high-performance organic electronic circuits through 2 projects: COSMIC to develop p- and n-type OTFTs for complementary logic, and POLARIC for shrinking critical dimensions of OTFTs.


Top 10 innovative technology firms in Q1

Fri, 5 May 2012

Lux Research profiled 328 companies across 15 different emerging technology domains in Q1 2012. Of these, Lux Research selected its top 10, including a gallium-nitride (GaN) power device maker, printed electronics supplier, and others.


Low-cost Flash memory boosted by gray-market cellphones

Mon, 5 May 2012

The massive “gray market” for cellphones is propelling sales of lower-cost flash memories like eMMC and SPI NOR, as manufacturers of the unregulated phones strive to keep production costs low, says IHS.


Bridging the fabless-foundry gap: Highlighted ConFab presentation

Fri, 5 May 2012

At The ConFab in Las Vegas, TSMC’s BJ Woo, senior director, Graphic/PLD/CPU Business Development Division, will present “Bridging the Fabless-Foundry Gap.”


Lower DRAM prices enable more DRAM per smartphone without higher pricetag

Fri, 5 May 2012

DRAM’ percentage of the cost of a smartphone is decreasing, even as DRAM usage in smartphones is on the rise. Lowering ASPs for DRAM components caused DRAM costs in smartphones to fall by more than half in the course of a year, according to IHS.


JEDEC publishes LPDDR3 standard for low-power memory chips

Thu, 5 May 2012

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association published the JESD209-3 LPDDR3 Low Power Memory Device Standard, targeting the performance and density demands of new-gen mobile devices.


Semiconductor companies see increased venture capital funding in April

Thu, 5 May 2012

In April 2012, venture investment dollars received by semiconductor companies was $194.2 million; a 901.0% increase M/M and 461.3% increase Y/Y, reports the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).


Tight 28nm supply shifts GPU maker shares in Q1

Thu, 5 May 2012

Barclays Capital’s C.J. Muse looks at the forecast for PC GPUs based on a new report from Mercury Research. Shipments of PC graphic devices in Q1 2012 came in in-line to slightly below historical trends. Nvidia lost share to Intel and AMD due to tight 28nm chip supply.


Microsoft joins Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium

Wed, 5 May 2012

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC) is a collaboration developing and implementing an open interface standard for Hybrid Memory Cube semiconductor memory architectures. Microsoft Corp. has now joined the consortium.


SMIC expands Beijing fab for smaller-node semiconductor manufacturing

Tue, 5 May 2012

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) signed a cooperation framework document between its subsidiary SMIC Beijing and the Beijing municipal government, forming a joint venture for SMIC Beijing's expansion adjacent to its 12” mega-fab.


DRAM partially recovers thanks to Elpida bankruptcy

Tue, 5 May 2012

The market for DRAM is expected to partially reverse the drastic losses it incurred in 2011 and achieve revenue growth this year, the result of balanced supply and demand following the exit of major manufacturer Elpida Memory, according to IHS.


Infineon CEO Bauer resigns for health considerations

Tue, 5 May 2012

Infineon Technologies AG (FSE:IFX, OTCQX:IFNNY) CEO Peter Bauer will resign his post at the end of the current fiscal year (September 30, 2012) due to worsening osteoporosis.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES joins top-20 semiconductor suppliers in Q1 2012 on Elpida bankruptcy

Mon, 5 May 2012

The top 20 semiconductor suppliers in Q1 2012, compiled in IC Insights' May Update to The McClean Report, show Intel’s firm hold on the top of the rankings, but a disappointing quarter overall. GLOBALFOUNDRIES replaced bankrupt Elpida on the top 20 charts.


CMOS image sensor suppliers ramp up 300mm capacity

Fri, 5 May 2012

CMOS image sensors (CIS) are breaking sales records again, after several years without upward momentum, reports IC Insights. New portable systems and embedded imaging are lifting CIS to $6.3 billion in 2012 and new record sales each year through 2016.


Elpida begins reorganization in Tokyo court: Analysts weigh in

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Elpida Memory Inc. (Tokyo: 6665) resolved to file a petition for the commencement of corporate reorganization proceedings, and filed the same with the Tokyo District Court. Akita Elpida Memory Inc. also saw the commencement of corporate reorganization proceedings


Semiconductor makers ready for H2 2012 snapback

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

FBR Capital released its Q4 2011 semiconductor industry analysis, surveying chip, distributor, EMS, PC OEM, communications equipment OEM, handset OEM, and industrial firms. Their conclusion? Corrective actions in the supply chain have set up a possible H2 2012 snapback for semiconductors.


Intel 22nm 3D trigate transistors chosen for Tabula 3PLD products

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

Tabula is implementing a family of 3PLD products manufactured by Intel using its advanced 22nm manufacturing process featuring 3D tri-gate transistors and co-optimized packaging technology.


IBM, Samsung, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM to keynote Common Platform Technology Forum

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

Simon Segars, ARM, will keynote the Common Platform Technology Forum, along with execs from IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, March 14 (Pi Day) in Santa Clara, CA.


NIST reveals how layered memory switches work

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

New information from NIST about how layered switching devices for novel computer memory systems work may now allow these structures to come to market sooner.


ISSCC round-up: 2.5D packaging for IVRs, smallest NAND flash chip, more

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) is going on now, gathering semiconductor design and device architecture presentations from research firms like imec to chip companies like IBM. Here are some highlighted presentations.


MIT's nanowire growth control method could optimize LEDs, other semiconductors

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

MIT researchers used gases to precisely control nanowires' width and composition as they grow, which could yield complex structures optimally designed for particular applications, like LED substrates or solar panels.


Semiconductor inventory correction occurred, shows Gartner lead time analysis

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Semiconductor vendors had slow Q3 and Q4 revenues, indicating that the anticipated correction to chip inventory levels occurred, Gartner reports. The correction process will be largely completed by Q1 2012, evidenced by rising trends in the lead-time index.


The ultimate limit of Moore’s Law: The one-atom transistor

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

A team of researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University and the University of Melbourne have built the smallest transistor ever using a single phosphorous atom.


Combo chipsets to suffer against new embedded WiFi chipsets

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Processors like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon will make an impact on future chip revenues, reports analyst firm In-Stat, an NPD Group company.


ISSCC from a memory analyst’s view

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

The International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) brought the best and brightest minds in semiconductors together to share the results of the past year’s research and development efforts. Memory analyst Jim Handy, Objective Analysis, was there to cover some highly interesting presentations.


HDD rankings: Seagate ousts Western Digital after Thailand floods

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Seagate recaptured the lead in HDD shipments during Q4 2011, ousting Western Digital thanks to "a fortuitous accident in geography" that kept Seagate's Thailand HDD manufacturing plant out of the floods last year, said IHS.


Infineon adds to semiconductor manufacturing complex in Malaysia

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

M+W Group, a global engineering and construction company, is reporting a major contract from Infineon Technologies for a new 100,000-sq.m. semiconductor plant in Kulim/Malaysia.


IBM sets quantum bit (qubit) error reduction records

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

IBM Research established new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in qubits for quantum computing, using superconducting qubits.


Intel (INTC), Micron (MU) expand NAND flash memory JV

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc., entered into agreements to expand their NAND Flash memory joint venture relationship, wherein Intel will sell its stake in 2 fabs to Micron, IMFS and IMFT.


Antenna and RF silicon design work: imec and HiSilicon, Agilent and OSAT Company partner

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

HiSilicon and imec have signed a strategic research collaboration to develop innovative RF transceiver architectures for next-generation mobile terminals. OSAT Company is using Agilent EMPro and the Momentum 3-D planar electromagnetic simulator to design and simulate innovative new antennas and circuits.


Bankrupt Elpida leapfrogs likely acquirer Micron in Q1 DRAM rankings

Thu, 5 May 2012

Micron is the generally favored acquirer for bankrupt Elpida. But this did not stop Elpida from displacing MU in the Q1 DRAM supplier rankings in Q1, noted IHS. DRAM as a whole declined in Q1, despite predictions of a strong 2012.


Present at IEEE IEDM 2012

Wed, 5 May 2012

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) is seeking original presentations on microelectronics research and development, with a focus on silicon and non-silicon device and process technology, circuit/device interactions; energy-harvesting, biomedical, and power electronics; magnetics and spintronics; and other topics.


Power discrete semiconductors grow with cloud computing, electric vehicle demand

Tue, 5 May 2012

Power discretes’ sales revenue will grow at a CAGR of 6.5%, 2012-2016, estimates GBI Research. Power discretes are meeting demand for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products.


ONNN opens IC design center in Czech Republic

Mon, 5 May 2012

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq:ONNN) expanded its Roznov, Czech Republic, operations with a new 4,000sq.m. research and design facility, a quarter of which is high-tech laboratories.


Hynix becomes SK group member, focuses on semiconductor leadership beyond memory

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

Hynix officially became a member of SK group, energy and telecommunications conglomerate, changing its name to SK Hynix.


Elpida president, independent attorney to co-lead DRAM maker's bankruptcy

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Elpida's bankruptcy process moved forward another step, with the Tokyo District Court naming Yukio Sakamoto, Elpida president & CEO and Nobuaki Kobayashi, attorney-at-law as the Trustees for the case.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES signals 32nm yield success with 250k wafers from Fab 1

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

GLOBALFOUNDRIES' Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany has shipped 250,000 semiconductor wafers based on 32nm HKMG technology. AMD commented that it will move ahead with 28nm at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.


Apple A5X processor teardown: Bigger die, higher heat?

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Apple’s ARM-based processors have created a point of hardware differentiation in applications processors. With the A5X, Apple is going with a much larger die at the 45nm node (shared across the 2 prior generations), shares Chipworks. It's also turned off the PoP track.


Semiconductor inventories coast at record levels into 2012

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Semiconductor days of inventory rose 3.4%, hitting an 11-year high of 84.1 DOI at chip suppliers in Q4 2011, but this will decline 0.5% in Q1 2012, with hopes that demand is improving, says IHS.


ASIC design starts evolve into 3 SoC types

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

ASIC design starts are evolving under increasing design costs, rising design complexity, and lengthening design cycle times, especially in the SoC market, says Semico Research Corp. New applications are providing an element of stability.


Elpida bankruptcy: Will Micron (MU) take over the DRAM maker?

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Barclays Capital weighs in on rumors that Micron (MU) offered $1.5 billion to take over Elpida. Should the offer stand, it would be about 20-30 cents on the dollar for Elpida's assets.


Taiwan allows higher Chinese investments in LCDs, semiconductors, fab equipment, more

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Taiwan raised investment ceilings for Chinese investors in LCDs, semiconductors, IC assembly and test, microelectronics production equipment, and metal tool manufacturing.


NIST offers $2.6M for semiconductor research beyond CMOS

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

NIST is soliciting proposals of long-term research in next-generation semiconductor technology, putting up $2.6 million in federal cost-shared funding for a project’s first year, with the potential for continued funding for up to 5 years.


Japan's aging semiconductor industry revealed by 2011 earthquake

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

One year ago, Japan’s semiconductor industry was rocked by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. However, the real disaster for Japan’s chip industry occurred during the years before the earthquake, says IHS.


Semiconductor sales grew incrementally in March 2012

Wed, 5 May 2012

Global semiconductor sales hit $23.3 billion in March 2012, up 1.5% from February 2012 and down 7.9% from March 2011, reports the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).


RFMD intros GaN process for high-voltage power semiconductor devices

Wed, 5 May 2012

RF Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq GS:RFMD) expanded its gallium nitride (GaN) portfolio with rGaN-HV, optimized for high-voltage power devices in power conversion applications.


Global Semiconductor Alliance appoints first China-based director

Tue, 5 May 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) appointed Dr. Leo Li, chairman, CEO and president of Spreadtrum Communications Inc., to its Board of Directors. Li is GSA’s first China-based executive to join the Board.


NASA funds GaN-on-Si power amplifier development at Nitronex

Tue, 5 May 2012

Nitronex was awarded a NASA Phase I SBIR to develop a highly efficient 20W X-band GaN power amplifier MMICs, for use in long range RF telecommunications. The company will deploy its GaN-on-Si technology.


SEMI lauds Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) for microelectronics/photovoltaics support

Wed, 5 May 2012

SEMI presented US Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) with its 2012 North American Government Leadership Award for his leadership and support of the US microelectronics and photovoltaic manufacturing value chain.


Micron, Hynix gain share in NAND Flash memory business

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. achieved strong NAND flash business globally in Q4 2011, thanks to solid manufacturing and pricing. The chipmakers gained market share on the NAND Flash industry leaders Samsung and Toshiba, and will continue to grow in 2012, reports IHS.


Touch controller ICs see fast growth, capacitive display controllers gaining share

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

The global touch controller IC market is growing quickly, thanks to emerging natural user interfaces and touchscreens’ rapid adoption in consumer electronics. From 2011 to 2016, global touch controller revenue will grow from 0.4% of the total semiconductor industry to 1.65%.


Semiconductor revenues topped USD300B in 2011

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Worldwide semiconductor revenues increased more than 3.7% year over year to $301 billion in 2011, according to the IDC Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster. IDC expects 2012 growth to be in the 6-7% range.


Qualcomm dominates cellular baseband chip market in 2011

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The global cellular baseband processor market grew 15% year-on-year in 2011, hitting $15.1 billion, shows Strategy Analytics. Of that, Qualcomm holds 45% market share.


ST-Ericsson adopts FDSOI from Soitec

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

ST-Ericsson, wireless and semiconductor company, selected planar fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) technology from Soitec for use in future mobile platforms.


Media tablets join top 5 semiconductor end-markets in 2012

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Media tablets, experiencing "remarkably rapid ascension," will become the 4th largest application for semiconductors by 2014, up from 35th in 2010, according to IHS.


IBM drills optical vias in chip for 1Tbit/sec transmission

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

IBM scientists developed a prototype optical chipset, Holey Optochip, that can transfer 1Tbit per second as a parallel optical transceiver, using optical vias through a standard 90nm CMOS chip.


Semiconductors swayed by US presidential elections

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Historically, US presidential election years have been very good for the semiconductor market as many elected officials attempt to pass (mostly short-term) legislation to boost the economy, reports IC Insights.


HDD recovers rapidly from Thailand floods and sluggish market

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

The HDD industry is rapidly recovering in 2012 and beyond, after surviving natural disasters and tepid market conditions in 2011, according to a report by TRENDFOCUS.


LED makers could diversify with GaN power electronics production

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

The gallium nitride (GaN) power elec market is currently small, but new entrants are ramping to production, silicon-based electronics suppliers developing GaN, and LED makers diversifying capacity to make power semis.


imec unveils 14nm PDK, 14nm test chip to follow

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Imec has released an early-version process development kit (PDK) for 14nm logic chips, targeting the introduction of numerous new key technologies, such as FinFET architectures and EUV lithography.


GaN transistors commercially available from HRL

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

HRL Laboratories LLC will now offer products in its GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology commercially to customers in select markets, such as high-data-rate wireless links, radars and active sensors.


TSMC establishes 3 COOs under CEO Chang

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

TSMC (NYSE:TSM) named 3 co-chief operating officers at a special meeting of the foundry's Board of Directors. All three executives will report directly to Chairman and CEO Dr. Morris Chang.


Semiconductor demand declines 8.8% to start 2012, but expect positive drivers

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

The SIA reports worldwide semiconductor sales of $23.1 billion in January 2012, an 8.8% decrease year-over-year, but SIA expects positive demand as 2012 progresses.


AMD's new GLOBALFOUNDRIES semiconductor wafer agreement frees up 28nm choices

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

AMD (NYSE:AMD) amended its wafer supply agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The new agreement most notably gives AMD "flexibility to manufacture 28nm parts elsewhere," reports FBR Capital Markets.


SMC 2012: Supply chain opportunities in OLEDs, energy storage, and power semiconductors

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Materials experts from across the supply chain gathered at the 2012 Strategic Materials Conference 2012 in San Jose in October, discussing key materials needs for micromanufacturing outside the CMOS mainstream: OLEDs and GaN-on-silicon power semiconductors, graphene, CNTs, and self-assembling polymers.


X-Fab to fab Anvo's nonvolatile memory

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

X-Fab Silicon Foundries has inked a deal with Anvo-Systems Dresden to offer high-speed non-volatile memory (NVM) combining SRAM, DRAM, and SONOS flash technologies in a compact design.


X-Fab offering first 200V SOI foundry service

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

X-Fab Silicon Foundries is now offering what it calls the industry's first 200V SOI foundry technology, a trench dielectric isolated SOI foundry technology that allows blocks at different voltage levels to be integrated on a single chip.


Fujitsu readying GaN power devices by late 2013

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

Fujitsu Semiconductor says it has built a server power-supply unit with 2.5kW of output power using gallium nitride (GaN)-based power devices, and will ramp volume production of the power devices in late 2013.


Advancing CNTs for next-gen chips

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

Researchers from IBM and Georgia Tech have disclosed significant progress in manipulating carbon nanotubes in transistors and interconnects, in ways compatible with traditional fabrication techniques, advancing toward using the materials for next-generation devices.


September IC sales bounce in Americas, tracking to -4% for FY2012

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

A big boost in demand in the US helped ratchet up chip sales growth in September, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), but annual growth is on pace for a -4% decline from 2011.


GSA working group evaluates new semiconductor startup models to attract investors

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) has formed a new working group and identify various alternatives to encourage startups to innovate, woo investors, generate returns, and keep generating sustainable industry M&A.


Imec, Nantero launch joint carbon nanotube memory program

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

Nantero's carbon nanotube-based memory (NRAM) will be manufactured, tested and characterized in imec's facilities targeting application in high-density next-generation sub-20nm memories.


O-S-D market momentum fades as world economy stalls

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

After a strong surge in 2010 and solid growth in 2011, the market for optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discrete semiconductors (O-S-D) has lost most of its momentum amid a wobbling world economy, says IC Insights.


EU partners clarify EUV optics improvements

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

A group of partners in Europe summarize results from their completed project to deliver the first EUV lithography optics, with progress in several optics components and in mask handling, cleaning, and repair.


Applied unveils new PVD, PECVD tools for display manufacturing

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Applied Materials has announced two new tools for display manufacturing: one with a new design for depositing IGZO films for TFTs, the other handling bigger LTPS-deposited substrates to help lower manufacturing costs.


Why the new Windows 8 won't spur DRAM sales

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

In a departure from past iterations, Windows 8 will not cause any significant rise in DRAM unit shipments, predicts IHS iSuppli.


Comm, auto apps are now driving the IC market

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

Communications applications are far and away the leading growth market for ICs over the next five years, and PCs and consumer applications have fallen far back in the pack.


Why node shrinks are no longer offsetting equipment costs

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Semiconductor manufacturers can expect equipment costs to increase about 15% for each new process node, but previously enjoyed advantages of moving to smaller feature sizes are no longer offsetting those costs -- even with a 450mm wafer transition.


Wafer shipments back on track: Inside the numbers

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Wafer demand is slowly turning back toward growth, and a closer look at the numbers from SEMI and Semico Research shows what's behind the trends -- and why they give purchasing managers headaches.


Flat-panel displays rebounding in 2012 as prices fall, performance rises

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Worldwide flat-panel display (FPD) revenues will reach a record $120 billion in 2012, up 8% from a challenging year in 2011, and the recovery is entirely on the backs of TFT-LCDs and AMOLED displays, according to NPD DisplaySearch.


European consortia, ASML, supplier network plan for 450mm transition

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

At SEMICON Europa, European government representatives, consortia, and suppliers discussed programs to support and participate in the 450mm wafer-size transition -- including a comprehensive presentation from ASML about its roadmap for 450mm EUV platforms.


Intel offers muted optimism in 3Q12 results, but cutting capex

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Intel spoke of caution in end markets when discussing its 3Q12 results, but a big dip in capex and lack of 2013 visibility will likely cause concern in the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.


SEMI adds session, extends abstract deadline for China chip conference

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

SEMI has extended the deadline to submit proposed papers to next spring's China Semiconductor Technology International Conference 2013, and added a new symposium on circuit design, system integration, and application.


GSA forms technology steering committee to guide working groups

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) says it has formed a Technology Steering Committee to help address key business and technology areas of interest to its members, and "encourage the advancement and adoption of leading technology and practices."


STMicro: 28nm FD-SOI is ready for manufacturing

Wed, 12 Dec 2012

STMicroelectronics is getting out of the JV chip business with Ericsson, but it's still full-steam ahead for its use of (FD-SOI) technology with its partners. 


IEDM 2012: Late papers on silicon photonics, large TFTs, III-V devices

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

With this week's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012) now underway, here are four of the papers that were accepted late: on 90nm integrated silicon photonics, ZnNO for next-gen displays, and III-V TFETs for the 7nm node.


IEDM: Nanoelectronics provide a path beyond CMOS

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

At the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, An Chen of GLOBALFOUNDRIES presented a survey of emerging nanoelectronic devices, which he divided into two categories: Charge-based and non-charge based.


ST exiting mobile chip JV with Ericsson, but still committed to FD-SOI

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

STMicroelectronics has a new strategic plan that will focus on five product areas (MEMS/sensors, smart power, automotive products, microcontrollers, and application processors), and also exit its mobile chip JV with communications giant Ericsson.


AMD-GlobalFoundries' new wafer deal: What it means

Fri, 12 Dec 2012

A new wafer supply deal between AMD and GlobalFoundries will free up cash in the near-term, but industry watchers fear that long-term issues still loom.


Pureplay, foundry firms still shine in IC sales rankings

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Updating its "top 20" semiconductor supplier rankings from earlier this year, IC Insights finds most of the same trends holding true: a tough year overall for chipmakers, but fabless and foundry firms still showing very good growth.


Smartphone demand pushes Soitec to expand bonded SoS wafer output

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Soitec says it has more than doubled production of bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSoS) substrates to meet increased demand from partner Peregrine Semiconductor, which has surged its own production capacity for RF switches used in cellular handsets, including the newest iPhone 5.


Imec to collaborate with Canon Anelva and TEL on STT-MRAM

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

imec announced two research collaboration efforts to advance STT-MRAM technology, an alternative high-density memory technology. The developments include working with Canon Anelva Corp. on its deposition tool and working with Tokyo Electron (TEL) on its Tactras etch tool, both installed in imec’s 300mm cleanroom.


When will bulk GaN be price-competitive with silicon?

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

Wide bandgap semiconductor materials can significantly outperform traditional silicon-based devices in power electronics and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), but they're vastly more expensive. So where's the midpoint where GaN's capabilities and extra costs align to make it the preferred technology for each application?


ICPT 2012: Five themes summarizing CMP work and progress

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

This year's International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) encompassed five themes describing use of CMP: new device structures, equipment and methods, Cu interconnects, consumables, and new CMP methods and processes.


IDTechEx forecasts a $100 million graphene market in 2018

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

Despite graphene's promise as a material in future electronics with excellent properties in almost all applications, it still faces difficulties in market acceptance, according to a report from IDTechEx.


Renesas nearing final bailout: Reports

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

The Japanese rescue of Renesas Electronics partly with state-backed funding is nearing finality, with the company's three largest shareholders approving the deal, according to multiple reports.


WSTS trims chip sales outlook for 2012, 2013

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

Persistent global economic uncertainty from Europe to the US to China is weighing down the WSTS' expectations for semiconductor sales for the next two years, with a slow climb back to single-digit growth by 2014.


Global GDP, smartphones bode good tidings for semiconductor growth

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

Despite lingering clouds obscuring near-term visibility for the semiconductor manufacturing industry, signs of macroeconomic life bode well for sales of electronics devices, and by association the chip technologies that power them.


Growth outlook for industrial semiconductors dims to 3% in 2012

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Growth in the industrial electronics semiconductor market is set to fall short of previous expectations in 2012 as the business is buffeted by weakening global economic conditions, with the LED market the sole bright spot, says IHS iSuppli.


GSA, IC Insights team on 5th edition of IC Foundry Almanac

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

A reference book from the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) and IC Insights puts foundry information at the fingertips of those who need it the most.


Electronic gases slowing to modest growth in 2012, 2013

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

Sales of electronic gases are seen growing a modest 3.2% growth overall in 2012, following a 15% increase in 2011 to $3.1B, according to an updated report from Techcet Group.


IC content per television increasing even as TV unit growth slows

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Smart TVs, LED technology, and emerging markets will boost the IC market for TVs, says a new IC Insights study. Another trend: younger tech-savvy consumers are watching TV via the Internet and mobile devices.


Researchers from ST and CEA-Leti receive Général Ferrié Award

Wed, 12 Dec 2012
p>A team of ST and CEA-Leti researchers have received the 2012 Général Ferrié Award, considered to be the highest award in electronics R&D in France.


iSuppli trims chip forecast again, still expects 2013 rebound

Wed, 12 Dec 2012

Chip sales growth continues to soften in 2012 as the industry slips from "stagnation" to "slump," but the stage is still set for a rebound in 2013, according to updated analysis from IHS iSuppli.


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IEDM 2012 slideshow: Sneak preview of 14 conference papers

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

We've scanned the entire conference program for next week's 58th annual IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), to present a quick sampling of some of the more intriguing papers.


"Cloning" could make structurally pure nanotubes for nanoelectronics

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Researchers have demonstrated a technique for growing virtually pure samples of single-wall carbon nanotubes (CNT) with identical structures, a process likened to "cloning" them -- and possibly an important step toward controlling their manufacture for future electronic devices.


AMD wants to sell, lease back Austin campus

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

AMD hopes to save up to $200M by selling its Lone Star campus in Austin and then leasing the site back, as the company seeks ways to regain its fiscal footing.


Semi execs see a bright 2013, says survey

Fri, 12 Dec 2012

Industry watchers have been lowering their outlooks for 2013 over the past few weeks, but there's one set of opinions that still see optimism for an industry rebound in 2013 -- chip industry executives themselves.


Gartner: Fab equipment still getting softer, next upcycle starts in 2014

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Global spending on wafer fab equipment (WFE) is now on pace to finish 2012 with a -17% annual decline, and 2013 now looks like it'll only be slightly better at a -10% dropoff, before the next cyclical spending upturn begins in 2014, according to an updated forecast from Gartner.


Dreaming of plug-and-play IP

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Stephen Pateras, product marketing director for Mentor Graphics Silicon Test products, blogs about the new IJTAG standard, which enables "plug and play" automation for SoC design.


Samsung reaffirms plans for $4B investment in Austin fab: What it means

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Samsung's reaffirmation of its planned $4B investments in its Austin, TX facilities don't offer much extra info, but do serve as a message to the market about its future plans -- with or without Apple.


Gartner reduces 2012-2013 chip outlooks, but 2014 looks better

Fri, 12 Dec 2012

Joining the growing chorus of industry watchers lowering their outlooks on the semiconductor sector, Gartner has reduced both its 2012 and 2013 forecasts for semiconductor sales but is remarkably more bullish on prospects in 2014.


Wireless consumer devices reenergize magnetic sensor IC sector

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Magnetic sensor semiconductors are robust but steady in application sectors like automotive, military/medical, and data processing. But the devices saw 50% growth in one segment last year: wireless/consumer, according to IHS.


SIA reports flat semiconductor sales in June with Eastern edge

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Global semiconductor sales stayed flat in June 2012, hitting $24.38 billion, reports the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Y/Y, sales fell just 2% in June, a slower decline than the semiconductor industry has seen since October 2011.


Panasonic reorgs R&D along medium-, long-term roadmaps

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC, TOKYO:6752) will reform its head office and governance as of October 1, aiming to reduce internally focused work and focus on customer needs.


ONNN CFO resigns as chipmaker reports flat growth

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

ON Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: ONNN) will be looking for a new CFO, with Donald Colvin vacating the post within 90 days. ONNN also authorized its first share repurchase program, and reported flat growth for Q2, with similar guidance for Q3.


Foundries take win, place, and show in H1 semiconductor company growth race

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

IC Insights released a Q2 update to its top-20 ranking of semiconductor companies. Three pure-play foundries are in the top 20 ranking, with a cumulative increase of 20% from Q1 2012 to Q2 2012.


The ConFab 2012: A retrospective

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

The ConFab, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only event for the semiconductor industry, took place in June, with presenters from top companies and analyst firms. If you couldn’t be there, check out all the coverage from the event -- reports, presentations, video interviews and more.


Infineon freezes headcount, decreases 2013 spending

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Following Q3 revenue of EUR990 million, approximately unchanged compared to the previous quarter and outlook for Q4 flat to down slightly, Infineon implemented measures to reduce costs. Full-year revenue will be down approximately 3% from 2011.


Gentry rejoins Seagate to lead SSD biz

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) added Gary Gentry to lead its solid state drive (SSD) business as senior vice president, SSD.


Murata researches reconfigurable radio ICs with imec

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

In a 3-year research collaboration, research organization imec and semiconductor provider Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will work on reconfigurable radio IC design.


Cypress gives Ramtron another extension on acquisition offer

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Cypress Semiconductor has extended its new, higher bid to acquire Ramtron through August 24, 2012. The bid has been renewed several times. Ramtron has previously rejected the offer.


Global semiconductor funding rose in May

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) shows more than 100% increase in semiconductor company investment Y/Y in May, in the Global Semiconductor Funding, IPO and M&A Update.


SIA recognizes semiconductor researchers, policy supporters

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) presented its 2012 University Researcher Awards to Stanford University professors Krishna Saraswat and Bruce Wooley as well as its 2012 Congressional Leadership Awards to Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Wally Herger.


May semiconductor sales edge out April numbers for third growth month

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

“The upward trend of global semiconductor sales is encouraging,” said Brian Toohey, SIA. “Recent sales totals are in line with industry projections of modest growth for the remainder of 2012, but a sluggish global economy continues to provide substantial headwinds, limiting more robust growth.”


UMC licenses IBM’s 20nm, FinFET semiconductor technology

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC; TWSE:2303) has licensed IBM technology to expedite the development of its 20nm CMOS process with FinFET 3D transistors.


Qualcomm puts semiconductor business into new subsidiary QTI

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Wireless technology company Qualcomm will change its corporate structure, moving substantially all of its R&D activities, its QCT semiconductor business, and other product and services businesses into a new wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.


Cypress secures credit from Morgan-Stanley-led group for acquisitions, other purposes

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Cypress entered into a 5-year senior secured revolving credit facility with a group of lenders led by Morgan Stanley Senior Funding. The facility enables the company to borrow up to $430 million on a revolving basis.


Micron doubles wafer capacity, adds mobile DRAM with Elpida assets buy

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU) will acquire and support bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida Memory Inc.’s assets, paying approximately US$2.5 billion total consideration, less certain reorganization proceeding expenses.


SiC's advantages over silicon push more SiC semiconductors over 10 years

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors will see 38% CAGR through 2022 thanks to power and efficiency advantages over silicon devices, according to MarketResearch.com.


JEDEC updates Flash memory standard for tablet/smartphone reqs

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Microelectronics industry standards developer JEDEC Solid State Technology Association published key updates to its Universal Flash Storage (UFS) standard, specifically tailored for mobile applications and computing systems requiring high performance and low power consumption.


Productivity challenges identified during ISMI Manufacturing Week

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor manufacturers identified key factory productivity challenges that need to be addressed and shared effective solutions they will need to stay leading-edge and competitive amid turbulent industry transitions during the recent ISMI Manufacturing Week.


Applied Materials targets 3D memory with new Avatar dielectric etch system

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Applied Materials introduced a new dielectric etch system called the Centura Avatar, which can etch holes and trenches in complex film stacks with depth to width aspect ratios of up to 80:1. It is designed to meet new requirements in creating 3D memory architectures.


ISSI aims to add NOR flash memory to portfolio with Chingis acquisition

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISSI) plans to acquire all the outstanding shares of Chingis Technology Corporation pursuant to a cash tender offer valued at $33 million.


IBM adjusts 2012 expectations up with Q2 results

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

IBM is raising its full-year operating earnings per share expectations to “at least $15.10,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM president and CEO, citing H1 performance and IBM’s ability to deliver “greater value to a wider range of clients” for the $0.10 increase.


Semiconductor IP myths and revenue growth

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

With 18.9% revenue growth, third-party semiconductor intellectual property (SIPs) seem to have had a good year in 2011. However, Semico reports, several very interesting trends in the SIP and broader SoC markets are hidden under the top-level numbers.


Intel’s Q2 2012 results are solid, Q3 guidance lowered

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

Intel reported Q2 revenue of $13.5 billion, operating income of $3.8 billion, net income of $2.8 billion and EPS of $0.54. The company lowered its Q3 guidance, citing “a more challenging macroeconomic environment.”


Samsung president Woo to keynote 2013 International CES

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Dr. Stephen Woo, president of Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions will keynote the 2013 International CES, January 8-11 in Las Vegas, NV, hosted by the CEA.


NOR Flash makers balance cellphone slowdown with new design wins

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

NOR flash memory sales growth may be tapering off in mobile handsets/smartphones, but embedded applications in the tablet, automotive, and industrial markets are picking up the slack, says IHS.


2012 ITRS stabilized for front-end, but changes loom for 2013

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

The overriding message for 2012 is that the roadmap has been largely stabilized with the significant changes that were input last year in the 2012 publication,” said Intel’s Alan Allan, speaking at Semicon West.


Fabless keynote: Xilinx on programmability @ SEMICON West

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

SEMICON West’s Day 2 keynote speaker represented a fabless company: Ivo Bolsens, PhD, SVP and CTO of Xilinx presented on how programmable chips and innovative packaging can advance semiconductors.


Interviews with CEA-Leti researchers at SEMICON West

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

CEA-Leti presented research updates alongside SEMICON West this week. After the talks on device architecture, 3D and 2.5 packaging interconnects, large-scale computing and power consumption, and more, CEA-Leti’s researchers joined Solid State Technology to talk about their fields of interest.


CNTs produced with >95% semiconducting content now available from SWeNT

Thu, 5 May 2012

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) released SG65i, a single-wall carbon nanotube product with >95% semiconducting concentration, before secondary processing to remove metallic SWCNT content.


Spansion (CODE) unveils SLC NAND with extended roadmap for embedded designs

Fri, 5 May 2012

Flash memory chip maker Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE) debuted its first family of single-level cell (SLC) NAND products using 4Xnm floating-gate technology. Spansion plans to roll out 3X and 2Xnm node versions of the NAND chips in the near future, without obsoleting the more mature designs.


Conference Report: IITC, Day 2

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Mike Fury reports on Day 2 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference), from San Jose, CA.


The ConFab: Chasing Price, Power and Performance

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

At The ConFab 2012, fabless companies and foundries have a common goal: reduce power, increase performance and reduce price (not necessarily in that order).


The ConFab: Turning the technology knobs for system scaling

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Chip scaling will go on for the foreseeable future, enabling new product with more compute power, more memory, faster on-chip communication. That was one of the conclusions put forth by imec’s An Steegen, speaking on technology trends at The ConFab 2012.


Conference Report: International Interconnect Technology Conference, IITC

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

The 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference) opened Monday, June 4 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, CA. Recurring themes this year were variations on 3D and TSV, novel systems and packaging, and back end memory. Mike Fury reports.


ConFab interview: Semico's Jim Feldhan on solid-state drives and semiconductor trends

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Jim Feldhan of Semico speaks with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer about expectations for the semiconductor industry and solid-state drives.


ConFab interview: Nvidia's John Chen on semiconductor industry success

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

John Chen of Nvidia gave the opening keynote address of The ConFab 2012, presenting the concept of a “virtual IDM” comprising fabless companies, semiconductor foundries, and packaging houses working seamlessly together. After his speech, Chen caught up with Pete Singer.


@ The ConFab: How to prevail over silicon cycles

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

At The ConFab’s opening session, “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” capex was a major point of interest. Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico all touched on it, with Hutcheson expanding on the idea of capex trends to present an entire ecosystem of semiconductor business management.


@ The ConFab: Semiconductor industry experts look to the future

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

The ConFab’s sessions opened with “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” featuring Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico.


A virtual IDM concept can unite semiconductor foundries, fabless companies, and packaging houses

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

The ConFab 2012, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only meeting of the semiconductor industry, opened today in Las Vegas with a keynote address from John Chen, PhD, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia Corporation.


ITF: The technology knobs for system scaling

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, An Steegen, Senior Vice President Process Technology at imec, discusses the three technology knobs that are key for a further system scaling.


ITF: Life has changed

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, the research consortium's CEO, Lec van den Hove, draws attention to the need for the industry to solve the world's health problems.


ITF: Winning together with strategic collaboration

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, Greg Bartlett, CTO of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, said the key to survival in the semiconductor industry is adaptability and collaboration.


How emerging growth sectors impact the overall semiconductor industry: ConFab preview

Thu, 5 May 2012

Intel's Jackie Sturm will bring to light some of the emerging, growth markets for semiconductors, and what they mean for chipmakers and the fab suppliers in the first session of The ConFab, “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry.”


Power management semiconductors grow after a rocky Q4 2011

Thu, 5 May 2012

The market for power management semiconductors grew for 7 quarters before declining grossly in Q4 2011, flattened in Q1 2012, and is now “on its way to discernible growth in Q2,” reports IHS.


Why Micron’s Elpida buy is undeterred by unsecured bondholder action

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

A group of unsecured Elpida bondholders filed documents indicating an alternative proposal to Micron's acquisition of Elpida Memory’s assets. Barclays Capital believes the counter move is unlikely to have a material impact on the actual outcome. Here's why.


Chat with Intel’s Shekhar Borkar @ SEMICON West 2012: Overpowering power consumption

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

In this video interview, Intel's Shekhar Borkar shares some key topics from SEMICON West keynote: Near-threshold voltage transistor designs, 3D integration for DRAM, unconventional interconnect, and more.


Semicon West Day 1: FDSOI and TSV R&D with CEA-Leti

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., reports on the opening day of SEMICON West (July 10), covering exaflop computing, FDSOI, TSV and other integration schemes, and silicon photonics with CEA-Leti.


Imec at SEMICON West: Interview with Luc Van den hove

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Luc Van den hove, president and CEO, imec, spoke with Solid State Technology, covering imec’s major announcements and research presentations to take place during SEMICON West 2012.


Semicon West 2012 opens with semiconductor revenue forecasts, high-level perspectives

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., reports from the pre-opening day (July 9) of SEMICON West at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. The first day hosts SEMI’s press conference on semiconductor revenues and the SEMI/Gartner Market Symposium.


SMART Storage Systems plans SSD R&D facility in CO

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

SMART Storage Systems, solid-state drive (SSD) technology developer, will open an R&D facility in Longmont, CO, to support hardware and software innovation for SSD products and company growth.


Micron’s Elpida acquisition: Analysts weigh in

Sat, 7 Jul 2012

With Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU) acquiring bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida Memory Inc.’s assets for 200 billion Yen (approximately US$2.5 billion), several analysts are looking at the move and how it affects the DRAM manufacturing landscape, as well as the Flash memory sector.


Renesas outlines recovery plan with front-/back-end fab, worker reductions

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

Semiconductor maker Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) will reorganize, in “urgent need of business recovery,” reforming semiconductor fabs in Japan and “streamlining employees.”


Semico reins in semiconductor growth forecast

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Semico Research has just updated its 2012 semiconductor industry forecast. Semico’s semiconductor growth forecast has stayed between 8 and 10% over about a year. The latest update holds Semico’s forecast at the bottom of that range: 8.6%.


NAND Flash sees weak Q1 2012; no one told Toshiba

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Toshiba Corp achieved double-digit growth that defied an industry-wide contraction in revenue in the Q1 2012 NAND Flash sector. Overall, Q1 NAND flash sales amounted to $4.99 billion, down 1% sequentially.


Process Watch: Skewing the defect pareto

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

In the second installment in a series called Process Watch, the author provides tips on how to make sure you’re reviewing the yield killing defects and not wasting time reviewing nuisance events. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions for chip manufacturing at the leading edge.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES to produce ST’s 28nm and 20nm FD-SOI

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

STMicroelectronics announced that GLOBALFOUNDRIES has agreed to manufacture devices for ST using ST’s proprietary Fully Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator (FD-SOI) technology in both the 28nm and 20nm nodes.


Freescale picks new CEO from Texas Instruments

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) named Gregg A. Lowe president and CEO, replacing Rich Bayer. Lowe joins Freescale from Texas Instruments (TI, TXN), where he was SVP and manager of the Analog business.


Semiconductor makers increase inventories ahead of higher demand

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor stockpiles held by chip suppliers increased during Q1 2012, but the rise in inventory for a second straight quarter was driven by the anticipation of higher demand from customers, according to IHS.


ISMI addresses tool obsolescence

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Speaking at The ConFab 2012, Sanjay Rajguru, director of ISMI, pointed out that more than half the current fab capacity today comes from facilities that are more than ten years old, which is creating a problem with equipment obsolescence.


April semiconductor sales jump; SIA predicts modest but building growth

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Worldwide sales of semiconductors hit $24.1 billion in April 2012, a 3.4% increase from March and the largest month-over-month growth for the industry since May 2010, reports the SIA.


TI could struggle with semiconductor fab overcapacity til 2013

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI, NASDAQ:TXN) announced Q2 2012 revenue of $3.34 billion, and expects Q3 to be about flat. Fab under-absorption charges will weigh on TI in Q3 and into Q4, analysts point out.


TI tops industrial electronics rankings, growing market share with NatSemi

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) leads the fast-growing industrial electronics semiconductor market, growing its market share in 2011 in large part due to its acquisition of National Semiconductor, according to IHS.


Apple dominates semiconductor purchasing landscape

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Apple Inc. is not only the world’s leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in terms of semiconductor purchasing, its also is increasing semiconductor buying at a faster rate than other top firms, reports IHS.


Analog IC manufacturing moves to 300mm; new growth applications arise

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

While communications make up the bulk of analog IC sales, growth is coming from automotive, energy, mobility, and medical/healthcare apps, according to Semico. This semiconductor sector is also moving to 300mm wafer production at smaller device nodes, which offers cost advantages.


Micron must avoid integration pitfalls now that Elpida deal is done

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

Micron is more than doubling its DRAM manufacturing capacity by buying bankrupt Elpida Memory’s assets. But the move is “not without risk,” according to IHS.


Toshiba cuts NAND Flash memory fab by 30%

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

One year after ramping Fab 5 at the site, Toshiba will reduce its NAND Flash memory semiconductor production at its Yokkaichi Operation fab in Mie Prefecture, Japan.


Semiconductor content in vehicles on the rise

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

The automotive IC market will grow 8% this year, to $19.6 billion, reports IC Insights. Semiconductor content per vehicle is increasing to $380 in 2012, up 9% from 2011. And the growth will continue in the near future.


Qualcomm’s semiconductor biz dips, promises rebound on 28nm ramp

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Qualcomm (QCOM) announced results for Q3 of fiscal 2012. Qualcomm reduced its outlook for semiconductor volumes in fiscal Q4. CEO and chairman Dr. Jacobs pointed out that QCOM is ramping 28nm chip supply, aiming for a strong December quarter.


Can imec bring semiconductor economies of scale to genetic analysis technology?

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Pacific Biosciences of California will join imec in a multi-year research collaboration focused on the development of advanced microchips for highly multiplexed single-molecule genetic analysis. Pacific Biosciences brings its proprietary zero-mode waveguide technology; imec is contributing expertise in nanophotonics, CMOS sensors, technology integration and fabrication.


AMD reports lagging demand for desktop processors late in Q2

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

AMD reported a “challenging” end to Q2, with president and CEO Rory Read citing "overall weakness in the global economy, softer consumer spending and lower channel demand for [AMD] desktop processors in China and Europe.”


MIT team models electronic behavior of OLEDs and other organic electronics

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

A multidisciplinary research team at MIT and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid developed a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, with applications in OLEDs, flexible printable organic electronic circuits, and solar cells.


Conference Report: TechConnect 2012, Day 1

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

The 2012 TechConnect World Summit, Expo & Showcase opened Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The event serves as host to the National Innovation Showcase, whose mission is to accelerate the commercialization of “the world’s top innovations.”


June 27th webcast on 3D integration

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

In a webcast scheduled for June 27th at 1:00 Eastern, 11:00 Pacific, David McCann of GLOBALFOUNDRIES will provide a status report on advanced packaging and 3D integration. McCann is responsible for Packaging R&D and back-end strategy and implementation at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.


Global DRAM recovery: Is DRAM becoming NAND-like?

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Barclays Capital analysts say DRAM benefits from a supply discipline that was bolstered by oligopoly/DRAM consolidation and the Elpida bankruptcy; robust demand growth from non-PC applications (server/mobile DRAM bit demand to exceed PC for the first time in 2013E); and potential for additional positives related to Elpida (Hiroshima/Rexchip converted to non-DRAM).


Samsung earmarks $1.94B for new 14/20nm semiconductor manufacturing line

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

The management committee of Samsung Electronics authorized the KRW2.25 trillion investment for construction of a new production line serving Samsung’s System LSI business.


Ultrabook storage architectures: Hybrid HDD vs cache SSD

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Cache SSDs will remain the mainstream ultrabook storage solution, says IHS, even as hybrid HDDs offer some consolidated storage advantage. Hybrid HDDs use a built-in layer of NAND flash memory.


iPhone 5: Which semiconductor suppliers are the big winners?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

As the dust settles after the launch of the iPhone 5, analysts tally which suppliers in the semiconductor ecosphere are most likely to gain the most.


Dow launches CMP polishing pad platform

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Dow Electronic Materials introduced its new IKONIC polishing pad platform for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP).


NIST tips "hybrid" metrology method to test chips

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says it's combined scanning techniques and statistical data to both more precisely and less expensively measure features on a chip -- and two big chip firms are already on board.


Samsung breaks ground on Chinese NAND fab

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new leading-edge NAND memory fab line in Xi'an, China, to be fully on line by 2014 making "10nm-class" process technologies.


Scotch tape induces high-temp superconductivity

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

A team led by University of Toronto physicists has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconducto.


SRC honors professors from UC Berkeley and MIT

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) recognized two outstanding professors in SRC-supported, chip-related research and education for 2012.


Tablets, smartphones driving turnaround in power management chips

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

Demand for power management semiconductors recovered in 2Q12 after declining for half a year, thanks to strong demand from electronic products such as smartphones and media tablets, according to IHS iSuppli.


TSMC, UMC sales rise in August on customer pull-ins

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

Taiwan's two biggest semiconductor foundries saw sales jump in August, and business for the full third quarter is looking up as customers pull in some orders.


Nanya gets equity investment from ISSI, deepens ties across memory and analog

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

Taiwanese DRAM manufacturer Nanya Technology has received a $27M equity investment from a subsidiary of Integrated Silicon Solution to bolster the companies' foundry partnership.


Intel lowers 3Q outlook: What's the real driving factor?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Analysts weigh the reasons behind Intel's downwardly-revised 3Q12 results, from macroeconomic sluggishness to tablet-PC cannibalization -- and whether its pullback in 2012 capex plans spells trouble for the market overall.


Intel lowers 3Q outlook: What's the real driving factor?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Analysts weigh the reasons behind Intel's downwardly-revised 3Q12 results, from macroeconomic sluggishness to tablet-PC cannibalization -- and whether its pullback in 2012 capex plans spells trouble for the market overall.


Waiting for the next "golden year"

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

While various industry segments appear to be tapping the brakes, others are revving their engines, observes SEMI's Christian Gregor Dieseldorff -- and a 2012 stall could pave the way for a record-breaking 2013.


Semiconductor R&D spending rising 10% in 2012 to meet design, process challenges

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Spending on R&D by semiconductor companies worldwide is expected to grow 10% in 2012 to a record $53.4 billion, as companies all across the ecosystem try to keep up with more complex IC designs and new process technologies, according to data from IC Insights.


Singapore IME, MOSIS to offer silicon photonics wafer prototyping service

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and MOSIS have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to offer a multiple-project wafer service targeting silicon integrated photonics.


Reports: Renesas targeted by investment firm KKR

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

US-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. (KKR) reportedly is seeking to snap up struggling chip firm Renesas for ¥100 billion (US $1.3B)


IBM spintronics researchers map semiconductor’s persistent spin helix

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Researchers from IBM and ETH Zurich revealed the first-ever direct mapping of the formation of a persistent spin helix in a semiconductor. This discovery answers the physics question as to whether electron spins possess the capability to preserve encoded information long enough before rotating.


Hong Kong X’tals takes share of oscillator manufacturer

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Hong Kong X’tals Ltd, part of the Kolinker Group, has acquired a 40% shareholding in IQD FOQ GmbH, the specialist OCXO manufacturing division of IQD, for an undisclosed sum.


Flex, printed & organic electronics could save money in healthcare

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Emerging technologies in printed, flexible, and organic electronics are poised to reduce costs in the $300 billion global medical device market as governments, insurers and patients seek to bring down healthcare costs, according to Lux Research.


AKM tops magnetic sensor rankings, but competition looms with 6-axis compasses

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Propelled by strong sales to tablet and cellphone manufacturers, AKM led the semiconductor magnetic sensor market for the third year in a row in 2011. Of the top-10 magnetic sensor suppliers, Memsic saw the highest growth: 1340%.


Semiconductor segments ready for strong annual market growth

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Following a lackluster period of average annual market growth in the semiconductor industry, a significant upturn is in store for the next five years, according to IC Insights.


Integrating power electronics design technologies

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

The field of power electronics, the application of electronics for the control and conversion of electric power, is underpinned by basic electrical principles that were established in the distant past by the pioneers of electrical science. But today, the need to supply, modify and control the voltage, current or frequency of electric power arises in a vast number of applications and products spanning a huge range in terms of power handling capability.


ARM and Cadence collaborate on SoC design solutions

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

ARM and Cadence announced the availability of the first in a series of combined solutions enabling designers to improve performance, power and time-to-market for ARM's processor-based system-on-chips (SoCs). 


Semico downgrades 2012 semiconductor industry forecast to 6-8%

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Citing continued financial struggles in Europe, an inventory buildup at TSMC, and lower US GDP, Semico revised its 2012 semiconductor industry forecast from 8-10% to 6-8%.


Marvell drops out of top 5 smartphone applications processor rankings

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Global smartphone applications processor revenues grew 55% Y/Y in Q1 2012, reaching $2.47 billion, according to Strategy Analytics. Qualcomm dominates in revenues and units sold, though it faces increasing competition.


Mobile DRAM on the rise with growth in tablets, smartphones, and ultrathin laptops

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

The biggest change in the DRAM industry in 2012 has been Micron’s acquisition of Elpida. One key asset for Micron is mobile DRAM, which is growing in adoption thanks to integration into smartphones and tablets.


Measuring inside an active OLED

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science say they have devised a way to selectively and nondestructively evaluate molecules within a sealed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) in operation, in hopes to further understand and eventually minimize performance degradation.


EUV Symposium takeaways: Slow and steady progress, much improvement expected in early 2013

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

EUV Symposium host imec and a pair of industry analysts gauge the pace of improvements in EUV lithography and its long march toward production readiness.


Europe to unite research efforts in Silicon Europe cluster alliance

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Four of the leading micro- and nanoelectronics regions in Europe are joining forces to form a cluster alliance called “Silicon Europe.”


Q2 semiconductor revenue may be “troubling” indicator of market health

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Global semiconductor market revenue in Q2 2012 fell by 3% Y/Y to $75.2 billion, and grew sequentially <3%, resulting in widespread revenue declines for chip suppliers, particularly those headquartered in Japan and Europe, according to IHS.


UC Berkeley, PARC, Thinfilm Electronics pursue printed sensors with FlexTech Alliance grant

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

UMC to close semiconductor foundry in Japan, dissolve subsidiary

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC; TWSE:2303) will close its fab operation in Japan through the dissolution and liquidation of its wholly-owned subsidiary, UMC Japan.


IEEE recognizes impact of floating gate EEPROM for Flash memory

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

IEEE has awarded a prestigious IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing award for the floating gate electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM), a significant technological innovation that enabled data storage in Flash memory.


Reports: Will Micron spend more on DRAM maker Elpida?

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Several news reports say that Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU) will pay an incremental Yen 80 billion above the previously agreed upon price for debt guarantees at Elpida. But interpretations are not all the same.


Top 12 semiconductor foundries of 2012

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

A ranking of the forecasted top 2012 12 IC foundries (pure-play and IDM) was released by IC Insights.


Gartner identifies fast-moving technologies with Hype Cycle report

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Big data, 3D printing, activity streams, Internet TV, Near Field Communication (NFC) payment, cloud computing and media tablets are some of the fastest-moving technologies identified in Gartner Inc.'s 2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.


Augmented reality means augmented NAND, mobile DRAM demand

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Augmented reality (AR) is a disruptive yet nascent technology. According to Semico, AR will increase demand for NAND and mobile DRAM memory, as well as other technologies.


H2 NAND pricing: iPhone 5, DRAM, and other influencing factors

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Barclays Capital analyzed the underlying factors for current NAND prices, and where the NAND industry is expected to go in the near future. Factors include the Apple Inc. iPhone 5, reduced NAND production at key chipmakers, and changes to the DRAM sector, among other influences.


Fraunhofer develops new silicon photomultiplier

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Scientists at Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT, together with Ketek GmbH, have developed a novel, silicon-based optical sensor component called a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM).


GlobalFoundries hires Xilinx exec as marketing VP

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Bruce Kleinman, former VP of platform marketing at Xilinx, will now lead GlobalFoundries' product marketing efforts


SRC to host TECHCON conference in September

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, is poised to celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual TECHCON conference Sept. 10-11.


SEMI builds portal for 450mm info

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

SEMI's new "450 Central" information portal offers news and perspectives about the 450mm wafer-size transition.


Molybdenum disulfide has all the 2D potential of graphene, with a bandgap

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

MIT researchers are building various electronic components out of a 2D form of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). This is the start of a “new realm” of research into 2D materials for electronic materials and devices, according to one researcher.


Semiconductor funding activity increases in July

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) released the global semiconductor funding, IPO, and M&A statistics for July 2012, noting a steep ramp from June, but small decline from July 2011.


Technology licensing company Rambus restructures, creates CTO role

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS), a technology licensing company, will undergo a restructuring and related cost saving measures to cut its expenses by$30-35 million annually.


IBM buys solid-state storage maker Texas Memory Systems

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

IBM (NYSE:IBM) will acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a leading developer of high-performance flash memory semiconductors based in Houston, TX.


Locals lead semiconductor purchasing in Asia-Pacific

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

On a worldwide basis, Apple Inc. and other multinational OEMs may be the top semiconductor purchasers in 2012, but within the all-important Asia-Pacific region, locally based companies lead the pack when it comes to chip spending growth.


Microsemi adds director with medical optics experience

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Microsemi (Nasdaq:MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, appointed James V. Mazzo to its board of directors.


Apple’s iPhone 5: Implications for the semiconductor supply chain

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Apple Inc. is expected to release the iPhone 5 this fall. FBR Capital Markets says the smartphone could be “one of the most important catalysts for the overall chip manufacturers and service providers, as well as competitors in the handset space.”


ARM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES collaborate on 20nm and FinFET semiconductor technologies

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM will jointly work to optimize SoC technology for ARM processor designs on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 20nm and FinFET process technologies, in a new multi-year agreement.


GaN power chip startup Transphorm raises $35M, led by Japanese backers

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

GaN power device developer Transphorm Inc. has secured a $35M Series E financing round led by the Japanese government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), and Nihon Inter electronic Company with whom it has signed a second-source manufacturing deal.


ON Semiconductor joins imec’s GaN-on-Si research program

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

ON Semiconductor has joined imec to collaborate on the development of next-generation GaN-on-Si power devices. ON Semiconductor is presently building a GaN processing line in its Oudenaarde facility in Belgium Oudenaarde, and it is expected to employ GaN-on-Si technology.


Analyst: Fab spending softness 2012 extending into 2013

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Fab equipment spending continues to soften in 2012, and hopes for a reprieve in 2013 are waning, warns one analyst.


SIA: Chip sales essentially flat in August

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Macroeconomic malaise continues to weigh down global semiconductor sales, although there's a possible ray of hope for a boost by year's end thanks to introduction of much-desired electronics devices (hello iPhone 5).


Intermolecular, GlobalFoundries, IBM stepping to 10nm node

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Intermolecular says that it is working with both GlobalFoundries and IBM to speed development of manufacturing technologies down to the 10nm node, using its High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology.


ST pairs with Samsung for 32/28nm HKMG

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

STMicroelectronics says it is using Samsung Electronics' foundry services for 32nm/28nm high-k/metal gate (HKMG) process technology, and have taped out a dozen system-on-chip devices.


Tezzaron takes over SVTC's Austin fab amid layoff reports

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Tezzaron Semiconductor is taking over SVTC Technologies' wafer fab in Austin, TX, amid reports that the semiconductor/MEMS development organization is cutting back activities in Austin and in California.


Foundries, leading-edge nodes, and profits: Narrowing the field in a two-man race

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Want another snapshot of who's leading the pack among pure-play foundries, and who's falling off the curve? Look more closely at &lt;45nm offerings, as framed by a recent analysis from IC Insights.


Molybdenum sulfide: the new graphene?

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers have begun to investigate a new 2D material—molybdenum sulfide (MoS)—which has similar characteristics but offers something graphene doesn’t: a wide energy bandgap, enabling transistors and circuits to be built from it directly.


On-board heaters can self-heal flash memories

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At the upcoming International Electron Device Meeting, Macronix researchers will describe how they built flash memories that could heal themselves by means of tiny onboard heaters that provide thermal annealing just at the spots where it is needed.


Everspin to unveil highest-density ST-MRAM

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

In an invited paper at the International Electron Devices Meeting, researchers from Everspin Technologies will describe how they built the largest functional ST-MRAM circuit ever built, a 64-Mb device with good electrical characteristics.


Better than FinFETs: Hybrid-Channel SOI

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December, a team led by IBM will report on the world’s first high-performance hybrid-channel ETSOI CMOS device.The researchers built a ring oscillator circuit to benchmark performance that worked even better than FinFETs.


Why IC market growth will expand despite economic and technology challenges

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Even with the persistent troubles in global economics and various technology hurdles in advanced semiconductor manufacturing, IC market growth will continue to improve -- and the key is a shift away from what's been driving the market dynamics, explains IC Insights.


China's IMR orders Aixtron system for carbon nanotube, graphene research

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

The Institute of Metal Research (IMR) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has ordered a new Aixtron tool to support its research in carbon nanotubes and graphene technologies.


IEDM unveils 2012 program highlights

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

The 58th annual IEDM will take place December 10-12, 2012 at the San Francisco Hilton Union Square, preceded by a full day of Short Courses on Sunday, Dec. 9 and by a program of 90-minute afternoon tutorial sessions on Saturday, Dec. 8.


IBM gets sneak-peek at a molecule's bonds

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

IBM researchers have peered further inside a molecule's structure to distinguish the individual bonds, pointing the way to building an understanding of how graphene devices could work.


Japanese public/private partnership mulling Renesas rescue

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

A Japanese state-backed domestic partnership has been forged to mull taking over ownership of struggling domestic chipmaker Renesas, in response to a rumored acquisition bid by US-based investment firm KKR.


NanoYield: new design for yield software released

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc. unveiled NanoYield, yield prediction and optimization software for memory, logic, analog and digital circuit design.


EV Group sells first ZoneBOND tech for compound semi work

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

EV Group says it has received an order for its EVG850 temporary bonding/debonding systems from a leading maker of compound semiconductor-based components, what it says is the first use of its ZoneBOND technology in this area.


TSMC's schedule for 450mm mass production -- and lithography is the key

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

During sessions at this month's SEMICON Taiwan, execs from TEL, Lam Research, Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor revealed the latest developments in 450mm technology.


GlobalFoundries tips 14nm FinFETs with 20nm underpinnings

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

GlobalFoundries announced it has developed a 14nm process technology built off its 20nm planar (LPM) process, which it says will offer improved battery life and higher performance vs. other 20nm 2D planar transistors.


Linde adds China N2O plant, expands display gases reach in Asia

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

Linde Electronics has added a new high-purity nitrous oxide (N2O) plant in China's Jiangsu Province to support increased adoption of metal oxide transistors by display manufacturers.


TriQuint to boost GaN power amplifiers for DARPA

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

TriQuint Semiconductor says it has received a $2.7M contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to triple the power handling performance of gallium nitride (GaN) circuits.


TSMC integrates Ge on Si in p-type FinFETs

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), foundry TSMC will describe a heterogeneous epitaxial growth process which for the first time enables Ge to be directly grown on Si.


Horizontal channels key to ultra-small 3D NAND

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

The first working 3D NAND flash memory at sub-40nm feature sizes will be described by Macronix researchers at this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM).


RRAM synapses mimic the brain

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At this year’s IEDM, a team led by Korea’s Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology will detail a high-speed pattern-recognition system comprising CMOS “neurons” and an array of resistive-RAM (RRAM)-based “synapses,” which demonstrated STDP, a brain-like function.


Toshiba to showcase leading-edge semiconductor solutions for mobile devices at Mobile Asia Expo 2013

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it will showcase its leading-edge semiconductor solutions for mobile devices at Mobile Asia Expo 2013.


GaN microelectronics revenue forecast to reach $334M by 2017

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

While military applications continue to drive the GaN device market, commercial applications have emerged that will help fuel rapid market growth.


Beyond silicon: Transistors without semiconductors

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

For decades, electronic devices have been getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. It's now possible—even routine—to place millions of transistors on a single silicon chip. But transistors based on semiconductors can only get so small.


Two-dimensional atomically-flat transistors show promise for next-generation green electronics

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

UC Santa Barbara researchers demonstrate first n-type field effect transistors on monolayer tungsten diselenide with record performance.


North American semiconductor equipment industry posts May 2013 book-to-bill ratio

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

A book-to-bill of 1.08 means that $108 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.


Global semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending to decline in 2013, says Gartner

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Outlook for semiconductor equipment market improves, but remains soft in the short term.


SEMATECH to address critical supply chain challenges and more at SEMICON West 2013

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Through a series of lectures and workshops, SEMATECH will address R&D challenges and closing key infrastructure technology gaps from July 8–12 at SEMICON West in San Francisco, CA.


Samsung now mass producing industry’s first PCI-Express solid state drive

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Samsung announced today that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first PCI-Express (PCIe) solid state drive (SSD) for next-generation ultra-slim notebook PCs.


SEMATECH names William R. Rozich chairman of the board

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Rozich, who previously was a member of the company’s board, succeeds Michael R. Polcari, who served as chairman since November 2009.


Semiconductor inventory falls in Q1 as outlook for electronics demand rises

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Total inventory held by semiconductor suppliers declined significantly in the first quarter as excess stockpiles created during the global economic malaise of 2012 were cleared away, done in anticipation of a resurgence in consumer demand for electronic products expected by the second half of 2013.


DRAM market grows up

Wed, 6 Jun 2013

Industry’s newfound maturity yields growth amid adversity.


Imec and Renesas pioneer high-performance RF solutions in 28nm CMOS technology

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

The companies released this new development at this week’s VLSI circuits Symposium in Kyoto, Japan.


Imec shows multiple enhancement options for next-generation finFETs

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Nano-electronics R&D center addresses key challenges of Germanium finFET technology at VLSI 2013.


World's first large(wafer)-scale production of III-V semiconductor nanowire

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

The research team demonstrated a novel method to epitaxially synthesize structurally and compositionally homogeneous and spatially uniform ternary InAsyP1-y nanowire on Si at wafer-scale using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD).


US Army validates SiOnyx XQE sensor performance

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

SiOnyx Inc. announced independent validation of its image sensor technology.


Olympus launches LEXT OLS4100 laser confocal microscope

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

New 3D measuring system offers auto brightness and high-speed stitching.


Silicon Labs to acquire Energy Micro

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

Silicon Labs today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Energy Micro AS.


Fujitsu touts GaN HEMT millimeter-wave transceiver

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

Fujitsu Laboratories Limited has launched millimeter-wave transceiver based on gallium-nitride high-electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT). The device operates at frequencies up to the millimeter-wave band and features an output of 10W.


Altera Corp introduces Generation 10 FPGAs and SoCs

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Altera Corporation today introduced its Generation 10 FPGAs and SoCs, offering system developers breakthrough levels of performance and power efficiencies.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES unveils plans to accelerate adoption of 20nm-LPM and 14nm-XM FinFET processes

Fri, 5 May 2013

At next week's 50th Design Automation Conference in Austin, Texas, GLOBALFOUNDRIES will unveil a comprehensive set of certified design flows to support its most advanced manufacturing processes.


Aptina appoints Phil Carmack as CEO

Thu, 5 May 2013

Aptina’s board of directors yesterday announced that Phil Carmack has joined Aptina as chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors.


NXP leads automotive ASSP semiconductor market for second year in a row in 2012

Thu, 5 May 2013

Benefiting from its leadership position in AM/FM tuner and audio processing chips, NXP Semiconductors NV in 2012 retained its rank as the world’s top supplier of application-specific standard product semiconductors for the automotive infotainment market.


PCB book-to-bill ratio reaches 34-month high

Thu, 5 May 2013

Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the PCB book-to-bill ratio, which reached 1.10, its highest level since July 2010.


Test Vision 2020 at SEMICON West to address emerging test strategies, technologies and challenges

Fri, 5 May 2013

Critical trends and developments in the technologies, methodologies, and applications challenges in semiconductor test will be presented at the 6th annual IEEE Test Vision 2020 Workshop held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2013, on July 10-11 at the San Francisco Marriot Marquis Hotel.


Precision is key to scaling below 14nm

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

In advance of the 2013 SEMICON West TechXPOTs on lithography and nonplanar transistors beyond 20nm, SEMI asked some of the speakers and industry experts to comment on the challenges they wanted to highlight. Many of the inputs focused on the need for precision in the processes used to form transistors, as well as how EDA can contribute to mitigating variability.


Fab equipment spending: 23% growth for 2014

Tue, 6 Jun 2013

Fab equipment spending will grow two percent year-over-year  (US$ 32.5 billion) for 2013 and about 23 to 27 percent in 2014 ($41 billion) according to the May edition of the SEMI World Fab Forecast.


Learning the secrets of design for yield

Tue, 6 Jun 2013

Dr. Zhihong Liu, Executive Chairman of ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc., says that design-for-yield (DFY) considerations are more important than ever. And yet, we as an industry may not fully understand device modeling and its impact on DFY results.


Mentor Graphics and TSMC collaborate on 20nm IC physical verifications

Wed, 5 May 2013

Mentor Graphics Corp. today announced significant achievements in its continued collaboration with TSMC on 20nm physical verification kit optimizations.


Element Six acquires assets of Group4Labs

Wed, 5 May 2013

Element Six today announced it has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Group4 Labs, Inc. (Group4), a semiconductor wafer materials company that manufactured gallium nitride (GaN) on-diamond semiconductor technology for RF and high-power devices.


Extending optical lithography; outlook for DSA

Mon, 5 May 2013

This year’s SEMICON West front-end processing TechXPOTs on lithography and transistors below 20nm will provide critical updates on how technologists are coping with the next scaling challenges.


How Intel can enable a successful $200 PC in the age of the media tablet

Mon, 5 May 2013

Can PC makers produce ultrathin, touch-screen PCs that are appealing to consumers—and that are priced at just $200?


Printed, flexible and organic electronics sees 15.2% CAGR over the next decade

Fri, 5 May 2013

The new report from IDTechEx titled "Printed, Organic & Flexible Electronics: Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2013-2023" finds that the total market for these technologies will grow from $16.04 billion in 2013 to $76.79 billion in 2023.


Samsung announces industry-first 45nm embedded flash logic process development

Fri, 5 May 2013

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the industry’s first 45nm embedded flash logic process development called eFlash. Samsung successfully implemented the new process into the smart card test chip, which means that this process technology fulfills the stringent quality requirements of the security solution market and can be successfully deployed on a commercial scale.


Vishay Intertechnology enhances precision thin film chip resistor arrays

Thu, 5 May 2013

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. today announced that the company has enhanced its ACAS 0606 AT and ACAS 0612 AT precision thin film chip resistor arrays with tighter absolute tolerance, relative tolerance, and relative TCR for the new S, T, and U accuracy grades.


Imec and Renesas collaborate on ultra-low power short range radios

Thu, 5 May 2013

Imec and Renesas Electronics Corporation announced today that they have entered into a new strategic research collaboration at Holst Centre.


EU announces achievements of three-year power microelectronics program

Thu, 5 May 2013

LAST POWER, the European Union-sponsored program aimed at developing a cost-effective and reliable technology for power electronics, today announced its three-year program achievements.


SiC and GaN semiconductors: What to expect in the next decade

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

The market for GaN and SiC power semiconductors is set to rise by factor of 18 from 2012 to 2022.


Cache solid state drives prevail over pure SSD storage in Ultrabooks And ultrathins

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

The most popular storage medium this year for superthin Ultrabooks and similarly built laptops won’t be the pricey solid state drives (SSD) that initially created a buzz for their astonishing speeds.


University of Manchester researchers cultivate first graphene-based transistor

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

University of Manchester researchers reported to Nature Communications that they have developed the first graphene-based transistor with bistable characteristics.


Strategic approach to R&D is goal at National Photonics Initiative Event

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

More than 100 representatives from government and the photonics industry convened in Washington, D.C., on February 28 to identify focus areas for a national photonics initiative (NPI), engaging academia, industry, and government in a collaboration to address barriers to continued U.S. leadership in photonics.


'Key' EUV milestone, DSA progress, more reported at SPIE Advanced Lithography

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Over 2,000 industry professionals attended last week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography, where important progress reports were revealed on extreme ultraviolet (EUV), lithography, directed self-assembly (DSA), metrology, and related topics. The event ran February 24-28 in San Jose, California.


STMicroelectronics makes analog 130nm H9A CMOS process available through CMP

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Semiconductor technology leaders ST and CMP help universities, research labs and companies prototype next generation of Systems-on-Chip.


January DRAM, NAND flash sales indicate a promising year

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Industry consolidation to just three big DRAM suppliers and a reduction in capital expenditures among these manufacturers helped propel DRAM average selling prices (ASPs) up 13% year over year in January, which contributed to a 19.9% jump in the total memory market and a 6.2% increase for the total IC market in January 2013. 


Car infotainment semiconductor market hits speed bump in 2013

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Following a healthy expansion in 2012, the growth of the global automotive semiconductor market will decelerate slightly this year because of a slowdown in the aftermarket and portable navigation device (PND) segments.


Diodes Incorporated closes acquisition of BCD Semiconductor

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Diodes Incorporated today announced that it has completed its acquisition of BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Limited in an all cash deal, valued at approximately $151 million.


Top industrial electronics semiconductor suppliers suffer declining revenue in 2012

Thu, 5 May 2013

The eight leading suppliers of industrial electronics suffered revenue declines in 2012, reflecting weak conditions for the beleaguered market.


Second phase of Nanoelectronics Research Initiative to focus on post-CMOS electronics

Wed, 5 May 2013

SRC and NIST will provide a combined $5 million in annual funding for three multi-university research centers tasked with demonstrating non-conventional, low-energy technologies that outperform current technologies on critical applications in 10 years and beyond.


SSDs to account for one-third of worldwide PC storage shipments by 2017

Tue, 5 May 2013

Global shipments of solid state drives (SSD) in PCs are set to rise by a factor of seven by 2017, allowing them to claim more than one-third of the market for PC storage solutions by that time.


Analog Devices appoints Vincent Roche CEO

Mon, 5 May 2013

Analog Devices, Inc. today announced the appointment of Vincent Roche as president and chief executive officer (CEO) and his election to the Board of Directors, effective immediately.


Four-junction solar cell achieves 43.6% efficiency

Wed, 5 May 2013

Soitec announced the PV industry’s first four-junction solar cell device, which uses two dual-junction sub cells grown on different III-V compound  materials, which allows optimal band-gap combinations tailored to capture a broader range of the solar spectrum.


IDC predicts semiconductor market to experience 3-4% revenue growth in 2013

Wed, 5 May 2013

IDC expects the semiconductor market to return to growth in 2013 with revenues forecast to increase by 3.5 percent this year.


NSF and SRC to fund research to create failure-resistant systems and circuits

Tue, 5 May 2013

Leaders of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) today announced 18 new projects funded through a joint initiative to address research challenges in the design of failure-resistant circuits and systems.


Eleven companies move up in Q1’13 top 20 semi supplier ranking

Tue, 5 May 2013

Qualcomm, TSMC, and SK Hynix each register greater than 20 percent year-over-year growth.


Toshiba to start mass production of next generation NAND flash memory

Tue, 5 May 2013

Toshiba Corporation today announced that the company has developed second generation 19nm process technology that it will apply to mass production of 2-bit-per-cell 64 gigabit NAND memory chips later this month.


Imec and GLOBALFOUNDRIES collaborate to advance high-density memory technology

Tue, 5 May 2013

Imec and GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced today that they have expanded joint development efforts to advance STT-MRAM (spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory) technology.


Spansion to acquire microcontroller and analog business from Fujitsu

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

Spansion Inc. and Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited today announced they have executed a definitive agreement for Spansion to acquire the Microcontroller and Analog Business of Fujitsu Semiconductor for approximately $110 million, plus approximately $65 million for inventory.


Samsung now producing 4Gb LPDDR3 mobile DRAM at 20nm

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the industry’s first production of ultra-high-speed four gigabit (Gb) low power double data rate 3 (LPDDR3) mobile DRAM, which is being produced at a 20nm-class process node.


Renesas Electronics to release intelligent power device for IGBT drive with micro-isolator

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Renesas Electronics Corporation this week announced the development of the R2A25110KSP intelligent power device of isolated IGBT driver for use in electric and hybrid vehicle power inverters.


Global semiconductor industry to witness a CAGR of 4.3% over next five years

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Global macroeconomic developments and technological advances, personal computers, and memory markets are expected to drive demand over the forecast period, Research and Markets predicts in their report, “Global Semiconductor Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis.”


Digital power market booms as technology spreads to consumer and lighting areas

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

The global markets for digital power supplies and digital power integrated circuits (ICs) are projected to boom from 2013 to 2017, as their use in IT infrastructure increases and as the technology expands into lighting and consumer-oriented applications including PCs, appliances and cellphones.


Samsung mass producing high-performance NAND Flash memory using 10nm-class process technology

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Samsung has begun mass producing a 128-gigabit (Gb), 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) NAND memory chip using 10 nanometer (nm)-class process technology this month. This chip will enable high-density memory solutions such as embedded NAND storage and solid state drives (SSDs).


UC Riverside scientists discover new uses for carbon nanotubes

Wed, 5 May 2013

The atom-sized world of carbon nanotubes holds great promise for a future demanding smaller and faster electronic components.


Global semiconductor sales outpace last year through Q1 of 2013

Tue, 5 May 2013

Sales in March 2013 were up slightly compared to February 2013 and March 2012.


TowerJazz and TLi Korea to collaborate on sensor ICs for mobile market

Mon, 5 May 2013

TowerJazz today announced collaboration with TLi (Technology Leaders and Innovators), a fabless company that designs non-memory integrated circuits (ICs) focused on timing controllers and driver ICs on TFT-LCD panel modules.


Bluetooth chip shipments to nearly double by 2017

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

The market for Bluetooth semiconductors is expected to boom by nearly 100 percent from 2011 to 2017, with the majority of the growth driven by demand for wireless combination integrated circuits (ICs) and mobile system-on-chip (MSoC) devices with integrated wireless connectivity that are used in mobile devices like smartphones and media tablets.


Reinventing Intel

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

The semiconductor chip giant revealed plans to branch out beyond PCs. Will it work?


Freescale Semiconductor to open 10 sales offices in China in 2013

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

In order to meet the rapidly growing business demands in the Chinese market and further expand the mass market in that region, Freescale Semiconductor announced today that the company plans to open ten new sales offices covering key areas across the mainland area.


SEMI reports March book-to-bill ratio of 1.14

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.14 billion in orders worldwide in March 2013 (three-month average basis) and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.14, according to the March Book-to-Bill Report published today by SEMI.


Cree SiC MOSFETs enable next-generation solar inverters

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

Cree, Inc. and Delta Energy Systems announce a breakthrough in the photovoltaic (PV) inverter industry with the release of Delta’s new generation of solar inverters, which utilize SiC power MOSFETs from Cree. The use of SiC MOSFETs in the next-generation PV inverters can enable significant new milestones in power density, efficiency and weight.


Intermolecular announces agreement with Micron

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a multi-year technology development and IP licensing agreement with Micron Technology, Inc., focused on technology development and related IP for advanced memory technologies.


“Smart Skin” sensors could provide remote monitoring of aging infrastructure

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a novel technology that would facilitate close monitoring of structures for strain, stress and early formation of cracks.


BeSpoon and CEA-Leti establish world-record distance measurement on a single chip

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

BeSpoon, a fabless semiconductor company, and CEA-Leti have demonstrated an IR-UWB integrated circuit able to measure distances within a few centimeters’ accuracy, and have established a world-record operating range at 880m (standard regulation) and 3,641m (emergency situations).


Anapass to collaborate and invest with GCT Semiconductor

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Anapass, Inc, a display SoC solution provider listed on the KOSDAQ, today announced that it has entered into strategic collaboration and investment agreements with GCT Semiconductor, Inc., a designer and supplier of advanced 4G mobile semiconductor solutions, to develop and commercialize mobile application processors (AP) for use in smartphones.


IBM announces $1B investment in flash memory R&D

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

IBM announced plans on Thursday to invest $1 billion in flash memory research and development and launch a series of systems that will use solid state drives.


BlinkSight and imec announce world’s first single-chip indoor GPS solution

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Imagine if you could track and trace connected goods, assets and people in real-time, anywhere, at any time with high accuracy. BlinkSight and imec recently made this future a reality, with the launch of the first ever single-chip indoor GPS solution.


Painting with catalysts: Nano-engineered materials for detoxifying water

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Only light, aerial oxygen, and a catalyst are needed to remove pollutants from water. Ruhr-Universitat Bochum researchers led by Professor Radim Beránek are collaborating with colleagues from seven different countries in order to develop a photocatalyst that is efficient enough to be profitable.


Ultra-low power processor operates at near-threshold voltage

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

At this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2013), imec and Holst Centre presented an ultra-low power processor that operates reliably at near-threshold voltages.


1.9nJ/b Ultra-low power 2.4GHz multi-standard radio compliant to Bluetooth Low Energy and ZigBee

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

Imec and Holst Centre presented at ISSCC an ultra-low power multi-standard 2.3/2.4GHz short range radio. The 1.9nJ/b radio is compliant with three wireless standards: Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee and Medical Body Area Networks.


RRAM: Understanding reliability issues

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

Tim Turner, the Reliability Center Business Development Manager at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), Albany, NY, blogs about the potential of resistive memory and the reliability challenges the must be overcome.


Imec demonstrates low power beamforming transceiver chipset

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

New advancement enables the development of low-power, low-cost, high-data rate solutions for true mobile devices.


Leti to coordinate European supply chain in silicon photonics

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

CEA-Leti today announced that it will coordinate a four-year project aimed at building a European-based supply chain in silicon photonics and speeding industrialization of the technology.


Poongsan to partner with SEMATECH

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Joint effort to explore novel process techniques to improve device performance and reliability in semiconductor manufacturing for sub 20nm technology node.


STMicroelectronics 28nm FD-SOI technology hits 3GHz operating speed

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

STMicroelectronics announced today another milestone in its testing of its 28nm FD-SOI Technology Platform.


2013: 450mm is the next big opportunity

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

In semiconductor manufacturing, 450mm is the next big opportunity. Issues of economic scale and complexity will force fab designers, OEMs and process integrators to investigate all open avenues in the search for solutions to the huge challenges that accompany 450mm.


2013: Next-generation 3-D NAND flash technology

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

NAND flash has embarked on its own 3-D scaling program, whereby the stacking of bit cells allows continuous cost-per-bit scaling while relaxing the lateral feature size scaling.


2013: Multiple inflection points provide opportunity to extend benefits of Moore’s Law

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

While solutions are available to extend Moore’s Law, these solutions come at considerable increases in cost and complexity. As it has in the past, this industry will find more innovative solutions to overcome the challenges of inflection.


2013: Fab Equipment Spending Shrinks Back to Flat

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

The SEMI Consensus Forecast and the SEMI World Fab Forecast, with data collected from two different methodologies, point to the same conclusion: 0% growth for 2013.


Global forecast and analysis of GaN semiconductor market released

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Today, Research and Markets released the Gallium Nitride (GaN) Semiconductor Devices (Discretes & ICs) Market, Global Forecast & Analysis: 2012 – 2022.


Global market for MEMS microphone to more than double in five years

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

The global market for MEMS microphones has reached approximately $422 million in 2012. The market is predicted to increase to $865 million in 2017.


ISSCC 2013: Radio frequency trends

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Andreia Cathelin, subcommittee chair, reflects on the trends of radio frequency design and usage in her submission to ISSCC.


ISSCC 2013: Energy efficient digital trends

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Stephen Kosonocky, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes on the growing need for technologies to be both energy and cost-efficient.


10 IC product segments to exceed total IC market growth in 2013

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Tablet and cellphone processors, NAND flash, and telecom-specific ICs to enjoy best growth.


Solid state thin film batteries market worth $6 Billion by 2019

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Markets for solid state thin-film batteries at $65.9 million in 2012 are anticipated to reach $5.95 billion by 2019, according to a new report released by ReportsnReports.com.


Silicon wafer revenues decline in 2012

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Worldwide silicon wafer revenues declined by 12 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its year-end analysis of the silicon wafer industry.


ISSCC 2013: Imagers, MEMS, medical and displays

Mon, 2 Feb 2013

Roland Thomas, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes of the substantial growth and future in key areas of technology.


Econometric Forecast: Semiconductor growth should recover by 2014

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

In the second of two installments, Linx Consulting reports a steady growth in semiconductor production, as released in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.


Econometric Forecast: Regional developments to affect growth of semiconductor industry

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

In the first of two installments, we examine the global issues facing the semiconductor industry, as released by Linx Consulting in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.


Econometric forecasting service predicts 6% growth in semiconductor wafers in 2013

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

A new econometric semiconductor industry forecast predicts semiconductor wafer area production to grow slightly less than 6% in 2013, according to Linx Consulting.


Looking for an integrated post-tapeout flow

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Dr. Steffen Schulz discusses the role of a flexible platform for computational lithography in a successful business strategy.


Despite surging demand from Apple, NAND market contracts in 2012

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Global NAND flash memory market revenue fell 7 percent in 2012 as disappointing Ultrabook sales negated the impact of surging demand from Apple Inc. for its iPhone line, according to an IHS iSuppli Data Flash Market Tracker Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).


Semiconductor R&D spending rises 7% despite weak market

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Spending on research and development by semiconductor companies grew 7% in 2012 to a record-high $53.0 billion, even though the semiconductor market declined 1% to $317.6 billion.


New research to improve efficiency, fabrication of optoelectronics

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Scientists at RTI International are advancing the state of science in electronic devices for optical systems by using superlattice structures to optimize the performance of germanium optical detectors on silicon chips.


Shimadzu introduces high-sensitivity gas chromatograph

Mon, 2 Feb 2013

Shimadzu Corporation today introduced the Tracera, a high-sensitivity gas chromatograph. Tracera is equipped with the newly developed barrier discharge ionization detector BID, which is capable of detecting all types of trace organic and inorganic compounds.


ISSCC 2013: High-performance digital trends

Mon, 2 Feb 2013

Subcommittee chair Stefan Rusu of Intel in Santa Clara, CA will present on trends in high-performance digital. The relentless march of process technology, he says, brings more integration and performance.


ISSCC 2013: Memory trends

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Kevin Zhang, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes on the trends of memory devices for 2013 and beyond.


STMicroelectronics and Hyundai Autron cooperate to develop integrated products for next-generation vehicles

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Joint effort will drive innovative engine-train and smart-power products


ISSCC 2013: Wireless trends

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

David Su, ISSCC subcommittee chair, writes on the trends of modern wireless standards.


ISSCC 2013: Analog trends

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

Bill Redman-White, chair of the ISSCC Analog Subcommittee, shares on challenges facing analog systems in 2013.


SRC, DARPA unveil university research center network

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that $194 million will be dedicated during the next five years to STARnet, which encompasses six new university microelectronics research centers.


ISS 2013: Semiconductor leaders see massive industry transformation

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

The rise in mobile computing, changes to the fabless-foundry model, uncertainties in technical innovation, and global macroeconomic trends are becoming the dominant forces in 2013 and beyond, according to industry leaders speaking at this week's SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS).


CES: Phablets and table PCs break the PC mold

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Among the usual confluences of useful and cool gadgets (not to mention bizarre) at this week's annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, two types of devices with new formfactors aimed to rethink the PC model.


GlobalFoundries adding R&D facility to NY fab campus

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

GlobalFoundries says it plans to build a $2 billion "Technology Development Center" R&D facility at its Fab 8 campus in Saratoga County, NY, for semiconductor technology development and manufacturing:  EUV lithography photomasks to new interconnect and packaging technologies enabling 3D chip stacking, "and everything in between."


By the numbers: The rise of fabless IC sales, 1999-2010 and beyond

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

Fabless IC suppliers saw sales rise 6% in 2012, again outperforming IDMs and the total IC market, and by 2017 fabless ICs will make up a full third of the overall market, says IC Insights.


SEMI approves first HB-LED standards

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

SEMI's HB-LED Standards Committee has approved its first standard, specifying sapphire wafers used in making high-brightness light-emitting diode (HB-LED) devices.


Cymer hires AMAT roadmap exec to lead EUV development

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

Klaus Schuegraf, former exec at Applied Materials responsible for the company's semiconductor products technology roadmap, will now lead Cymer's EUV engineering and development programs.


Look for 4K LCDs, OLEDs at CES

Mon, 1 Jan 2013

As the annual Consumer Electronics Show and hordes of techie enthusiasts descends over Las Vegas this week, NPD DisplaySearch revisits the battle between two display technologies -- 4K × 2K vs. OLEDs.


2013: Advanced chemistry moves center stage

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

We are in an age where chemistry is center stage in the race to advance Moore’s Law and More Than Moore.


IDC: Semiconductor revenues will grow 4.9% in 2013

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

The International Data Corporation is forecasting that semiconductor revenues worldwide will improve by 4.9% to $319 billion in 2013 and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% from 2011-2016.


SIA: November chip sales best of the year

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Global semiconductor sales in November 2012 were the largest monthly tally of the entire year,according to the SIA -- and growth was especially sparkling in the North America region.


2013: Healthy revenue growth, but capex likely flat

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Based on current indications, capital spending would seem to be flat in 2013.  However, Semico predicts healthy revenue growth this year, which may encourage more spending, particularly in the second half of the year.  This may bring total capex for 2013 into the positive range.


SK Hynix licensing Tessera, Invensas patents

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

Korean DRAM maker SK Hynix has entered into new eight-year patent licensing agreements with Tessera Inc. and Invensas.


2013: An economic outlook for the global IC market

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

Predictions for 2013 show several notable trends: overall silicon area growth for 2013 should average approximately 6%; the first quarter and the second half are likely to show slower growth than the second quarter; and the modest growth forecast for 2013 is predominantly demand driven.


Cadence unveils Virtuoso Advanced Node for 20nm design

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the availability of Virtuoso® Advanced Node, a new set of custom/analog capabilities designed for the advanced technology nodes of 20nm and below.


Samsung, Apple swap spots as top chip consumers, while total market lags

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Given the ascension of smartphones, it's no surprise that Samsung and Apple remain far and away the biggest end-users of semiconductors, and are widening their lead on the rest of the field, according to the latest Gartner rankings.


LED manufacturing investment declines as industry contemplates future directions

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Spending on LED fab manufacturing equipment will decline 9.2% in 2013 as the industry faces weak long-term demand and consolidates manufacturing capacity.


Samsung grabs No.3 foundry spot on smartphone dominance

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

In the ranks of top foundries, there's a new Number Three in town: Samsung, which climbed up the ranks again in 2012 thanks to its ubiquity in smart phone technology, according to updated rankings by IC Insights.


MRAM/STTMRAM and PCM forecasted to represent a $1.6B business by 2018

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Yole Développement’s report provides an analysis of the emerging Non Volatile Memories (NVM) five applications fields that will fuel market growth and a description and forecasts of the four emerging NVM (MRAM, PCM, RRAM, FeRAM) technologies.


300-millimeter thin-wafer products by Infineon now being shipped worldwide

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

In February, Infineon received the first customer go-aheads for products of the CoolMOS family produced by the 300-millimeter line at their site in Villach, Austria.


GaN Systems expands with new UK location

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

New marketing and technical support center opened in Reading, UK.


Qualcomm processor first to use TSMC’s 28 HPM advanced process technology

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Snapdragon 800 processor on 28nm HPM process delivers high performance and low power for mobile devices.


Rise of smartphones reshapes competitive order in the cellphone chip market

Mon, 2 Feb 2013

The competitive landscape of the cellphone core integrated circuit (IC) business has completely transformed over the past five years, with Qualcomm Inc. and Samsung capitalizing on the rise of smartphones and 4G.


Toshiba develops CMOS image sensor for small and low power applications

Mon, 2 Feb 2013

Toshiba Corporation announced the development of a CMOS image sensor with a small area and low power pixel readout circuits. A sample sensor embedded with the readout circuits shows double the performance of a conventional one. Toshiba presented this development at ISSCC 2013 in San Francisco, CA on Feb. 20.


Dongbu HiTek and Cortus to develop platform for the MCU market

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Korean foundry Dongbu HiTek and French IP provider Cortus are to develop a design platform combining Dongbu HiTek’s embedded flash technology and Cortus processor and peripheral IP.


Peregrine Semiconductor to license its UltraCMOS design to Murata

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation, a fabless provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), yesterday announced plans to collaborate with Murata Manufacturing Company on a multisource arrangement for RF switches and other components based on Peregrine’s proprietary UltraCMOS technology


Samsung issues apology for fatal acid spill at its Korean semiconductor plant

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Samsung Vice-President Kwon Oh-hyun released a statement today, apologizing for the fatal hydrofluoric acid spill that left one worker dead and four others injured.


Semiconductor sales rose in January

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Worldwide sales of semiconductors were $24.05 billion the month of January, up 3.8% from January 2012 and down 2.8% from December 2012, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).


Spansion and UMC to partner on tech development

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Companies will develop integrated logic and Flash memory to enable creation of high-performance and low power electronics.


U.S. PVMC and NREL to partner on development of thin film PV cells and modules

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

The U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), an industry-led collaboration headquartered in New York at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to improve manufacturing processes for thin film CIGS photovoltaic (PV)  cells and modules, including products, metrology and reliability that will support the U.S. solar industry in the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of next-generation solar PV systems.


Intel leads unexpectedly large decline in semiconductor market inventory

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

After reaching a worrisome high in the third quarter of 2012, global semiconductor inventories held by chip suppliers fell at a surprisingly fast rate in the fourth quarter, led by dramatic reductions for market leader Intel Corp.


Avago MEMS Filter: The highest volume production MEMS using TSV

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

System Plus Consulting analyzed a BAW MEMS Filter manufactured by Avago Technologies, assessing its manufacturing process, costing results and breakdown. With more than 1 billion units produced per year and a market share of 65%, System Plus Consulting found that Avago Technologies clearly dominates the BAW filter market. Avago BAW filters are all-silicon MEMS devices manufactured with Avago's FBAR and Microcap technologies.


DRAM content growth in PCs slows

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

PC capabilities and market are undergoing a historical deceleration, in another sign of shifting technology markets.


A single European semiconductor strategy is on its way

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

STM, Imec, CEA-LETI, ASML, Soitec and EU representatives discussed directions at ISS Europe 2013 in Italy.


Altera to build FPGAs on Intel’s 14nm tri-gate technology

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Intel announced Monday a major move to expand its foundry business. Altera Corporation and Intel Corporation have entered into an agreement for the future manufacture of Altera FPGAs on Intel's 14nm tri-gate transistor technology.


World’s first GaN-based high power converter to be demonstrated at APEC 2013

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Transphorm Inc. today announced at the 2013 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit that its novel 600V Gallium Nitride (GaN) module has enabled the world’s first GaN-based high power converter. Transphorm will demonstrate the product built with its customer-partner Yaskawa Electric, Japan at the upcoming APEC 2013 industry conference.


Demand for exports will allow semiconductor industry to maintain modest revenue growth

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

Over the past five years, revenue dipped and spiked from the impact of the global recession; in the five years to come, increased offshoring will detract from the growth in global demand from an improved economy.


DELTA Microelectronics to partner with ChipStart

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

ChipStart LLC, a provider of semiconductor intellectual property (SIP), and DELTA Microelectronics, a provider of ASIC services for the semiconductor industry, announced a new joint venture this week.


OE automotive semiconductor market grew 12% in 2012

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

According to the latest analysis by Semicast Research, Renesas Electronics was again the leading vendor of semiconductors to the OE automotive sector in 2012, ahead of Infineon Technologies. STMicroelectronics retained its position as third largest supplier, with Freescale fourth and NXP fifth. Semicast calculates that revenues for OE automotive semiconductors grew by 12% to USD $25.5 billion in 2012, while the total semiconductor industry is judged to have declined by almost three percent to USD $292 billion.


Lattice announces world’s smallest FPGA

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation today announced the iCE40 LP384 FPGA, the smallest member of its iCE40 family of ultra-low density FPGAs. Enabling designers to rapidly add new features and differentiate cost-sensitive, space-constrained, low-power products, the new small footprint FPGA is ideal for applications such as portable medical monitors, smartphones, digital cameras, eReaders, and compact embedded systems.


Broadcom tops three ABI Research wireless connectivity IC competitive assessments

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

Broadcom has been ranked number one vendor in three recent competitive assessments released by ABI Research on wireless connectivity IC markets. One was for overall wireless connectivity ICs, another on Bluetooth ICs, and a final on Wi-Fi ICs.


Mediatek trumps Qualcomm in RF with world’s smallest transceiver

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

ABI Research finds that Mediatek has delivered the world’s smallest multimode transceiver. Coming just a week after Qualcomm announced its intentions to produce RF front ends for high tier LTE smartphones, Mediatek releases the world’s smallest RF transceiver which is also the world’s first 40nm transceiver.


SRC, UCLA and ERC utilize atomic layer etch analysis to accelerate development of green chemistries

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today announced development of a modeling process designed to simulate atomic-level etching with chemicals that are effective alternatives to widely used perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases.


Design for reliability of multi-layer thin film stretchable interconnects to be presented at ECTC

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Most electronic systems that power our digital life are inflexible and flat. Rigid electronic designs work for our computers and phones but not for our bodies. Humans are soft and curved. Electronic systems capable of bending, twisting, and stretching have great potential for applications in which conventional, stiff semiconductor microelectronics would not suffice.


Critical process technologies and fab productivity addressed at ASMC 2013

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and academia to collaborate on real-world issues at SEMI event.


GaAs device revenue grows in 2012

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Growth in the last quarter of 2012 pulled GaAs device revenue to a slight gain for 2012. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) Insight, “GaAs Device Industry Closes up in 2012,” explores GaAs device revenue growth and trends. It also presents the revenue performance of leading GaAs device manufacturers and foundries like RFMD, Skyworks, TriQuint Semiconductor, Avago Technologies and WIN Semiconductors.


AIXTRON leads workpackage production in Graphene Flagship project

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

AIXTRON SE today announced that it is participating as a key partner in the recently announced European Union (EU) Future Emerging Technology (FET) flagship project “Graphene.”


Manchester leads the way in graphene membrane research

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

University of Manchester graphene researchers have been awarded a £3.5 million (or approximately US$5 million) funding boost that could bring desalination plants, safer food packaging and enhanced disease detection closer to reality.


Spansion and XMC Semiconductor announce partnership on 32nm flash memory

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Spansion Inc., a developer flash memory solutions for embedded markets, and XMC, China’s fastest-growing 300mm semiconductor foundry, today announced an expanded partnership, to develop and manufacture Spansion 32nm NOR Flash memory. The agreement expands XMC’s current 300mm manufacturing of Spansion’s proprietary 65nm and 45nm flash memory technology.


President of IC Insights, Inc. to discuss the “new” IC industry cycle at The ConFab 2013

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

It’s no secret: the past five years for the IC industry have been full of challenges. From 2007-2013, the IC market grew at an average annual rate of only 2.1%. One of the speakers slated to speak at The ConFab 2013 in Las Vegas has good reason to believe the IC industry is set to emerge from this difficult cycle.


$14 trillion opportunity in Internet of Things, predicts Cisco

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

Cisco Systems is preparing for a major shift in the industry, as the Internet of Things starts to become a reality. At an annual press event in San Jose, California this week, Cisco officials claimed that the much-anticipated IoT industry could be a $14 trillion opportunity, and they are ready to embrace the change.


SEMATECH executive joins Intermolecular to head semiconductor group

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that Dr. Raj Jammy has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of the semiconductor group.


Mobile video streaming drives demand for networking semiconductors in cars

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

Consumers increasingly want to use their media tablets and smartphones to stream high-definition video to displays in their cars, a phenomenon that will help to nearly double the size of the market for semiconductors used in automotive wired and wireless network applications from 2011 to 2018.


Global semiconductor sales remain ahead of 2012 pace in February

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $23.25 billion for the month of February 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent from February 2012 when sales were $22.93 billion. Effective government policies needed to spur stronger growth.


RAM-memory-research-A-RAM-RERAM-MSDRAM-MELRAM projects

Wed, 10 Oct 2010

CNRS research on memory wafer fabWhile speculation abounds about what will be the next generation of memories and their applications, CNRS, a French government-funded research organization, has 4 new concepts of memories in 2010. The organization is actively recruiting collaborators on RE-RAM, A-RAM, MS-DRAM, and MELRAM memory technologies.


IEDM preview: IM Flash details 25nm NAND

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Intel and Micron researchers will reveal the key process advances and electrical results behind their multilevel cell (MLC), 64Gb NAND flash memory technology at the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December.


20nm fully depleted SOI process available via CEA-Leti and CMP

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

CEA-Leti and CMP (Circuits Multi Projets) announced the launch of an exploratory multi project wafers (MPW) initiative based on fully depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI) 20nm process, opening the access of its 300mm infrastructure to the design community.


Memory growth drives Sonics to open Taiwan design center

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

Sonics added a design center in Taipei, Taiwan, to accommodate increasing demand for its line of memory subsystem solutions. Sonics' R&D efforts will focus on existing as well as future memory subsystem technologies to help SoC designers solve memory bottleneck challenges and cost-effectively increase memory bandwidth and DRAM efficiencies.


Samsung-storms-DRAM-memory-sector-in-Q3, eyes market control in 2011

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

dram suppliersSamsung Electronics Co. Ltd. became the only Top 5 DRAM supplier to achieve revenue growth in Q3 2010, solidifying its domination of the market, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp. Micron continued to stumble, but will it fall in 2011?


Smartphone-IC-market-surge-in-2010-NAND-DRAM consumption rising

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

The worldwide smartphone IC market forecast is expected to register a strong 20% 2010-2014 CAGR, according to IC Insights' new 2011 edition of its IC Market Drivers report (to be released in November).


Intermolecular-Elpida-extend-R-D-collab-for-advanced-DRAM-technology

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

Intermolecular expanded its collaborative development program with Elpida Memory. This new multi-year agreement focuses on research, development, manufacturing process transfer and high-volume yield-ramp support for multiple generations of DRAM technology.


FDSOI-to-TSV-IEDM-preview-CEA-Leti research

Wed, 11 Nov 2010

CEA-Leti will present 10 papers, including two invited papers, at the IEDM/IEEE 2010 International Electron Devices Meeting December 6-8, in San Francisco, CA. The papers will cover More than Moore, FDSOI, memory (phase-change and charge-trapping), silicon nanowires, TSVs, high-k dielectrics, and more.


ConFab: Flash memory set for strong growth

Tue, 5 May 2010

In his Monday keynote at The ConFab in Las Vegas, SanDisk's Eli Harari described the evolution of flash memory storage due to "relentless" cost improvements, current joint development that could "usher the second solid-state drive wave," and the future of a "post-NAND" world.


Analysts: Samsung, TSMC comments calm capex peak fears

Tue, 2 Feb 2010

Breaking down the quarterly numbers and forecasts from top chip spenders TSMC and Samsung, analysts determine the main thrust is that the anticipated spending cycle isn't peaking in 1H10 after all, and could instead become heavier in 2H10 and spill into 2011.


15nm-nodes-Applied-Materials development work

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

15nm Applied Materials workChristopher Bencher, member of the technical staff at Applied Materials, gave a presentation at the IEEE Bay Area Nanotechnology Council’s Half-day Symposium on process and integration-based scaling for 15nm nodes. In an interview with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, Bencher discussed the company’s development work at 15nm.


IITC Day 3: Sub-30nm SoG gapfill, 22nm airgaps...and enforcing Zafiropoulo's Law

Tue, 6 Jun 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury concludes his observations from this year's IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) meeting near San Francisco. From Day 3: Intel's airgaps for 32-22nm, Si nanowires, more on 3D bonding and TSV schemes, electromigration in Au nano-junctions -- and enforcing "Zafiropoulo's Law."


IITC Day 2: Backend memory, MEMS, 3D/TSV -- and no firearms

Mon, 6 Jun 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues his observations from this year's IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) meeting near San Francisco. From Day 2:  Back-end memory, MEMS, reliability/characterization, and posters spanning the breadth of interconnect topics, especially 3D TSV and MEMS integration.


IITC Day 1: 3D/TSV, Cu barrier films, critical collaboration

Fri, 6 Jun 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues his observations from this year's IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) meeting near San Francisco. From Day 1: Themes including variations on 3D and through-silicon vias (TSV), and barrier films for reducing copper electromigration.


IITC Day 0: Short course reflects interconnects' maturity

Mon, 6 Jun 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury opens his series of observations from this year's IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) meeting near San Francisco, reporting from the opening-day "short course" where more holistic discussions showed just how far interconnect technology has come in the past decade.


University of Tokyo first to demo III-V self-aligned source/drain

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

At the upcoming IEDM, researchers from Japan will show promising results of fabricating a Ni-InGaAs alloy to yield the first self-aligned source/drain III-V semiconductor MOSFETs.


Record-photodiode-quantum-efficiency-IEDM-preview

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

QE photodiode recordLaura Peters, contributing editor, covers a team led by the National Nano Device Laboratories (Hsinchu, Taiwan), which has achieved a record external quantum efficiency (QE) of >80% for photodiodes in the visible regime. This QE was achieved by harnessing an LSPR effect, which enhances transmission efficiency in a conventional silicon photodiode. The team will present their results at IEDM.


SEMATECH-III-V-MOSFET-FinFET-RAM-IEDM-preview

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

Revealing research breakthroughs, engineers from SEMATECH’s Front End Processes (FEP) program will present technical papers at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), December 6-8 in San Francisco.


IEDM Preview: When do TSV stresses affect device operation?

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

At this year's IEDM, IMEC researchers will discuss the impact of mechanical stresses on device performance for through-silicon vias (single and arrays), showing how complex interaction of stress components hampers design rules and layout.


AMAT-conductor-etch-system-debut

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Applied Materials (AMAT) speaks about its new conductor etch system -- the Centris AdvantEdge Mesa Etch -- released at SEMICON Japan this week. The company sees the gap in the lithography roadmap is an etch opportunity. Thorsten Lill, VP Etch Business Group, at Applied, told ElectroIQ that new steps in advanced transistors, double-patterning, and advanced packaging are driving growth in the conductor etch market (~$1.6B market in 2010).


The end of graphics memory price margins? iSuppli sees GPU falling to CPU

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

CPU integration is pushing graphics off dedicated memory, causing graphics-centric memory to lose share of the DRAM market over the next 5 years. The flattening of the graphics memory segment represents a major change, considering its attractive margins, fierce rivals and major players that graphics memory attracted.


SIA ups outlook, cracking $300B in 2010

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

The SIA has bumped up its outlook for 2010 semiconductor sales to 32.8% growth to $300.5B, aligning it more with industry peers -- but above the current pace indicated by its own monthly data.


Gate-first says Globalfoundries

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Globalfoundries gate-first approach to HK+MG processingNick Kepler, Globalfoundries presenter at the IEEE Bay Area Nanotechnology Council’s Half-day Symposium, described the company’s rationale for selecting the gate-first approach to HK+MG processing. Kepler also discusses EUV lithography (EUVL) use at 20nm.


TSMC chooses gate-last on 28nm CMOS

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

Transistor architecture beyond HK+MG. SOURCE: TSMCFive factors drove TSMC's decision to select the gate-last approach: speed, power, reliability, manufacturability, and scalability. Di Ma, VP, field technical support at TSMC, speaks with ElectroIQ about TSMC’s efforts with respect to transistor architecture beyond HK+MG.


CMP for metal-gate integration in advanced CMOS transistors

Mon, 11 Nov 2010
The needs of replacement metal gate HKMG process flows for 45nm node and below CMOS manufacturing are now being met with processes using consumables designed specifically for these steps. Paul Feeney, CMP Fellow, Cabot Microelectronics Corp., Aurora, Illinois, USA

Planar fully depleted SOI: the technological solution against variability

Mon, 11 Nov 2010
FDSOI technology exhibits outstanding variability results, thanks to the use of an undoped channel, and to the good control of silicon film thickness already reached today on commercial SOI wafers. F. Andrieu, O. Weber, J. Mazurier, O. Faynot, CEA-Leti, Grenoble, France

IMEC Tech Forum roundup: Expansion, germanium TPV, "electronic nose"

Tue, 6 Jun 2010

A slew of announcements and developments out of this week's IMEC Technology Forum (June 7-8, Leuven, Belgium) span the gamut from facilities expansion to GE photovoltaics and gas sensor devices.


450mm wafers: More at stake than just a new wafer size

Fri, 6 Jun 2010

The ongoing debate over the next wafer-size transition to 450mm, with discussions about pros and cons in costs and technology gains, misses the point -- it's the message we send about the semiconductor industry's mindset and future, argues Semico's Joanne Itow.


Analyst: DRAM "lurched" to profits in 2009; DDR3 changeover imminent

Wed, 5 May 2010

The year 2009 started at one extreme (bad), but by year's end the DRAM sector had managed to "lurch" to the high end of the scale to finish the year with its first profitability since 2007, according to data from iSuppli.


Novellus tips WN film for ≤3X memory Cu interconnects

Mon, 5 May 2010

Novellus says it has devised a new process technology for connecting tungsten vias to Cu interconnects in 3X node and below memory devices.


Key takeaways from AMAT: Silicon strong, memory floats, solar sags

Mon, 5 May 2010

Comments in Applied Materials' fiscal 2Q10 conference call (May 19), and from analysts examining them and the numbers, highlights several key observations for company's various businesses (semiconductors, solar, FPD) and overall market observations.


Deconstructing Samsung's capex splurge

Fri, 5 May 2010

Samsung says it will spend nearly $10B in capex just for semiconductor manufacturing, and $B overall -- nearly double its initial plans, and two-thirds higher than in 2009. Analysts tell SST what's significant inside the numbers (foundry), and what it means for the rest of the industry -- and why 2011-2012 might now look a lot different.


ConFab video: Consensus, collab are key to industry progress

Thu, 5 May 2010

SEMATECH's Dan Armbrust underscores the need to determine up-front what areas are truly important to keep pushing scaling and cost-effectiveness in the semiconductor industry.


Toshiba's 25nm trial ups ante for NAND scaling, next-gen litho

Tue, 4 Apr 2010

Toshiba reportedly is prepping a ¥15B (US $157M) investment in a <25nm NAND flash test line, eyeing mass production in 2012, a move that not only tightens the NAND flash scaling wars, but also could narrow the insertion point for a next-generation lithography set.


EU group takes stride toward optical interconnects

Mon, 4 Apr 2010

An EU-funded project has come one step closer to its goal of building silicon photonics circuits, with the creation of a fully CMOS-compatible laser source coupled to a silicon waveguide.


Electromigration improvement for advanced technology nodes

Mon, 1 Jan 2010

Hui-Jung Wu, et al., from Novellus discuss process developments and mechanisms of improving electromigration reliability, a growing concern for copper interconnects at advanced technology nodes.


Reader me this: The evolution and future of e-reader technology

Wed, 1 Jan 2010

After slow adoption, 2009 became "the year of the e-reader." Semico Research's Michell Prunty breaks down the rise of e-readers and the technology inside them, and what new functionalities, content, and technology are next.


Analyst: Emerging from slumber, inventories not a problem

Tue, 1 Jan 2010

After quickly moving to work down bloated inventories amid the onset of the 2009 industry slowdown, global semiconductor suppliers are seen with lean stockpiles heading into 1Q10, according to data from iSuppli Corp.


DARPA asks industry for affordable, low-volume integrated circuit manufacturing

Wed, 1 Jan 2010

Scientists at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are asking industry to come up with new ways of designing integrated circuits for affordable, low-volume nanofabrication for US Department of Defense (DOD) applications.


ASM's PowerFill epi enables power management devices

Fri, 1 Jan 2010

ASM exec Shawn Thomas explains to SST how the company's new PowerFill process, which enables void-free filling of deep trenches with doped, epitaxial silicon, addresses needs for smaller die sizes and on-state resistance of power management devices.


iSuppli trims forecast on soft demand, inventories

Tue, 10 Oct 2010

Just two months after beefing up its semiconductor sales forecast because of the sector's "roid rage," iSuppli has put those numbers on a cooldown rep, citing concern over end-user demand vs. inventories.


IEDM preview: Multi-threshold-voltage Flexibility in FDSOI

Wed, 10 Oct 2010

Under the theme at this year's IEDM of better ways to generate, transmit, use, and save energy, a group of researchers from Europe will demonstrate low-Vt nMOS and pMOS workfunction-adjusted devices manufactured using TiN/TaAlN metal gates in ultrathin fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) substrates.


GaAs, epitaxial foundry services added at RFMD

Tue, 10 Oct 2010

RFMD added its GaAs technology to its foundry services portfolio and will begin providing a full suite of GaAs pHEMT technologies. RFMD also expanded its Foundry Services to deliver multiple molecular beam epitaxial (MBE) platforms, epitaxial characterization and epitaxial development structures.


Crocus MRAM begins integration into TowerJazz 13um CMOC foundry process

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

TowerJazz and Crocus Technology completed the first stage of integration of Crocus’ Thermally Assisted Switching (TAS)-based MRAM technology into TowerJazz’s 0.13-µm CMOS process. As a result of the collaboration, a special low temperature back-end process technology was developed.


IBM, Macronix identify phase-change memory failure mode: IEDM Preview

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

At the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), researchers from IBM and Macronix will report on their findings of electromigration-induced failures when phase-change memory (PCM) cells are reverse-stressed.


MRS Day 4: TSVs and CMOS+MEMS, wafer bonding, CNT interfaces, ALD for rare-earth HK, graphene redux

Mon, 4 Apr 2010

Highlights from Day 4 of the 2010 MRS Spring meeting, reported by Techcet's Michael A. Fury: TSVs and flexible interconnects for 3D CMOS/MEMS; 300mm BCB wafer bonding; carbon nanotube interfaces for interconnects and vias; phase-change memory devices; interfaces during ALD of rare earth-based high-k dielectrics; and graphene's use in on-chip interconnects and transparent conductor electrodes.


MRS Day 2: CVD for Cu, low-k etch stop, future FETs, graphene "atom hopping"

Wed, 4 Apr 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues his series of observations from this year's MRS Spring meeting in San Francisco. From Day 2: CVD for Cu interconnects, controlling low-k etch-stop layers, materials challenges for future FETs, "atom hopping" in graphene, and oxide nanoelectronics on demand.


MRS Spring 2010 meeting, Day 1: Charge-trapping NVM, organics, graphene, PV

Tue, 4 Apr 2010

In an SST exclusive, Techcet's Michael A. Fury offers a series of observations from this year's MRS Spring meeting in San Francisco. First up: Day 1 discussions ranging from memory architectures, organic electronics, graphene, and solar photovoltaics.


ISSCC: 3D, TSV, memory, digital TVs

Tue, 2 Feb 2010

Last week's IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2010 (ISSCC, Feb. 7-11, San Francisco, CA), offered many talks and papers on topics ranging from 3D integration to circuit design and memories. Here are just a few examples.


Analysis: Pros, questions about Micron + Numonyx

Wed, 2 Feb 2010

Analysts offer their take on the long-rumored, and now official, deal that brings NOR flash firm Numonyx under Micron's wing.


Was Samsung tech leaked to Hynix, via AMAT?

Wed, 2 Feb 2010

Authorities in South Korea have arrested executives from Hynix Semiconductor and Applied Materials' local office, accusing them of illegally transferring key semiconductor process technology from Samsung.


Analyst take: Inside Intel/Micron's 25nm NAND device

Wed, 2 Feb 2010

The move to the 2Xnm NAND flash node gives Intel and Micron a big step ahead of competitors in terms of cost and pricing, an advantage they will likely ride out as profit instead of squeezing prices further, according to an analyst.


Keithley's latest system goes for ultra-fast I-V solution

Fri, 2 Feb 2010

Keithley exec Lee Stauffer explains how adding ultra-fast voltage waveform generation and current/voltage measurement capabilities to the company's Model 4200-SCS semiconductor characterization system benefits a range of applications, from flash memory to CMOS and MEMS.


Report: Toshiba, Elpida ramping capex again

Mon, 1 Jan 2010

Toshiba and Elpida Memory are opening their wallets again to increase capacity as demand rises, and also keep pace with market-leading Samsung, according to a local report.


optimized-cylinder-materials-for-hydrogen-bromide-for-silicon-etch

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Minimize silicon trench etch process variations with optimized cylinder materials for hydrogen bromide deliveryHBr with consistently low water vapor levels is critical to prevent delivery system corrosion and device performance issues during trench etch for CMOS fabrication. Jianlong Yao et al, Matheson, present the effect of cylinder material on delivered moisture concentration in gas phase HBr. Polished AISI Cr-Mo steel, Nickel-lined AISI Cr-Mo steel, and 316L stainless steel cylinders show markedly different results.


Ion implantation: Device process optimization for Nwell implant on CMOS 13μm

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Ion implantation: Device process optimization for Nwell implant on CMOS 13umOver the years, undesirable process effects related to ion implantation have become well known: the like channeling effect, for example, and how to minimize it for 25μm and 13μm mature technology. Patrick Demarest, Altis Semiconductor, describes how a stable process can emerge in data mining analysis for low final test yield, and provides definitions for incidence, tilt and twist angles, and channeling effects.


IEDM Reflections, Day 2: SRO for 11nm multigate CMOS, memory updates

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

Michael A. Fury continues with observations from IEDM 2010, looking at 2nd-day papers on a 90nm CMOS image sensor; an 11nm planar multi-gate CMOS design with self-assembled gates; SiC/GaN power electronics for auto systems; an update on future memory technologies; and a transparent photosensor array with triple oxide TFTs as both switches and sensor elements.


IEDM Reflections, Day 1: 2Xnm NAND, 3D integration, graphene FETs, biosensors

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports in-depth from sessions at IEDM 2010, looking at papers on NAND flash using airgaps, a lock-and-key method for 3D integration, RF performance of graphene FETs, and FET-built DNA biosensors.


IEDM keynotes: Si's future, power's potential, bioelectronics breakthroughs

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reviews the themes of keynote talks at this week's IEDM conference: challenges and opportunities for future silicon technology (particularly memory), energy efficiency enabled by power electronics, and the crossover of electronics and biotech.


Intel fabs highest mobility pFET with Ge channel

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

At this year's IEDM 2010, Intel is revealing a high-mobility Ge QWFET with ultrathin oxide thickness for low-power CMOS apps, the first demo of significantly superior mobility to strained-Si in a p-channel device.


EUV litho gets boost from ASML Brion software

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, debuted the Tachyon NXE software to optimize predictive modeling for ASML EUV scanners. EUV scanners enable smaller, faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient semiconductors. This article includes a podcast interview on the technology.


Anti-fuse memory cell patent granted to Sidense

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Sidense, developer of logic non-volatile memory (LNVM) IP cores, announced that the USPTO granted Sidense Patent Number 7,755,162, "Anti-fuse Memory Cell." The '162 patent adds to the Company's patent portfolio covering its 1T-Fuse memory technology.


Lyric Semiconductor launches probability processing for flash memories

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

Lyric Semiconductor Inc., a DARPA- and venture-funded MIT spin-out, launched a new technology called probability processing, which could deliver a fundamental change in processing performance and power consumption.


What Intel's soft 3Q means: For INTC, peers, customers

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Intel's lowered 3Q outlook was at least expected, if not overdue, according to analysts and market watchers, who break down the news and what it means for consumer technology markets and equipment/materials suppliers.


DUV inspection and defect origin analysis for 22nm spacer self-aligned double-patterning

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
Tracing defects from the lithography step through the SADP process flow to the spacer open step can significantly increase the capture rate of critical defects at the earlier steps. Ofir Montal, et al, Applied Materials Inc.

Comparative study of advanced boron-based ULE doping

Mon, 3 Mar 2010
B2H6 PLAD and B18H22 molecular implants demonstrate the best Rs-xj and abruptness characteristics, while beam-line BF2 implants as well as cluster B implants show worse Rs-xj characteristics.Shu Qin, Y. Jeff Hu, Allen McTeer, Micron Technology, Inc., Boise, ID USA

SPIE takeaway: Updated litho shipments, and EUV-delay misinterpretations

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Barclays Capital's CJ Muse came away from SPIE with the message that litho demand is strong, with a "heightened focus on EUV" due to increased costs associated with double patterning -- and why rumors about a delay in EUV adoption may not be accurate after all.


Toshiba plants stake: Fab 5 begins in July, online by 2011

Wed, 3 Mar 2010

After delaying its initial plans, Toshiba has rejuvenated its Fab 5 NAND flash memory project, aiming to start construction in July of this year and be online by the spring of 2011 -- more than doubling its capacity to an eye-popping 500,000 wafers/month.


X-Fab touts embedded NVM for single-chip designs

Wed, 3 Mar 2010

X-Fab says it has come up with an embedded nonvolatile memory process that combines the benefits of quickly accessible SRAM with nonvolatile data retention of EEPROM or flash memory, achieving same or better functionality using significantly less chip area.


Integrating high-k /metal gates: gate-first or gate-last?

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

For low power applications, gate-first is arguably the most appropriate choice, but for high performance applications, complex solutions (e.g., SiGe channel for pMOS) need to be considered in order to meet the performance requirements with a gate-first process.


III-V MOSFETs: beyond silicon technology

Mon, 3 Mar 2010
Results so far are highly encouraging for III-V MOSFETs to be used for ultra high speed, and ultra low power applications. Richard J.W. Hill, Jeff Huang, Joel Barnett, Paul Kirsch, Raj Jammy, SEMATECH, Austin TX USA

DARPA sets sights on revolutionary advancements in non-volatile logic ICs

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

Military microelectronics experts at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are launching a leap-ahead technology program to develop advanced, ultralow-power non-volatile logic ICs that retain their data and computational states when power is removed.


Report: Power outage at Samsung deemed minor, but could affect prices

Fri, 3 Mar 2010

A brief power outage at Samsung Electronics appears to have caused "minimal" damage and internal impact on memory production, but may briefly inflate prices until markets know for sure, according to multiple reports.


Reports: Elpida taking on Spansion's NAND flash ops

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Elpida Memory reportedly is purchasing Spansion's NAND flash memory operations, with the goal to produce modules that package DRAM and flash memory targeting mobile devices such as smart phones, according to multiple reports.


Analyst: Top capex budgets expanding two-thirds in 2010

Fri, 3 Mar 2010

The biggest chipmaker spenders are taking an extra few crumbs from the capex pie plate in 2010, spending far more than the industry average -- but in the end IC prices will still go up and shortages will happen before the year is through, according to IC Insights.


First revisions: Forecasters already bullish about 2010

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

January semiconductor sales numbers are hot off the press, and already analysts are saying the trendline is being reset for a better-than-predicted 2010, with growth approaching or even exceeding 20%.


Analyst: More evidence in KR, TW supports extended chip capex

Fri, 3 Mar 2010

Checks into key chipmakers in Korea and Taiwan suggest current demand for equipment is still on the rise, with planned capex increases imminent and capacities set to increase into 2011, according to one industry analyst.


Soitec platform enables planar FD technology

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

The Soitec Group (Euronext Paris) released the Ultra-Thin Buried Oxide (UTBOX) extension to its Ultra-Thin (UT) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform, a robust substrate solution for chip designers tackling the performance, power and density challenges of mobile consumer devices.


SIA: Another month, another chip sales record

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

Anyone getting tired of hearing this? Global chip sales continue to climb for another month to yet another record high, and are on pace for a stellar ~30% annual growth rate, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).


Euro Si photonics research teams coordinate technology transfer, training, education

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

10 European R&D project consortia focusing on silicon photonics will coordinate their efforts to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology and strengthen the European electronics industry’s ability to compete globally.


Photos from the Applied Materials tour at SEMICON West

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

While we were not allowed to snap photos of the proprietary processes inside Applied Materials, Solid State Technology editor in chief Pete Singer put together these photos with information from the Applied Materials tour. Highlights include a solar-panel roof on the parking area, and discussion of AMAT's new products.


Spin Transfer Technologies, Singulus apply deposition technology to MRAM memory fab

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

Spin Transfer Technologies (STT) is collaborating with Singulus Technologies AG to apply advanced deposition techniques to support commercial development of STT’s novel MRAM memory devices.


Editors' take: TSMC raises capex, but slowdown imminent?

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

TSMC beat estimates with its 2Q10 results, but analysts are taking a more cautious stance amid worries of inventories on the rise and capacity additions slowing down.


Inventory concerns prompt IC unit forecast tweak

Thu, 7 Jul 2010

IC Insights analyst Bill McClean explains why he's becoming a little more conservative about 2H10 semiconductor industry growth. (Hint: it's about inventories, and rubber bands.)


Samsung to unseat Intel in chip sales in four years

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

Is Intel soon to be unseated as the world's top semiconductor maker? The numbers say it could happen in less than four years, according to IC Insights.


Analysts' take: AMAT 3Q10 numbers, marketshare gains and flash dreams

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

Analysts break down some of the more important points of Applied Materials' 3Q10 numbers and discussions. Key takeaways: A few key marketshare wins, NAND flash is about to explode, and any macro sluggishness hasn't materialized yet in chip tool demand.


Samsung, Seagate SSD pact: It's all about timing

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

Samsung and Seagate's joint push into enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSD) may be a little late, but there's still a lot of opportunity especially at the next technology node, according to analysts. This article includes a new podcast interview with Samsung's director of sales for storage products from DISKCON 2010.


Analyst: DRAM growth hinges on litho readiness, 4Xnm migration

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

DRAM memory "turbulence" might rear its head in 2H10 with supplies falling short of demand, because of manufacturers' problems in migration to newer processes and unable to obtain key pieces of leading-edge equipment, according to iSuppli.


Steve Wozniak will keynote Flash Memory Summit 2010

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

Steve Wozniak will deliver a keynote address at Flash Memory Summit 2010. Wozniak's keynote, "Driving Innovation with Solid-State Technologies" will explore how solid-state storage technologies are poised to change consumer's digital lives. Wozniak's will address how solid-state technologies are proliferating through the enterprise and well beyond from financial and Web services to bioinformatics to 3D special effects.


IC design project concludes on self-adaptive system on chip: Discoveries summarized

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

REALITY focused on the design and analysis of energy-efficient self-adaptive system-on-chips (SoCs). The tackled challenges include benchmarking the impact of the latest 32nm CMOS process manufacturing variability at all abstraction levels, from device to SoC level, while developing approaches to compensate their negative impact in the design of final products.


TI-UC-Berkeley-determine-MugFET-stressor-IEDM-preview

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

At IEDM in San Francisco, CA, researchers from University of California at Berkeley and Texas Instruments (Dallas) will show that, among three common stressor techniques, MugFETs benefit the most from strained capping layers, also known as CESLs. Laura Peters, contributing editor, reports.


Which-transistor-path-FinFET-tri-gate-FDSOI-Ge/III-V-bulk-CMOS

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

podcast interviewWhich transistor structures and materials will garner the most support at 16nm and below? In this podcast interview, Dean Freeman, VP of research, Gartner, provides his perspective on the various paths: FinFETS, tri-gates, fully-depleted SOI (FDSOI), Ge/III-V, bulk CMOS, and so on.


S-P-Equity-semiconductor-predictions-2011

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

S&P Equity Research semiconductor and semiconductor equipment analysts Clyde Montevirgen and Angelo Zino have issued their 2011 forecasts for the industry, covering sales/revenues, capacity utilization, back-end equipment, solar crossover, and more.


DRAM-pricing-collapse-update-from-iSuppli

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

DRAM pricing. Source: iSuppliPC makers are jamming cheap DRAM into systems, as pricing reaches critical levels. Watch for DRAM makers at 6x-nm and 5x-nm nodes to become inefficient, warns iSuppli. DRAM prices are expected to remain critical until at least H2 2011.


Semiconductor growth prompts iSuppli to pump up 2010 forecast

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

Already pumped up by bulging demand, the global semiconductor market in 2010 has been injected with a powerful dose of growth steroids, prompting iSuppli Corp. to raise its revenue forecast to a record level for the year.


Analysis: Memory, foundries gain in 1H10 chip ranks

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

A strong rebound in the memory sector over the past few quarters has helped key players push up the ranks of top suppliers, according to new data from IC Insights. Also represented well are key semiconductor foundries.


CAMP CMP: CMP's FEOL future, "dark art" defect work, mysterious Cu dendrites

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury offers his observations from this year's International Symposium on CMP at Clarkson U. in New York. Highlights from Day 1: The latest uses of CMP in device integration; SOI wafer bonding; pad surface texture and slurry flow; Cu dendrites in 45nm interconnect patterns; and using microfluidics to measure CMP slurry particle concentration.


Flatline: Chip sales unchanged in October, says SIA

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

Worldwide semiconductor sales were flat in October vs. September at ~$26M according to the SIA's latest monthly data, but are still on pace to meet the group's >32% growth rate for the year, assuming November and December are flat as well.


WSTS forecast: 2010 even better, no more whipsaw updates

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

The latest semiannual forecast update from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) sees 2010 as even better than expected in its midyear forecast six months ago, but going forward chip sales should be much less surprising. Key themes: memory's cooling off, MPUs are heating up, and the Americas lead the way.


Semiconductor-equipment-demand-slows-VLSI

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

The recent difficulties in semiconductor sales and the unusually rapidly declining IC price/performance index are slowing semiconductor equipment demand. Essentially, 2010 has been a 2-for-1 deal for both chips and equipment with two years of growth in one year, resulting in overcapacity and declining chip prices, says VLSI.


IEDM Reflections, Day 3: TSMC's 2Xnm FinFET, and a PV+CMOS "Terminator"

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury looks at papers from the third day of this year's IEDM conference, including a new 2Xnm FinFET process from TSMC, phase-change memory, a PV cell-CMOS device, eDRAM, and more work on graphene.


IEDM Reflections, Day 2: Graphene, RRAM, MEMS, and Jedi circuit designs

Fri, 12 Dec 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues with observations from the second day of IEDM 2010 presentations, examining papers on several graphene-based devices, a RRAM device stack on flexible substrates, using MEMS for RF channel switching, and Jedi tricks for post-FinFET circuit design.


What's inside Applied Materials' flowable CVD tool?

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

Applied execs played coy about the "unique" technology behind their new Eterna FCVD tool, which targets a $400M market (and twice that in a couple of years), but analysis of what was said offers some insights into how it works.


AMAT Eterna FCVD goes beyond SOD with bottoms up approach to C-free gap-fill: Interview

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

Applied Materials (AMAT) Eterna flow CVD for semiconductor fab.Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) today released Eterna, a new flowable CVD (FCVD) technology. Ajay Bhatnagar, director, global product management in the Gap Fill Dielectric Division, explains in-depth how it differs from conventional CVD. The technology is run on AMAT's Producer Eterna FCVD system. He also explains how it is being applied to new device architectures such as DRAM vertical transistors, NAND vertical bit stacks, and FinFETs.


Researchers: SiOx just fine for sub-10nm memory switch

Fri, 9 Sep 2010

Researchers at Rice U. say they've figured out that new switching memory they built with electrically manipulated 10nm graphite strips doesn't actually need the graphite -- good ol' reliable silicon oxide will do just fine.


All-SiC VJFET power module developed by SemiSouth

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

 SemiSouth Laboratories describes development of an all-SiC-based power module in “Low Switching Energy 1200V Normally-Off SiC VJFET Power Modules.” A multi-chip power module offers energy efficiency above 30kW.


IBM Racetrack Memory discovery moves data on nanowires

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

IBM (NYSE: IBM) Research is the first to measure the movement and processing of digital data as a magnetic pattern on nanowires 1,000 times finer than a human hair. Racetrack Memory uses the spin of electrons to move data at hundreds of miles per hour to atomically precise positions along the nanowire "racetrack."


RRAM-research-Imec-lays-groundwork-for-memory-tech-ramp

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

Imec researchers demonstrated the competition effect in the switching of several conductive filaments in resistive RAM (RRAM) using a small-size FUSI gate NMOS transistor. The work was laid out in IEDM 2010 paper "Generic learning of TDDB applied to RRAM for improved understanding of conduction and switching mechanism through multiple filaments." Malgorzata Jurczak and Thomas Hoffmann of Imec discuss the developments.


IEDM 2010: Inside Renesas' eDRAM structure

Fri, 12 Dec 2010

At IEDM 2010, Renesas chief engineer Yoshihiro Hayashi shares details about the company's new logic IC-compatible eDRAM targeting system LSIs 28nm and below, including development of a special porous film for the interconnect layer to suppress metal contamination.


Power outage at Toshiba NAND plant, analysts weigh impact

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

A power outage at a Japanese power plant has put a big dent in Toshiba's NAND flash output, according to multiple reports, though industry watchers are mixed as to the ultimate market impact, and who might take advantage with key NAND consumer Apple.


Scaling-FinFets-Increase-fin-height-reduce-geometry-apply-strain

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

podcast interviewTo prepare for the time when the semiconductor industry might choose FinFETs at advanced nodes, SEMATECH researchers investigated possible scalability paths. Options include increasing the fin height, reducing geometries (to get better control in the channel and probably higher drive currents), applying strain, and applying high-mobility materials, says Raj Jammy, SEMATECH.


Advances in dielectric dipole-mitigated Schottky barrier height tuning

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

SEMATECH at IEDM 2010Raj Jammy, SEMATECH, explains the details behind contact resistance reduction using dielectric dipole-mitigated Schottky barrier height (SBH) tuning on a FinFET source/drain. Reduction of the SBH by 100meV from the AlOx/SiO2 dipole results in a 10Ω-µm2 reduction in specific contact resistivity and a 100Ω-µm reduction in FinFET source/drain resistance (RS/D).


III-V-MOSFET-on-200mm-Si-fabbed-using-industry-standard-tools-SEMATECH-at-IEDM

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

SEMATECH IEDM researchSEMATECH's IEDM 6.2 paper demonstrated self-aligned III-V MOSFETs hetero-integrated on a 200mm substrate and fabricated with state-of-the-art industry standard silicon processing tools. Raj Jammy, SEMATECH VP, materials & emerging technologies, describes in detail the challenges that had to be overcome to complete the research.


Dopant-solutions-target-cost-effective-semiconductor-miniaturization-SRC-and-Waseda-U-at-IEDM

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

SRCAt IEDM, Semiconductor Research Corporation and researchers from Waseda University announced process and materials development  for precisely controlling both the amount and the position of channel dopants. The researchers say this advance should help extend the manufacturability of semiconductors beyond conventional doped-channel device technologies. The result is projected to enable near atomic-scale devices and single-dopant devices.


IEDM-Panasonic-GaN-power-transistor-on-Si-uses-blocking-voltage-boosting-structure

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Panasonic developed a new technique to increase the blocking voltage of gallium-nitride-based power switching transistor on silicon substrates. The blocking voltage of the Si substrate can be added to that of the GaN transistor by the new structure, which will enable the blocking voltage over 3000V.


The end of DRAM manufacturing cost gains?

Thu, 9 Sep 2010

DRAM manufacturing costs are on the rise for the first time in four years, raising questions about production expenses in the memory industry, but things should improve in a few quarters, according to a new report from research firm iSuppli.


NOR Flash market through 2013: Asia Pacific leads the pack

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

Research and Markets added "Global NOR Flash Market 2009-2013" by Technavio Insights to their report offering. The Global NOR Flash Market 2009-2013 report forecasts the NOR Flash market to grow at a CAGR of 5.4%, with the Asia-Pacific and China (APAC) region witnessing highest growth rate.


Charge-trapping NAND Flash memory: Elpida and Spansion start production

Thu, 9 Sep 2010

Elpida Memory Inc. and Spansion created a charge-trapping 1.8V, 4GB single-level cell NAND Flash memory. Elpida plans to combine NAND flash memory with Mobile RAM to sell mobile consumer products, while Spansion is targeting embedded and select wireless markets.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm analog/mixed-signal production design flow kit out soon

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

GLOBALFOUNDRIES teamed with Cadence Design Systems to create an open-access 28nm Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) production design flow development kit.


Cu/low-k extendability work compares Cu and Al anodes

Fri, 9 Sep 2010

Professor Joel Plawsky and student Michael Riley of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute present on low-k dielectric.Professor Joel Plawsky and student Michael Riley of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be presenting a paper titled “Experimental analysis of copper diffusion into porous SiCOH” at the Techcon 2010 conference. In a podcast interview, they outline the scope of their interconnect research on copper and porous SiCOH and its significance to the industry.


Wafer fab equipment: Who's spending in 2011-2012, who's not

Mon, 9 Sep 2010

It's déjà vu all over again for semiconductor wafer fab equipment spending, says Barclay's CJ Muse, as the industry seems to be repeating the 2004-2006 cycle of two strong years sandwiching a flat one.


Samsung-Grandis spotlights MRAM potential, and NAND's chokehold

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Industry analysts explain the strategy behind Samsung's acquisition of MRAM developer Grandis, the potential for this and other next-generation memory technologies, and why NAND flash is still firmly in the driver's seat.


Samsung adds Grandis Inc. for memory R&D

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

IC maker Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. acquired Grandis Inc., a Silicon Valley maker of spin transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM).


SIA: Global chip sales slipping

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

Global semiconductor sales slipped in June 2011, and were down even more for the quarter -- a period that usually sees an upswing after the traditionally slow year-opening quarter.


Key takeaways from AMAT's 3Q: "Uphill" 2011 goals, memory comeback, solar concern

Tue, 5 May 2011

Building "cumulative headwinds" -- inflation, consumer skepticism, energy costs, and Japan recovery -- are causing semiconductors and display manufacturers to push out near-term orders, according to Applied Materials execs laying out their 2Q11 books and future projections. They also describe who's spending and who's not, why solar equipment is a concern, and what are three keys for bridging the 450mm wafer-size transition.


Silicon-ize photonics to satisfy terabit/s cravings

Thu, 5 May 2011

In an SST-exclusive blog series, Mieke Van Bavel, science editor, imec, writes from the research organization's International Technology Forum (ITF) this week in Brussels. Van Bavel reports on a talk by Mario J. Paniccia, Intel: Bridging photonics and computing.


Evolution or revolution? Experts debate new directions in memory tech

Thu, 5 May 2011

Computer memory has come a long way from mercury-filled tubes to 100Gb flash memory cards sold at supermarkets -- but how long can the industry keep this pace going? A panel of experts at this week's IEEE International Memory Workshop explored both societal and technical trends driving memory technology development.


Photoresist market snapshot for semiconductor fab

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Photoresist revenues will grow at about 5% for the next several years, says Techcet Group. Consolidation is long overdue among resist suppliers, and EUV may be the last straw. For materials, supply is abundant.


IM Flash hiring 200 in Utah, spending $1.5B on flash fabs

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

IM Flash Technologies, the Micron-Intel JV, plans to expand its NAND flash operations in Lehi, UT, adding 200 positions and spending $1.5B on facility upgrades.


Imec: FinFET beat planar for bigger SRAMs

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

Planar CMOS slightly outperforms FinFETs for single SRAM cells, but FinFETs  "clearly outperform" and "are superior to planar" for bigger (>128KB) SRAMs, according to new research from imec.


Verigy tests GDDR5 at Korean memory producer

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Verigy (NASDAQ:VRGY), semiconductor test equipment provider, won orders for its V93000 HSM platform to perform volume test on GDDR5 memory devices at a large Korean customer.


Quantum transistor promises easier fab than Intel's 3D transistor

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Avto Metals' Avto Quantum Transistor (AQT) modulates electrical signals via a tunneling electron either constructively or destructively interfering with electrons' wave function in a gate material. Avto credits a "unique surface geometry" for the transistor's properties.


Phase-change memory module debuts at DAC

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

Inside the Moneta storage array with PCM modules installed. Image courtesy of Jacobs School of Engineering. All rights reservedUC San Diego researchers developed a phase change memory (PCM) solid-state storage device (SSD) that claims 7x speed improvement over current SSDs. The project has backing from Micron Technology, BEEcube, and Xilinx.


Applied Materials adds tungsten film planarization to CMP tool

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Applied Materials (AMAT) unveiled the extension of its Reflexion GT chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) system to include planarization of tungsten films. Sidney Huey, director, CMP product manager, CMP Division, Silicon Systems Group at Applied Materials, discusses the tool and the technology.


IBM builds IC with graphene transistor

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

IBM researchers built an integrated circuit (IC) fabricated from wafer-scale graphene on SiC, integrating a graphene transistor with other electronics circuits.


Imec brings new device architecture results to SEMICON West

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

At SEMICON West, imec is demonstrating a viable implant-free quantum-well (IF-QW) pFETs with an embedded silicon-germanium (SiGe) source/drain and 3D integration of a commercial DRAM chip on top of a logic IC.


Extending optical lithography with complementary e-beam lithography

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

David Lam summarizes how the industry does not have to "throw out" optical lithography as it proceeds to more advanced nodes -- complementary e-beam lithography (CEBL) is part of the overall solution, "complementary lithography," that can overcome the resolution limitations of 193i technology.


AMAT debuts DRAM fab tools for denser transistors

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

Applied Materials debuted 3 systems for next-generation DRAM chip manufacturing: the Applied Centura DPN HDTM system to improve the gate insulator scaling; the Applied Endura HAR Cobalt PVD system for high-aspect-ratio contact structures; and the Applied Endura Versa XLR W PVD system for reduced gate stack resistance.


IBM promises more reliable multibit phase-change memory

Fri, 7 Jul 2011

Researchers at IBM say they have developed a phase-change memory (PCM) that mitigates drift and demonstrates long-term retention of bits stored, with reliability far closer to what will be needed for enterprise applications.


Apple spends most on semiconductors; 61% for wireless products

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Top 10 OEM semiconductor buyers (Ranking by revenue in millions of US dollars). SOURCE: IHS iSuppli.Apple bought the most semiconductors of all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2010, largely to build iPhones and iPads, according to IHS iSuppli (NYSE: IHS) research. This is Apple's first trip to the #1 spot, after being third in 2009 and sixth in 2008.


Mobile SoCs can have low power without dopants, says SuVolta

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

SuVolta Vt variation reduction in perspective, 65nm bulk CMOS Vt variation.SuVolta is tackling the low-power challenge of mobile SoC devices with its PowerShrink platform and undoped, deeply depleted channel (DDC) technology. Scott Thompson, SuVolta, says DDC technology produces high performance at low voltage because it enables inversion charge to move from source to drain without scattering with dopants. The undoped channel and screening regions provide threshold voltage variation as good as the best fully-depleted SOI and fully-depleted FinFET research devices.


CEA-Leti Annual Review: IDMs' top 3 challenges

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

At CEA-Leti's Annual Review, STMicroelectronics CTO Jean-Marc Chery reviewed the challenges facing IDM companies focused on SoC markets, and the three primary challenges for IDMs: FinFETs, EUV lithography, and 450mm.


CEA-Leti Annual Review: The heart of Europe's semiconductor industry challenges

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

At CEA-Leti's Annual Review, Leti CEO Laurent Malier noted how the important role that research and technology organizations should play in strengthening industry in Europe, and how their roles differ from groups in other regions.


Talkin' ecosystems, supply chain issues at IHS Summit

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

About a hundred people gathered at the San Jose Marriott on June 22 for the first IHS Global Design & Supply Chain Summit, where a series of speakers presented on everything from spending on consumer gadgets to telecom systems to fabs, lessons learned from the Japan disaster, and why the Pentagon is a poster child for counterfeit parts.


New architectures, litho schemes take the stage at SEMICON West

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

Two TechXPOT sessions at SEMICON West will address the new architectures needed to continue scaling both logic and memory devices, as well as the major challenges facing lithography both for EUV and options for extending 193nm immersion.


Trigate transistors vs FDSOI

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

Dick James, ChipWorks, speaks about Intel's presentations on strain engineering and lithography masks for trigate transistors, and the industry split between FDSOI and trigates.


Day 2: Intersolar wanderings, SEMICON West symposium

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports from busy aisles at Intersolar, and at SEMICON West where a private symposium by CEA Leti reviewed work in FDSOI, 3D integration, TSVs, silicon photonics, and MEMS for medicine.


Thermal wafer processing for Ni(Pt)Si contacts beyond 45nm

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

The formation of advanced thin nickel-silicide films poses major challenges as devices integration moves beyond the 45nm technology node. X. Pages et al, Renesas Electronics, explain how optimized low-temperature rapid thermal processing (RTP) annealing schemes address this issue.


FDSOI improves CMOS scalability, speed, power consumption at 11nm

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Leti has demonstrated the ability of fully depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI) technology to improve CMOS scalability down to the 11nm node, together with an associated variability reduction of the electrical characteristics by a factor of two compared to regular technologies.


Wall Street view: Top takeaways from SEMICON West

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

A trio of analysts who participated in SEMICON West's Bulls/Bears panel have some top-takeaways list for the industry: why WFE spending is slow, why it's only a short pause, and which will comes first, EUV or 450mm.


NAND value threatens DRAM market

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

NAND flash is a serious threat to the DRAM memory industry in PCs, according to Objective Analysis, which reviewed a series of nearly 300 PC benchmarks.


Litho readiness for next-gen logic, flash, and DRAM

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Franklin Kalk, Toppan Photomasks, covers the major lithography demands of distinct semiconductor technologies: Logic, Flash, and DRAM. He also gives an update on fabless/foundry options, and Japan's earthquake recovery.


Chinese foundries Hua Hong, Grace merge (finally)

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Fulfilling a long-anticipated consolidation in China's foundry sector, Hua Hong NEC and Grace Semiconductor say they have officially merged, a move that creates a business that just might be knocking outside the Big Four's foundry doors.


Strained silicon and HKMG take the stage at 22nm

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Mohith Verghese, ASM America, covers the gate stack changes expected when 22nm semiconductors ramp in volume production. Topics include high-k gate dielectrics, strained silicon including nMOS strain, and the importance of conformal deposition wafer processing technology.


At 22nm, the focus is first order effects

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Regardless of transistor architecture, the impact of process variability on device and circuit performance has emerged as a significant concern at 22nm. Effects that until recently were negligible or could be mitigated with improved wafer manufacturing control are now first-order effects, says Howard Ko, Synopsys, who outlines the main culprits.


At 22nm, leave chip layout to the experts

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

The transition to 22nm silicon will have a major impact on the design community, most notably in process variation: timing and power. Because of this, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the 22nm process design rules, says Gary Smith. More and more design teams will decide to leave the IC layout portion of the design to the experts.


Semiconductor IPOs and M&As in November 2011

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) released its Global Semiconductor Funding, IPO and M&A Update, showing that initial public offerings surged in November, with 3 companies entering the stock market.


Semiconductor process technology challenges at 22nm

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

2012 promises much for the semiconductor industry, and the world. Gartner's Dean Freeman analyzes the roles of semiconductor fab tool makers for 22nm NAND and logic device manufacturing, and the role of chip makers adopting the new node.


Docomo establishes fabless semiconductor JV with NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Semiconductor

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

The fabless JV will develop feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality. It will be focused on LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile communication standards products, sold globally.


Intel sees Atom chip sales decline, maintains microprocessor lead in Q3

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

Intel's Atom chips saw plunging sales as the netbook market was swallowed by smartphones, media tablets, and like devices, but the company expanded its microprocessor leadership in Q3 2011, shows IHS iSuppli.


Microcapsules give a new take on "self-healing" chips

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

A group from the U. of Illinois has devised a way to identify and patch flaws in semiconductors within seconds, saving much analysis and manual fixing and sparing otherwise functioning chips from the trash heap.


Analysis: Smart meters are a growth area for ICs

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Rapid adoption of smart meters to save energy and improve grid efficiency means an opportunity for a broad range of semiconductor suppliers.


Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony, Toshiba join for secury memory

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, SanDisk, Sony, and Toshiba are in the early stages of a plan to collaborate on new content protection technology for flash memory cards.


SEMATECH, Dainippon Screen partner on semiconductor doping tech

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

SEMATECH and Screen will focus on monolayer doping and activation methods compatible with ultra-shallow junctions for planar and non-planar device technologies in silicon and non-silicon high-mobility materials.


Power semiconductors to see modest growth in 2012

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

The global power semiconductor market will grow 5.0% in 2012 to $32 billion, says IMS Research. The modest increase is due to global economic uncertainties and inventory being flushed from the supply chain. 2013 will see a return to double-digit growth.


Oct. chip sales flat, annual growth pace now 1%

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Wall Street watchers still see a mixed bag after tallying October chip sales, with some lingering concerns about inventories, but overall everyone seems to agree with full-year 2011 chip projections of 1%-2%.


IEDM 2011 Preview: Chipworks' must-see picks for IEDM

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Chipworks' Dick James maps out the entire 2011 2011 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, taking a closer look at what he sees as the more interesting papers in various sessions and what he plans to attend in person.


Intel pushes Samsung back for 2011 semiconductor market leadership: Top 20 chip suppliers

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Intel Corp.'s semiconductor market dominance has been eroded for several years by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., but reversed this trend in 2011. Acquisition played a key role, not just for Intel, but for 5 of the other top-20 semiconductor chip companies, says analyst firm IHS.


Toshiba implementing chip plant closures, rolling shutdowns

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Sluggish demand in Western markets and a persistently-strong yen are cited as reasons to adjust output and institute shutdowns across the company's Japanese manufacturing footprint.


Nvidia's ConFab keynote will portray "the virtual IDM"

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Dr. John Chen, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia, and Thomas Jefferson, ISMI's 450mm project manager, are among the updated speaking roster of ConFab 2012, which will address the economics of semiconductor manufacturing and associated industries (LEDs, MEMS, displays).


IEDM 2011: InGaAs trigate MOSFET

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

IEDM 2011: Straining the limits of CMOS with Ge, III/V

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

IEDM 2011: Three 5nm FETs battle in ultimate device scaling

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

IEDM 2011: Hynix pushes NAND limits

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

Elpida, Nanya lob patent accusations amid DRAM quagmire

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

With losses and oversupplies mounting, DRAM rivals are taking increasingly drastic steps to stay competitive, including courtroom battles and even more production cutbacks.


DAC seeks speakers bureau experts

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is soliciting semiconductor industry experts for participation in invited sessions, panels, and other events at the 49th DAC, June 3-7, 2012 in San Francisco, CA.


Amazon Kindle Fire puts Ilitek on the map

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

In an IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis, IHS found that Amazon is using previously unknown Jorjin and Ilitek for its WLAN module and touchscreen controller IC, respectively, in the new Kindle Fire media tablet. Other teardown findings? TI is all over the new product, and a Kindle Fire costs more than its price.


IHS downgrades semiconductor forecast within positive territory

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

IHS has reduced its global semiconductor market forecast for 2011 to 1.2% growth, a slight revenue increase over 2010 owing to continued growth in the third quarter. This is down from the 2.9% growth IHS forecast when it looked at the numbers in September.


Intermolecular (IMI) prices IPO

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Intermolecular Inc. (Nasdaq:IMI) priced its initial public offering of 9,650,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $10.00 per share.


Fabless semiconductor start-ups gain Singapore association support

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

Semiconductor start-ups are forming at a slower pace in recent years, and VCs are less willing to invest. In light of this environment, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association announced 3 initiatives to support emerging fabless semiconductor companies.


LRCX-NVLS blockbuster combo: Why everyone's so positive

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

We scan the industry-watcher landscape to gauge reactions to the proposed Lam Research-Novellus combination: technology and customer synergies, valuation questions, and possible M&A aftershocks.


STM: Semiconductor maker, MEMS specialist, venture capitalist?

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor company, launched ST New Ventures, its corporate venture capital fund currently under incorporation.


imec advances CMOS beyond silicon to Ge, III-V

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

Marc Heyns, fellow at research consortium imec, discusses the group's work on chip fab materials beyond silicon, namely, Ge and III-V, presented in "Advancing CMOS beyond the silicon roadmap with germanium and III-V devices" at IEDM.


imec claims RRAM is smallest based on HfO2

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

During IEDM, imec presented the world

IEEE IITC keynotes to come from Intel, NVIDIA

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

Mike Mayberry, VP and director of components research, Intel Corp. and Billy Dally, VP and chief scientist, NVIDIA will keynote the 15th Annual IEEE IITC, June 2012 in San Jose, CA.


GSA awards semiconductor companies

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

The Global Semiconductor Alliance named its 2011 awards recipients at a celebration last week in CA. Outstanding semiconductor companies worldwide were recognized for "success, vision and strategy in the industry." Winners include Broadcom, Intel, and lesser-known companies like Amalfi Semiconductor.


Self-powered electronics: Achievements and challenges @ IEDM

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Dennis Buss, a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and consultant at Texas Instruments (TI), presented "Research in self-powered electronic systems (#10.4)" at IEEE's International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) recently. He shares key results here.


SMIC, Elpida settle 200mm wafer claims

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

SMIC entered into a settlement agreement with Elpida Memory Inc. to settle all pending arbitration claims and counterclaims relating to the parties' Amended and Restated 200mm Wafer Products Business Agreement.


SuVolta's DDC transistor technology @ IEDM

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

SuVolta Inc., developer of scalable low-power CMOS technologies, revealed its Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) low-power transistor technology at IEEE's IEDM 2011 this week in Washington DC.


IEDM interview: SEMATECH’s SILC ~10% and HKMG lifetime; ALD BeO a viable gate stack IPL solution

Wed, 12 Dec 2011
SEMATECH’s director of front end processes, Paul Kirsch, discusses two of the consortium’s papers presented at IEEE's International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) with Solid State Technology in a podcast interview


imec's IEDM papers reach "record number"

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

imec is presenting a record number of 17 papers at the IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM), ending today in Washington, DC.


WSTS forecast update: Two more tough years

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

The WSTS' newest version of its twice-a-year semiconductor industry outlook shows some softer segments than just six months ago. Hope you enjoyed 2010's 30% blowout, because the next three years will flatline at low- to mid-single-digit growth.


ISS 2011: Forecasts and strategies, photonics as a data shovel

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Industry and macroeconomic forecasts, Micron's strategy, manufacturing and technology challenges, smart phones and tablets, and some really big data transmission numbers to solve, headlined presentations on the first day of the 2011 Industry Strategy Symposium, reports Techcet's Michael A. Fury.


The Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality

Sat, 1 Jan 2011
2010 was perhaps the best year ever for the semiconductor industry, a nice rebound from the worst year ever. 2011 will likely be a year when the semiconductor industry returns to "normal", with more moderate, single-digit growth. Cyclicality is expected to continue. Here's what leading industry analysts are saying about the year ahead.

Analysis: Samsung's lower 2011 capex plans

Fri, 1 Jan 2011

Samsung's announced 2011 investment plans, while still at record levels and growing across all its business areas, seem to be falling short of expectations in the semiconductor segment. Barclays analyst CJ Muse combs through the data to see what the implications are.


Big chip firms get bigger, quicker in 1Q11

Mon, 5 May 2011

The top 20 semiconductor firms paced at 11% growth in 1Q11, raking in $54.8B in sales, led by the usual suspects, according to rankings from IC Insights.


Making progress with EUV

Wed, 5 May 2011

imec's An Steegen outlined the requirements to continue Moore's Law and new technologies being pursued to that end. Perhaps most important is lithography, where she provided an update on EUV tool productivity, resist benchmarking, and mask defect results.


Transistor phenomenon could revive clock speed advancement

Fri, 5 May 2011

A sample of the lanthanum aluminate-strontium titanate composite, which looks like a slab of thick glass, with thin electrodes deposited on top of it. SOURCE: MITMIT and University of Augsburg researchers discovered that layered insulators lanthanum aluminate and strontium titanate create a capacitance -- at room temperature -- that cannot be explained by existing physics. The discovery could create entirely new transistors that do not rely on silicon semiconductors.


The Impact of Japan's Triple Disaster

Fri, 4 Apr 2011
Peter Singer, Editor-in-Chief

Tsunami disaster to boost 2011 worldwide semiconductor revenue

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Figure. Revised and previous quarterly 2011 semiconductor forecasts (Millions of U.S. Dollars). SOURCE: IHS iSuppli April 2011.Supply disruptions and potential shortages following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan have uplifted semiconductor prices, especially in the memory sector. This means increased semiconductor revenues in 2011, says IHS iSuppli.


CCD pioneer, Dr. Willard S. Boyle, dies at 86

Fri, 5 May 2011

Dr. Willard S. Boyle, along with George E. Smith, invented the charge coupled device (CCD) that, until recently, dominated the digital image capture market. Boyle and Smith developed the CCD some 4 decades ago at Bell Laboratories (NJ). The men were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work.


Pioneering new devices and materials for future ICs

Sun, 5 May 2011
It is expected that from the 15nm node on, the industry will need to adopt new transister architectures; among the contenders: FinFETs and TunnelFETs. Thomas Hoffmann, imec, Leuven, Belguim

Nano-porous dielectrics and copper barriers for 28nm and below

Sun, 5 May 2011
Copper barrier solutions exist that ensure electrical and reliability performance even as device scaling continues. Harry Whitesell, Eric Hollar, Kang Sub Yim, Li-Qun Xia, Thamos Nowak, Applied Materials, Santa Clara, CA USA

BEOL technology at 20nm half-pitch

Sun, 5 May 2011
New approaches to patterning, low-k and metallization are reviewed for 20nm hp interconnects. Gerald Beyer, Zsolt Tokei, imec, Leuven, Belgium

Day 2, 3 talks on process integration, reliability, 3Di

Wed, 5 May 2011

John Iacoponi, IITC 2011 co-chair, reviews Day 2-3 discussions at IITC/MAM, including interconnect reliability, BEOL memory, 3D integration, process integration, ultralow-k, and future-looking talks on graphene and carbon nanotubes.


Update from Japan: Energy policy under review, fabs recovery upset

Tue, 5 May 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami: Japan's reviewing its energy policy to deemphasize nuclear power, and updates on recovery efforts at Renesas, Toshiba, and Tohoku U.


IITC: Sneak-peek at Day 1 talks

Mon, 5 May 2011

John Iacoponi, IITC 2011 co-chair, reviews presentations and discussions on the first day of the event: three important aspects driving today's semiconductor business, and technical papers on packaging, photonics, low-k, and characterization.


Leading-edge processes, MEMS, Japan turnaround driving 2011 wafer demand

Fri, 5 May 2011

Total wafer demand will increase 11.2% to 185.3M wafers (200mm equivalent), with a number of factors driving growth above average rates, according to a recent Semico Research report.


3D IC is only solution for scaling "up," says MonolithIC 3D exec

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Transfer on top of processed wafer and replace gates (<400°C)Zvi Or-Bach, MonolithIC 3D, describes the TSV-beating monolithic IC fab process, and argues for scaling "up" rather than down. Or-Bach compares the costs of further semiconductor scaling to advanced packaging.


austriamicrosystems-sends-high-voltage-0.18micron-CMOS-process-to-volume-production-at-IBM

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

austriamicrosystems (SIX:AMS) conditionally released its advanced 0.18µm High-Voltage CMOS process technology "H18" to for volume production. It will be manufactured in IBM's 200mm Burlington wafer facility.


Analysts' take: Intel's four trigate transistor triumphs

Thu, 5 May 2011

As a follow-up Intel's announcement of a new 22nm trigate transistor structure, we polled and tracked multiple industry watchers for their thoughts on the technology. Their key takeaways: Intel reasserts its manufacturing prowess, and could be setting up for plays in mobile and foundry.


Intel readies 22nm leap, with trigates

Thu, 5 May 2011

Intel has taken the wraps off its next chip technology, a 22nm process utilizing a new 3D trigate architecture that promises faster speeds or big power savings, which will ramp to volume manufacturing later this year.


TSVs, beyond-CMOS top IITC-MAM "must see" lists for conference chairs

Wed, 5 May 2011

Cross-sectional TEM images of metal caps on 66nm wide Cu lines for three different processes: a) process A with 5nm-thick and full coverage; b) process B with <3nm-thick and partial coverage; c) process C with 8nm-thick and partial coverage; and d) a dark-field image along with the line direction with the metal cap "A."Three chairs of IITC-MAM, opening next week in Germany, share details on papers attendees won't want to miss. Among the hot-button technologies are through silicon via (TSV) integration, RC performance, carbon interconnects, and pushing traditional technologies farther (think lithography).


28nm node: It's not for everyone

Mon, 5 May 2011

"28nm is not a node for all," says Mahesh Tirupattur, EVP at Analog Bits and moderator of the 28nm challenges panel at this week's Semico Summit. Panelists will share what it takes to integrate 28nm right the first time, with examples like Apple's iPad hardware.


Solid state drives: Backup capacitors in modern solid state drives

Mon, 5 May 2011

NAND flash block architecture.Solid state drives (SSDs) are electrically, mechanically, and software compatible with their conventional electro-mechanical counterparts -- hard disk drives (HDD) -- but instead of using rotating magnetic media to retain data, SSDs use semiconductor memory, mainly NAND flash. Radovan Faltus, AVX, considers write speed improvements when cache memory is used (in particular synchronous dynamic RAM), focusing specifically on the problematic issue of cache memory power backup.


MRS Day 4: Outside CMOS fabrication, but respecting boundaries

Fri, 4 Apr 2011

Michael A. Fury continues reporting from this year's MRS Spring meeting. Highlights from Day 4: NEMS and MEMS devices, organic electronics, deposition (ALD, CVD, and ED), and measuring stresses in Cu TSV.


Analyst take: Why Intel/Micron's 20nm NAND flash is a big deal

Fri, 4 Apr 2011

IM Flash's newly announced 20nm NAND flash chip pushes the memory envelope even further, but it's a very big deal for several reasons.


MRAM improvement from graphene's magnetic vacancies

Fri, 4 Apr 2011

Image. Schematic of a graphene transistor showing graphene (red), gold electrodes (yellow), silicon dioxide (clear) and silicon substrate (black). Inset shows the graphene lattice with vacancy defects. Vacancies (missing atoms) are shown surrounded by blue carbon atoms. Graphic by Jianhao Chen and Michael S. Fuhrer, University of Maryland. University of Maryland researchers found the Kondo effect in graphene without magnetic additives. With "defect engineering" of graphene, nanoscale magnetic sensors, magnetic storage, and magnetic random access memory applications could be possible.


RRAM developer joins SEMATECH to prototype NVM technologies

Thu, 4 Apr 2011

4DS will collaborate with engineers from SEMATECH's memory program to build a full transistor-memory, demonstrating a working prototype of a low-power RRAM device.


HDD and Flash combine in paired storage: Where is it working?

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Research and Markets released the "HDDs and Flash Memory: A Marriage of Convenience" report, which examines a new storage architecture that has been named Paired Storage: the combination of flash memory with conventional rotating storage. There are many approaches to paired storage, and several application areas.


The-evolution-of-a-memory-revolution

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Rambus Inc. memory podcastSharon Holt, Rambus, makes the case for a kind of evolutionary revolution in memory -- one that essentially unifies the memory requirements of PCs/servers as well as smart phones/tablets. Holt says that continuing to increase the speeds of LPDDR while staying within power requirements can be a way to buy time before moving to wide I/O memory with TSV.


TowerJazz-to-buy-Micron-fab-in-Japan

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

TowerJazz is looking to buy Micron Technology's semiconductor fab in Nishiwaki City, Hyogo, Japan. The proposed purchase would nearly double TowerJazz's current internal manufacturing capacity, increasing production by 60,000 wafers per month, and set up a supply agreement between the companies.


Graphene transistors cool off at the nano level

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Image: An atomic force microscope tip scans the surface of a graphene-metal contact to measure temperature with spatial resolution of about 10nm and temperature resolution of about 250 mK.  Color represents temperature data. Alex Jerez, Beckman Institute Imaging Technology Group.University of Illinois researchers found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale thermoelectric cooling effect that can be stronger at graphene contacts than resistive heating, lowering the temperature of the transistor.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES-imec-partner-on-sub-22nm-GaN-on-Si

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, semiconductor foundry, signed a strategic long-term partnership on sub-22nm CMOS scaling and GaN-on-Si technology with the nanoelectronics R&D center imec.


Non-volatile-memory-technology-trending-up

Fri, 4 Apr 2011

Figure. Market share for emerging advanced solid state non-volatile random access memory products by region, 2010 and 2015. ($ Millions) Source: iRAP, Inc. April 2011.Advanced solid state non-volatile memory (NVM) chips, which retain data when the power is off, are expected to see phenomenal growth in the next five years, says iRAP Inc. In 2010, the potential market for zero capacitor (ZRAM) was highest, but by 2015, it will be phase change memory (PCM, PC-RAM, PRAM, OUM) at the lead.


MRS Day 2: The III-V future of CMOS, the return of spin-on low-k

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Michael A. Fury continues reporting from this year's MRS Spring meeting, looking at second-day papers. Highlights: pushing III-V CMOS, the resurgence of spin-on low-k, work with nanomaterials (nanowires, graphene, nanotubes), and improvements in photovoltaics, LEDs, and printed electronics.


SanDisk 19nm fab tech ramps; volume by H2

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), flash memory card maker, announced a 64-gigabit (Gb), 2-bits-per-cell (X2) monolithic chip made on 19nm technology.


Imec CNT research: IITC preview

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

after barrier deposition and Cu fillImec researchers will present "Carbon nanotube interconnects: electrical characterization of 150nm CNT contacts with Cu damascene top contact" at IITC 2011. Dr. Marleen van der Veen, senior research scientist at imec discussed the research results and their significance.


Fabless IC leaders call US home

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

2010 was the first year that fabless company IC sales growth tracked behind the total IC market. Seven companies underperformed, and seven others stood out with big gains. IC Insights looks at the US dominance in fabless rankings, fabless growth through 2010, and more.


Kilopass begins NVM new product rollout with Itera, fabbed in 40nm logic CMOS

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Kilopass Technology Inc., semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) provider, unveiled Itera, an embedded multi-time programmable (MTP) NVM in 40nm.


ASICs and FPGAs could take a lesson from autos, says Xilinx

Thu, 5 May 2011

Ivo Bolsens, Xilinx, compares crossover cars -- sports car performance with station wagon utility -- to semiconductor ASICs (high-performance) and FPGAs (flexible, easy to use, less NRE). The semiconductor industry needs a programmable platform that has ASICs' capabilities.


Imec ITF: Vision systems entering a new era of digital optics

Wed, 5 May 2011

In an SST-exclusive series of blogs, imec reports from its International Technology Forum this week in Brussels. Francesco Pessolano, manager of imec's NVision program, reviews how digital optics can make future vision systems smaller, faster, cheaper, and more reliable.


Imec ITF: The next wave of applications, with chips designed in 3D

Wed, 5 May 2011

In an SST-exclusive series of blogs, imec reports from its International Technology Forum this week in Brussels. Here, Jan Provoost looks at Pol Marchal's presentation on 3D integration and its impact on systems design -- and why sensors that smell are coming next.


Potential $45B power device market looks to new substrates, packaging, process flows

Tue, 5 May 2011

SEMICON West preview: Alternative energy applications are poised to help drive the power semiconductor market over the next few years, and devicemakers are taking a close look at key issues to meet those market needs.


Tighter chip densities tease out litho, metrology weaknesses, says Intel

Thu, 5 May 2011

Janice Golda, Intel, co-led a session at The ConFab 2011 on continued device scaling. EUV infrastructure will be a major topic, as well as transistor challenges. While lithography difficulties exist at tighter device densities, Golda reminds us that metrology obstacles must also be tackled.


Trade-offs and infrastructure are keys to device scaling

Wed, 5 May 2011

Raj Jammy, VP of materials and emerging technologies at SEMATECH, covered a broad swath of CMOS scaling drivers, system and device trends, and infrastructure requirements.


Nanowire-based charge-trapping memory optimized by NIST, GMU

Mon, 5 May 2011

TEM of a Si nanowire is shown surrounded by a stack of thin dielectric layers. SOURCE: NISTThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) George Mason University (GMU) researchers are studying the optimal characteristics of silicon nanowires and dielectric stacks for charge-trapping memory.


Materials forecast for 22nm devices

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Weimin Li, ATMI, looks at changes in the materials side of wafer fab that might occur in 2011, especially for advanced DRAM devices. For every evolutionary change or radical new method, cost and performance considerations are high. This is an online exclusive essay in SST's Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality series.


Materials modification with HfO for next-gen semiconductor devices

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Scaling semiconductor devices without FDSOI, FinFETsFor the near-term, i.e., extending scaling for one or possibly two more generations below 22nm, Glen Wilk, ASM America, is keen on using materials modification to do the job. He views it as a simple near-term solution from a manufacturing standpoint, given the semiconductor industry's experience with hafnium oxide (HfO), which is already in production.


Powerchip standardizes on SpringSoft Laker custom IC layout for high-density memory chips

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

SpringSoft Inc., a global supplier of specialized IC design software, announced that Powerchip Technology Corporation, a memory solution company based in Taiwan, has selected the Laker Custom Layout Automation System as the standard platform for memory chip design.


McClean gives positive outlook for 2011, expecting 4% U.S. GDP

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

McClean gives positive outlook for 2011With double-digit growth in consumption in key sectors (PCs, cell phones), strong GDP increase, wafer fab capex increases, and firm ASPs, Bill McClean, president, IC Insights, gave SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) attendees some "reasons for optimism."


High-resolution spectrometer offers tailored gratings, high-performance optics

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

McPherson spectrometerMcPherson’s high-resolution spectrometer, Model 2061, is now available for scanning and imaging applications via 2D CCD or CMOS detectors. It suits emission, luminescence, Raman (strained Silicon), and high-temperature plasma measurement with better than 0.02nm full width half maximum spectra.


ISS-keynoter-Mark-Durcan-on-leveraging-capital-in-M-A-DRAM-strategy

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Mark Durcan, president & COO of Micron, gave the conference keynote address at SEMI’s Industry Strategy Symposium. Afterward, he shared his thoughts on M&A strategy, Micron’s positioning for the future, and enthusiasm for the memory business with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor.


DRAM-market-plunging-11.8-in-2011-says-iSuppli

Fri, 1 Jan 2011

Figure. Global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) revenue market forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars). Source: iSuppli, January 2011With a huge drop in average selling prices (ASP) predicted for 2011, global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) revenue is expected to contract sharply this year, despite strong growth opportunities in smart phones and tablets, according to new IHS iSuppli research.


Leti-on-More-than-Moore-for-RF-filters

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Engineered substrates and 3D integration technology based on direct bonding for future More Moore and More than Moore integrated devicesFor the "more than Moore" domain, Leti researchers at IEEE’s IEDM 2010 focused on RF applications in the paper #2.6, "Engineered substrates and 3D integration technology based on direct bonding for future More Moore and More than Moore integrated devices." Laurent Clavelier, head of solar technologies department at Leti, discusses the RF research with Debra Vogler.


Potential opportunities for nanotechnology in electronics manufacturing

Sat, 1 Jan 2011
At this point, the NRI program has not yet identified any single, most-promising candidate for a beyond CMOS nanotechnology, but there may eventually be several, spanning and extending the wide range of applications that CMOS FETs currently continue to address very well. Robert Doering, Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas, USA

FDSOI-20nm-Leti-researchers-on-future-transistors

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

At the recent IEDM 2010 conference, Leti's Olivier Faynot, Innovative Devices Laboratory leader, discussed planar fully-depleted SOI (FDSOI) technology with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor.


Imec-begins-high-bandwidth-optical-I-O-research

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

imec optical chip research program launchedImec launched an industrial affiliation program on high-bandwidth optical input/output (I/O). The primary objective of the new program, which is part of imec's research platform on deep-submicron CMOS scaling, is to explore the use of optical solutions for realizing high-bandwidth I/O between CMOS chips. 


IEDM Reflections, last day: Novel process technologies

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Michael A. Fury of Techcet blogs about the papers he saw at IEDM 2010. The final afternoon continued with 4 parallel sessions and the halls and conference rooms were as crowded as they had been all week. I was compelled to spend nearly all of my time in the novel process technologies session.


Top foundries reduced to three

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

By the end of 2011 there may be only three leading-edge high-volume foundries -- TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung -- able and willing to push the leading edge of CMOS through the 32nm and to 22nm and beyond, says IHS iSuppli.


High-k semiconductor materials from a chemical manufacturer perspective

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

High-k semiconductor materials from a chemical manufacturer's perspectiveGeoff Irvine, SAFC Hitech, reviews the development and introduction of high-k layers into the semiconductor industry, and what the next 20 years might bring in the next-generation high-k and ultra-high-k layers and precursors.


Intel chip recall-Sandy Bridge

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

Intel's recall of its new and highly touted Sandy Bridge chipset due to a design issue has created ripples for the DRAM market, PC sellers that now are recalling products, and Intel itself. Though the error was caught less than one month after shipments started, a silicon fix rather than software patch will drive up the cost of the blunder. Updated on February 8, 2011.


Phase-change-memory-charge-trapping-memories-discussions-with-De-Salvo-Leti

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

CEA-Leti IEDM 2010 paper #22.5Barbara De Salvo, Head of the Advanced Memory Technology Laboratory at Leti, discussed two papers presented by the consortium at IEDM. The researchers reported on the impact of N-doping in GeTe as a way to boost data retention in phase-change memories (PCMs). They also studied the role of H-related defects in Al2O3 blocking layer on charge-trap memory retention.


Rambus-memory-breakthroughs-enable-SoC-to-memory-differential-signaling-20Gbps-other-advances

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) has advanced differential signaling for SoC-to-memory interfaces to 20Gbps and developed innovations that can extend single-ended memory signaling to 12.8Gbps. Rambus has also developed technologies to allow a seamless transition for memory architectures from single-ended to differential signaling.


Scaling transistors: from new materials to new device architectures

Tue, 3 Mar 2011
Strain and high-k/metal gates have been used to answer near-term scaling challenges. A consistent theme has been the introduction of new materials, and this will only expand in future nodes as strain techniques lose their effectiveness due to shrinking dimensions and technologists look to integrations more advanced than conventional planar FETs. Bill Taylor, Chris Hobbs, SEMATECH, Albany NY, USA

Mattson-Technology-debuts-photoresist-dry-strip-system

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSN) introduced the SUPREMA XP5 photoresist dry strip system for high-volume production of current and future-generation logic, DRAM and flash memory devices.


Complementary-electron-beam-lithography-extends-optical-litho-life

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

At SPIE Advanced Lithography, David Lam, Multibeam chairman and former CEO of Lam Research, presented the complementary e-beam lithography (CEBL) concept. IC manufacturers will find CEBL beneficial as they search for ways to continue using their optical lithography equipment, says Lam.


Analyst's take: Why the gate first-last debate isn't over

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Common Platform Technology execs have declared that they will switch from a gate-first approach to a gate-last approach starting with the 20nm process technology node, essentially reversing their position for the past few years. Analysts told SST why the CPA had a change of heart, why it's not unexpected, and why other concerns will very soon overshadow this switchover -- and likely resurrect the debate.


450mm-TSV-EUV-transitions-SEMATECH-Armbrust

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

SEMATECH January 2011Dan Armbrust, SEMATECH, spoke about the role of collaboration in his SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium presentation. Significant technology transitions facing the semiconductor industry include lithography (introduction of EUV), interconnects (TSVs and 3D packaging), and productivity (450mm wafer manufacturing). Additionally, disruptive technology in logic and memory devices will challenge the industry.


ITRS 2010: Taking on the energy challenge

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

For the first time, the newly updated International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) overtly addresses energy consumption. Laura Peters looks at how the ITRS maps out the influence that devices can have on power consumption in various applications, and long-term goals for developing energy-efficient materials and devices.


ITRS 2010: What happened during this off-year?

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

The 2010 Update to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), while not one of the scheduled major revisions, nevertheless includes substantial changes have occurred in 2010, including boosts in the timelines for NAND flash and DRAM device rollouts, backup plans for lithography forced by EUV delay, impending device and interconnect structural changes, and progress in 3D packaging.


22nm: the node of diminishing returns?

Sat, 1 Jan 2011
Steve Lerner, CEO, Alchimer, Massy France

AMAT more bullish on 2011, WFE spending

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

Applied Materials (AMAT) beat estimates in its fiscal 1Q11 results released yesterday (Feb. 24), and the outlook for the entire year is looking up. "2010 was a strong recovery year across the board, and 2011 is shaping up to be even better," said top exec Michael Splinter.


ISSCC report: Fast changes in wireless, imaging

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Michel Durr, program manager from Leti, reports from this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), highlighting rapid changes in devices targeting wireless communications, and support for this year's show theme of "electronics for healthy living."


Nanotechnology-for-semiconductors

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

While semiconductor fab has always created nanoscale dimensions, a new class of nanomaterials -- graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nano-metal alloys, quantum dots -- behave radically differently than current materials. Nanotechnology promises higher-performance memory capacity and transistors in future semiconductors, says Giles Humpston, Tessera.


Researchers tweak graphene FET for nonvolatile memory

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

Adding a SiO2 dielectric gate to a graphene FET device opens the door for its use in nonvolatile memory, say researchers from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR).


Samsung grew DRAM lead in Q4, says IHS iSuppli

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. grew its already commanding share of the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to new IHS iSuppli research. Shifts in DRAM market share will occur in 2011, IHS believes.


Taiwan DRAM consolidation take 2: Elpida pulls in Powerchip, ProMOS

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Finally feeling the heat of price whipsaws (or withering stare of inevitability), Taiwan DRAM players seem ready to embrace tie-ups with Japan's Elpida Memory.


SOI Consortium unveils FDSOI results

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

FDSOI, Horacio MendezHoracio Mendez, executive director of the SOI Industry Consortium, discusses how planar FD-SOI technology enables substantial improvements in performance and power consumption. The SOI Industry Consortium recently announced results of an assessment and characterization of FDSOI, based on the ARM Cortex processor as a prototyping vehicle.


Tunable nano ribbons form future nanoelectronics spintronics devices

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

Topological insulators act as both insulators and conductors, with their interior preventing the flow of electrical currents while their edges or surfaces allow the movement of a charge. Surface conduction channels in BiTe topological insulator nano ribbons are tunable, according to new research from UCLA and Australia's U of Queensland.


Nanolasers grown on silicon using MOCVD

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

UC Berkeley research on nano lasers for Si, III-V integrationNanolasers grown directly on a silicon surface could be a starting point for better microprocessors, biochemical sensors, and other optoelectronic products. UC Berkeley researchers grew nanopillars made of indium gallium arsenide, a III-V material, onto a silicon surface at 400°C.


3D transistor project wraps

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

Siltronic completed the SIGMADT research project, which aimed to adapt the properties of silicon wafers to the requirements of future three-dimensional transistors. To achieve higher efficiencies and lower energy consumption for future electronics densities, the transition into the third dimension for transistors is an important step, say researchers. The starting material -- the silicon wafer -- was the focus of this work.


Japan infrastructure fab status after earthquake

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Live from Japan, longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori describes the situation facing semiconductor fabs -- and why power blackouts are the real problem, not earthquake or tsunami damage.


Applied-Materials-plasma-doping-tech-builds-3D-transistors

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) introduced the Applied Centura Conforma, with conformal plasma doping (CPD) targeted for 22nm and beyond logic and memory chips. The technology replaces ion beam implantation for conformal doping of complex 3D structures.


Better-memory-chip-storage-with-ferroelectrics

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Figure. At the atomic scale, University of Michigan researchers have for the first time mapped the polarization of a cutting-edge material for memory chips. Credit: Chris Nelson and Xiaoqing PanU-M researchers, with several collaborators, developed a method to spontaneously form nanoscale spirals of electric polarization at controllable intervals in ferroelectric memory. This natural "budding" reduces the power needed to flip each bit.


High-k metal gate characterization using picosecond ultrasonic technology

Tue, 3 Mar 2011
Picosecond ultrasonic technology can be used during various stages of process development, integration, and volume manufacturing for monitoring the HKMG stack; this information can be used to characterize the process, and optimize deposition and CMP processes. J. Dai, P. Mukundhan, J. Chen, J. Tan, Rudolph Technologies, Flanders, NJ USA; D.B. Hsieh, T.C. Tsai, 1-United Microelectronics Corp., Tainan, Taiwan

Electronics-in-Japan-Earthquake-impact-from-IHS-iSuppli

Fri, 3 Mar 2011

IHS iSuppli provides Japan's semconductor, electronics, and LCD fab stats in the wake of Japan's major earthquake today. The two major DRAM fabs in Japan, operated by U.S. based-Micron and Japan’s Elpida, have not been directly affected, according to preliminary indications from IHS iSuppli contacts.


Japan earthquake impact on semiconductor community

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Japan earthquake map with wafer fabs. Source: Objective Analysis March 2011.An earthquake of magnitude 8.9 struck March 11 off the coast of Japan's main island, Honshu. Jim Handy, Objective Analysis semiconductor market research, and other analysts share insights into Japan's semiconductor fabs and the quake's impact range. The update includes information from individual semiconductor companies in the area.


Hynix pushes NAND limits

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

Fairchild Semiconductor's 200mm Mountain Top wafer fab rebounds

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Reversing its 2009 decision to close the 200mm wafer fab, Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE:FCS) will keep open its Mountain Top, PA, facility. Moutain Top makes high-voltage and automotive semiconductor products.


AKHAN Technologies reports diamond microelectronics breakthrough

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

AKHAN Technologies, advanced diamond electron device design company, is commercializing diamond microelectronics with a shallow n-type diamond material over silicon.


GSA nominees for semiconductor industry awards

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

The Global Semiconductor Association announced nominees in several categories for its annual awards. Following are the nominees for start-up to watch, most respected companies, best-managed companies, analysts' favorites, and more.


Last one standing: SK Telecom pays $3B for 21% Hynix stake

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

South Korean memory firm Hynix has finally settled on a buyer: SK Telecom, South Korea's biggest wireless telco, will buy a 21% stake for roughly $3B.


Emerging semiconductor companies: Financial analysis with GSA

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) shares financial reports on the top three emerging semiconductor industry companies of 2011, as voted by suppliers, customers, peers, and other members of the sector.


Industrial semiconductor segment grew 35% in 2010: TI holds #1 spot

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

In 2010, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) took the largest market share for industrial electronics semiconductors, according to a new IHS iSuppli Industrial Electronics Market Tracker report.


SiOnyx awarded $3M program from the DoD

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

SiOnyx, Inc. was awarded a multiphase contract from the US Department of Defense to develop next generation sensing technologies for detecting laser light in targeting systems.


Micron begins STT-MRAM dev partnership at A*STAR

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Micron and Singapore's A*STAR Data Storage Institute will collaborate on spin transfer torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) development, both investing in the R&D and collaborating on the projects, over the next 3 years.


Elpida shifting output to Taiwan, blames yen and ASPs

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Another sign of the times in Japan's semiconductor industry: a soaring yen and plunging DRAM prices are forcing Elpida Memory to offload much of its DRAM production to Taiwanese JV Rexchip.


Chip sales, capex growth slowing, says IC Insights

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Techcet's Michael A. Fury shares some bullet-point analyses from IC Insights' Fall Forecast Seminar in Sunnyvale, CA, where the firm offered its latest take on semiconductor sales, capex, and application growth for 2011 and 2012.


Sluggish recovery, equipment reuse: Takeaways from AMAT's 3Q11

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

Slowing foundry demand, lower utilizations and "an awful lot" of equipment reuse at 28nm, DRAM going nowhere, and debate about how long into 2011 it'll all last -- all these were top of mind among AMAT executives and industry watchers after the company released its fiscal 3Q11 (July quarter) results and commentary.


Imec performs selective CVD of GeSN

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

Imec highlights recent research on using CVD, and commercially available precursors, to grow GeSn in a manner that could be replicated on 200mm and 300mm wafer production environments.


Micronas buys X-FAB foundry business stake

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

Micronas (SIX Swiss Exchange: MASN) is acquiring a EUR10 million stake in the X-FAB Silicon Foundries Group, which is also supporting Micronas with 0.18um high-voltage CMOS process with embedded flash manufacturing.


NAND overtakes DRAM spending: 2011 capex predictions

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Semiconductor capital spending will expand almost 12% this year, approaching $63 billion. Some major industry changes taking place in 2011 will have long-term effects on the semiconductor industry.


IC market to top $300 billion in 2013

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

The IC industry, which had a phenomenal growth year in 2010, is in a cautious mode under greater macro-economic uncertainty and hesitancy. Some positive milestones are on the horizon, however, shows data within IC Insight's Mid-Year Update, such as the 200 billion IC shipment milestone in 2011, and the $300 billion mark expected in 2013.


NAND flash growing on smartphone, tablet integration

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

The global NAND flash device market will reach $31.05 billion in 2014, TechNavio analysts forecast. Increased NAND usage in smartphones and tablets is a major driver, but beware of the potential for device oversupply in the market.


JEDEC DDR4 standard preview

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association shared selected elements of its Double Data Rate 4 (DDR4) standard, to be published in full in 2012. Reduced power usage, better performance, and faster operation are the main aims of DDR4 for servers, laptops, desktop PCs, and consumer products.


Analyst: $10B more semi capex thanks to tablets, smartphones

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

How will heavy demand for tablets and smartphones translate into chipmaking capacity investments over the next few years? Citi's Tim Arcuri runs some numbers to come up with the answer: $10B annually.


Strong analog growth bucks semiconductor industry trend

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

Analog semiconductors will buck the trend of contraction in the overall chip industry, growing 13.8% in 2011, 8.6% in 2012, then 12.8% in 2013.


Stanford, SLAC researchers gate a topological insulator

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Stanford researchers have combined two known topological insulators to create a new one, fabricated small plates with the new topological insulator, and gated them. The result is an insulator-based transistor.


August chip sales data: Good news, bad news, and another downgrade

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

Global sales of semiconductors inched back above the $25B level in August, and analysts pick through the numbers to find a mix of good and bad news -- and reason for yet another forecast downgrade.


EUV lithography flare distortion correction

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography introduces new patterning distortions -- flare along with proximity effects -- that must be accurately modeled and corrected on the reticle. James Word and Christian Zuniga of Mentor Graphics discuss an all model-based approach to flare compensation.


Is PC softness dragging down Intel's 22nm plans?

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

With PC demand waning, reports indicate Intel is rethinking part of its 22nm investment plans, which would dent industrywide capex forecasts for 2012.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES: Ready for 20nm semiconductor designs

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

GLOBALFOUNDRIES successfully taped out a 20nm test chip using flows from Cadence Design Systems, Magma Design Automation, Mentor Graphics Corporation, and Synopsys Inc. GLOBALFOUNDRIES customers can now begin evaluating their 20nm semiconductor designs.


Touchscreens in 97% of smartphones by 2016

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Touchscreens went from showing up in 7% of smartphones in 2006 to being integrated into 75% of the devices in 2010. The next 5-year period will increase touchscreen infiltration to 97% of all smartphones by 2016.


AOS goes fab-lite with 200mm wafer fab purchase

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor will exercise an option to acquire 200mm wafer fabrication facility assets from Integrated Device Technology, taking it from fabless to fab-lite for faster time-to-market for high-value products, along with expansion into new markets.


Inside Leti: FDSOI, 3D packaging, Si photonics work

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

Laurent Malier, CEO of Leti, described the research group's work and the outlook on fully depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI), 3D packaging technologies, and integrated photonics on silicon.


Soitec's extreme SOI: Scalable below 14nm

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Post-22nm and below, the industry is going to fully depleted structures, either FinFETs or fully-depleted planar SOI (FDSOI), explains Soitec's Steve Longoria.


Developing new processes to support silicon photonics

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

In a podcast interview, Arlon Martin from Kotura discusses the changes in processes that fabs will have to make when integrating silicon photonics onto chips to support optical circuits.


Leti lithography update at SEMICON West

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Leti's Serge Tedesco, lithography program manager, provides an update on the research group's 193 optical lithography program for 22nm and below, and exploration of multi e-beam lithography techniques.


Samsung claims industry-first LPDDR3 30nm DRAM

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. developed a monolithic 4Gb low-power double-data-rate 3 (LPDDR3) memory device on 30nm-class wafer processing technology.


JEDEC releases serial NOR Flash standard

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association released JESD216: Serial Flash Discoverable Parameters (SFDP) for Serial NOR Flash. The SFDP allows serial Flash manufacturers to embed a description of device characteristics inside the Flash chip.


Intel, GlobalFoundries, IBM, TSMC, Samsung create 450mm initiative

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

New York State has entered into agreements for $4.4 billion in investments over the next 5 years from Intel, IBM, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and Samsung to create a 450mm consortium and manufacturing center there.


Fabless wireless companies add momentum to semiconductor industry

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Fabless wireless semiconductor companies are putting out new chips and breakthrough technologies, adding "growth momentum" to the semiconductor industry value chain as a whole, according to CyberMedia Research. TSMC and Amkor benefit the most from the rise of fabless companies.


More IC pessimism: Semi inventories "worrisome," says Gartner

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Adding to the growing chorus of semiconductor industry downgrades, Gartner analysts are raising another red flag: semiconductor inventories are at "worrisome" levels given market conditions and softening end-markets.


Semiconductor growth cut: Echoes of 2008 recession

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Macroeconomic factors will tug down global electronics demand in 2011, said IHS, which lowered its semiconductor revenue growth forecast for 2011. While the slowdown comes at a bad time -- pre-holiday sales season -- lessons learned in 2008 could shorten the down period significantly.


Samsung Line-16 memory fab opens

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. started up its Line-16 memory semiconductor fabrication facility, calling it the

Present at VLSI Technology and Circuits

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

The 2012 Symposia on VLSI Technology & Circuits, to be held in Hawaii, June 12-14 (Technology) and 13-15 (Circuits), will accept innovative, original work on microelectronics, ranging from gate stacks and advanced lithography to 3D packaging.


Smartphone DRAM surges with higher DRAM density and increased adoption

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

DRAM shipments for smartphones will grow 157.2% year-over-year in 2011, a surging sector of a slumping DRAM industry, shows IHS. By 2015, DRAM for smartphones will be a 13.9 billion unit business, and 16% of total DRAM shipments.


BiTMICRO spearheads Philippines microelectronics design center

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

The Philippino brothers behind BiTMICRO in Silicon Valley and its Philippine subsidiary BiTMICRO Networks International Inc. have created the Bruce Institute of Technology (BIT) microelectronics and storage system training institute for the Philippines.


Wafer demand isn't spread evenly around device types

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Demand for NAND devices will grow more than 20% in 2011, while DRAM demand will decline by more than 1%. Other trends? 45nm and smaller nodes are increasing market share, says Semico.


Inside ASML's numbers: EUV update, 2012 predictions, and 450mm disconnect

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

A deep dig inside ASML's 3Q11 results and execs' commentaries unearths insights into 4Q11 and 2012 projections, an updated EUV timeline, and some curious disconnect about the industry's 450mm readiness.


AVS Symposium 2011: A pre-show highlight reel

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

Heading to the AVS Symposium later this month (Oct. 30-Nov. 4) in Nashville, TN? We've scanned the program to pick out some of the sessions that are of interest.


STM completes 20nm chip tapeout with MENT design tools

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ:MENT) completed a 20nm test chip tapeout with STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), overcoming low-power and double-patterning challenges.


2011 IC sales 2%: Who's overachieving, who's tanking

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

While everyone's now expecting 2011 to skid into low-single-digit growth (~2% or maybe lower), that overall metric hides some impressive individual results for a number of companies and a variety of reasons, notes IC Insights.


Freescale Semiconductor CEO takes SIA lead

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) elected Freescale Semiconductor CEO Rich Beyer as its 2012 chairman. This will be the SIA's 35th year.


Semiconductor sales improve in Sept., suggest 2% growth for 2011

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Global sales of semiconductors rose again slightly in September for the second consecutive month, providing "an optimistic" close to 3Q11 -- though the industry still struggles to find some visibility heading into the all-important seasonal year-end holiday consumer purchasing cycle.


EUV Symposium: Updates on defects, resists, AIMS, and non-EUV NGL

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

Stefan Wurm, director of SEMATECH's lithography program, relayed highlights from last week's EUV Symposium (Oct. 17-19 in Miami), including results in defects (mask blanks and substrates) and an update on SEMATECH's EUV Mask Infrastructure (EMI) program.


Report: Some Japan firms see late-year chip equipment rebound

Fri, 5 May 2008
May 16, 2008 - Comments from Japanese chip equipment execs echo comments from Applied Materials earlier this week suggesting chip industry capex will be soft well into 2H08 and maybe not rebound until early 2009. Not everyone is optimistic yet, though.

AMAT alarm: Capex sliding back to "like 2003"

Thu, 5 May 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
May 14, 2008 - Industry projections of a soft 2008 aren't nearly soft enough, according to AMAT president/CEO Mike Splinter -- he projects capex could be down 35% or more this year. "There's not a good story" being told in any chipmaking sector, he told listeners in a quarterly results conference call, adding that capex levels will be similar to those from 2003.

Hynix, ProMOS deepening tech partnership, add ownership stake

Thu, 5 May 2008
May 8, 2008 - Hynix Semiconductor and ProMOS Technologies have agreed to a partnership that will allow access to the Korean chipmaker's 50nm-node DRAM stack process technology, and give Hynix access to more 300mm capacity and an 8%-10% ownership stake in the Taiwan memory firm.

Analyst: No winners in DRAM "chicken game"

Fri, 5 May 2008
May 2, 2008 - Despite throwing its market-leading weight around by hiking production as competitors retrench, even mighty Samsung couldn't turn a profit in the DRAM market during a tough 1Q08, according to data from iSuppli.

IDM economics at 32nm and beyond

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - Masaaki Kinugawa, GM of Toshiba's Oita operations, discussed the tough challenges faced by fabs developing advanced processes today in his Confab talk, including increasing complexity of process and device technologies (and proportionally rising costs) -- and an ugly truth waiting around the corner at the 32nm node.

Litho will get much tougher with double patterning, extensive computation

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - There's a tough road ahead for lithography, with double patterning and complex computation as well as requirements for more litho-friendly design, explained ASML's Martin van den Brink, EVP of marketing & technology, speaking at the Next Generation Lithography session at The ConFab.

Analysts: Good, bad news with IMFT's 34nm flash debut

Thu, 5 May 2008
May 29, 2008 - Intel and Micron's announcement that they have developed a 34nm NAND flash device could give the companies a better cost/profit profile vs. competitors, and/or help stretch an already painful oversupply situation well into the next year, according to a report from Objective Analysis. Meanwhile, Gartner notes that the two need to make some related capacity decisions soon if they want to leverage their short-lived technology lead on the competition.

ASMI: New ALD tool offers single-metal gate stack for 32nm HK+MG

Mon, 5 May 2008
May 19, 2008 - ASM International's US subsidiary, ASM America, says it has a new atomic layer deposition (ALD) process targeting 32nm-node chip manufacturing with lanthanum oxide (LaOx) and aluminum oxide (AlOx) high-k cap layers that enable high-k metal gate stacks using a single metal, instead of two different metals required previously for CMOS.

Analysts: DRAM, NAND outlook stable; look for B2S build as next beacon

Thu, 5 May 2008
May 29, 2008 - Fundamentals in the memory industry are stable and "incrementally improving," with DRAM prices rising again and NAND flash demand seen improving in general, according to analyst firm FBR Research. The next big market indicator is rapidly approaching, in the late-June timeframe with an update of devicemakers' back-to-school build rate schedules.

Report: Japan chipmakers slashing capex by 22%

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 27, 2008 - Japan's top seven chip companies -- Toshiba, Elpida, Sony, Renesas, NEC Electronics, Matsushita, and Fujitsu Microelectronics -- plan to cut their combined capex by 21.8% in fiscal 2008 to ¥806.7B (US $7.81B), mainly due to a shift away from the weak memory market, notes the Nikkei Business Daily.

SIA: Chip sales creep up despite memory, outlook still optimistic

Thu, 5 May 2008
May 1, 2008 - The global semiconductor market is building strength, according to latest industry sales figures, but the SIA admits it's hard to tell because of the weak memory sector.

ALD comes to single-metal high-k gate stacks

Fri, 5 May 2008
by Katherine Derbyshire, contributing editor, Solid State Technology
May 23, 2008 - Controlling the interface between the metal gate and the hafnium-based dielectric has been one of the most difficult issues for high-k integration schemes. ASM now says it has ALD processes for both LaOx and AlOx, and that its Polygon platform and Pulsar process modules offer a reliable platform for sequential deposition of dielectric and cap layers in a gate-first process.

Edge: the final cleaning frontier

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
May 7, 2008 - Applied Materials product manager Paul Miller tells WaferNEWS about the inner workings of the company's new Inflexion edge polishing system that uses mechanical abrasion for removing defects on the wafer edge, touting 2× faster throughput than "competing" tools and an inherently "green" process.

3D for microprocessors now...TSV later

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - While manufacturing of 3D ICs is today limited mostly to memory chip stacks and cell-phone camera modules, the next huge application seems to be the embedded memory in microprocessors. Subramanian Iyer, distinguished engineer and chief technologist of IBM's systems and technology group, explained the economic considerations behind 3D microprocessors at the ConFab in Las Vegas.

New tool takes on flicker noise

Mon, 5 May 2008
by Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief, Solid State Technology
May 19, 2008 - Cascade Microtech says its new Edge test system measures flicker noise in ICs, seen as a barrier to lowering device operating voltages as geometries shrink. The company also is launching an initiative to integrate measurements systems to provide users with measurement accuracy assurance.

SIA: April chip sales flat

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
June 2, 2008 - Worldwide semiconductor sales were about flat in April vs. March levels, at $21.2B (+0.4%), and up 5.9% from a year ago, results that "are in line with historical industry patterns," noted the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), in a statement.

SIA: Chip sales bounce in May

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
June 30, 2008 - Worldwide semiconductor sales rose a few percentage points in May -- a historically strong month, as the build-up to prepare for back-to-school and holiday seasons begin -- to $21.83B, up 2.8% from April and 7.5% from May 2007.

AMAT + ASMI: What's in it for both sides?

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
June 8, 2008 - Applied Materials has made a verbal unsolicited $400M-$500M offer to buy ASMI's atomic layer deposition (ALD) and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) businesses. Gartner research VP Dean Freeman helps WaferNEWS brainstorm the most likely reasons behind AMAT's offer (and some unlikely-yet-interesting-but-good-luck-proving-it possibilities), and what it means for ASMI.

Toshiba, IBM tip CMOS FET with improved direct silicon bonding

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
Toshiba and IBM say they have developed a higher-performance CMOS FET by increasing device-channel hole mobility through a modification of direct silicon bonding (DSB), a hybrid of (100) and (110) substrates, rather than new materials such as high-k and metal gates and new structures.

Freescale carves out MRAM biz

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
June 9, 2008 - Freescale Semiconductor is spinning off its MRAM unit as a VC-backed independent company to expand its technology portfolio and accelerate its adoption in new applications

Report: Hynix slashing 2008 capex, 300mm plans unaffected

Thu, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 27, 2008 - The latest casualty in the memory sector slump appears to be Hynix, which is about to shave more than a quarter off its planned 2008 investments in 2008, with late-year investments now cast in doubt, according to local reports.

Taiwan's Kyec Yuan spinning off memory biz

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 25, 2008 - Chip test firm King Yuan Electronics Co. (KYEC) is spinning off its memory testing business as an individual company in order to narrow the parent company's focus on logic chip testing operations, according to local reports.

Hynix, Fidelix foundry pact aims to boost 200mm productivity

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 25, 2008 - Hynix Semiconductor and Korean fabless firm Fidelix have signed a deal centering on the firm's mobile DRAM and PSRAM, and Hynix will take a 10% stake in the company, in a deal that helps Hynix diversify its portfolio and better utilize its 200mm facilities, according to reports.

iSuppli lowers 2007 chip tally on memory weakness

Thu, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 20, 2008 - An unexpectedly soft memory market in 4Q07 has caused analyst firm iSuppli to trim about $2B off its totals for the full year, pushing overall annual growth down to 3.3% vs. a preliminary forecast of 4.1% in November.

Spansion: $50M/Q savings thanks to manufacturing gains

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 19, 2008 - Spansion says it has achieved manufacturing efficiencies in its plants in the US and Japan to the extent that it expects to reduce outsourced work by ~$50M/quarter in 1H08 vs. 2H07.

Toshiba lowers 2008 outlook on NAND weakness, HD exit

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 19, 2008 - Toshiba has slashed its FY08 profits forecast by 30% (to ¥125B/US $1.28B), citing the exit of its HD DVD business -- but also surprising weakness in NAND flash pricing.

Winbond finalizes logic spinoff plans

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 18, 2008 - Taiwan's Winbond Electronics Corp. says it has finalized the spinoff of its logic IC business, to be a wholly owned subsidiary called Nuvoton Corp., finalizing efforts announced last fall to refocus on the company's main memory biz.

Reports: Elpida, Hejian mulling Chinese 300mm fab

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 18, 2008 - Regional news reports suggest that Japan's Elpida Memory is working with China's Hejian Technology to build a $2B 300mm/30,000WPM capacity DRAM fab, with half of the funds to be raised by the Suzhou government, much like a similar fab proposal earlier this year with SMIC.

ISSCC news: Intel, Numonyx disclose "breakthrough" MLC phase-change memory

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Intel CTO Justin Rattner gives WaferNEWS some insights into the development process of its "breakthrough" 256Mb phase-change memory multilevel cell device, to be revealed at this week's ISSCC. While replacing DRAM is a long ways away, "the most ardent advocates for phase-change see that potential," he said.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Toshiba expands MCMs

Mon, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 25, 2008 - Toshiba America Electronic Components says it has expanded its family of power multi-chip modules (MCM) with a synchronous step-down converter switching module, targeting applications such as mobile computers, servers, and network equipment.

ISSCC: IMEC's power-efficient converters, full-CMOS 60GHz antennae, EEG chip

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 6, 2008 - At this week's International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), European R&D consortia IMEC is pushing several new converter technologies built in 90nm digital CMOS, and encouraging more participants in continuing the work. It's also showing a full-CMOS 60GHz antenna array, and a chip for small EEG machines.

Report: Toshiba/SanDisk commit to 5th NAND fab

Thu, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 7, 2008 - Toshiba and partner SanDisk reportedly have settled on a location in which to build their fifth NAND flash fab, sharing the ¥700B (US ~$6.58B) investment in the new facility, according to a report by the Asahi Shimbun. Mass production is slated for fiscal 2009.

SanDisk: We'll ship 43nm NAND in 2Q08

Thu, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 7, 2008 - SanDisk says it will start shipping 16Gb multilevel NAND flash memory products built with 43nm process technologies during 2Q08, with 32Gb versions slated for later in the year. Manufacturing of the newer process node is underway at Toshiba's Yokkaichi operations near Nagoya, Japan, produced initially at Fab 4, followed by Fab 3 sometime in 2H08.

FormFactor cutting workforce by 14%, sees tough 1H08

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 6. 2008 - Test/probe-card firm FormFactor says it will trim its workforce by 14% (mostly manufacturing workers at its HQ in Livermore, CA, according to local reports), taking a charge of $4-$5M mostly in 1Q08 as it tries to fight through a soft market.

Report: Hynix boosting China chip output

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 5, 2008 - Hynix Semiconductor plans to invest 1.5-2.0T won (US ~$1.6B) to hike production in its 300mm DRAM plant in Wuxi, China (C2 line) by about 20% to 120,000 wafers/month, increasing its product mix coming from China to 55%-60% DRAM, according to a report in the Korea Times.

Gartner quickly lowers 2008 capex outlook

Mon, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 4, 2008 - Having tallied the top semiconductor manufacturers' final reporting and projections for 2008, Gartner has come to a sobering conclusion: its initial forecast of an upcoming spending slowdown, cast just six weeks ago, wasn't nearly slow enough.

Elpida CEO: Shifting gaze to 50nm, prep for DRAM shakeout shortfall

Sat, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 2, 2008 - Elpida Memory is significantly slowing its production of 65nm products and shifting its gaze to 50nm work ahead of schedule, anticipating tighter DRAM supplies as some firms get squeezed out of the market, according to an interview with the Nikkei Business Daily.

SIA: Chip sales dip in Dec., 2.5% growth for FY07 growth

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 1, 2008 - Global sales of semiconductors took their typical seasonal dip in December following their prior-months ramp-up for the holiday season, and for the full year chip sales managed to squeak out 2.5% growth, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

SMIC: Capex flat in 08, new 200mm-300mm lines in Shenzhen

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 1, 2008 - Within discussions about its 4Q07 results and 2008 outlook, SMIC indicated it will set up a new independent unit in Shenzhen to run new 200mm-300mm lines, the latter utilizing 45nm process technology recently licensed from IBM, and both drawing on significant support from the municipal government.

Wall Street wary of equipment stocks, but there are some bright spots

Tue, 1 Jan 2008
An insightful analysis of what chipmakers need to do to thrive in a period of "profitless prosperity" by Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Lam Research, set the stage for a spirited Wall Street panel at the Industry Strategy Symposium at Half Moon Bay, CA (Jan. 16).

Novel device concepts explored at IEDM

Mon, 1 Jan 2008
While several papers at the recent International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) explored high-k/metal gate dielectric concepts to cut leakage currents, there was also some discussion of performance enhancement by using metal for the source and drain. Also, IBM showed a novel implant technique enabling very low leakage SOI CMOS for 65nm and below, and UC-Berkeley researchers have a new concept for optoelectronic tweezers that can trap and move objects down to the nanoscale.

Toshiba, SanDisk ramping 43nm NAND flash with HK+MG, 3b/cell

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Toshiba and SanDisk aim to increase their share of the NAND flash market by bringing down costs, as they accelerate the ramp of their new Yokkaichi Fab 4 next year, introducing 43nm geometries, high-k/metal gates, second generation 1.3NA immersion lithography, and 3 bits per cell. Executives from both companies detailed their current production plans and future roadmap for flash memory technology to SST partner Nikkei Microdevices.

How TI plans to go from 'fab lite' to 'fab-lite-r', while boosting analog

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
Feb. 26, 2008 - Texas Instruments' external development/manufacturing VP Thomas Thorpe gave an enlightening address about the ongoing benefits derived from the company's 'fab-lite' strategy at the recent Strategic Materials Conference in Half Moon Bay, CA. No more advanced CMOS wafers and 32nm work is going on inside TI's own fabs -- but he left door open that they might return in the future.

Analysts name DRAM winners, losers in a "disastrous" 2007

Mon, 2 Feb 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
Feb. 4, 2008 - In war, most battles end with winners and losers, though in some cases the difference might be relative. So it was with the DRAM market during and at the end of 2007, according to data from iSuppli and Gartner. And unless the DRAM makers get their act together, a decade from now they could be faced with collective $100B investment requirements just to maintain growth trends.

Molecular Imprints announces 4WPH step-and-flash imprint tool

Mon, 2 Feb 2008
by M. David Levenson, Editor-in-Chief, Microlithography World
Feb. 25, 2008 - Molecular Imprints CEO Mark Melliar-Smith tells WaferNEWS why its Imprio 300 imprint lithography tool is the "only game in town" for semiconductor prototyping and process development in the <30nm realm, capable of printing 32nm, 28nm and 22nm features at 4WPH with 35nm overlay.

Elpida, UMC pair up for foundry services

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 18, 2008 - Elpida Memory and Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) are expanding their partnership to target Japanese foundry customers, combining Elpida's 300mm fab capacity with UMC's IP and logic technologies. The deal gives UMC inroads into Japanese foundry customers, while Elpida gets to utilize excess DRAM production capacity.

Analyst: 2Q holds key to 2008 chip industry growth

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 10, 2008 - The current sluggish growth and mounting economic worries are calling into question whether the semiconductor industry can regain momentum and manage any growth this year, and the second quarter -- traditionally a period of accelerating growth -- will be the key, according to a recent report by iSuppli.

Micron reforms imaging biz as Aptina

Fri, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 6, 2008 - Micron Technology has separated its CMOS image sensor business into an independent division, Aptina Imaging, to better focus on delivering the technology to customers while Micron focuses its efforts on the memory sector.

Gartner: NAND woes already denting 2008 outlook

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 4, 2008 - Visibility isn't improving much in the semiconductor industry, but Gartner Dataquest already doesn't like what it sees, particularly in the memory sector -- this time it's NAND flash -- so the analyst firm is chopping its outlook for 2008 growth nearly in half to 3.4%.

Intel: NAND slump cutting into margins

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar, 4, 2008 - Intel has lowered its outlook for 1Q08 gross margins to 53%-55% from ~56% (vs. 58% in 4Q07), citing lower than expected pricing for NAND flash memory chips. All other expectations for the quarter remain unchanged.

ATMI, Ovonyx to develop CVD precursors for phase-change memory

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 25, 2008 - ATMI and Ovonyx say they have agreed to develop chemical vapor deposition (CVD) precursor materials and processes for use in high-volume manufacturing of phase change memory ("PCM") products based on Ovonyx's PCM technology.

Report: SMIC eyeing solar inroads

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 19, 2008 - Chinese flagship foundry SMIC is spreading the focus of its wafer fabs across different parts of China, with those in the northeast and northwest to be allocated for solar business, according to comments by CEO Richard Chang, reported by Digitimes.

IBM tips nanophotonic switch for on-chip optical network

Mon, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 17, 2008 - IBM says it has developed a silicon broadband optical switch, a key component to enable on-chip optical interconnects. The device helps "direct traffic" of electrical signals, converted into light pulses so optical messages can efficiently get form one processor core to another -- enabling up to 100x more information to be sent between cores, using 10x less power.

JSR touts "freezing material" for double patterning

Thu, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 13, 2008 - JSR says it has achieved 32nm line and space patterns for 22nm node semiconductor devices with a new "freezing material" used in double patterning. Results were presented at last month's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

Reports: Hynix eyeing ProMOS tech transfer, Samsung steamed

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 10, 2008 - Hynix Semiconductor reportedly is in negotiations to send 54nm DRAM process technology to Taiwan's ProMOS, a year after a similar deal for 66nm process technology raised eyebrows.

TSMC, SanDisk working on 45nm NAND

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 10, 2008 - SanDisk and TSMC have verified SanDisk's 80nm OTP NAND chip at TSMC, and the two firms are now progressing to 45nm chip development -- work that is raising industry eyebrows since Spansion is also a top TSMC client with its competitive ORNAND chips, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

IBM, Hitachi ink 32nm dev pact

Mon, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 10, 2008 - IBM and Hitachi say they have signed a two-year deal to research 32nm and beyond semiconductor technologies, particularly methods for analyzing devices and structures to improve characterization and measurement of transistor variation.

Report: Hynix CEO sees closing technology gap w/ Samsung

Fri, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 28, 2008 - Hynix plans to produce 54nm-based DRAM chips this year on schedule, saying this will "reduce the technology gap with Samsung," according to the company's CEO, quoted by the Korea Times. Hynix is currently expected to start 54nm-based DRAM production in 3Q08, vs. Samsung's 56nm possibly starting in 2Q08.

SPIE report: ...and EUVL, eventually

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
by M. David Levenson, Editor-in-Chief, Microlithography World
Progress continued in EUV lithography, but at a rate well below that needed for insertion at 32nm. AMD described the patterning of an entire metal-1 layer for a full exposure field chip and the integration of EUVL into the process flow. Sources remain an issue, though some think solid state lasers could help improve efficiency. Others are thinking ahead to 22nm. (Second in a four-part series)

SPIE report: Nonstarters, and dark options

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
by M. David Levenson, Editor-in-Chief, Microlithography World
Intel chose this SPIE conference to present five papers on pixelated masks, an apparently abandoned program on pixelated masks that had pre-occupied litho engineers for several years. Elsewhere, prospects for high-index immersion technology seem to be dimming, and progress remains sluggish on a promising medium-throughput e-beam direct write for imprint litho. (Third in a four-part series)

U. Albany's Denbeaux: EUV works, though far from what's needed

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
An insightful update on three key semiconductor technologies -- SOI, TSV/3D, and SOI -- sparked a lively Q&A following a SEMI-sponsored breakfast near Boston (Mar. 5). Here, Gregory Denbeaux, assistant professor of nanotechnology at the U. of Albany, gave an overview of progress needed in EUV to make it suitable for high volume manufacturing.

SEMATECH's Arkalgud: A 3D/TSV route to higher IC densities

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
An insightful update on three key semiconductor technologies -- SOI, TSV/3D, and SOI -- sparked a lively Q&A following a SEMI-sponsored breakfast near Boston (Mar. 5). Here, Sitaram Arkalgud, head of SEMATECH's 3D interconnect program in Albany, discusses the expected evolution of through-silicon vias (TSVs) and 3D chip stacks for future electronics.

IBM's Starkey: The case for SOI won't diminish w/ shrink

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
An insightful update on three key semiconductor technologies -- SOI, TSV/3D, and SOI -- sparked a lively Q&A following a SEMI-sponsored breakfast near Boston (Mar. 5), held at an MKS Instruments facility. Here, Gordon Starkey, a senior engineer in technical operations for IBM, explained how silicon-on-insulator (SOI) has made a transition from a niche to mainstream technology.

SPIE REPORT: Optics, EUV competing for the 22nm node

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
by Griff Resor, Resor Associates
Mar. 4, 2008 - With 38nm half-pitch seemingly the limit for single image 193nm immersion lithography, how the industry will reach the 32nm and 22nm nodes was the focus of last week's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference. Optics with double patterning, EUV, and e-beam direct write -- which will it be for 22nm? After a decade as a doubting Thomas, here's why I think the biggest IC companies will use EUV for the most difficult layers at the 22nm node.

Will MEMS + nanoprobes succeed flash memory scaling?

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
by Debra Vogler, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
Feb. 5, 2008 - With flash process technology scaling approaching its limits, along comes Nanochip, a developer of MEMS silicon data storage chips, with a technology that does not use lithography in its manufacture. Company execs tell WaferNEWS about their planned >100GB/chipset products, which could start prototyping this year and be ready for manufacturing by 2010.

ISSCC news: Fujitsu tips 77GHz CMOS PA

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 4, 2008 - At this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Fujitsu Labs says it will show a power amplifier (PA) built with 90nm process technologies that operates at 77Ghz, realizing CMOS RF frontend circuitry with a power amplifier that integrates with baseband circuitry on a chip, for use in millimeter-wave automotive radar systems.

Panasonic/Matsushita, Samsung drop DRAM patent swords

Sun, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 2, 2008 - Panasonic/Matsushita Electric Industrial and Samsung Electronics have settled patent infringement lawsuits in the US and Japan, and signed 10-year cross-licensing agreements to use the DRAM and other semiconductor technologies.

Intel-Micron JV debuts high-speed NAND chip

Sat, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 2, 2008 - Intel and Micron say they have jointly developed (through their "IM Flash" JV) a NAND flash chip that reads/writes data 5x faster than conventional NAND flash chips. Samples are now at OEMs and controller manufacturers, with mass production slated for 2H08.

Tracking the future of TSV

Thu, 2 Feb 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
A new report from TechSearch International forecasts millions of silicon wafers will be made with through-silicon vias (TSV) in the year 2014. With TSV technology now moving past the feasibility (R&D) phase and into the commercialization phase, the question isn't whether this 3D interconnect will be adopted, but how soon it will balance cost/performance vs. existing technologies to break into real mainstream use.

Ed's Threads: On IITC process units and integration

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
There's a strategic shift coming in how the IC industry develops basic manufacturing processes. With increasing manufacturing complexity at the 45nm node occurring at the same time as chip commoditization, the industry now has multiple integration targets to drive the development of new unit processes. Novellus' EVP Tom Caulfield weighs in on this trend.

Zarlink: Take our analog fab, please!

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 29, 2008 - In what is essentially the last in a divestiture of its semiconductor foundry operations, Zarlink Semiconductor has sold its analog foundry in Swindon, UK to a subsidiary of domestic electronics component supplier MHS Electronics -- with a grand pricetag of €1 (~$1.51).

Toshiba, Sony finalize chip JV details

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 20, 2008 - Sony and Toshiba are disclosing more details about their semiconductor JV, including PlayStation chips, following preliminary agreements last fall.

Toshiba, SanDisk confirm next 300mm NAND fab

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 19, 2008 - Toshiba and SanDisk have signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to form a new production JV and a new 300mm wafer fab for NAND flash memory, with a definitive agreement expected later this year. Separately, Toshiba indicated it will build another chip plant in Japan to boost in-house semiconductor capacity.

Report: Hynix eyeing spot market again

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 15, 2008 - After a two-quarter blackout, Hynix Semiconductor is preparing to resume selling DRAM chips on the sport market, likely starting in 2Q08, according to the Korea Times.

Chartered buys Hitachi 200mm fab, gains Renesas' biz

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 15, 2008 - Facing limits in its ability to expand internal capacity, Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing has bought 100% ownership of Hitachi's Singapore unit, Hitachi Semiconductor Singapore Pte Ltd (HNS), including a local 200mm fab near its existing campus, for ~$233M in cash.

Analysts parse industry strengths, challenges, opportunities at SEMI breakfast

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
June 9, 2008 - A trio of semiconductor industry analysts presented their newest industry/macroeconomic analysis at a SEMI breakfast panel near Boston (June 4), generally agreeing that the IC industry isn't doing as badly as had been feared. Other topics addressed included capex trends and a coming "memory meltdown," concerns about long-term fab-lite models, IC makers vs. systems OEMs, and advice to suppliers about 450mm.

Intel eyes scalable FBC technology for 15nm and beyond

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
One of the papers being presented by Intel at this week's VLSI Symposium describes fabrication of the smallest reported floating body cell planar devices, seen as a potential replacement for standard transistor cache memory. Functional devices have been made measuring down to 30nm gate lengths, with a possible introduction at the 16nm node.

Toshiba: Modeling technique boosts 45nm gate density

Fri, 6 Jun 2008
June 19, 2008 - Toshiba says it has developed a new compact model for circuit design that improves gate density for 45nm CMOS technology by 2.6× that of 65nm process technology, better than the 2.0× expected with a node migration.

Fujitsu tips low-power 32nm CMOS, power gating for system LSIs

Wed, 6 Jun 2008
June 18, 2008 - At this week's VLSI Symposium in Hawaii, Fujitsu Labs and Fujitsu Microelectronics have tipped details on their development of lower-power CMOS technology logic LSIs that are "on par" with other 32nm metal gate technologies. They also say they have developed a circuit with <1μsec on/off switching to extend "off" times and reduce leakage current.

IMEC tips streamlined HK+MG steps, touts 32nm high-k, Ta gate improvements

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
June 17, 2008 - At this week's VLSI Symposium (July 17-20, Hawaii), IMEC says its researchers say they have improved performance in planar CMOS using hafnium-based high-k dielectrics and tantalum-based metal gates for the 32nm node, reduced inverter delay by 33% (15ps to 10ps) and simplified the HK+MG process from 15 steps to nine.

Process integration drives the IC industry

Fri, 6 Jun 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
The next 10 years will witness more changes in mainstream IC manufacturing technology than in the last 40 years combined. With rapidly escalating costs projected for ≤32nm-node digital CMOS manufacturing, IC companies are turning to analog, packaging, and heterogeneous integration to add greater value for lower cost and risk. In short: unique process integration challenges at each fab will drive everything.

IITC shows the way to 3D

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
by Ed Korczynski, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
The 11th International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) is now underway in Burlingame, CA, presenting the leading-edge of on-chip interconnect technology developments with details on new materials, processes, and structures. 3D interconnects and through-silicon vias are being discussed in serious detail, while work continues on air-gap dielectrics and carbon nanotubes along with new copper barrier materials.

Seagate, Fujitsu discuss SSD strategies

Wed, 10 Oct 2008
Seagate Technology and Fujitsu have been biding their time the last few years with respect to solid-state storage devices (SSD). SST spoke with experts of both companies about results from their evaluation of potential market opportunities.

Analysis: Toshiba repositioning with SanDisk buyout

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
Toshiba's purchase of extra capacity from flash memory JV partner SanDisk is likely a move to protect its investment given M&A overtures by market-leading Samsung, though the rumored price for the deal is a bit tough to swallow in current economic times, according to analysts.

Handicapping the Micron-Qimonda-Nanya shuffle

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
Qimonda's selling its stake in its memory JV with Nanya to Micron, who are already in their own JV (for now) using a different DRAM technology. It's a shakeout for all three parties, in aspect of finance, manufacturing, technology, and strategy. Here's a quick rundown of who gains what.

KLA-Tencor gets the noise out with latest plasma monitor

Wed, 10 Oct 2008
KLA-Tencor's Rangesh Raghavan discussed the architecture and capabilities of the company's new PlasmaVolt X2 system, which measures plasma chamber conditions in semiconductor wafer processing systems, including above-the-wafer effects.

Reality, FUD and vision

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
We're in the fifth year of a major inflection point in the semiconductor market, and the most exciting and challenging time in the industry's history -- but there's still a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) that's drowning out all the vision. EDA guru Gary Smith offers several doses of reality, and lists what you'll need to do if you want to be a winner in this new challenging world.

Analyst: NAND flash meltdown spills into 2009

Fri, 10 Oct 2008
The high-flying NAND flash memory market came crashing back down to earth in 2008, and it looks like it won't pick itself up until after 2009 -- and in this scenario, consumer are the only winners, according to new analysis from iSuppli.

Holiday spending outlook's a mixed bag

Fri, 10 Oct 2008
With a global financial meltdown in full swing, and oil prices whipsawing to historic highs and back down again, will consumers be in a buying mood? Jim Handy of Objective Analysis shares his views on what to expect with the holiday market for electronics goods.

iSuppli issues chip forecast downgrade, warning

Fri, 10 Oct 2008
The ugly economic condition still unfolding daily and globally is behind yet another chip industry downgrade, this time by iSuppli Corp. The firm now sees a 3.5% increase in chip sales this year to $280.1B, slightly below the 4% growth it predicted just two months ago.

Analyst: US credit crisis is more bad news for DRAM suppliers

Fri, 10 Oct 2008
Already banged up by a punishing downturn that has evaporated sales and profits (and capacity spending), DRAM suppliers must now deal with another problem: the US financial crisis will likely make it a lot tougher for them to handle debt and obtain new funds for capital spending, notes a new report from iSuppli.

Litho crossover at Diskcon

Wed, 9 Sep 2008
A full-day symposium at this year's Diskcon USA explored the lithography implications of sub-ITRS roadmap feature sizes on disk drives, with the challenge that HDD lithography must cost 10× less than NAND flash lithography, the lowest-cost semiconductor process.

Sarnoff wields SOI in bid for back-illuminated image sensors

Fri, 8 Aug 2008
Sarnoff exec David Cheskis describes the company's backside thinning technology that enables the use of SOI substrates, and why SOI is a more cost-effective and better performance alternative than bulk silicon for back-illuminated image sensors.

Litho breakfast offers no surprises for 32nm

Fri, 7 Jul 2008
The content of Sokudo's annual lithography breakfast at SEMICON West on Wednesday was very similar to what one could have heard at SPIE back in February, but it was helpful to hear it again, focused on the 32nm node. There were no surprises, which was good news; a central theme was a review of double patterning methods, including Applied's spacer method.

Extending/complementing optical litho using S-FIL for memory applications

Fri, 7 Jul 2008
New technologies are needed to keep the semiconductor industry on track with Moore's Law. Step and Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FIL) has gained traction in recent years among several leading memory manufacturers.

Aquest's Parikh: "Incremental" solutions the way to get fab productivity, savings

Wed, 7 Jul 2008
Mihir Parikh, president/CEO of Aquest Systems, talked with SST about why many fabs are taking a closer look at the systems they have in place and making incremental changes to improve them, rather than diving into new facility upgrades.

SIA lowers chip growth forecast, but industry resilient against macro challenges

Wed, 6 Jun 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
June 11, 2008 - In its midyear forecast update/Webcast, the SIA has lowered its growth expectations for worldwide semiconductor sales to 4.3% (almost half the 7.7% it said six months ago), but SIA president George Scalise said the industry is actually doing quite well outside of the memory segment and is still showing immunity to broader US macroeconomic concerns.

ASML's new platform pushes ArF to the limit

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
A litho-etch, litho-etch (LELE) approach is one of several double patterning schemes concocted to help span the gap between current single-exposure 193nm immersion litho and EUV. But LELE places extreme demands on both the productivity and the performance of the lithography tool. ASML's new Twinscan NXT platform strives to address these challenges, as described at ASML's recent Eindhoven (Netherlands) press event.

IMEC research energetically stacks up

Mon, 10 Oct 2008
Advanced Packaging's Gail Flower reports from presentations at IMEC's recent annual research review, centering on two areas of predicted high growth: 3D stacked ICs including through-silicon vias (TSV), and crystalline Si and organic solar cells.

Advent Solar brings semi tech to PV

Thu, 10 Oct 2008
Advent Solar execs, on hand at this week's Solar Power International event in San Diego, discuss the upcoming (1Q09) launch of their first product targeting PV that utilizes advanced semiconductor technology, including epi-filled TSVs and the equivalent of wafer-level packaging, and reduces efficiency loss as well as lowers cell processing and interconnect costs.

Analyst: SOI market slowed in '07, ~10% by 2012

Wed, 7 Jul 2008
After several years of 40%-50% growth, the market for silicon-on-insulator (SOI) watched sales sink to nearly flat growth in 2007, and despite a projected spike over the next two years annual growth will barely be 10% by 2012, according to data from VLSI Research.

Elpida to fab NOR flash for Intel-ST JV Numonyx

Sat, 7 Jul 2008
Numonyx BV, the flash memory joint venture between Intel and STMicroelectronics, have agreed to a foundry deal for Elpida to make its NOR flash memory starting in mid-2009 using 300mm/65nm-45nm process technologies.

Memory roundup: DRAM prices up, NAND down, no "Apple effect"

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
July 1, 2008 - A quick scan of news and analyst reports this week indicates DRAM pricing is firming up, but NAND flash is falling fast due to sluggish demand, which for the first time in a while is lacking a familiar driver.

Analyst: DRAM oversupplies tipping into 2009

Tue, 8 Aug 2008
Despite a mild recovery in 2Q08, global DRAM makers are once again building inventories and pulling the rug out from prices, and the buildup will likely push out a full market recovery until the end of next year, according to a new warning by iSuppli.

Analyst: Foundry biz slowing in 2H08

Mon, 8 Aug 2008
A look at the top four global foundries' latest financials and outlooks suggests the market outlook for foundries heading into 2H08 and early 2009 is starting to weaken due to uncertainties and fluctuation concerning demand.

SIA: Chip sales still chugging (slowly) in June

Mon, 8 Aug 2008
Memory concerns aside, there's still reason to be happy with growth in the semiconductor industry, mainly thanks to emerging markets' hunger for PCs and mobile phones, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Intel's take on the HDD vs. SSD debate

Fri, 8 Aug 2008
The relative merits of solid-state drives (SSD) vs. hard-disk drives (HDD) have been discussed for some time -- and now Intel is joining the debate, outlining plans for the SATA SSD product family at its annual Developer Forum (8/19-8/21). Troy Winslow, marketing manager of the NAND products groups at Intel, told SST what SSDs offer in terms of enhanced mobility and energy cost savings.

AMAT: 3Q was "trough," but 2009 recovery still tenuous

Tue, 8 Aug 2008
Applied Materials' fiscal 3Q08 results were generally in line with expectations, with sales and profits dropping sharply during what CEO Mike Splinter called the "trough" of the industry's current downcycle. Here's a quick bullet-point summary of highlights from the company's quarterly conference call.

TSMC approves capex, buyback plans

Mon, 8 Aug 2008
Taiwan foundry TSMC says its board of directors has approved new capex expenditures for 200mm and 300mm capacity, and a new stock buyback program.

Elpida eyes $5B DRAM JV in China

Thu, 8 Aug 2008
Japan's Elpida Memory is moving ahead with a 300mm DRAM joint venture in China with a local venture capital group, a move that one analyst and Japanese paper seem to admire.

Spansion broadening outsourcing plans, narrowing focus on MirrorBit flash memory

Fri, 6 Jun 2008
June 19, 2008 - Spansion says it is extending its plan to hand off manufacturing and technology work to external partners in order to focus its capital investments on accelerating development of leading-edge MirrorBit flash memory technology, other "value-added, high-margin solutions," and its newest SP1 300mm flash memory fab in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan.

Toshiba/SanDisk JV scaling back 200mm work

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
June 16, 2008 - Toshiba and SanDisk say they are ramping down flash memory output on 200mm wafers to about 60% of current capacity, a move that includes ending production at their NAND JV FlashVision Ltd.

Elpida, Qimonda finalize DRAM JV

Wed, 6 Jun 2008
June 11, 2008 - Elpida Memory and Qimonda AG have put the finishing touches on their proposed DRAM JV (first disclosed in April) to develop memory chips with '4F2' cell sizes utilizing 40nm process technologies (ready by 2010) and later moving to 30nm, utilizing Qimonda's buried wordline technology and Elpida's stack capacitor technology.

NVLS mid-Q: "Modestly low," not much change

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
June 2, 2008 - Novellus Systems execs last week laid out their midquarter business views in an analyst presentation, saying business hasn't really changed much in the past two months, still "weak" but not as bad as historically worst-case. In general, signs still point to a rebound in foundry and memory investments later this year or 2009.

VLSI Symposium: Panelists, interviews about the need (or not) for SOI

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
SST sat down with technical execs from Intel, IBM, and IMEC at this year's VLSI Symposium to go over their various papers presented, much of which involved work on 32nm and SOI (or why they used bulk CMOS instead). Plus, a lively panel discussion offered historical perspective (10 years on) and future plans for SOI.

Report from the VLSI Symposium: Planar CMOS to 22nm, but no more

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
Overall agreement at this year's VLSI Symposium (June 16-19, Waikiki, Hawaii) was that planar CMOS is extendable to 22nm node but unlikely beyond that. By the 16nm node SRAMs will need FinFETs or a trigate-like design, which can be fabricated in bulk wafers rather than SOI wafers, as first reported by Toshiba in 2006 and now many others.

Seeking process windows for 32nm USJs using MSA

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
Susan Felch, principal member of Spansion's frontend development staff, summarized recent work regarding ultrashallow junctions at the West Coast Junction Technology Group meeting held in conjunction with SEMICON West (July 17) in San Francisco.

Novellus execs lay out case for industry, market growth opportunities

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
Beneath the industry's current schizophrenia -- slump in mainstream IC, growth in PV solar -- there are opportunities to compete and succeed with specific technologies and products tuned to the unique needs of both logic and memory customers, explained Novellus execs in a packed-theater presentation.

Charge signature flags non-visual defects

Thu, 7 Jul 2008
Fabs have historically relied upon optical inspection as a robust, reliable, well-understood technique to find all kinds of defects, but shrinking feature sizes and more demanding surface cleanliness requirements are exposing its limits. Enter Qcept Technologies, which says its technique can identify defects by measuring changes in work function.

Analyst: "Worst is over" for DRAM, but softness lingers

Sat, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 25, 2008 - Industry analysis firm iSuppli is upgrading its rating of near-term DRAM market conditions to "neutral," up from a "negative" assessment back in November, saying future conditions look to be positive and indications suggest "the worst is over for DRAM suppliers" -- but the road back to market balance and profitability will still be bumpy in the near term.

Report: Elpida seeking stake in ProMOS

Fri, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 25, 2008 - Japan's Elpida Memory plans to buy an ownership stake in 2nd-tier firm ProMOS Technologies through a private placement, even as it explores a DRAM JV with Qimonda and an existing far-reaching JV with regional rival Powerchip Semiconductor, according to local reports.

Qimonda, Elpida agree to DRAM JV

Fri, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 25, 2008 - Germany's Qimonda AG and Japan's Elpida Memory have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop DRAM chips, targeting 40nm processes by 2010 and subsequently scaling to 30nm.

Report: Macronix eyes NOR battle vs. Spansion, Numonyx

Wed, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 23, 2008 - Taiwan's Macronix plans to push into NOR flash for handsets within the next three years, placing it in direct competition with Spansion and Numonyx, according to a local report.

Analyst's "contrarian" view: ASML set to outperform

Wed, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 23, 2008 - A pending memory recovery later this year and more migrations to smaller technology nodes will spur another round of immersion tool orders for ASML, according to an analysis from FBR Research.

Report: Hynix invests in Phison

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 22, 2008 - Hynix Semiconductor has made an investment in Taiwan's design house Phison Electronics in a bid to prop up its NAND flash memory business, according to local reports.

Qimonda tips soft 1Q numbers, tweaks partnerships

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
April 22, 2008 - Qimonda AG reported a big loss in its fiscal 2Q08, indicating it is still mired in "extremely difficult market conditions," and laid out further cost reduction plans, including some changes to its technology partnerships.

Micron, Nanya formalize DRAM memory JV

Mon, 4 Apr 2008
April 21, 2008 - Micron Technology and Taiwan's Nanya Technology have formalized a recently announced partnership to create a new DRAM JV. An analyst tells WaferNEWS who should be most worried and why.

Analyst lowers chip forecast, but PC end-market "much brighter"

Wed, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 9, 2008 - Industry analysis firm iSuppli is lowering its outlook for semiconductor sales overall to just 4% growth in 2008 instead of a previously projected 7.5% increase -- a few weeks after it warned it would do so, and a day after slashing its outlook for the NAND flash memory sector.

Worries about supplier cutbacks, consumer spending erode iSuppli NAND outlook

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 8, 2008 - Weakened consumer spending -- not just in the US, but now apparently a global trend -- and signs that major buyers are slashing orders have caused analyst firm iSuppli to reduce its outlook for the NAND flash sector in 2008 by a full two-thirds. The firm now projects global NAD flash memory revenues rising 9% this year to $13.9B -- instead of an anticipated 29% rise to $17.9B, essentially removing $4B from the market.

Taiwan DRAM firms to assemblers: Share our pain

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 18, 2008 - Taiwan DRAM manufacturers bleeding red ink are asking for a break from their chip assemblers, who still are enjoying profitability despite the current market softness, notes a report in the Taiwan Economic News.

Report: Distracted Samsung wary of Japan rivals' progress

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 17, 2008 - As it weathers softness in the memory markets and domestic allegations of executive mismanagement and slush-fund coverups, Samsung Electronics is increasingly worried about a future showdown with rapidly progressing Japanese rivals, according to a local press report.

Intel's mixed results: Which way is the wind blowing?

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 17. 2008 - Analysts and investors voted with their feet after the industry's bellwether company talked about its 4Q07 results, and outlook for 1Q08 and FY08. But what's the takeaway message for the rest of the semiconductor industry and its suppliers?

Samsung: Chips biz down in 2007, LSIs and LCDs strong, 2008 capex roughly flat

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 17, 2008 - The weak memory market continued to weigh on Samsung's bottom line in 4Q, with sales declines in its semiconductor business and plunging profits, and oversupplies and price pressures are seen continuing through 1H08.

Report: Chartered poised to break foundry "duopoly" in Japan

Wed, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 9, 2008 - Chartered Semiconductor may be poised to take away business with Japanese foundry customers from top Taiwan foundries TSMC and UMC, thanks to its ties to the IBM Common Platform alliance and Toshiba, a key partner in the group's next-gen chip development, speculates a report by the Taiwan Economic News.

Report: Taiwan DRAM firms pushing out orders

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 4, 2008 - Thanks to an ongoing harsh pricing environment, major DRAM manufacturers Winbond and Nanya have begun to push out equipment orders, according to a pair of reports.

Not so fast: SIA nudges chip sales up

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 4, 2008 - Days after sending out its monthly global semiconductor sales update, the SIA has revised the figures going back to September, to reflect an extra $1.35B in DRAM sales.

Slowing Nov. chip sales darken 2007 growth prospects

Wed, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 2, 2008 - Worldwide chip sales slowed in November to just a fraction of a percent vs. October, and are on pace for roughly 3% growth for all of 2007, below the Semiconductor Industry Association's (SIA) projections of 3.8% barely a month ago.

Vanguard takes over Winbond's 200mm lines

Wed, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 2, 2008 - Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. has officially acquired 200mm chipmaking lines from Winbond Electronics Corp., under a deal announced in March.

Spansion leverages its flexible fab strategy and chip architecture

Thu, 4 Apr 2008
by Debra Vogler, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
Apr. 10, 2008 - Spansion exec John Nation tells WaferNEWS about the company's production plans for its 65nm and 45nm MirrorBit Eclipse chips for wireless handsets, including the benefits of built-in self test and why a heavy commitment to immersion lithography benefits the firm's flexible manufacturing strategy.

Elpida boosting Rexchip JV stake

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
Japan's Elpida Memory is increasing its ownership stake in its Rexchip Electronics memory JV with Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor to 52% in a bid to make the JV a consolidated subsidiary and take over leadership of investment and "adjust capacity allocation."

IEDM Day 3: SRAMs, image sensors, flash memory

Wed, 12 Dec 2008
In his daily blog from IEDM, Chipworks' Dick James looks at a number of interesting papers presented on SRAM, image sensors, and radiation soft errors in flash memories.

Latest 32nm CMOS, memory beyond flash, plus novel devices detailed at 2008 IEDM

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
New memory concepts and the latest 32nm CMOS with metal gates and high-k dielectrics were highlights of the 2008 International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, Dec. 15-17. A wide range of innovative device technology, including 3D wafer-level integration and a nanowire battery were also presented.

IEDM Day 2: Brain cells, "stress," nanowire batteries

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
In an exclusive daily blog for SST, Chipworks' Dick James reviews presentations on interfacing chips and brain cells, nonvolatile memories, parallel sessions on s/d stress options, and a SRO talk on nanowire batteries.

IEDM: IMEC touts 11MP micromirror array

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
Dec. 15, 2008 - In a paper discussed at this week's IEDM, researchers from IMEC reveal a monolithically integrated 11-megapixel 10cm2micromirror array, double the pixel density of comparable micromirrors, and a 10312 cycle mechanical lifetime, also a record, they claim.

IEDM Day 1: Dense data on 22nm

Mon, 12 Dec 2008
In an exclusive daily blog for SST, Chipworks' Dick James soaks in the first day of IEDM with dense presentations of 22nm CMOS presentations.

IEDM: IMEC optimizes 65nm Ge pFET

Mon, 12 Dec 2008
Minimizing the Ge in diffusion into a silicon capping layer is the key to boost electrical performance and reach 1nm EOT (equivalent oxide thickness) devices, according to IMEC researchers presenting at IEDM this week.

Intel decloaking 32nm logic tech at IEDM

Mon, 12 Dec 2008
Intel's 32nm logic technology will be described in a paper to be presented at the IEDM conference this week by Sanjay Natarajan, the company's director of 32nm CMOS technology development.

A measurement method for wafer-level 1/f noise

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
In MOSFETs used for analog and RF circuits, 1/f noise is an important figure of merit. This article describes a wafer-level measurement method and setup to evaluate the 1/f noise of MOSFETs, which can be automatically performed on the wafer and can measure <100Hz low-frequency noise components.

ST giving out 45nm, 65nm SOI for prototyping services

Mon, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 21, 2008 - STMicroelectronics has made its 45nm CMOS process available for prototyping via French brokerage service CMP to academia, R&D labs, and companies for multiproject wafer services, and has added its 65nm CMOS SOI process for academia.

Qimonda, Macronix extend pact for memory work

Thu, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 3, 2008 - Germany's Qimonda and Taiwan's Macronix International have signed a deal to jointly develop nonvolatile memory technologies over a five-year period, sharing development costs and pooling engineering resources. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ed's Threads: 2007 odds & ends

Fri, 1 Jan 2008
From deciding on HK+MG first or last (or both), to dreams and realities of semiconductor manufacturing expansion in foreign markets, and the continued winding march of technology development and industry consolidation -- 2007 was an interesting year for the semiconductor industry, especially for those of us trying to keep track of it all.

Reports: Taiwan DRAM firms hoping for recovery by 2Q08

Mon, 1 Jan 2008
Jan. 28, 2008 - Nanya and Inotera both forecast a global recovery in DRAM gaining steam by 2Q08 that will lead to tighter supplies of memory chips in the second half of the year, according to local press reports.

Elpida touts 50nm DRAM

Wed, 11 Nov 2008
Elpida Memory says it has completed development of a 50nm DDR3 SDRAM that's twice as fast as Samsung's version, with what the company says is the lowest power consumption available (1.2V operation).

Analysis: What's at stake with Spansion/Samsung flash memory litigation

Wed, 11 Nov 2008
Far from an act of desperation, the eye-popping IP suit from Spansion against Samsung is it a savvy IP strategy that puts the entire industry on notice. Objective Analysis' Jim Handy explains what's behind Spansion's aggressive move, and what might be the fallout.

Updated: AMAT plans 12% layoffs as industry environment sours

Thu, 11 Nov 2008
Despite beating analysts' expectations for its fiscal year-end quarter, semiconductor equipment bellwether Applied Materials says it will cut costs with 1800 layoffs (12% of its workforce) in the coming fiscal year. Added: Comments from top exec Mike Splinter about consolidation and solar biz, and takeaways from two industry analysts who called during the teleconference Q&A.

IBM tips 45nm SOI process for foundry clients

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
IBM now is offering a silicon-on-insulator offering for its 45nm foundry process, including design tools and libraries, following the 45nm ASIC SOI offering it released in mid-2007.

Analyst: Image sensor market to "bounce back" in 2008

Fri, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 11, 2008 - Image sensor sales are poised to return to growth in 2008 after a "rare" off year in 2007, rising about 10% to a record ~$7.6B, according to a new report from IC Insights.

Gartner: 2008 chip decline, 2009 "considerably worse"

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
A month after dropping its outlook for both 2008 and 2009, Gartner has decided its previous "worst-case scenario" for the chip industry isn't nearly bad enough -- it now projects only the fifth decline in the past 25 years for 2008, and says 2009 will be "considerably worse."

SIA: Oct. chip sales meltdown in West

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
Dec. 1, 2008 - Worldwide sales of semiconductors that slowed significantly in September kept on slowing in October, particularly in the Americas region, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

ProMOS govt appeal highlights JV shifts

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
ProMOS is poised to officially file for assistance from the Taiwanese government, a move that comes with a catch -- the company would have to abandon its partnership with Korean chipmaker Hynix and forge ties with Japan's Elpida.

Bound by bonds: Inside Elpida's ¥50B CB dilemma

Tue, 12 Dec 2008
A languishing share price has triggered a clause in Elpida's convertible bonds (CB) whereby it has to redeem ¥50B (US $550M) of them in the next month, raising concerns over how the company will finance future capital investments.

IMEC's vision of next-generation memory

Thu, 11 Nov 2008
The industry has established a collection of production-worthy high-k gate stack options, and fabs will adopt their own such processes gradually. While research institutions are winding down their work in this area, there's still future research to be done on high-k dielectric materials (e.g. for memory scaling), as IMEC researchers discussed at their annual press review.

Ion beam deposition goes 300mm with Aviza's new tool

Wed, 11 Nov 2008
Aviza Technology exec David Butler explains the technology behind the StratIon fxP, the company's new 300mm-ready ion beam deposition system, and how it's better than traditional magnetron sputtering approaches in terms of film homogeneity, interface smoothness, and purity.

FSI puts the lid on a single-wafer cleaning system

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
FSI exec Scott Becker tells SST how the closed-chamber design of the company's new Orion single-wafer cleaning system addresses cleaning-related issues for 32nm and 22nm process technologies, such as material loss and galvanic corrosion.

Analyst: IC growth dims but demand ok, 2009+ still rosy

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
IC Insights president Bill McClean discusses the thinking behind his firm's recent forecast downgrade to 4% thanks to worldwide economic changes and persistently sluggish memory pricing -- but also backs up his optimism over inventories and end-use demand.

Analysts, audience mix it up at SEMI breakfast

Mon, 9 Sep 2008
This year's annual fall gathering of a SEMI-hosted industry panel discussion with Wall Street watchers didn't quite follow script. The end result was a more open and energetic back-and-forth dialog about the tense relationships between the semiconductor industry, the investment community, and the government.

Analyst: China Olympics hurt demand, not helped

Fri, 9 Sep 2008
Instead of providing an economic boost for China, the Beijing Olympic games actually caused a trough in demand for memory chips due to restrictive import rules and overshadowed regional purchasing trends, according to iSuppli. But with the Games now over and the holiday season approaching, the firm expects a sharp uptick in DRAM demand through year's end.

Elpida cutting DRAM output by 10%

Thu, 9 Sep 2008
Following a third straight quarter of losses, Elpida Memory says it will reduce its DRAM output at its plant in Hiroshima, western Japan, by about 10% to 10,000 300mm wafers by mid-September.

Market rumor: Samsung + SanDisk?

Mon, 9 Sep 2008
With rumors swirling that top memory firm Samsung Electronics is sniffing around SanDisk, the game is on to determine just how high are the stakes for the memory industry, particularly the one company who would be hurt most.

Elpida: China DRAM move is final turf battle

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
Elpida's recently unveiled plan to create a $5B DRAM JV in China's Jiangsu Province is the final stage in an industry "turf war" with the ultimate prize being simply survival, according to CEO Yukio Sakamoto, in an interview with Japan's Nikkei daily paper.

Spansion, IBM ink memory license pact

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 29, 2008 - IBM and Spansion have signed a seven-year patent cross-licensing agreement that is expected to widen Spansion's reach into flash memory design and manufacturing, and support both companies' end-market interests in China.

IBM, Matheson to develop ≤32nm chip gases

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 29, 2008 - IBM and Matheson Tri-Gas, a subsidiary of Japan's Taiyo Nippon Sanso, have signed a four-year deal to jointly develop new high-purity gases and delivery systems for use in semiconductor manufacturing starting at the 32nm node.

Renesas joins IMEC's 45nm RF transceivers program

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
Apr. 22, 2008 - Renesas Technology and European R&D consortia IMEC have entered into a strategic research collaboration to develop 45nm RF transceivers for Gbit/sec cognitive radios, building on previous work with 130nm RF transceiver (results published at last year's ISSCC).

MRS: CNT and graphene dreams may be real

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
April 8, 2008 - Carbon nanotubes are the only viable (excuse the pun) new materials being developed to replace copper as the electrical interconnects for future ICs -- there are no known room-temperature superconductors, and optical interconnects require slow and expensive lasers and detectors. The theory and practice of growing CNTs was thoroughly reviewed at this spring's Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting.

MRS meeting covers nanostuff and microthings

Thu, 4 Apr 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
April 3, 2008 - The annual Materials Research Society spring meeting in San Francisco (Mar. 24-28) showcased over 40 technical sessions running in parallel, with >10 sessions of interest to the semiconductor manufacturing industry at any given time, including theories and results for new IC memory cells, extensions of CMOS logic and doping technologies, and future quantum-dots and nano-rods.

Mentor Graphics + Ponte: "End of the DFM dream"

Thu, 5 May 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
May 15, 2008 - The acquisition of Ponte Solutions by Mentor Graphics not only takes one of the last pure DFM companies off the table, it also answers the question about what side of the chipmaking wall DFM belongs, and terminates an inflection point that might not be seen again for a decade or more.

Nikon looks to EUV to reduce the mask cost trend for critical layers

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - This year's SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference saw glimmers of hope that EUV might be ready in time for 22nm hp. Speaking at the ConFab event, Kazuo Ushida, president of Nikon Precision Equipment Co., agreed that EUV was still the most promising solution for 22nm, and the only one that would keep the industry on track to meet cost/bit reductions needed to stay within historical guidelines.

NXP continues the Philips tradition of business model innovation

Thu, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 22, 2008 - Philips arguably pioneered the fab-lite business model 20 years ago, and was one of the earliest investors and customers of TSMC. Its chip spinoff NXP Semiconductor continues the relationship with R&D and arguably most-favored customer status at the world's leading foundry. Peter Yates, SVP at NXP, talked at this week's Confab about his company's strategy to navigate troubled-waters in many nimble ships.

Analyst: Forget foundries' promised price hikes, for now

Wed, 7 Jul 2008
Semiconductor foundries' recent vows to step up pricing may be stalled due to softer-than-anticipated demand projections for 3Q, according to one analyst firm.

Analysis roundup: Stinky economy, souring forecasts

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
The extent of the financial crisis is still unknown, of course, and most agree that it will get worse before it gets better. We've been gathering reports from leading market forecasters and analysts and can share what they're telling us -- and it looks like some rough sailing ahead for semiconductors.

Inside Taiwan's proposed gov't DRAM bailout

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
With some domestic DRAM suppliers (though not all) pleading for help, Taiwan's government appears poised to offer some form of a bailout, according to local reports. But if this is good news for domestic companies, how will this move affect the overall market? SST asked industry watchers for their take.

HDD patterned media using jet-and-flash imprint lithography

Fri, 9 Sep 2009

This article from Molecular Imprints describes how te addition of patterned media to HDD disk fabrication presents a number of new challenges to magnetic media manufacturers, and how J-FIL systems and materials can provide the foundation for successful high-volume manufacturing.


siXis partners with SVTC to commercialize silicon circuit boards

Mon, 8 Aug 2009
August 24, 2009 -- SVTC was chosen by technology startup siXis, Inc. to supply silicon manufacturing services for their compact, high-speed embedded computing modules that bridge the gap between programmable devices and costly, customized semiconductors.

Luc Van den hove helms IMEC, discusses strategy

Tue, 6 Jun 2009
Amid preparations for IMEC's 25th anniversary celebration, SST spoke with Luc Van den hove, now president/CEO of European R&D consortium IMEC, who discussed the research center's strategy and the keys to its success over the years.

ECS Days 4-5: Emerging dielectrics, SOI, graphene, batteries

Mon, 6 Jun 2009
Day 4 of the ECS Spring 2009 Meeting saw the continuation of symposia on flexible electronics, emerging dielectrics, SOI, and graphene, reports Techcet's Michael A. Fury in his exclusive daily blog for SST. And discussions of battery/energy and SOI device technology indicated the global breadth of research interest and funding in these fields.

ALD enables thin films for next-generation flash and NVM

Mon, 6 Jun 2009
In this article, ASM and Numonyx explain that ALD of high-k dielectrics and novel metal layers will be prevalent in producing next-generation NVMs, because it has been shown to address many of the issues related to speed, endurance, and reliability of these devices.

Applied targets 22nm copper barrier or seed PVD

Tue, 6 Jun 2009

Applied Materials exec Marek Radko gives SST a tour of its new Endura CuBS RFX PVD system, qualified for copper barrier/seed deposition technology at 32nm and 22nm for production of logic and flash memory.


Gartner: Stepper market shrunk in '08, 2009 outlook "grim"

Thu, 6 Jun 2009
Much has been said about capital equipment consolidation, particularly in recent months under the weight of the economic slowdown, but in one of the more concentrated sectors the growth was lousy in 2008 and looks to be twice as bad in 2009.

NEC: Trumping conventional scaling with 3D packaging

Mon, 2 Feb 2009
In a bid to expand applications for 3D packaging, NEC has developed a 3D chip-stacked flexible memory to support large-scale high-performance systems-on-chip (SoC).

Japan's chipmakers mapping out independent futures

Tue, 9 Sep 2009

Semiconductor units of Japan's electronic giants are struggling to figure out their place in the future, battered by the global economic slump and pressured to reduce dependence on their parents.


DALSA to play major role in Quebec Microelectronics Innovation Center

Fri, 9 Sep 2009

DALSA Semiconductor VP/GM Claude Jean talks with SST about the new $218M microelectronics center being formed in Quebec, and how the company will contribute to its focus on MEMS and 3D wafer-level packaging and vice-versa.


Elpida takes 2Q DRAM crown

Tue, 8 Aug 2009
Better pricing for specialty DRAM made Elpida the poster child of the DRAM market in 2Q09, according to data from iSuppli. And signs point to continued tight supplies of DDR3 as firms continue to delay capex plans that would support their 5x-node migration.

Samsung upgrading Austin site to 300mm NAND

Tue, 8 Aug 2009
Samsung is revamping its 200mm memory line in Austin, TX, upgrading it to a 300mm NAND line, reportedly in a push to support solid-state drives. The kicker: hundreds of jobs will be lost.

Analysis: Intel, Micron throw down 3-bit NAND gauntlet

Fri, 8 Aug 2009
In memory, those whose technology is best aligned with cost savings (to both manufacturing and consumers) are in the catbird's seat, and so it is with Intel and Micron who now have 3-bit/cell multilevel cell NAND in their arsenal.

SEMATECH's 3D work in Albany

Wed, 8 Aug 2009
Larry Smith, sr. member of the technical staff in SEMATECH's 3D interconnect division, discusses toolset acquisitions at the U. of Albany's CNSE, where work focuses on replacing traditional global interconnect and intermediate level processes.

The reliability margin of interconnects for advanced memory technologies

Fri, 5 May 2009
The trends of decreasing dimensions and new materials motivated the investigation of how these may affect the dielectric reliability of the interconnect structures.

Memory sector upended, driven by 3D packaging tech, says Yole

Fri, 5 May 2009
New integration trends and disruptive packaging technologies, notably 3D TSVs, will cause major technical changes in the memory semiconductor sector, but ultimately pave the way for future growth, according to a recent report from Yole Développement.

IC Insights: V-shaped industry recovery is here, but whither capex?

Fri, 9 Sep 2009

Key metrics presented and analyzed at IC Insights' fall forecast seminar suggest the industry is enjoying a strong, swift recovery -- but a disconnect between rising demand and sluggish capex could cause problems soon.


Gartner darkens 2009 outlook, but brightens 2010-2012

Mon, 9 Sep 2009

September 14, 2009 - A 2H09 rebound in the chipmaking equipment sector won't be enough to make up for the horrid performance in late 2008 andearly 2009, but analyst firm Gartner does see much better times in 2010 and beyond, according to its newly updated forecast.


Analyst: Four chipmakers on pace for 2009 growth

Tue, 11 Nov 2009

The suffocating downturn will make 2009 overall one of the toughest in the industry's history, but four firms are still in position to increase sales from a year ago, based on year-to-date tallies compiled by IC Insights.


Applied targets 22nm copper barrier/seed PVD

Tue, 6 Jun 2009
Applied Materials exec Marek Radko gives SST a tour of its new Endura CuBS RFX PVD system, qualified for copper barrier/seed deposition technology at 32nm and 22nm for production of logic and flash memory.

ECS Day 3: Signs of life after all

Fri, 5 May 2009
Day 3 of the ECS Spring 2009 Meeting showed sig