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 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.
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 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.
Nemotek Technologie uncrated the Exiguus, with a VGA wafer-level camera integrating wafer-level optics assembled with CMOS image sensors (CIS).
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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).
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, a More-than-Moore semiconductor foundry, has used SFT's R3D (Resistive 3D) software for its 0.18
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."
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'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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies formed a packaging partnership for their power MOSFETs in the MLP 3x3 (Power33 or S3O8) and PowerStage 3x3 packages.
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.
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.
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 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.
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'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 (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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Diodes Incorporated (Nasdaq: DIOD) released its first device in its unique PowerDI5060 package, the DMP3010LPS 30V rated p-channel enhancement mode MOSFET.
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.
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 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.
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.
Di 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.
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 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.
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 will invest $50 million to expand its electronics engineering operations, located at the company
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Memory is now sampling a new 8Gb TSV DRAM consisting of four 2Gb layers based on TSV stacking technology.
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).
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Infinite Graphics Incorporated (IGI) debuted the IGI Phototooling Toolbox for niche applications with specialized requirements not addressed by traditional mainstream PCB and IC products.
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.
MOSAID Technologies Inc. is sampling a 16-die stack NAND Flash device operating on a single high-performance channel, the 5126Gb HLNAND.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) will establish an integrated circuit (IC) design and engineering R&D center in Singapore.
Kopin Corporation achieved record 1290cm2/V.s electron mobility and 240ohms/square sheet resistance results from GaN-based high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) materials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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'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.
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.
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.
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.
European researchers have manufactured defect-free structures of different semiconductors on silicon wafers, using semiconductor manufacturing processes.
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 is investing in research and manufacturing of novel silicon (Si) based battery anode materials, for mobile electronics and electric vehicles.
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.
As products using gallium nitride (GaN) technology continue to gain acceptance in military and commercial applications, development activities at microelectronics companies are accelerating.
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.
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.
SemiSouth Laboratories Inc., high-voltage silicon-carbide (SiC) semiconductor device manufacturer, launched its second major capacity expansion within 18 months.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The top-5 most commonly counterfeit components (based on reported cases) are analog ICs, microprocessors, memory ICs, programmable logic devices, and transistors, shows IHS.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 Inc. named Ali Sebt, who has served 20 years at the company, as its new president and CEO. Sebt succeeds the retiring Daniel Mahoney.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have observed metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains, using piezoresponse force microscopy.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Barack Obama visited the Intel Ocotillo campus in Chandler, AZ. The President spoke about Intel's technological innovation, and manufacturing jobs in America.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.”
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.
"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 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 (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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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, 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 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.
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, semiconductor materials supplier, released its fully depleted product roadmap, comprising two products designed for both planar and three-dimensional approaches to building semiconductor transistors.
Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $306.8 billion in 2011, up $5.4 billion, or 1.8% from 2010, according to Gartner Inc.
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.
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.
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 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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Processors like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon will make an impact on future chip revenues, reports analyst firm In-Stat, an NPD Group company.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 officially became a member of SK group, energy and telecommunications conglomerate, changing its name to SK Hynix.
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' 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’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 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 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.
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 raised investment ceilings for Chinese investors in LCDs, semiconductors, IC assembly and test, microelectronics production equipment, and metal tool manufacturing.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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%.
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.
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, wireless and semiconductor company, selected planar fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) technology from Soitec for use in future mobile platforms.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 (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.
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 (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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
In a departure from past iterations, Windows 8 will not cause any significant rise in DRAM unit shipments, predicts IHS iSuppli.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) added Gary Gentry to lead its solid state drive (SSD) business as senior vice president, SSD.
In a 3-year research collaboration, research organization imec and semiconductor provider Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will work on reconfigurable radio IC design.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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 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 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.
Silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors will see 38% CAGR through 2022 thanks to power and efficiency advantages over silicon devices, according to MarketResearch.com.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) released SG65i, a single-wall carbon nanotube product with >95% semiconducting concentration, before secondary processing to remove metallic SWCNT content.
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.
Mike Fury reports on Day 2 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference), from San Jose, CA.
At The ConFab 2012, fabless companies and foundries have a common goal: reduce power, increase performance and reduce price (not necessarily in that order).
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.
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.
Jim Feldhan of Semico speaks with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer about expectations for the semiconductor industry and solid-state drives.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
At imec's International Technology Forum, Greg Bartlett, CTO of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, said the key to survival in the semiconductor industry is adaptability and collaboration.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Semiconductor maker Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) will reorganize, in “urgent need of business recovery,” reforming semiconductor fabs in Japan and “streamlining employees.”
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%.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 (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.
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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Electronic Materials introduced its new IKONIC polishing pad platform for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP).
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 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.
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.
Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) recognized two outstanding professors in SRC-supported, chip-related research and education for 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.
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.
Taiwanese DRAM manufacturer Nanya Technology has received a $27M equity investment from a subsidiary of Integrated Silicon Solution to bolster the companies' foundry partnership.
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.
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.
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'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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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%.
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.
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 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).
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%.
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.
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.
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 host imec and a pair of industry analysts gauge the pace of improvements in EUV lithography and its long march toward production readiness.
Four of the leading micro- and nanoelectronics regions in Europe are joining forces to form a cluster alliance called “Silicon Europe.”
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.
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 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.
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.
A ranking of the forecasted top 2012 12 IC foundries (pure-play and IDM) was released by IC Insights.
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 (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.
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.
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).
Bruce Kleinman, former VP of platform marketing at Xilinx, will now lead GlobalFoundries' product marketing efforts
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's new "450 Central" information portal offers news and perspectives about the 450mm wafer-size transition.
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.
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.
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 (NYSE:IBM) will acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a leading developer of high-performance flash memory semiconductors based in Houston, TX.
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 (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 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.”
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 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 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.
Fab equipment spending continues to soften in 2012, and hopes for a reprieve in 2013 are waning, warns one analyst.
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 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.
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 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.
Want another snapshot of who's leading the pack among pure-play foundries, and who's falling off the curve? Look more closely at <45nm offerings, as framed by a recent analysis from IC Insights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc. unveiled NanoYield, yield prediction and optimization software for memory, logic, analog and digital circuit design.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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).
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 Corporation today announced that it will showcase its leading-edge semiconductor solutions for mobile devices at Mobile Asia Expo 2013.
While military applications continue to drive the GaN device market, commercial applications have emerged that will help fuel rapid market growth.
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.
UC Santa Barbara researchers demonstrate first n-type field effect transistors on monolayer tungsten diselenide with record performance.
A book-to-bill of 1.08 means that $108 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.
Outlook for semiconductor equipment market improves, but remains soft in the short term.
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 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.
Rozich, who previously was a member of the company’s board, succeeds Michael R. Polcari, who served as chairman since November 2009.
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.
Industry’s newfound maturity yields growth amid adversity.
The companies released this new development at this week’s VLSI circuits Symposium in Kyoto, Japan.
Nano-electronics R&D center addresses key challenges of Germanium finFET technology at VLSI 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).
SiOnyx Inc. announced independent validation of its image sensor technology.
New 3D measuring system offers auto brightness and high-speed stitching.
Silicon Labs today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Energy Micro AS.
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 Corporation today introduced its Generation 10 FPGAs and SoCs, offering system developers breakthrough levels of performance and power efficiencies.
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’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.
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.
Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the PCB book-to-bill ratio, which reached 1.10, its highest level since July 2010.
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.
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 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.
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 Corp. today announced significant achievements in its continued collaboration with TSMC on 20nm physical verification kit optimizations.
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.
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.
Can PC makers produce ultrathin, touch-screen PCs that are appealing to consumers—and that are priced at just $200?
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 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, 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 Electronics Corporation announced today that they have entered into a new strategic research collaboration at Holst Centre.
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.
The market for GaN and SiC power semiconductors is set to rise by factor of 18 from 2012 to 2022.
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 reported to Nature Communications that they have developed the first graphene-based transistor with bistable characteristics.
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.
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.
Semiconductor technology leaders ST and CMP help universities, research labs and companies prototype next generation of Systems-on-Chip.
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.
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 today announced that it has completed its acquisition of BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Limited in an all cash deal, valued at approximately $151 million.
The eight leading suppliers of industrial electronics suffered revenue declines in 2012, reflecting weak conditions for the beleaguered market.
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.
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, 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.
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 expects the semiconductor market to return to growth in 2013 with revenues forecast to increase by 3.5 percent this year.
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.
Qualcomm, TSMC, and SK Hynix each register greater than 20 percent year-over-year growth.
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 announced today that they have expanded joint development efforts to advance STT-MRAM (spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory) technology.
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 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 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 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.”
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 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).
The atom-sized world of carbon nanotubes holds great promise for a future demanding smaller and faster electronic components.
Sales in March 2013 were up slightly compared to February 2013 and March 2012.
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.
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.
The semiconductor chip giant revealed plans to branch out beyond PCs. Will it work?
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.
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, 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, 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.
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, 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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New advancement enables the development of low-power, low-cost, high-data rate solutions for true mobile devices.
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.
Joint effort to explore novel process techniques to improve device performance and reliability in semiconductor manufacturing for sub 20nm technology node.
STMicroelectronics announced today another milestone in its testing of its 28nm FD-SOI Technology Platform.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, Research and Markets released the Gallium Nitride (GaN) Semiconductor Devices (Discretes & ICs) Market, Global Forecast & Analysis: 2012 – 2022.
The global market for MEMS microphones has reached approximately $422 million in 2012. The market is predicted to increase to $865 million in 2017.
Andreia Cathelin, subcommittee chair, reflects on the trends of radio frequency design and usage in her submission to ISSCC.
Stephen Kosonocky, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes on the growing need for technologies to be both energy and cost-efficient.
Tablet and cellphone processors, NAND flash, and telecom-specific ICs to enjoy best growth.
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.
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.
Roland Thomas, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes of the substantial growth and future in key areas of technology.
In the second of two installments, Linx Consulting reports a steady growth in semiconductor production, as released in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.
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.
A new econometric semiconductor industry forecast predicts semiconductor wafer area production to grow slightly less than 6% in 2013, according to Linx Consulting.
Dr. Steffen Schulz discusses the role of a flexible platform for computational lithography in a successful business strategy.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
Kevin Zhang, subcommittee chair of ISSCC, writes on the trends of memory devices for 2013 and beyond.
Joint effort will drive innovative engine-train and smart-power products
David Su, ISSCC subcommittee chair, writes on the trends of modern wireless standards.
Bill Redman-White, chair of the ISSCC Analog Subcommittee, shares on challenges facing analog systems in 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.
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).
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 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."
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's HB-LED Standards Committee has approved its first standard, specifying sapphire wafers used in making high-brightness light-emitting diode (HB-LED) devices.
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.
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.
We are in an age where chemistry is center stage in the race to advance Moore’s Law and More Than Moore.
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.
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.
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.
Korean DRAM maker SK Hynix has entered into new eight-year patent licensing agreements with Tessera Inc. and Invensas.
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 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.
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.
Spending on LED fab manufacturing equipment will decline 9.2% in 2013 as the industry faces weak long-term demand and consolidates manufacturing capacity.
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.
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.
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.
New marketing and technical support center opened in Reading, UK.
Snapdragon 800 processor on 28nm HPM process delivers high performance and low power for mobile devices.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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).
Companies will develop integrated logic and Flash memory to enable creation of high-performance and low power electronics.
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.
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.
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.
PC capabilities and market are undergoing a historical deceleration, in another sign of shifting technology markets.
STM, Imec, CEA-LETI, ASML, Soitec and EU representatives discussed directions at ISS Europe 2013 in Italy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and academia to collaborate on real-world issues at SEMI event.
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that Dr. Raj Jammy has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of the semiconductor group.
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.
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.
While 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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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 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.
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.
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.
Christopher 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Laura 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Nick 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.
Five 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.
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.
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.
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 says it has devised a new process technology for connecting tungsten vias to Cu interconnects in 3X node and below memory devices.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Analysts offer their take on the long-rumored, and now official, deal that brings NOR flash firm Numonyx under Micron's wing.
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.
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 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.
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.
HBr 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.
Over 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 (STT) is collaborating with Singulus Technologies AG to apply advanced deposition techniques to support commercial development of STT’s novel MRAM memory devices.
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.
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.)
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
PC 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 (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."
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.
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.
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.
To 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.
Raj 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).
SEMATECH'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.
At 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 teamed with Cadence Design Systems to create an open-access 28nm Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) production design flow development kit.
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.
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.
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.
IC maker Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. acquired Grandis Inc., a Silicon Valley maker of spin transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM).
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 (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.
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.
UC 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 (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 researchers built an integrated circuit (IC) fabricated from wafer-scale graphene on SiC, integrating a graphene transistor with other electronics circuits.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
Rapid adoption of smart meters to save energy and improve grid efficiency means an opportunity for a broad range of semiconductor suppliers.
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 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.
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.
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%.
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 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.
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.
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).
With losses and oversupplies mounting, DRAM rivals are taking increasingly drastic steps to stay competitive, including courtroom battles and even more production cutbacks.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor company, launched ST New Ventures, its corporate venture capital fund currently under incorporation.
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.
During IEDM, imec presented the world
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.
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.
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 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 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.
imec is presenting a record number of 17 papers at the IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM), ending today in Washington, DC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MIT 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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 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.
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 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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sharon 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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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 Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), flash memory card maker, announced a 64-gigabit (Gb), 2-bits-per-cell (X2) monolithic chip made on 19nm technology.
Imec 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.
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 Technology Inc., semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) provider, unveiled Itera, an embedded multi-time programmable (MTP) NVM in 40nm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
For 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.
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.
With 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."
McPherson’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.
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.
With 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.
For 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Geoff 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'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.
Barbara 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
Horacio 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
U-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.
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.
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.
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, advanced diamond electron device design company, is commercializing diamond microelectronics with a shallow n-type diamond material over silicon.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 (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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
With PC demand waning, reports indicate Intel is rethinking part of its 22nm investment plans, which would dent industrywide capex forecasts for 2012.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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 Electronics Co. Ltd. developed a monolithic 4Gb low-power double-data-rate 3 (LPDDR3) memory device on 30nm-class wafer processing technology.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Electronics Co. Ltd. started up its Line-16 memory semiconductor fabrication facility, calling it the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ:MENT) completed a 20nm test chip tapeout with STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), overcoming low-power and double-patterning challenges.
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.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) elected Freescale Semiconductor CEO Rich Beyer as its 2012 chairman. This will be the SIA's 35th year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Key metrics presented and analyzed at IC Insights' fall forecast seminar suggest the i