SATS provider STATS ChipPAC Ltd. (SGX-ST:STATSChP) honored its top materials and equipment suppliers in 2010, recognizing "intense focus and commitment to performance, quality, cycle time, and cost."
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.
A new global R&D consortium is seeking companies to join its efforts working on embedding thin-film passive components into packages using through-silicon vias (TSV), for use in smart mobile electronics and implantable bio-electronic systems.
Increased I/O density, power/performance reqs, and other factors are increasing use of flip chip, 2.5D and 3D technologies, a boon to packaging subcontractors. But they face a challenge from foundries, and must navigate under-utilization of wire bonding capacity.
The benefits of 3D IC integration can be combined with aggressively scaled 22nm semiconductor devices, with More Moore (scaling) and More than Moore (package advances) developing in parallel but relatively independently, says Paul Lindner, EV Group (EVG).
With many advanced packaging processes taking place on the semiconductor wafer, the traditional supply chain of front-end fab at the foundry and back-end fab at the packaging and test house is falling apart. The ConFab session,
As packaging has played a larger and larger role in chip performance, form factor, and capabilities, The ConFab has increased its focus on back-end processes. Cue
THE BEST rankings from VLSIresearch identify the highest-rated suppliers of wafer processing, assembly, and test equipment. The top 2 test equipment suppliers were just fractions apart in the rankings.
In 2012, the global IC substrate market will reach a value of USD8.67 billion, according to Research in China
Heraeus introduced its high-reliability composite aluminum/copper (CucorAl) semiconductor bonding wire, which offers strong mechanical and electrical bonds to semiconductor pads, with good thermal properties.
Molex Incorporated, interconnect supplier, has joined with other researchers to advance the goals of the Danish SAFE (Smart Antenna Front End) project. Scheduled to span four years, the $8.7 million project is being conducted by a consortium comprising Aalborg University, Intel Mobile Communications, WiSpry and Molex.
Multitest announced that a major fabless semiconductor manufacturer has evaluated and approved its Mercury-based wafer-level contactors for subcontractors in Asia.
The collaboration will result in new applications in multi-chip modules in radar, communication, and electronic warfare systems. The new technology platform would enable miniaturization of wireless applications that are faster, lighter and can withstand higher temperatures.
Dr. Phil Garrou, a contributing editor and regular blogger on Solid State Technology, shares the highlights of an Evolving 2.5D/3D Infrastructure panel he hosted at IMAPS Device Packaging. On the table: where TSVs and interposers are made, a TSV/interposer timeline and cost analysis, and the requirements of mobile electronics.
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.
Henkel Electronics released 2 formulations of Ablestik C100 conductive die attach film for leadframe packages, including QFNs. It eliminates die tilt, processes thin wafer die, and enables bondline control.
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.
Yole identifies the fan-in wafer-level chipscale packaging (WLCSP) market for strong growth, and a diverse base of chip technologies. Fan-in WLCSP reached 2.3 million 300mm-equivalent wafers shipped in 2011, or about $1.7 billion in revenue.
Dr. Phil Garrou, contributing editor, shares Nanya Technology
ASM Pacific Technology Limited noted in its H1 2012 results a record level of orders for leadframes in Q2. It also delivered what it calls the largest leadframe packaging set up to date.
3D TSV chips will represent 9% of the total semiconductors value in 2017, according to Yole D
At SEMICON West, the working groups of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) outlined 2012 updates to the roadmap. Check out the back-end process info here.
At the ITRS 2012 update, back-end technologies session, at SEMICON West, roadmapping for More than Moore was addressed as both a philosophical and technical matter.
The bulk of packaging falls under the
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.
SEMICON West is taking place July 10-12 in San Francisco, CA. Following are new products for semiconductor packaging and test that will be at the show, from wafer bonders to LED die attach materials.
The top three outsourced semiconductor assembly and test services (OSATS) providers raised 2012 capex during their earnings reports, from initial plans announced in January, report analysts at Citi.
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.
Samsung Electronics officially spun out its LCD Business as new corporation Samsung Display, aiming to gain market share to leap from #2 to #1 display panel maker. Donggun Park will lead Samsung Display as CEO.
Barclays Capital finds that LED manufacturing and materials patents will soon run out, potentially draining value from material/chip/package suppliers and turning LEDs into commodities.
The worldwide semiconductor foundry market totaled $29.8 billion in 2011, a 5.1% increase from 2010, according to Gartner. Given aggressive foundry spending in 2010 and 2011, oversupply was "inevitable," Gartner says.
LED revenues are slowing down in 2012, after two years of remarkable growth, according to Strategy Analytics. LED fab equipment spending and epitaxial substrate demand in the LED sector will decline in 2012.
Barclays Capital shares some take-aways from the Intertech Pira Phosphor Summit, a conference on phosphors being used in the LED industry. The analysts touch on color mixing, remote phosphors, silicone encapsulants, and more
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.
The global HB-LED market grew from $11.3 billion in 2010 to $12.5 billion in 2011, surging 9.8%, according to Strategies Unlimited. 10 companies accounted for more than 68% of the global LED supply.
Worldwide silicon wafer revenues improved 2% YOY, shows the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group. Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments, however, decreased 3%, indicating a loss of momentum in H2 2011, said Kazuyo Heinink, SEMI SMG.
Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq:VECO) reported 3 wins for its TurboDisc K465i GaN MOCVD tool : the same systems will be used for high-volume LED fab, GaN-on-Si research, and Si-based LED development.
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.
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.
The new Apple iPad uses a 2048 × 1536, 264 ppi retina display, quadrupling the pixels of the previous generation. However, Apple may be losing its cutting-edge status when it comes to gesture recognition beyond touchscreens. IHS iSuppli, NPD DisplaySearch, and IMS Research examine the new iPad display.
90% of smartphone users in a recent survey (US and UK) gravitated to a larger diplay on a new device, reports Strategy Analytics. The consumers were not willing to trade off device thickness or weight for the beefier display, however.
VLSIresearch released its 2011 Top Semiconductor Equipment suppliers rankings, noting important acquisitions and strong spending in lithography tools in 2011. Semiconductor equipment spending was driven by aggressive capacity expansion in the foundry and logic sectors.
Creative Materials Inc.'s 125-43A/B119-44 solvent-resistant electrically conductive ink for touch screen and shielding applications boasts a lower cost than conventionally manufactured silver inks.
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.
Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $43.53 billion in 2011, representing a year-over-year increase of 9%, shows SEMI. North America surpassed Taiwan as the region with the highest amount of spending.
Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of semiconductor wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step.
The LCD TV market saw a rapid shift toward sizes larger than 40" at the end of 2011, as consumers, particularly in North America and China, took advantage of new sizes and affordable prices. The increase in LCD TV area demand means more capacity consumption.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.16 billion in orders in December 2011, $1.32 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.88, according to SEMI. The book-to-bill ratio has been climbing since September 2011. In December, bookings climbed back above the $1 billion mark.
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.
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.
Day 3 of the 2012 Strategies in Light conference continued the LED Manufacturing session. Presenters covered LED manufacture, advanced packaging, metrology and testing, high-performance materials, and other topics, such as dimming. Blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, reports.
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.
Blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, reports from Day 2 of Strategies in Light: immersing himself in the LEDs manufacturing track of the conference.
The economic outlook for the world is dismal, the semiconductor industry has consolidated and matured to the point where it’s looking for tips from the automotive industry, and unprecedented challenges must be overcome to stay on the path defined by Moore’s Law. Duncan Meldrum of IHS provides a top ten list of economic trends to watch in 2012.
The Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) kicked off today in Half Moon Bay, CA under blustery skies with choppy seas, an apt metaphor for the information about to be shared inside, says blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet.
Taiwan became the region with the largest share of installed wafer capacity in 2011, according to IC Insights' Global Wafer Capacity 2011-12 report. This is the first time Taiwan has led the global wafer capacity rankings, with 21% of total in mid-2011.
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors manufactured high-performance LED prototypes, growing the light-emitting gallium-nitride (GaN) layers on 150mm silicon (Si) wafers rather than sapphire substrates.
Worldwide LED manufacturing capacity will reach 2M wafers in 2012, up 27%. More wafers do not neccessarily mean more LED fab equipment, however. Global LED manufacturing equipment spending will fall 18%, shows SEMI.
Key points from SEMI's 2012 semiconductor fab equipment spending forecast include a predicted decline of 11% to $35 billion, steady growth in 300mm installs, and an H1 dip/H2 surge format.
Barclays Capital forecasts 2012 as a "subdued year" for the light-emitting diode (LED) industry, but there will be opportunities for MOCVD sales in the LED and power semiconductor sectors, as well as MOCVD upgrades.
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.
Tablet PCs occupy more than a quarter of the mobile computing market share now, but will face competition as prices come down on notebook PCs, and the new ultrabook device type ramps up, shows NPD Displaysearch.
With consumers' TV demand softening as the CRT-to-FPD transition tails off and mature markets around the world, bigger panel TVs (40"+) will grow 12% in 2012, while those smaller will fall off by 3%, shows NPD DisplaySearch. Overall, TV shipments will grow 2% this year.
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.
Hydro One Networks, NEC and ON Semiconductor join SRC’s global Energy Research Initiative, expanding the focus to include finding new materials, devices and methodologies for power controls/management and energy collection, conversion and storage.
The global semiconductor market will see a slow 2012, reports IHS, with economic uncertainty and semiconductor inventory not moving enough to stimulate new production. Expect negative growth in Q1 2012, a nascent rebound in Q2, and strong growth in Q3 2012, IHS reports.
Solid State Technology editor Pete Singer caught up with Janos Veres, area manager for printed electronics in the electronic materials and devices laboratory at PARC.
Requirements for LED processing equipment are changing from cost driven to more technology driven decisions, a clear trend to more complex and more efficient manufacturing, according to Thomas Uhrmann and Thorsten Matthias of EV Group.
Charles Annis, DisplaySearch, shares 10 trends in LCD manufacturing, covering LTPS, IGZO, alignment technologies, metallization techs, 2µm resolution lithograhy patterns on Gen 8, and more.
Due to stronger demand for TSMC’s 28nm technology and the pull-in of a 20nm R&D process line, the foundry raised its estimate for 2012 capital expenditures from $6 billion to $8-8.5 billion.
The overall semiconductor industry will grow 4.3% in 2012, according to IHS, which raised its forecast 1 percentage point based on consumer demand for wireless products like smartphones and tablets.
Touch sensors for displays grew to 66% to 9.6 million square meters in 2011, according to NPD DisplaySearch. This includes resistive, projected capacitive, sensor-on-cover, and on-cell touch sensors. Touch sensors will continue growing, attracting new entrants and raising concerns about supply/demand balance.
Boosted by LEDs, semiconducting (SC) GaAs substrates will lead growth of the GaAs market. In 2011, semi-inductive (SI) GaAs substrates held ~56% (M$) of the overall GaAs substrate market (SC GaAs held ~44%), a trend that is likely to reverse in the short term.
Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $306.8 billion in 2011, up $5.4 billion, or 1.8% from 2010, according to Gartner Inc.
Positives for LED makers -- improved utilization rates in Taiwan, growing LED lighting demand -- will not immediately equal more orders for MOCVD tool suppliers, reports Barclays Capital. The analysts expect 525 MOCVD tool orders in 2012, most in the second half of the year.
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.
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.”
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.
This SEMI News and Views blog, written by Jonathan Davis, president, SEMI Semiconductor Business, covers SEMI's efforts with government and policy-shapers in the US and Europe.
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.
The 22nm node marks the beginning of a major transition from conventional scaling of planar memory devices to complex 3D architectures. SEMATECH authors examine the metrology needs of 3D memory device architectures in Part 2 of this three-part series.
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.
OLEDs are gaining adopters in small screen sizes, and just moving into large-size displays. Mass production color-patterning technology for large-area OLED is increasingly an issue. Displaybank looks at new technologies under development at major display makers.
President Barack Obama toured the SUNY - Albany Nano-Tech Complex today, speaking about the economy and education in the CNSE NanoFab Extension Building.
Solid State Technology is proud to announce that David McCann will speak at The ConFab 2012. David, the Senior Director for Packaging R&D at GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Malta, New York, will speak on the evolution toward silicon-based interconnect and packaging, which is having profound impact on how we think about technology development and the supply chain.
Barclays Capital’s Asia IT analyst Jones Ku shares details of China's State Council’s subsidy program for household electrical appliances. The program sets aside RMB2.2 billion to promote consumption of LEDs and “other energy-saving light bulbs.”
LEDs are typically manufactured on sapphire substrates, about 90% of the blue LEDs currently in production. SiC substrates are used for virtually all the remaining 10% of blue LEDs. To improve efficiency and brightness, as well as cost, LED makers are looking to other substrates, such as Si and ZnO.
Barclays Capital analysts attended Lightfair International and gleaned several trends in LEDs and OLEDs for lighting, including an interesting phenomenon around MOCVD utilization rates and new orders.
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.
In this series, CMC Laboratories describes a new LED-grade AlN and what it accomplishes as a ceramic substrate. The AlN offers better heat dissipation for LED packages than alumina, at a lower cost than previous formulations.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.18 billion in orders, $1.24 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill of 0.95 in January 2012, according to SEMI.
As semis are manufactured at the 2X and 1Xnm nodes, new metrology technologies must evolve to fill the gaps. In Part 3 of this 3-part metrology series, SEMATECH discusses the inspection/metrology options for advanced semiconductors.
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.
Europe’s leading organic and large-area electronics (OLAE) organizations have joined forces in the Framework 7 project COLAE, which aims to speed up the commercialization and adoption of organic and large area electronics by promoting collaboration between industry clusters throughout Europe.
A common theme among the presenters at SEMI's ISS Europe was how Europe might bridge the so-called “valley of death” between basic research and volume manufacturing.
The 10th Annual MEMS Technology Symposium sponsored by MEPTEC (MicroElectronics Packaging and Test Engineering Council) was held May 23 at the San Jose Holiday Inn. This year’s theme was “Sensors: A Foundation for Accelerated MEMS Market Growth to $1 Trillion.”
North America-based makers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.33 billion in orders in February 2012, $1.32 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.01, according to SEMI.
Taiwan raised investment ceilings for Chinese investors in LCDs, semiconductors, IC assembly and test, microelectronics production equipment, and metal tool manufacturing.
Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending is projected to total $38.9 billion in 2012, an 11.6% decline from 2011 spending of $44 billion, according to Gartner Inc.
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).
Libelium, a wireless sensor networks platform provider, has released a list of 54 sensor applications for a smarter world, covering the most disruptive sensor and “internet of things” applications.
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 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.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed the first functional oxide thin films that can be used efficiently in electronics, opening the door to an array of new high-power devices and smart sensors.
Semiconductor fab equipment spending will remain flat in 2012, says SEMI. But look for a record spend from semiconductor makers in 2013, jumping from $38.85 billion spent in 2012 to $45 billion in 2013.
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.
Attendees at this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) were delighted and perhaps somewhat horrified when the plenary speaker popped some electronics gear in his mouth and proclaimed, “It tastes like chicken!”
ATMI Inc. has introduced the eVOLV process and system that represents a sustainable solution for recycling electronic waste (e-waste).
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.
In the third installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss some of the challenges of 450mm wafers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
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.
Toshiba will start mass production of white LEDs on a new 200mm wafer production line in its Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corporation fab in northern Japan.
Following are some of the process control, device inspection, defect detection, and other metrology and test products that will be on display at SEMICON West 2012, July 10-12 in San Francisco, CA.
Edwards (NASDAQ:EVAC) introduced the new iXH645H dry pump, optimized for metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, a key step in LED and compound semiconductor manufacturing.
Barclays Capital checks in on the EUV lithography market potential and which semiconductor manufacturers will press adoption. The analysts also update their expectations for lithography tool suppliers on the EUV front.
SEMICON West is taking place July 10-12 in San Francisco, CA. Following are new products for lithography, including photoresist coaters and ashers.
North-America-based manufacturers of semiconductor fab equipment posted $1.61 billion in orders worldwide in May 2012, $1.54 billion in billings, and a 1.05 book-to-bill ratio, shows SEMI.
“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.”
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.
IC Insights’ latest survey and ranking of the major semiconductor capital spenders shows that only 6 of the 35 major semiconductor suppliers -- Intel, Samsung, Hynix, TSMC, UMC, and Rohm -- with significant capital expenditure budgets are expected to spend more in 2012 than they did in 2011.
SEMICON West kicked off with a surprise announcement regarding Intel's investment in ASML, but generally the event highlighted trends “as expected” in the fab supply chain, say Barclays analysts.
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.
A main focus of this year’s Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), held this week in San Diego, is 3D integration and through silicon vias (TSVs).
Dr. Vivek Bakshi blogs about trends he expect to see at the upcoming 2012 International Workshop on EUV Lithography, in Maui Hawaii.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) measures a 70% increase in fab process steps from 90nm to 32nm semiconductor nodes. This doubles the critical inspection steps required, report Citi analysts.
In this first installment of a series called "Process Watch,” experts from KLA-Tencor explain why a defect might be classified as “Not Found” or “SEM Non-visual (SNV),” and how a SNV count can disguise or hide real problems.
Mike Fury reports on Day 2 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference), from San Jose, CA.
Naoya Hayashi, research fellow for electronic device operations at Dai Nippon Printing, speaks with Solid State Technology chief editor Pete Singer during The ConFab 2012. Hayashi presented “NGL Mask Readiness” in The ConFab’s session on technology trends.
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.
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.
The first MEMS Business Forum, sponsored by MEMS Journal and MEPTEC (MicroElectronics Packaging and Test Engineering Council) was held May 24 at the Santa Clara Biltmore Hotel. Ten speakers presented on topics ranging from near- and mid-term business opportunities to roles of MEMS in broad visions for the future.
At imec’s International Technology Forum, Peter Peumans, department director bio-nano electronics of imec, described promising examples of : technologies that connect biology and Microsystems: Biotechnology: bioreactors, neuroprobes, high speed cell inspection, and high-throughput molecular analysis.
VLSIresearch polled semiconductor manufacturers about their tool suppliers, asking chipmakers to rank equipment providers on customer satisfaction. This year’s results show renewed focus on fab needs.
Blogger Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., Techcet Group, reports on Day 2 of SEMICON West with insights from the Sokudo Lithography Forum and NCCAVS CMPUG meeting, and -- sadly -- none on SEMICON West’s Happy Hour.
Solid State Technology and SEMI announced the Best of West Award winner -- Jordan Valley Semiconductor -- during SEMICON West today. Jordan Valley Semiconductor’s QC-TT defect inspection system predicts breakage in 450mm wafers, which are subject to more handling steps and more thermal stresses due to their larger size.
Citi analysts surveyed the LED manufacturing market and LED demand at SEMICON West in San Francisco, CA, including a slight uptick in MOCVD orders, and some backlash against Cree's downstream ambitions.
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.
Semiconductor equipment sales will reach $42.4 billion in 2012, according to the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at 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.
imec will build a 450mm wafer fab cleanroom at the research organization’s site in Belgium, with a new EUR100 million Belgian investment. We caught up with Luc Van den hove of imec to discuss the implications for semiconductor manufacturing at 450mm, how to build a 450mm-capable cleanroom, and more.
Following are some of the new and flagship products that will appear this week at SEMICON West, July 10-12 in the Moscone Center of San Francisco, CA.
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.
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.
Fab equipment spending has improved in 2012, breaking the barrier into positive growth for the year, shows SEMI. Semiconductor makers will invest $39.5 billion in fabs, up 2% from 2011 spending. Fab capex will hit a record in 2013, $46.3 billion or 17% above 2012.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES will add 90,000 more square feet of semiconductor manufacturing space to Module 1 of Fab 8 in NY. The completed semiconductor manufacturing area will total 300,000sq.ft.
SiC is a niche material for semiconductor, power electronics, and LED manufacturing. Yole analyzed patents related to SiC growth and wafer manufacturing to glean trends in production, R&D, top companies, barriers to entry, and more.
SRC-sponsored researchers developed new sensor-based metrology technology that can significantly reduce water and related energy usage during semiconductor manufacturing.
"Following seven months of increases, the three-month average bookings declined in June and likely reflects some slowing in investment plans attributed to weaknesses in the broader economy," said Denny McGuirk, SEMI. "While order activity may slow, equipment spending this year will continue to be directed towards advanced technologies in wafer processing and packaging assembly."
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.
To support the next cycle of LED manufacturing, tools such as MOCVD, plasma etch, lithography, and others must undergo cost efficiency and yield improvements, says Yole Développement. Trends include migrating to larger wafers, silicon substrates, and tools developed specifically for LED fab, rather than retooled from semiconductor manufacturing specs.
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.
Some of the new and flagship wafer fab products and supporting facility products, like vacuum valves, that will be on the show floor at SEMICON West, from ion implant to MOCVD traps and gas blenders.
In this SEMI News and Views blog, Karen Savala covers EUV lithography, 450mm wafers, and 3D IC developments, based on her recent presentation at SEMICON West, “Supply Chain Readiness in an Era of Accelerated Change.”
The LED industry is entering its third growth cycle, general lighting, according to Yole and EPIC’s report, “Status of the LED Industry.” However, the cost of a packaged LED still needs to be reduced by a factor x10 to enable massive adoption. New business models are mandatory to capture added value of LED lighting.
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.
A ranking of the forecasted top 2012 12 IC foundries (pure-play and IDM) was released by IC Insights.
OSRAM AG and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. have reached an agreement to settle all patent suits between them worldwide. The parties have reached license agreements for their respective LED patent portfolios.
Barclays Capital provides its analysis of Apple iPhone 5 display manufacturing -- will the phone’s display suppliers be able to achieve acceptable yields and throughput on the new in-cell architecture?
"Bookings and billings for North American semiconductor equipment in July are close to values reported exactly one year ago," said Denny McGuirk, SEMI, noting seasonally slow investment activity.
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.”
Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during Q2 2012, compared to Q1 and to Q2 2011, reports SEMI’s Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG).
Tokyo Electron Limited and FSI International entered into a definitive agreement under which TEL will acquire FSI for approximately $252.5 million.
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.
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.
In the fourth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss overlay registration and new capabilities to align to buried layers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
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.
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).
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.
Sensors and optoelectronics will continue to grow faster than the mainstream semiconductor market. We currently expect 9%-13% growth in these sectors in 2013, accompanied by rapid changes in technology and market structures.
In the second of two installments, Linx Consulting reports a steady growth in semiconductor production, as released in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.
To help the Taiwan LED industry tackle the increasing challenges, an in-depth analysis of LED global market opportunities and technology breakthroughs were recently provided at the 2013 LED Market and Outlook seminar held by SEMI Taiwan.
STATS ChipPAC and UMC announced the world's first demonstration of TSV-enabled 3D IC chip stacking technology developed under an open ecosystem collaboration.
Is it time for high-brightness LED manufacturing to get serious about process control? If so, what lessons can be learned from traditional, silicon-based integrated circuit manufacturing?
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.
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.
Chip inventory held by semiconductor suppliers reached alarmingly high levels in the third quarter of 2012 amid weak market conditions, according to an IHS iSuppli Semiconductor Inventory Insider Market Brief.
Professor Yue Kuo at Texas A&M University has fabricated a new type of LED, based on light emission from an ultra-thin amorphous dielectric layer.
Accurate mask-wafer double simulation is a new, required step for lithography at the 20nm node and beyond because corner rounding becomes the dominant effect, explains Aki Fujimura, D2S.
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.
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.
Novellus authors investigated the film characteristics and process integration of TaN produced using iALD. High-density TaN with low resistivity and excellent conformality is demonstrated. With the adoption of Cu metallization, metal barriers such as TaN are needed to enhance the adhesion of metal to the dielectric and prevent the diffusion of Cu through the dielectric.
Displays for pure-play e-book readers will see 108% higher shipments in 2011, but slower growth ahead. In the future, e-reader makers will turn to color display technologies, predicts IHS iSuppli.
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.
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.
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).
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $973.3 million in orders in November 2011, $1.17 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.83, according to the November Book-to-Bill Report from SEMI.
SEMI reports worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment bookings fell 38% year-over-year in Q3 2011; billings dropped 5% for the same quarter.
GT Crystal Systems COO, Kurt Schmid provides details about the company's directional solidification process based on the heat exchanger method. Schmid observes that wafer manufacturers using MOCVD equipment will need to move to traditional semiconductor manufacturing technologies, which are based on 6"-diameter and larger size substrates.
TSMC's Morris Chang has laid out a surprisingly bullish timeline for the foundry's 450mm wafer-size transition. Analysts weigh in on whether TSMC's goals are achievable, and what it means for the rest of the industry.
ICs manufactured at 65nm nodes and smaller introduce new design-specific and feature-sensitive failure mechanisms, with systematic yield issues even more challenging to diagnose and overcome. SMIC and Mentor Graphics cover how to use scan diagnosis for better semiconductor yields.
Combo sensors, comprising MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes, or electronic compasses, are filling a need in consumer and automotive applications. Combined revenue from these sectors will grow by a factor of 50 over 5 years, shows IHS iSuppli.
Yole studies the evolution of inertial MEMS and magnetometers and provides reverse costing analysis of the MEMS devices in "Technology Trends for Inertial MEMS." The report considers 23 MEMS devices.
IHS and Chipworks share details from their preliminary teardowns of the Apple iPhone 4S. The device resembles an iPad/iPhone hybrid, and the 5-lens autofocus camera module is the first IHS has encountered in a smartphone.
MEMS vendors comprise MNC and MEMS-centric and small-portfolio companies. The market will grow as tablet/smartphone adoption increases, and MEMS makers co-opt the economies of scale that other semiconductor segments have used to reach maturity, according to ABI Research.
Sensors are experiencing faster growth than the overall semiconductor chip industry, according to the Q3 Sensors and MEMS Market Tracker released by MarketResearch.com. Sensors hit almost $7 billion in 2010, with 6.5 million units shipped.
University of Gothenburg and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) researchers demonstrated that spin waves propagated from magnetic nanocontacts, observing the dynamic properties via an advanced spin wave microscope. Magnonics potentially replaces microwave technology in many applications.
Bridgelux and Toshiba reported a 1.1mm2 LED chip fabricated on an 8" GaN-on-Si wafer, emitting 614mW, <3.1V @ 350mA. The companies will collaborate on commercializing GaN-on-Si LEDs, and Toshiba has invested in Bridgelux.
TechNavio predicts 22% CAGR for MEMS microphones from 2011 to 2015, mainly due to the shrinking form factor of these devices. MEMS microphones are gaining acceptance in a new field: healthcare electronics.
InvenSense Inc. (NYSE:INVN) says STMicroelectronics (ST, NYSE:STM) filed a complaint in the Northern District of California, alleging that InvenSense infringes 9 of ST’s patents. InvenSense contests these claims.
Karen Lightman, MEMS Industry Group (MIG), lets us in on the real meaning of MEMS new product development. MEMS are micro electro mechanical systems.
Driven by the volume consumer business, the maturing MEMS sector starts to look at ways to reduce costs and speed time to market by coming together on things like easing integration, common test methods, and tool replacement parts, reports Paula Doe, SEMI. Fast-moving high-volume markets may also drive MEMS makers toward paring down the vast diversity of processes and packages used, and into more collaboration on a mature ecosystem.
Karen Lightman, MEMS Industry Group (MIG), reports on the group's pre-Sensors Expo symposium on MEMS. The coordination of equipment vendors, materials suppliers, foundries, device manufacturers, end-users, and OEMs is "music to her ears."
Paula Doe, SEMI Emerging Markets, covers developments at Applied Materials, Coventor, and other members of the MEMS equipment supply chain that will make MEMS less expensive, smaller, and easier to manufacture.
Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. remained the two largest buyers of MEMS devices for consumer and mobile applications in 2011, solidifying their command and expanding their influence over the market, according to IHS.
SEMICON Taiwan 2012, held September 5-7, will feature both Taiwan MEMS suppliers and global MEMS elites -- including Asia Pacific Microsystems, Freescale, InvenSense, and STMicroelectronics -- who will discuss innovation in MEMS design, manufacture, packaging, testing and equipment.
The top 3 MEMS manufacturers by revenue -- Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, and Bosch -- fought for market share in 2011, but #4, STMicroelectronics, experienced the biggest revenue jump year-to-year.
MEMS will continue to see steady, sustainable, double-digit growth for the next 6 years, with 20% compound average annual growth in units and 13% growth in revenues, to become a $21 billion market by 2017, according to Yole.
Harmeet Bhugra, Integrated Device Technology Inc., shares the benefits that MEMS technology can bring to a product -- oscillators -- that has been around since the early 19th century. Bhugra delineates the features of piezoelectric MEMS.
In reporting its Q2 and H1 2012 results, STMicroelectronics (ST, NYSE:STM) said it will reduce its 2012 capex plan by about 25%, down to $500 million to $600 million.
Movea, motion processing and data fusion technology developer, raised EUR6.5m in a funding round led by Intel Capital, with existing investors iSource and GIMV. We are increasing our involvement in the MEMS sector in general, said Erik Jorgensen, Intel Capital.
Ian Chen, Sensor Platforms Inc., discusses the role of sensors in smart devices, evolving from pure metrological instruments to context-aware user assistance devices. Key points include sensor fusion with data input and algorithms, and power consumption control.
Embedded features and sensor integration will determine the future applications of MEMS sensors. Jay Esfandyari et al, STMicroelectronics, share an overview of future trends of sensor integration -- sensor fusion -- and some of the features available today in digital MEMS inertial sensors.
MEMS microphones will find continued strong implementation in phones, laptops, and tablets in the future, shows Jeremie Bouchaud, IHS, sharing shipment and revenue forecasts through 2015.
The Great East Japan Earthquake, March 11, 2011 off Sendai, was "a Darwinian event" for the MEMS market. The MEMS supply chain came out of the disaster much richer, more diverse, and better positioned for growth, shows the IHS iSuppli MEMS & Sensors Service.
Blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, shares presentations from SensorsCon 2012, covering MEMS applications in wireless sensor networks and personal devices, and other sensor developments.
The market for MEMS grew 17% to $10.2 billion in 2011, according to Yole Développement. The top 2 suppliers -- Texas Instruments (TXN, TI) and STMicroelectronics (STM, ST) -- neared $1 billion in sales each.
After 5 straight months of steep declines, prices for large-sized LCD panels stabilized in December 2011, thanks to better-than expected sales and decreased production, says IHS.
Mariquita Gordon from Texas Instruments discusses the company's MEMS-based DLP technology. In its 4th-gen embedded DLP evalution module, the LightCrafter, TI is opening up the applications space to new imaging markets, such as security, dentistry, and more.
Gyroscopes generated more revenues in 2011 than any other consumer/mobile MEMS, the first time gyroscopes topped accelerometers, reports IHS.