A year in review: Top 10 stories of 2016

From the ground-breaking research breakthroughs to the shifting supplier landscape, these are the stories the Solid State Technology audience read the most during 2016.

#1: Moore’s Law did indeed stop at 28nm

In this follow up, Zvi Or-Bach, president and CEO, MonolithIC 3D, Inc., writes: “As we have predicted two and a half years back, the industry is bifurcating, and just a few products pursue scaling to 7nm while the majority of designs stay on 28nm or older nodes.”

#2: Yield and cost challenges at 16nm and beyond

In February, KLA-Tencor’s Robert Cappel and Cathy Perry-Sullivan wrote of a new 5D solution which utilizes multiple types of metrology systems to identify and control fab-wide sources of pattern variation, with an intelligent analysis system to handle the data being generated.

#3: EUVL: Taking it down to 5nm

The semiconductor industry is nothing if not persistent — it’s been working away at developing extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) for many years, SEMI’s Deb Vogler reported in May.

#4: IBM scientists achieve storage memory breakthrough

For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated reliably storing 3 bits of data per cell using a relatively new memory technology known as phase-change memory (PCM).

#5: ams breaks ground on NY wafer fab

In April, ams AG took a step forward in its long-term strategy of increasing manufacturing capacity for its high-performance sensors and sensor solution integrated circuits (ICs), holding a groundbreaking event at the site of its new wafer fabrication plant in Utica, New York.

#6: Foundries takeover 200mm fab capacity by 2018

In January, Christian Dieseldorff of SEMI wrote that a recent Global Fab Outlook report reveals a change in the landscape for 200mm fab capacity.

#7: Equipment spending up: 19 new fabs and lines to start construction

While semiconductor fab equipment spending was off to a slow start in 2016, it was expected to gain momentum through the end of the year. For 2016, 1.5 percent growth over 2015 is expected while 13 percent growth is forecast in 2017.

#8: How finFETs ended the service contract of silicide process

Arabinda Daa, TechInsights, provided a look into how the silicide process has evolved over the years, trying to cope with the progress in scaling technology and why it could no longer be of service to finFET devices.

#9: Five suppliers to hold 41% of global semiconductor marketshare in 2016

In December, IC Insights reported that two years of busy M&A activity had boosted marketshare among top suppliers.

#10: Countdown to Node 5: Moving beyond FinFETs

A forum of industry experts at SEMICON West 2016 discussed the challenges associated with getting from node 10 — which seems set for HVM — to nodes 7 and 5.

BONUS: Most Watched Webcast of 2016: View On Demand Now

IoT Device Trends and Challenges

Presenters: Rajeev Rajan, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and Uday Tennety, GE Digital

The age of the Internet of Things is upon us, with the expectation that tens of billions of devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. This explosion of devices will make our lives simpler, yet create an array of new challenges and opportunities in the semiconductor industry. At the sensor level, very small, inexpensive, low power devices will be gathering data and communicating with one another and the “cloud.” On the other hand, this will mean huge amounts of small, often unstructured data (such as video) will rippling through the network and the infrastructure. The need to convert that data into “information” will require a massive investment in data centers and leading edge semiconductor technology.

Also, manufacturers seek increased visibility and better insights into the performance of their equipment and assets to minimize failures and reduce downtime. They wish to both cut their costs as well as grow their profits for the organization while ensuring safety for employees, the general public and the environment.

The Industrial Internet is transforming the way people and machines interact by using data and analytics in new ways to drive efficiency gains, accelerate productivity and achieve overall operational excellence. The advent of networked machines with embedded sensors and advanced analytics tools has greatly influenced the industrial ecosystem.

Today, the Industrial Internet allows you to combine data from the equipment sensors, operational data , and analytics to deliver valuable new insights that were never before possible. The results of these powerful analytic insights can be revolutionary for your business by transforming your technological infrastructure, helping reduce unplanned downtime, improve performance and maximize profitability and efficiency.


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