What’s in the August/September Issue?

Each issue of Semiconductor Digest has articles found only in the magazine! Read the August/September issue…

Brooks Automation Announces Agreement To Sell Its Semiconductor Solutions Group Business To Thomas H. Lee Partners

Brooks Automation, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Semiconductor Solutions Group business to Thomas H. Lee Partners for $3.0 billion in cash.

Materion to Acquire H.C. Starck’s Electronic Materials Portfolio

Materion Corporation today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire H.C. Starck Solutions’ industry-leading, electronic materials business, located in Newton, Massachusetts (HCS-Electronic Materials).

Challenges of 10nm and 7nm CMOS at IEDM

The International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) was held in Washington, D.C. this week. I attended a short course on Sunday focused on the Challenges of 10nm and 7nm CMOS Technologies, organized by Aaron Thean of imec. The speakers were Frederic Boeuf of ST Microlelectronics, who gave a general overview of drivers and challenges; Zsolt Tokei of imec, who spoke on interconnect challenges; Andy Wei of GLOBALFOUNDRIES who talked about process…

MEMS: An Enabler of the Next Internet Revolution

Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and sensor fusion will play a critical role in enabling a more intelligent and intuitive Internet of Things (IoT)—one that will revolutionize the consumer space forever. The MEMS and sensor technology is here today and now is the time to harness it for your products and position yourself for this exciting future. I encourage you to read on and learn about some great examples of MEMS enabling…

Countdown to The ConFab 2014

We had our second conference call yesterday with advisory board of The ConFab (a special thanks to Lori Nye of Brewer Science who called in from Japan at 2:00 am her time. Above and Beyond the call of dutry!). The ConFab will be held June 22-25 at The Encore at The Wynn in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the 10th anniversary of the event and I’m working hard…

IEDM 2013 Preview

Next week, the researchers and practitioners of the electron device world will be gathering in Washington D.C. for the 2013 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting.  To quote the conference web front page, “IEDM is the flagship conference for nanometer-scale CMOS transistor technology, advanced memory, displays, sensors, MEMS devices, novel quantum and nano-scale devices and phenomenology, optoelectronics, devices for power and energy harvesting, high-speed devices, as well as process technology and…

IEDM 2013 Preview

Next week, the researchers and practitioners of the electron device world will be gathering in Washington D.C. for the 2013 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting.  To quote the conference web front page, “IEDM is the flagship conference for nanometer-scale CMOS transistor technology, advanced memory, displays, sensors, MEMS devices, novel quantum and nano-scale devices and phenomenology, optoelectronics, devices for power and energy harvesting, high-speed devices, as well as process technology and…

IEDM 2013 Preview

Next week, the researchers and practitioners of the electron device world will be gathering in Washington D.C. for the 2013 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting.  To quote the conference web front page, “IEDM is the flagship conference for nanometer-scale CMOS transistor technology, advanced memory, displays, sensors, MEMS devices, novel quantum and nano-scale devices and phenomenology, optoelectronics, devices for power and energy harvesting, high-speed devices, as well as process technology and…

Are Hardware Hubs Coming?

Guest Contributor: Bryon Moyer, Editor of EE Journal Sensor fusion has been all the rage over the last year. We’ve all watched as numerous companies – both makers of sensors and the “sensor-agnostic” folks – have sported dueling algorithms. Sensor fusion has broadened into “data fusion,” where other non-sensor data like maps can play a part. This drama increasingly unfolds on microcontrollers serving as “sensor hubs.” But there’s something new…

IEDM’s special focus session highlights diverse challenge

As part of the technical program at the annual IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), scheduled for December 9 – 11, 2013 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, a special focus session has been planned to highlight advanced processing and platforms for semiconductor manufacturing technology, including ‘more-than-Moore’ applications. The technical session, scheduled for Tuesday, December 10 from 9am – 12pm, will feature presentations on many of today’s hot topics: memory, LEDs,…

Progress in Intrachip Optical Interconnects and Silicon Photonics

In a keynote talk at The ConFab earlier this year, Samsung exec Yoon Woo (Y.W.) Lee. predicted that optical interconnects would soon be required. “Exascale computing will require optical interconnection to communicate between the CPU and memory chip,” he said. This appears to be moving closer to reality with last week’s demonstration by Fujitsu and Intel of the world’s first Optical PCIe Express (OPCIe) based server.  Intel’s 50Gbps silicon photonics…

GLOBALFOUNDRIES to make Apple chips in New York fab?

I normally don’t have the time to follow local press, but occasionally Google Alerts pops up with something quite interesting. In this case, the Albany Times Union from Albany, New York had an intriguing headline that supports some of the gossip around Apple’s fabrication plans for their A-series processor chips, up to now fabbed by Samsung. At least in the short term, and from a technology point of view, this…

GLOBALFOUNDRIES to make Apple chips in New York fab?

I normally don’t have the time to follow local press, but occasionally Google Alerts pops up with something quite interesting. In this case, the Albany Times Union from Albany, New York had an intriguing headline that supports some of the gossip around Apple’s fabrication plans for their A-series processor chips, up to now fabbed by Samsung. At least in the short term, and from a technology point of view, this…

SST’s Editorial Calendar for 2014 is Out

The new Solid State Technology Editorial calendar for 2014 – the whole media planner actually – is out and live on our site: http://electroiq.com/advertise-docs/2014mediakit.pdf The editorial mission remains that same: we’re dedicated to covering mainstream semiconductor manufacturing technology, with a strong focus on transistors, interconnects and packaging. We also cover other types of advanced electronics, including MEMs, LEDs, displays, bioelectronics, photonics and power electronics. In 2014, we’ll be looking at…

Should lifetime of EUV optics be a concern?

It’s well known that EUV adoption is running later than hoped, mostly due to inadequate source power (although ASML and Cymer say they are on track to provide workable solutions and imec says it’s on track for the 10nm node). After that, the main challenge could be those associated with EUV mask blanks, which are essentially sophisticated mirrors. The dual challenge there is that they are not only difficult to…

Design Enablement and the Emergence of the Near Platform

By Karen Lightman, managing director of MEMS Industry Group I am pleased to bring you this blog by Silex Microsystem’s Peter Himes, vice president marketing & strategic alliances. Peter reflects on MEMS and while other might lament at the conundrum of the uniqueness of all MEMS process (you can hum it to the tune initially coined by Jean Christophe Eloy of “one process, one product”) Peter instead sees opportunity. Through…

What’s down the road for bulk FinFETs

For the 10nm node and beyond, transistor research efforts are focused on high mobility designs with Ge and III-V channel, reducing VDD supply voltage as well as the subthreshold slope in transistors and optimizing multi-Vt  designs. Eventually, lateral finFETs built from silicon nanowires may be required. As previously reported in the post “Status update on logic and memory roadmaps,” the 14nm node (which imec calls the “N” node”) is in…

EUV is late but on the way for 10nm; DSA is promising

EUV lithography is late, but it is on the way and will be ready for insertion into the 10nm node, which is slated to go into production in late 2015/early 2016. Meanwhile, results from early work into directed self-assembly (DSA) is quite promising. DSA could be used in conjunction with EUV for the 7nm node, scheduled to go into production in the 2017/2018 timeframe. These were some of the conclusions…

Intel stands firm on 450mm; challenged by defects at 14nm

Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, said Intel is standing firm on 450mm development (despite rumors to the contrary), during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts. He also blamed defects on a slight push-out of next-generation 14nm technology. When asked about 450mm plans, Krzanich said: “We have not changed our timing. We are still targeting the second, latter half of this decade. We continue to see great value…

Progress on 450mm at G450C

At Semicon Europa last week, Paul Farrar, general manager of G450C, provided an update on the consortium’s progress in demonstrating 450mm process capability. He said 25 tools will be installed in the Albany cleanroom by the end of 2013, progress has been made on notchless wafers with a 1.5mm edge exclusion zone, they have seen significant progress in wafer quality, and automation and wafer carriers are working. G450C is an…

Status update on logic and memory roadmaps

The way in which logic and memory technology is likely to evolve over the next six years was provided at imec’s recent International Technology Forum in Leuven, Belgium. An Steegan, senior vice president process technology at imec, said that FinFETs will likely become the logic technology of choice for the upcoming generations, with high mobility channels coming into play for the 7 and 5nm generation (2017 and 2019). In DRAM,…

Semiconductors that detect cancer

At the recent imec International Technology Forum Press Gathering in Leuven, Belgium, imec CEO Luc Van den hove provided an update on blood cell sorting technology that combines semiconductor technology with microfluidics, imaging and high speed data processing to detect tumorous cancer cells. As I reported previously, the challenge is huge: one has to have the ability to detect one bad tumor cell in 5 billion blood cells. This equate…

Europe’s 10/100/20 program

Despite some economic woes in recent years, Europe remains dedicated to building a strong electronics industry. This was brought home to me recently when, in advance of Semicon Europa (October 7-10 in Dresden), I had a chance to talk with Heinz Kundert, president of SEMI Europe. “There are several initiatives like the KET (key enabling technology) initiative that are working on the same goals to increase the competitiveness but also…

Pressure-based Mass Flow Controllers for Semiconductor Processing

Dr. Mohamed Saleem, Chief Technology Officer of Brooks Instrument, talks with Editor-in-Chief Pete Singer about how mass flow controllers (MFCs) are used in the semiconductor industry, and key differences between older thermal-based MFCs and newer pressure-based MFCs.

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