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January 25, 2013
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • What it will mean to work with 450mm wafers?
    Fabricating semiconductors on 450-millimeter wafers is expected to bring a new set of challenges to chip manufacturing. One factor is weight: A 450mm wafer will weigh 2.7 times what a 300mm wafer weighs, according to Olaf Kievit of TNO, a research firm. "Wafer transport pods will be bigger and heavier, both loaded and empty," Katherine Derbyshire writes. (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Test & Debug DDR3 & DDR4 in 5 minutes:
In this short video you'll see how to setup and capture live DDR traffic in less than 5 minutes. There's no calibration needed with Teledyne LeCroy's Kibra 480 protocol analyzer. It's the fastest, easiest way to test DDR3 & DDR4 systems for JEDEC compliance. Watch the video here.
  ICs, Memory & More 
  • Sources: TSMC wants that 28nm IC gear delivered -- now!
    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is pressuring its suppliers of semiconductor production equipment to install the gear it needs to fabricate chips with 28-nanometer features, DigiTimes reports, citing industry sources. The vendors under the gun include Advanced Ion Beam Technology, Applied Materials, ASML Holding, Hermes Microvision and Tokyo Electron, those sources said. DigiTimes (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Samsung reins in capex, sets budget at 2012 level
    Samsung Electronics, which has traditionally boosted its budget for capital expenditures every year except during the global financial crisis, has turned more cautious this year, putting its capital spending at about the same level as 2012, this article notes. "The key word for us in investment in 2013 is flexibility. We'll decide as the market demand dictates," Samsung's Robert Yi said. Reuters (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Going Green 
  • IMS Research: Look for 6.5% growth in power IC sales this year
    This year, the global market for chips going into power supplies is expected to increase by 6.5%, according to IMS Research, with especially strong growth forecast for microprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor and digital signal controller products. "2012 was a difficult year for many semiconductor vendors who sell into power supplies, with reduced demand from many sectors," said Ryan Sanderson of IMS Research. Electronics Weekly (U.K.) (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • Analysis: Smartphones make wider use of RFICs
    A greater variety of radio-frequency semiconductors are being implemented in smartphones to meet demand for 4G Long-Term Evolution wireless service, Mark LaPedus writes in this analysis. "The big challenge is to cover as many bands as possible in a region with an easy-to-use and low-cost system," says Christopher Taylor of Strategy Analytics. "As long as the industry moves toward more bands and faster data rates, it puts more stress on the component guys." (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Testing & Standards 
  • Chipmakers consider how to replace dual-damascene copper
    Dual-damascene copper interconnects have been a semiconductor manufacturing staple for nearly two decades, Mark LaPedus notes in this article. What chipmakers will use in its place as chip dimensions shrink to 10 nanometers and less is under consideration. "I think dual damascene will extend to 10nm and probably the 7nm node," says IBM's Daniel Edelstein, adding that single damascene and copper reactive ion etching are potential alternatives. (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Spreadtrum's smartphone chips are going into eWLB packaging
    Spreadtrum Communications is having its smartphone semiconductors put into embedded wafer-level ball grid array packages to meet the demand for mobile chipsets in China, according to STATS ChipPAC, Spreadtrum's IC assembly and testing contractor. "By combining our unique chip architecture and leading TD-SCDMA modem technology with STATS ChipPAC's technology and manufacturing leadership, we have been able to deliver high-performance TD-SCDMA chipsets in a package format that continues to provide Spreadtrum and our customers with a clear competitive advantage in the China market," Spreadtrum's Brian Chen said in a statement. DigiTimes (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  JEDEC News 
  • JEDEC Mobile Forum 2013 -- call for presentations
    To be held in Santa Clara, Calif., on May 1 and 2, the Forum will focus on the latest developments and standards for mobile storage technology, including Universal Flash Storage (UFS), LPDDR3 & 4, and Wide I/O 2, as well as the mobile devices that utilize these standards, including smartphones, ultra-thin notebooks, and tablets. Share your knowledge and experience by submitting a presentation for consideration. All submissions due 2/8. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Looking for expert insights into the new DDR4 standard?
    Register now for JEDEC's 2-day DDR4 Workshop on Feb. 6 and 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., offering an in-depth technical review of DDR4 as taught by industry leaders involved in the creation of the standard. Presenters include representatives from Agilent, AMD, Inphi, Intel, Micron, Montage, Samsung and SK Hynix. See the agenda and register today -- online registration and discounts end 1/31. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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In youth we learn; in age we understand."
--Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach,
Austrian writer

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