High-performance processors and other logic chips fabricated with 10-nanometer and 7nm process technology are being designed these days, IC Insights notes. Last year, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was the only foundry offering a 7nm process, TSMC enjoyed a 13% bump in revenue per wafer when compared with figures from 2014.
STMicroelectronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. are working together on gallium nitride process technology to fabricate discrete and integrated GaN devices. While ST is an integrated device manufacturer, the chip company will have TSMC make the GaN devices.
Silicon Labs brought out the EFR32MG22 line of wireless system-on-a-chip devices, meant for Zigbee Green Power applications in the internet of things. The low-power MG22 SoCs are based on Arm's Cortex-M33 core with TrustZone security.
Imec came up with a millimeter-scale wireless transceiver that could be used for ingestible health trackers and other smart insertable pills. The pills are covered by multiple layers of tissue while inside the human body, the institute revealed in a presentation at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.
With the end of Dennard scaling in IC manufacturing, it is becoming more difficult to determine the size of a transistor, Katherine Derbyshire writes. Technologists are now looking toward gate-all-around transistors as an alternative to FinFETs, she notes.
Omdia, a market research firm, says the Covid-19 outbreak is having a small direct impact on the semiconductor industry as most wafer fabrication facilities in China are still operating at full production capacity. Omdia's Len Jelinek says, "There's plenty of chip inventory in the channel, compensating for any coronavirus-related production shortfalls at semiconductor fabs located in the Wuhan area and elsewhere in China."
Chih-Yuan Lu, the president of Macronix International, predicts the memory chip market will strongly recover once the coronavirus outbreak is contained. He notes that 5G cellular communications will drive demand for NOR flash memory devices and single-level cell flash memory.
University College London researchers report their development of a flexible supercapacitor that can bend up to 180 degrees. The proof-of-concept energy storage device has potential applications in electric vehicles, mobile phones and wearable gadgets, they say.
Qualcomm brought out the Snapdragon X60, a 5G modem device that is likely to turn up in products next year. Samsung Electronics reportedly will manufacture some Snapdragon X60 chips with a 5-nanometer process, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing will also produce 5nm modem chips for Qualcomm.
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