System-in-package technology and other advanced IC packaging are available for applications in artificial intelligence, the internet of things and smart sensors, notes SC Hung of ASE Technology Holding. The chip assembly and testing contractor has completed 85 packaging research and development projects collaborating with Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University and National Sun Yat-sen University in the past six years.
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used a 3D printer to make a microscopic scaffold with porous graphene, filled with a pseudocapacitive aerogel, a capacitor material that can function like a battery. The resulting capacitors are said to provide a record-breaking amount of charge over a surface area.
Renesas Electronics brought out a software development kit for its R-Car automotive system-on-a-chip devices, enabling developers to pair dynamic vehicle data with cloud-based data in real time. The software development tools use the public cloud of Amazon Web Services with AWS Greengrass and AWS IoT Core.
Western Digital debuted the iNAND EU321 embedded flash drive for smartphones, featuring its 96-layer 3D NAND flash memories. The new EFD boasts a UFS 2.1 interface and is available in data-storage capacities ranging from 32 gigabytes to 256GB.
Innodisk is teaming with Super Micro Computer and others to develop industrial storage products with artificial intelligence and internet of things technology for applications in smart cities and smart streets. The Taiwanese vendor of industrial embedded flash memories and DRAMs is looking toward the market for such applications in China.
Increasing demand for analog/radio-frequency chips and microelectromechanical system devices is driving the need for fabrication equipment and related mask-making tools for mature processes. Franklin Kalk of Toppan Photomasks says, "One of the things that we didn't contemplate in the past was the resurgence of legacy products."
Foundries are producing communications components at a rate some three times greater than computer chips, a complete reversal of the trend a decade ago, IC Insights estimates. Lower demand for desktop, notebook and tablet computers means 19% of the chips pure-play foundries will make this year will go into computers, compared with 52% for communications products, the market research firm says.
Worldwide shipments of polished and epitaxial silicon wafers will continue to reach new highs over the next three years, SEMI forecasts. "As new greenfield fab projects continue to emerge for memory and foundry, silicon shipments are expected to remain strong for 2019 and through 2021," SEMI's Clark Tseng said.
The 2004 discovery of graphene, a 2D material, excited many scientists, yet producing graphene in quantities for volume manufacturing remains a challenge, this analysis notes. "Probably, the alternative to 2D semiconductors is changing the computing paradigm," said Iuliana Radu of imec.
Four industry experts talk about the growing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology in semiconductor and photomask manufacturing in this roundtable interview. "Deep learning has a computing model that's inherently scalable," D2S Chairman and CEO Aki Fujimura said.
- Page 1