Developers and manufacturers of ICs with features of 7 nanometers or 5nm can now choose among high numerical aperture extreme ultraviolet lithography, multi-beam direct-write lithography and nanoimprint lithography, Mark LaPedus writes. The semiconductor industry is also working with complementary patterning techniques, such as directed self-assembly and self-aligned techniques, he notes.
The increasing complexity of IC packaging is causing technologists to turn to die sorting machines, which are capable of inspecting packaged chips at high speed, this analysis notes. "We see a need for precise inspection on all package types, as almost all are going through a dicing process for singulation," says Gerald Steinwasser of Muhlbauer, a vendor of die-sorting systems.
Six industry experts discuss electronic design automation's role in implementing artificial intelligence technology in this roundtable interview. "EDA has to tackle the areas of uncertainty so that you can focus on the dataset," OneSpin Solutions CEO Raik Brinkmann said.
SK Hynix has finished the expansion of a DRAM production line at its 300-millimeter wafer fabrication facility in Wuxi, China. The $836 million C2F expansion project resulted in a single-floor fab line space measuring more than 62,000 square feet.
ASE Technology is said to be seeing an increase in customized system-in-package backend orders due to demand for 5G chips, industry sources say. The Apple-Qualcomm legal settlement means Apple will resume buying Qualcomm chips for new iPhone models, and SiP technology will be crucial to packaging the components, those sources note.
Toshiba America Business Solutions reports recycling more than 229 metric tons of electronic waste in 2018, a record for the company. Toshiba started working with the Close the Loop recycling organization in 2008 and has kept more than 1,229 metric tons of e-waste out of landfills during the past decade.
Vishay Intertechnology brought out the VCNL4040 sensor, which pairs an ambient light sensor with an optical proximity detector in a package measuring 4 by 2 by 1.1 millimeters. The company also debuted new 30-ampere and 60A rectifiers for applications in electric and hybrid vehicle battery charging stations, solar inverter booster stages, uninterruptible power supplies and welding.
Advanced packaging technology, rather than the shrinking of chip features, is aiding the continuing progress of Moore's Law, these industry experts say. "Our challenge is how we serve this transition from Moore's Law to More Than Moore, where you're not just pushing feature sizes," said Vic Kulkarni of ANSYS.
Apple and Qualcomm have settled a yearslong, multibillion-dollar patent-licensing dispute. Apple will pay Qualcomm an undisclosed fee, Qualcomm will give Apple a six-year license to its patents -- with an option for a two-year extension -- and Qualcomm will also enter into a multiyear chip supply agreement with Apple.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has developed a 6-nanometer process, which it says provides 18% higher logic density compared with its 7nm process. The N6 process will go into risk production during the first quarter of next year.