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Latest news from the semiconductor industry

Persistent Photoconductivity Used to Control Semiconductor Cells

From Photonics.com:

“RALEIGH, N.C., May 23, 2017 — Use of light to alter the conductivity of semiconductor material could provide a new way to control cell behavior on semiconductors used for bioelectronics. The approach draws on persistent photoconductivity, a phenomenon that causes some materials to become much more conductive when light is shined on them. When conductivity in these materials is elevated, the charge at the surface of the material increases. The escalation in surface charge can be used to direct cells to adhere to the material’s surface.

This image illustrates changes in photocurrent before and after exposure to UV light. Persistent photoconductivity is demonstrated even hours after the UV light has been turned off. This is illustrated by the pictograms showing charge carriers that come into contact with cells at the interface during in vitro experiments. Courtesy of Albena Ivanisevic.

Researchers at North Carolina State University used gallium nitride (GaN), a […]

May 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|

China Set to Rewrite FD-SOI History | EE Times

From EETimes.com:

“Globalfoundries and the municipality of Chengdu are counting on China to rewrite the history of FD-SOI.

This public/private partnership Tuesday (May 23) unveiled a plan to pump $100 million into a project to “spur innovation in China’s semiconductor industry” around FD-SOI.

The move is a significant step in efforts to ignite broader acceptance of the non-bulk CMOS technology in China. The plan rests on the fact that China today consumes more than 58 percent of semiconductors produced worldwide and a nationwide drive to substantially expand indigenous semiconductor production capacities.

While China held only a 16.2 percent share of worldwide semiconductor production in 2015, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report released this year, the nation is currently going through an unprecedented fab boom, backed by 120 billion yuan National IC fund (more than $17 billion) and supported by 600 billion yuan ($85 billion) from local government and private equity companies.

Riding the […]

May 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|

GCL-Poly stays focused on poly-Si and solar wafers, says chairman

From digitimes.com:

“GCL-Poly Energy Holdings, the largest China-based maker of poly-Si solar wafers, will maintain production of polysilicon and solar wafers as core business, company chairman Zhu Gongshan has told Digitimes in an exclusive interview.

GCL-Poly keeps investing in and undertaking PV power generation projects and has set up annual PV module production capacity of 4.0GWp for vertically-integrated production raising chances of winning PV power station projects, Zhu said.

In order to secure sufficient supply of solar cells for in-house PV module production, GCL-Poly originally planned to cooperate with Taiwan-based Motech Industries or Neo Solar Power (NSP) for cell production two years ago. However, the plan has not materialized for some reasons and GCL-Poly has instead decided to invest in a China-based newcomer’s project to build annual solar cell production capacity of 5.0GWp, Zhu noted.

Similar to GCL-Poly, many first-tier China-based solar cell and/or PV module makers run vertically-integrated operations by establishing polysilicon […]

May 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Researchers Make Fast Switching GaAs Metamaterial

From compoundsemiconductor.net:

“An international team of researchers from Moscow State University (Russia), Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque (USA), and Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena (Germany) have devised an ultrafast tunable metamaterial based on GaAs nanoparticles.

The researchers think that the new optical metamaterial could pave the way to ultrafast information transfer on the nanoscale.

For almost twenty years, researchers have been designing metamaterial-based devices, however, the properties of these materials have remain fixed. In this latest work, published by Nature Communications, the team of physicists and engineers have found a way to turn the metamaterials ‘on’ and ‘off’ at more than 100 billion times per second.

They made the metamaterial from a thin GaAs film using electron-beam lithography with subsequent plasma etching. The material consists of an array of semiconductor nanoparticles, which can resonantly concentrate and ‘hold’ light on the nanoscale. In other words, when the light illuminates the metamaterial, it is ‘trapped’ inside the nanoparticles and […]

May 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Transparent Nanoscale Semiconductor Has Highest Ever Conductivity

From compoundsemiconductor.net:

“A team of researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has discovered a new nanoscale thin film material with the highest-ever conductivity in its class. They say the new material could lead to smaller, faster, and more powerful electronics, as well as more efficient solar cells.The discovery is reported in Nature Communications –  ‘Wide Bandgap BaSnO3 Films with Room Temperature Conductivity Exceeding 104 Scm-1’ According to the researchers, what makes this new material unique is a combination of high conductivity and wide bandgap, which means light can easily pass through making it optically transparent. In most cases, materials with wide bandgap have either low conductivity or poor transparency.

“The high conductivity and wide bandgap make this an ideal material for making optically transparent conducting films which could be used in a wide variety of electronic devices, including high power electronics, electronic displays, touchscreens and even solar cells in which light needs to pass […]

May 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge

From phys.org:

“Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite. The study shows that solar cells increase in efficiency thanks to the material’s ability to self-organise by standing on edge.

The current research study deals with perovskite, a new and promising material in the context of solar cells. However, in its regular form, the material is very sensitive to moisture. It simply dissolves in contact with water, and even normal humidity deteriorates the material within hours or minutes. Now the researchers appear to have overcome that problem.

“We have succeeded in producing thin sheets with a water-repelling surface, making the whole construction much more stable. In addition, we have succeeded in orienting the sheets so as to obtain acceptable solar cells, with an efficiency of ten per cent”, says Tönu Pullerits, professor of chemical […]

May 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Si-dominant Li-ion batt bags safety certs – EE Times Asia

From EEtimes.com:

“Enevate Corp. has announced that their silicon-dominant battery has received global safety and quality certifications for smartphones and other consumer applications, including UN 38.3, UL 1642, UL 2054, CTIA/IEEE 1725, IEC 62133 and IEC 61950. Both of Enevate’s cell and battery pack have been certified.

Enevate’s patented HD-Energy technology is a silicon-composite anode film with more than 70% silicon. The technology delivers more than four times the energy density of conventional Li-ion battery anodes. The resulting products provide charging capabilities up to 4C rates without compromising energy density—charging to 90% in just 15 minutes without damaging the cell, while having an additional 35% to 50% runtime in mobile devices, such as smartphones, the company said.

The HD-Energy technology also offers enhanced low temperature operation and provides an inherent safety advantage with a 40% higher overcharge capability, while being able to avoid lithium plating compared to conventional Li-ion cells, Enevate noted.

“These […]

May 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells for solar windows

From phys.org:

“Scientists are exploring ways to develop transparent or semi-transparent solar cells as a substitute for glass walls in modern buildings with the aim of harnessing solar energy. But this has proven challenging, because transparency in solar cells reduces their efficiency in absorbing the sunlight they need to generate electricity.
Typical solar cells today are made of crystalline silicon, which is difficult to make translucent. By contrast, semi-transparent solar cells use, for example, organic or dye-sensitized materials. But compared to crystalline silicon-based cells, their power-conversion efficiencies are relatively low. Perovskites are hybrid organic-inorganic photovoltaic materials, which are cheap to produce and easy to manufacture. They have recently received much attention, as the efficiency of perovskite solar cells has rapidly increased to the level of silicon technologies in the past few years.
Using perovskites, a Korean research team, led by Professor Seunghyup Yoo of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology […]

May 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

4 Views of the Silicon Roadmap | EE Times

From EETimes.com:

“ANTWERP, Belgium — The semiconductor road map that An Steegen is showing this year has a new node in the upper right hand corner — 14 Å. The placeholder for a 14-angstrom process — a 0.7x shrink from a 2-nm node in 2025 — is a sign of the unflagging optimism of the veteran process technology expert at the Imec research institute.

“We’re still trying to come up with what goes into that bucket, but how we fill it in may be quite different than what we have done before,” said Steegen in an interview at the annual Imec Technology Forum here.

A 14-Å node suggests the atomic limits ahead. A single arsenic atom, one of the larger elements used in semiconductors, measures about 1.2 Å.

As they approach a 14-angstrom future, engineers may start to mix on the same die FinFETs with nanowires or event tunnel FETs or spin-wave transistors. […]

May 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Bain, KKR, Broadcom among suitors lining up for Toshiba’s chips business | Reuters

Suitors including private equity firms KKR & Co LP, Bain Capital and U.S. chip maker Broadcom Ltd are lining up for Toshiba Corp’s semiconductor business, sources familiar with matter said ahead of a deadline for second-round offers on Friday.

Broadcom, which has teamed up with private equity firm Silver Lake, and Bain which has partnered with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix will participate in the second-round, the people said. It was not clear if KKR and its partners would submit their offer by the end of the day.

Toshiba, which values its chip unit at at least 2 trillion yen ($18 billion), was forced to put its prized asset on the block this year, after dramatic cost overruns at its now-bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit left it scrambling for cash. Selling the unit is critical for the company’s recovery.

However much of the sale and its outcome are still uncertain, as Toshiba’s business […]

May 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Thermal-Designing Your Way to a Cooler High-Performance Tablet

“Managing heat is not only a multi-disciplinary challenge, it’s also multi-level. An IC package that’s thermally optimized doesn’t mean the entire system is good. Effective heat management at the printed-circuit-board (PCB) level doesn’t guarantee high reliability. Design and thermal analysis must be done at multiple levels, including the ICs and PCBs in the product enclosure. Computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) software connects these levels and crosses disciplines so that convection, conduction, and radiation heat transfer of the entire system can be considered throughout the design to manufacturing processes.

Optimizing the cooling system for an electronic product involves juggling multiple design variables such as airflow rate, fan, and vent locations, as well as heat-sink size and the physical location of boards. Successful design engineers use a comprehensive approach to thermal management, whether they’re a single engineer in a small company tasked with the entire design and optimization process, or several teams of engineers spread […]

May 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Semiconductor Engineering … 200mm Crisis?

“Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips.

Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond.

On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally running their 200mm fabs at or near 100% utilization with no slowdown in sight. “200mm capacity worldwide is fully utilized,” said Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC. “This situation has been this way since early last year and is expected to remain so into the foreseeable future. The outlook for the second half of this year is for 200mm to be fully utilized.”

That’s good news in one respect—chipmakers want to keep their fabs full to maximize profits. The downside is they […]

May 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|

NSF, IARPA, and SRC Push into “Semiconductor Synthetic Biology” Computing

From hpcwire.com

“Research into how biological systems might be fashioned into computational technology has a long history with various DNA-based computing approaches explored. Now, the National Science Foundation has fired up a new program – Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies – and just issued a solicitation in which eight to ten grants totaling around $4 million per year for three years are expected to be awarded.

The program is a joint effort between NSF, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and has grand ambitions and was the subject of a Computing Community Consortium blog posted yesterday by Mitra Basu, the program director: “New information technologies can be envisioned that are based on biological principles and that use biomaterials in the fabrication of devices and components; it is anticipated that these information technologies could enable stored data to be retained for more […]

May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|

WIN Semiconductors Completes Second Phase Of Fab Expansion

From compoundsemiconductor.net:

“WIN Semiconductors, the Taiwanese compound semiconductor foundry, has completed the second phase of expansion of its newest wafer fab, Fab C. It says this will boost its GaAs wafer manufacturing capacity by over 20 percent.

According to the company, this operation is now fitted with state-of-the-art clean rooms, efficient process lines and advanced equipment for GaAs MMIC production, epitaxial growth of compound semiconductors, as well as fabrication and test of optical devices.

Serving customers in mobile PA, WiFi, wireless infrastructure and optical markets, WIN Semiconductors provides a broad portfolio of HBT, pHEMT, integrated BiHEMT technology solutions and optical devices. WIN Semiconductors’ manufacturing services can support applications from 50MHz to 150GHz and through light-wave.

“In response to increasing demand across all market segments, we continue to add manufacturing capacity at our third wafer fab located in Guishan, Toayuan City, Taiwan. Known as Fab C, the facility now supports mass production of a wide range […]

May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Microsemi and Analog Devices collaborate on scalable SiC MOSFET drivers

From semiconductor-today.com

“Microsemi Corp of Aliso Viejo, CA, USA (which makes chips for aerospace & defense, communications, data-center and industrial markets) and Analog Devices Inc (ADI) of Norwood, MA, USA (which provides mixed-signal ICs for cable access, ranging from data converters through clocking and control/power conditioning) have announced a scalable silicon carbide (SiC) driver reference design based on a range of Microsemi SiC MOSFET products and Analog Device’s ADuM4135 5kV isolated gate driver.

The dual SiC MOSFET driver reference design provides user-friendly design guides enabling faster time to market for customers using Microsemi SiC MOSFETs and supports the transition to Microsemi’s next-generation SiC MOSFETs.

The new reference design provides a highly isolated SiC MOSFET dual-gate driver switch to provide a means for evaluating SiC MOSFETs in a number of topologies. This includes modes optimized for half-bridge switching with synchronous dead time protection and asynchronous signal transfer with no protection. It can also […]

May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Team develops novel semiconductor nanofiber with superb charge conductivity

Read more at phys.org:

The Department of Mechanical Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a novel technology of embedding highly conductive nanostructure into semi-conductor nanofiber. The novel composite so produced has superb charge conductivity, and can therefore be widely applied, especially in environmental arena.

The innovation was awarded the Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, held on 29 March to 2 April this year.

Full Article: Team develops novel semiconductor nanofiber with superb charge conductivity reposted by Silicon Valley Microelectronics

May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|

First Quarter 2017 Silicon Wafer Shipments Increase Quarter-Over-Quarter; Continue to Ship at Record Levels | SEMI.ORG

From semi.org:

MILPITAS, Calif. — May 16, 2017 — Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during the first quarter 2017 when compared to fourth quarter 2016 area shipments according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,858 million square inches during the most recent quarter, a 3.4 percent increase from the 2,764 million square inches shipped during the previous quarter. New quarterly total area shipments are 12.6 percent higher than first quarter 2016 shipments and are at their highest recorded quarterly level.

“Global silicon wafer volume shipments for the first quarter defied typical seasonal weakening,” said Chungwei (C.W.) Lee (李崇偉), chairman of SEMI SMG and spokesman, VP, Corporate Development & chief auditor of GlobalWafers (環球晶圓). “Continued growth on top of previous record quarterly shipments have resulted in another record level of silicon shipped.”
Silicon* Area Shipment Trends

Millions of […]

May 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|

TSMC capacity utilization ramping up

From Digitimes.com

“Taiwan Semiconductor Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which had disappointing sales results in April, has seen its capacity utilization soar in May, according to industry sources.

TSMC’s revenues fell to a 37-month low of NT$56.87 billion (US$1.89 billion) in April 2017. A seasonal slowdown in chip demand for iPhone and many major Android phone makers’ decision to push back their new product roll-outs led to the foundry’s poor sales results during the month, the sources said.

Slow smartphone demand in China that had caused excessive levels of inventory in the supply chain was another reason behind TSMC’s disappointing April results, the sources noted.

However, TSMC is expected to see its monthly revenues rebound in May and the following months given that its chip production for Apple’s new-generation CPU has kicked off and inventory adjustments at its other smartphone chip clients are coming to an end, the sources indicated.

Mass production of many new […]

May 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Self-learning neuromorphic chip that composes music

From PHYS.org:

“Today, at the imec technology forum (ITF2017), imec demonstrated the world’s first self-learning neuromorphic chip. The brain-inspired chip, based on OxRAM technology, has the capability of self-learning and has been demonstrated to have the ability to compose music.

The human brain is a dream for computer scientists: it has a huge computing power while consuming only a few tens of Watts. Imec researchers are combining state-of-the-art hardware and software to design chips that feature these desirable characteristics of a self-learning system. Imec’s ultimate goal is to design the process technology and building blocks to make artificial intelligence to be energy efficient so that that it can be integrated into sensors. Such intelligent sensors will drive the internet of things forward. This would not only allow machine learning to be present in all sensors but also allow on-field learning capability to further improve the learning.

By co-optimizing the hardware and the […]

May 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Are Self-Charging Batteries a Decade Away? | EE Times

From EEtimes.com

“TORONTO – The onus of improving power efficiency in smartphones has often been placed on other components such as the memory or flash storage, but within the next decade they may have self-charging batteries, thanks to researchers at a Canadian university.

In collaboration with provincial power utility Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, Montreal’s McGill University may eliminate the frustrating experience of being without use of a phone after forgetting to recharge it. In an interview with EE Times, professor George Demopoulos, the university’s chair of mining and materials engineering, said that while lithium-ion batteries have enabled the proliferation of all kinds of mobile devices, they still require frequent recharging because of their limited energy density.

This limitation has led to the development of portable solar chargers, but these hybrid devices are difficult to miniaturize due to their complex circuitry and packaging issues, he said. Scientists at McGill have hit a first […]

May 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|

World’s first vertically stacked gate-all-around Si nanowire CMOS transistors

From PHYS.org

“At this week’s IEEE IEDM conference, world-leading research and innovation hub for nano-electronics and digital technology, imec, reported for the first time the CMOS integration of vertically stacked gate-all-around (GAA) silicon nanowire MOSFETs. Key in the integration scheme is a dual-work-function metal gate enabling matched threshold voltages for the n- and p-type devices. Also, the impact of the new architecture on intrinsic ESD performance was studied, and an ESD protection diode is proposed. These breakthrough results advance the development of GAA nanowire MOSFETs, which promise to succeed FinFETs in future technology nodes.

GAA nanowire transistors are promising candidates to succeed FinFETs in 7nm and beyond technology nodes. They offer optimal electrostatic control, thereby enabling ultimate CMOS device scaling. In a horizontal configuration, they are a natural extension of today’s mainstream FinFET technology. In this configuration, the drive current per footprint can be maximized by vertically stacking multiple horizontal nanowires. […]

May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Semiconductor Engineering .:. Power Just One Piece Of The Puzzle At 10nm And Below

From semiengineering.com:

“With dynamic power density and rising leakage power becoming more problematic at each new node, it is more important than ever to look at designs today with power in mind from the very start.

As part of this complex picture of electronic design today, every piece in the design flow must tie together for the greatest efficiency and optimization.

While this is partly power, there are more pieces to this puzzle.

Especially considering with the advent of advanced process nodes — 10nm, 7nm and below — IC design teams have an increasing ability to pack more functionality and performance into state-of-the art SoCs, observed Sudhakar Jilla, group director of marketing for the IC implementation division at Mentor, a Siemens business.

Yet at the same time, they also face a slew of new design challenges with every new node transition that severely impacts design performance, power, and time-to-market requirements, he said. “While feature […]

May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Research teams uncover extraordinary properties of strontium niobate

From PHYS.org

“Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently uncovered novel properties of strontium niobate, which is a unique semiconductor material that displays both metallic type conduction and photocatalytic activity. The two studies, which were conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, herald exciting opportunities for the creation of novel devices with unprecedented functionalities as well as unique applications of a new family of photocatalytic materials.

Dr Wan Dongyang, a researcher from the NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute (NUSNNI) who was involved in both research, said, “The key to these successful studies was the ability of the NUSNNI team to produce high-quality crystalline films of these materials that were then studied by a variety of measurements to provide scientific clues on how such materials perform under varying conditions.”

New family of plasmons uncovered in unconventional metal

In the first study, the […]

May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Testing the performance of semiconductors—with light

From phys.org:

“Semiconductors are the cornerstone of modern electronics. They’re used in solar cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), microprocessors in laptops and cell phones, and more. Most of them are made of silicon, but silicon has its limitations. So for decades researchers have been exploring new materials with properties that make them good candidates for better, lighter, and cheaper energy-efficient lamps, solar cells, and even – someday, perhaps – solar energy-harnessing “paint.”

To decide whether a new material has promise as a semiconductor or meets a manufacturer’s specifications, companies need to be able to essentially count the number of freely moving “charge carriers” floating within the material, as well as their mobility or how easily they are able to move. Negative carriers are electrons; positive carriers are referred to as “holes” and are places where an electron is missing. Semiconductors are typically doped with impurities to increase the number of free […]

May 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

How to Build a Safer, More Energy-Dense Lithium-ion Battery – IEEE Spectrum

From IEEE.ORG

“Hardly a month passes without shocking news of lithium-ion batteries catching fire: Laptops are torched, airlines are grounded, hoverboards go up in flames. The recent fires inside Samsung’s smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, led to a $US 5 billion recall and then to a discontinuation of the model, moves that together cut Samsung’s market capitalization by many billions.

In January, after months of speculation, Samsung announced that two separate design problems created the battery malfunctions that caused some of the devices to overheat. That different design flaws can produce the same catastrophic outcome underlines the inherently unstable nature of today’s Li-ion batteries. Any mobile product incorporating them is thus potentially unsafe.

That danger is a result of design and production decisions made a quarter century ago when this type of battery was initially commercialized. Those decisions made sense at the time, but today we can do much better, above all by taking […]

May 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

A cheaper, greener way to grow crystalline semiconductor films

From PHYS.ORG

“University of Michigan chemists have developed a greener, cheaper way to make single-crystalline semiconductor films, components at the heart of all of our electric gadgetry.

Single-crystalline films of inorganic semiconductors are the bedrock of nearly all electronics, including smartphones, computers and solar panels. The fastest integrated circuits feature transistors consisting of germanium films on silicon. But such materials are typically only prepared at elevated temperatures, with complex machinery that involve hazardous gases.

The U-M team, led by Stephen Maldonado, an associate professor of chemistry, has invented a method to simultaneously synthesize and deposit crystalline semiconductor films from water at room temperatures using equipment that can be assembled for just a few dollars.

“Our method doesn’t require excess heat, and everything is done in an aqueous solution so we’re not using any toxic precursors,” Maldonado said. “And we’re doing this without sacrificing any quality in the crystallinity of the material, which is […]

May 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Commerce’s Ross: China’s plans threaten U.S. semiconductor dominance | Reuters

From Reuters:

“U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sees the U.S. semiconductor industry as still dominant globally but said he is worried that it will be threatened by China’s planned investment binge to build up its own chipmaking industry.

Ross told Reuters in an interview this week that his agency is considering a national security review of semiconductors under a 1962 trade law because of their “huge defense implications” including their use in military hardware and proliferation in devices throughout the economy.

He has launched similar “Section 232” reviews of the U.S. steel and aluminum sectors, where a flood of imports especially from China has depressed prices, threatening the industries’ long-term health.

The probes could lead to broad import restrictions on the metals, and the Trump administration could potentially take similar actions based on the findings of a semiconductor investigation.

“Semiconductors are one of our shining industries, but they have gone from substantial surplus to […]

May 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|

TSMC obtains 12nm chip orders from fabless firms

From Digitimes.com
“Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has secured 12nm chip orders from Nvidia, MediaTek, Silicon Motion Technology and HiSilicon for the fabless firms’ different chip products, according to industry sources.
TSMC’s 12nm process could stop Samsung and Globalfoundries from expanding their respective 14nm and 12nm FD-SOI process businesses, said the sources. TSMC’s 12nm process is a smaller version of the foundry’s 16nm technology, which is already offered in three process variants, and comes with lower leakage and better cost characteristics.
Nvidia will use TSMC’s 12nm process to fabricate graphics processors for AI computing and self-driving cars, while MediaTek plans to roll out a SoC series built using TSMC’s 12nm process technology, the sources noted.
Memory device controller IC supplier Silicon Motion has plans to roll out five SSD controller series in 2017 with the chips manufactured using TSMC’s 28nm process technology, the sources indicated. Silicon Motion is looking to introduce its second-generation enterprise […]

May 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Sumco lowering wafer shipments to XMC, say sources

From Digitimes.com
“Sumco has reportedly cut its wafer shipments to Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (XMC), and given priority to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Intel and Micron Technology, according to industry sources.
A cutback in wafer shipments from Sumco has led to a more severe shortage of NOR flash memory, said the sources.
The supply of 12-inch wafers has been tight amid strong demand for ICs including memory chips. Specialty IC foundry Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) has said the shortage of 12-inch wafers could last through the end of 2017.
Specialty DRAM and NOR flash chipmaker Winbond Electronics indicated the company intends to strike long-term deals with its wafer suppliers. Mask ROM and NOR flash maker Macronix International noted the company is willing to pay to make sure sufficient wafer supply.
Shin-Etsu has reportedly advised its major chip clients including TSMC, United Microelectronics (UMC), Intel and Globalfoundries to sign three-year contracts to ensure sufficient supply […]

May 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Organic electronics: Semiconductors as decal stickers — ScienceDaily

“Today’s computer processors are composed of billions of transistors. These electronic components normally consist of semiconductor material, insulator, substrate, and electrode. A dream of many scientists is to have each of these elements available as transferable sheets, which would allow them to design new electronic devices simply by stacking.

This has now become a reality for the organic semiconductor material pentacene: Dr. Bert Nickel, a physicist at LMU Munich, and Professor Andrey Turchanin (Friedrich Schiller University Jena), together with their teams, have, for the first time, managed to create mechanically stable pentacene nanosheets.

The researchers describe their method in the journal Advanced Materials. They first cover a small silicon wafer with a thin layer of a water-soluble organic film and deposit pentacene molecules upon it until a layer roughly 50 nanometers thick has formed. The next step is crucial: by irradiation with low-energy electrons, the topmost three to four levels of […]

May 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|