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Direct Write E-beam

Direct Write E-beam
by Paul McLellan on 07-13-2012 at 2:08 pm

One of the presenters at the standing-room only litho session at Semicon this week was Serge Tedesco, the litho program manager at CEA-Leti in Grenoble France. He is running a program called IMAGINE for maskless lithography. Chips today are built using a reticle (containing the pattern for that layer of the chip) which is exposed… Read More

Semicon West

Semicon West
by Paul McLellan on 07-11-2012 at 7:08 pm

I have been spending some time at Semicon West at the Moscone center the last couple of days. Since it was only a month ago that I was there for DAC, the first contrast is the size of the show. DAC didn’t fill Moscone South. Semicon fills Moscone South, and North, and the corridor between. And Moscone West on the other side of 4th … Read More

Semiconductor equipment returns to growth

Semiconductor equipment returns to growth
by Bill Jewell on 06-14-2012 at 7:37 pm

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment has returned to growth after a falloff in the second half of 2011. Combined data from SEMI (U.S. andEuropean companies) and SEAJ (Japanese companies) show billings peaked at a three-month-average of $3.2 billion in May 2011. Bookings and billings began todrop in June 2011, with billings… Read More

Semiconductor Ecosystem Keynotes: ARM 2012

Semiconductor Ecosystem Keynotes: ARM 2012
by Daniel Nenni on 05-17-2012 at 5:00 pm

Yesterday’s SEMICO IP Ecosystem Conference was well worth the time. Everybody was there: ARM, Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, MIPS, Tensilica, AMD, Atrenta, Sonics, and Tabula, everybody except Intel of course. What do Intel and I have in common? We don’t play well with others…

First up was… Read More

Only slight growth in 2012 semiconductor market

Only slight growth in 2012 semiconductor market
by Bill Jewell on 05-09-2012 at 11:24 pm

The world semiconductor market declined 2.2% in 1Q 2012 from 4Q 2011, according to WSTS. The market ended 2011 on a down slide, with 4Q 2011 down 7.7% from 3Q 2011. The year 2011 semiconductor market was up only 0.4%.

Three major events contributed to the weakness in 2011:


  • March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted
  • Read More

    It is free after you pay for it and there is a one-time annual fee: The Case for FD-SOI

    It is free after you pay for it and there is a one-time annual fee: The Case for FD-SOI
    by Camille Kokozaki on 05-04-2012 at 7:09 am

    In one of Portlandia’s TV program sketches, there is a funny interchange between a carrier salesperson and Fred Armisen (of SNL fame) who was trying to buy a phone. One chuckle line was a statement by the seller that the phone was free after paying for it and that there was a one-time annual fee. With this anecdote as a mental backdrop,… Read More

    GSA 3DIC and Cadence

    GSA 3DIC and Cadence
    by Paul McLellan on 04-29-2012 at 10:00 pm

    At the GSA 3D IC working group meeting, Cadence presented their perspective on 3D ICs. Their view will turn out to be important since the new chair of the 3D IC working group is going to be Ken Potts of Cadence. Once GSA decided the position could not be funded then an independent consultant like Herb Reiter had to bow out and the position… Read More

    Keeping Moore’s Law Alive

    Keeping Moore’s Law Alive
    by Paul McLellan on 04-27-2012 at 12:37 pm

    At the GSA silicon summit yesterday the first keynote was by Subramanian Iyer of IBM on Keeping Moore’s Law Alive. He started off by asking the question “Is Moore’s Law in trouble?” and answered with an equivocal “maybe.”

    Like some of the other speakers during the day, he pointed out that … Read More

    GSA Silicon Summit at the Computer History Museum!

    GSA Silicon Summit at the Computer History Museum!
    by Daniel Nenni on 04-04-2012 at 9:52 pm

    The first GSA Silicon Summit will address the complexity, availability and time-to-market challenges that the industry must overcome to enable low power, cost effective solutions to keep pace with Moore’s Law. With never ending customer demand of better, faster and cheaper, semiconductor manufacturers must continually… Read More

    SICAS is dead (and WSTS isn’t feeling too good)

    SICAS is dead (and WSTS isn’t feeling too good)
    by Bill Jewell on 03-13-2012 at 8:16 pm

    The SICAS (Semiconductor Industry Capacity Statistics) program has been discontinued after the release of the 4Q 2011 data, available through the SIA at

    The latest report stated: “Due to significant changes in the… Read More