Ansys’ Emergence as a Tier 1 EDA Player— and What That Means for 3D-IC

Ansys’ Emergence as a Tier 1 EDA Player— and What That Means for 3D-IC
by Daniel Nenni on 09-20-2022 at 10:00 am

Ansys chip package board

Over its 40+ year history, electronic design automation (EDA) has seen many companies rise, fall, and merge. In the beginning, in the 1980s, the industry was dominated by what came to be known as the big three — Daisy Systems, Mentor Graphics, and Valid Logic (the infamous “DMV”). The Big 3 has morphed over the years, eventually settling… Read More


Application-Specific Lithography: 5nm Node Gate Patterning

Application-Specific Lithography: 5nm Node Gate Patterning
by Fred Chen on 09-08-2022 at 6:00 am

Blur Limitations for EUV Exposure

It has recently been revealed that the N5 node from TSMC has a minimum gate pitch of 51 nm [1,2] with a channel length as small as 6 nm [2]. Such a tight channel length entails tight CD control in the patterning process, well under 0.5 nm. What are the possible lithography scenarios?

Blur Limitations for EUV Exposure

A state-of-the-art

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Does SMIC have 7nm and if so, what does it mean

Does SMIC have 7nm and if so, what does it mean
by Scotten Jones on 09-07-2022 at 10:00 am

SMIC 7nm

Recently TechInsights analyzed a Bitcoin Miner chip fabbed at SMIC and declared SMIC has a 7nm process. There has been some debate as to whether the SMIC process is really 7nm and what it means if it is 7nm. I wanted to discuss the case for and against the process being 7nm, and what I think it means.

First off, I want to say I am not going … Read More


The Semiconductor Cycle Snowballs Down the Food Chain – Gravitational Cognizance

The Semiconductor Cycle Snowballs Down the Food Chain – Gravitational Cognizance
by Robert Maire on 09-02-2022 at 6:00 am

Wiley Coyote Semiconductor Crash 2022

-Where are we in the chip cycle? Why is it different this time?
-No one rings a bell to indicate the top or bottom of a cycle
-Could the lack of self-awareness lead to a worse downturn?
-Who will weather the cycle better & come out on top

Gravitational Cognizance
“A cartoon character will not fall until they realize they should

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Automotive Semiconductor Shortage Over?

Automotive Semiconductor Shortage Over?
by Bill Jewell on 08-25-2022 at 5:00 pm

Global Light Vehicle Production 2022

Several signs point to an easing of the shortages of semiconductors for automotive applications. However, the production of light vehicles will likely remain below full potential through at least 2023. LMC Automotive’s July forecast of light vehicle production called for 81.7 million units in 2022, up 2% from 2021. LMC’s January… Read More


Intel and TSMC do not Slow 3nm Expansion

Intel and TSMC do not Slow 3nm Expansion
by Daniel Nenni on 08-09-2022 at 10:00 am

Pat Gelsinger and CC Wei SemiWiki

The media has gone wild over a false report that Intel and TSMC are slowing down 3nm. It is all about sensationalism and getting clicks no matter what damage is done to the hardworking semiconductor people, companies and industry as a whole. And like lemmings jumping off a cliff, other less reputable media outlets perpetuated this… Read More


The Semiconductor Market Downturn Has Started

The Semiconductor Market Downturn Has Started
by Malcolm Penn on 08-07-2022 at 6:00 am

Growth Rate Trends

What we alone said would surely happen, but what was widely denied by the industry, was confirmed with June’s WSTS Blue Book report.  Right on cue with our December 2021 forecast, the current semiconductor Super Cycle is finally drawing to a close and the 17th market downturn has now well and truly started.

The Macro Evidence

At the… Read More


How TSMC Contributed to the Death of 450mm and Upset Intel in the Process

How TSMC Contributed to the Death of 450mm and Upset Intel in the Process
by Craig Addison on 08-05-2022 at 6:00 am

450mm wafer

Pinpointing exactly when 450mm died is tricky. Intel’s pullback in 2014 has been cited as a pivotal moment because it was the main backer of the proposed transition, as it had been for the shift to 150mm (6-inch) wafers in the early 1980s.

However, the participation of global foundry leader TSMC was also seen as crucial if 450mm wafers… Read More


Intel & Chips Act Passage Juxtaposition

Intel & Chips Act Passage Juxtaposition
by Robert Maire on 07-31-2022 at 6:00 am

Chips Act Corporate Welfare

-Need more/less spend & more/fewer chips
-The irony of chips act passage & Intel stumble on same day
-Due to excess supply of chips, Intel cuts spending
-Due to shortage of chips, the government increases spending
-How did this happen on the same day? Cosmic Coincidence?

Timing is everything

The irony of intel cutting spending… Read More


Future Semiconductor Technology Innovations

Future Semiconductor Technology Innovations
by Tom Dillinger on 07-19-2022 at 6:00 am

2D metals

At the recent VLSI Symposium on Technology and Circuits, Dr. Y.J. Mii, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at TSMC, gave a plenary talk entitled, “Semiconductor Innovations, from Device to System”.  The presentation offered insights into TSMC’s future R&D initiatives, beyond the current roadmap.  The associated… Read More