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Previous Issues

Previous Issues

The cost of a new fab today can approach $10 billion, and such a high level of capital expenditure increases the importance of delivering a fast return on that investment. Now, a new early-stage fab-planning offering from the Applied Materials FabVantage™ Consulting group can help customers achieve faster, more efficient startups.

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The wireless landscape is becoming far more sophisticated as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and mesh networks such as Zigbee and Thread take hold. When Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Lucio Lanza was asked what the Next Big Thing is likely to be for the semiconductor industry, he gave exactly the right answer: "connectivity."

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With a successful initial public offering (IPO) now behind it, X-FAB Silicon Foundries is readying a capacity expansion drive for increased MEMS and analog/mixed-signal IC production across the six fabs it operates.

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When you put on a virtual reality (VR) headset you are transported to another world, a place where reality is just a whim of the imagination. What’s far from imaginary, though, is the impact VR is having on all of us, whether we personally use VR headsets or not.

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While the MEMS market has matured in recent years, there’s still a lot of healthy growth ahead as new device technologies come to market and segment stalwarts (IMUs, RF MEMS, etc.) see device volumes rise with further adoption in end-user applications.

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When I set out this spring to interview several Applied Materials engineers for a Nanochip Express article about the company’s annual Engineering Technology (ET) conferences, I didn’t realize I would learn so much about how engineers think—and relate.
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As devices become smaller and more densely packed, and the complexity of integrated circuits grows, defect reduction becomes more challenging while remaining critical to chipmakers’ competitiveness.

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As streams of data began multiplying over the past decade and the term “big data” became common, concerns mounted about how such large amounts of raw data could be turned into useful information.

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Ion implant tools are essential for semiconductor manufacturing because dopants such as arsenic, boron and phosphorous must be implanted into silicon to fabricate transistor structures such as gates and wells.

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I sometimes divide information into “heads down,” which describes new design and manufacturing tools, for example, and “heads up,” which includes changes in the worldwide economy, consumer spending trends, and other “big picture” data.

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