Press Coverage

Unlikely Pairings – Recent Atypical Mergers

By Bryon Moyer

Companies come; companies go. I don’t focus a lot on who buys whom – there are plenty of folks breathlessly watching that stuff, so I mostly leave the drama to them. After all, it’s an age of consolidation and accumulation of immense corporate power. So your typical low- to mid-level merger may not be particularly noteworthy.

But lately, there have been a couple of mergers/acquisitions that have had some unusual features to them. Add to that the fact that they’re companies we’ve looked at before, and it seems worth spending some time on them.

read the full article here.

Overlay Challenges On The Rise

By MARK LAPEDUS

The overlay metrology equipment market is heating up at advanced nodes as the number of masking layers grows and the size of the features that need to be aligned continue to shrink.

Both ASML and KLA-Tencor recently introduced new overlay metrology systems, seeking to address the increasing precision required for lines, cuts and other features on each layer. At 10/7nm, there may be 80 or more masking layers, versus 40 at 28nm. And if those layers are not precisely measured, the features being patterned, deposited and etched may not line up from one layer to the next.

read the full article here.

Technical Tidbits from IWLPC and MSEC 2017

By Francoise von Trapp

It’s been a busy few weeks for me as I attended both the International Wafer Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC), October 24-26, 2017 at the DoubleTree in San Jose and SEMI-MSIG’s MEMS and Sensors Executive Congress, October 31-Nov. 2, at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose. In addition to taking in some great keynotes and technical sessions, I had the opportunity to meet with several companies to find out what’s new.

read the full article here.

Lam’s Coventor Buy Boosts MEMS Manufacturing

By R. Colin Johnson

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Why did Lam Research, a semiconductor fab equipment supplier, acquire Coventor, a software house hawking software to design microelectromechanical system (MEMS) chips and sub-10 nanometer semiconductors such as 3D finFETs?

Analysts fully expected for Coventor to be absorbed by Lam Research, only to surface as a Lam software offering. But at SEMI’s MEMS & Sensor Executive Congress 2017 (MSEC) here the companies reported that they are staying in separate headquarters, depending more the synergy of co-designing hardware for software and visa versa to give them a competitive edge over the competition.

read the full article here.

MEMS Market Shifting

By Ed Sperling

The MEMS sector is beginning to look more promising, bolstered by new end-market demand and different packaging options that require more advanced engineering, processes and new materials. All of this points to higher selling prices, which are long overdue in this space.

For years, the market for microelectromechanical systems was populated by too many companies vying for too few opportunities. Some devices became commoditized to the point where costs failed to keep up with selling price reductions. Even in the more specialized and higher-margin fringes of this segment, such as MEMS-based microphones and speakers, market sizes were too small to support more than a handful of smaller companies.

read the full article here.

Lam Research Acquires Simulation and Modeling Solutions Firm Coventor

Lam Research completes acquisition of Coventor

EuroTrade – September 6, 2017

Lam Research, a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, has completed the acquisition of Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Lam said the acquisition supports its advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges. read more…

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts

By Mark Lapedus

Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues.

To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equipment or a process step can cause defects, thereby impacting yield. The culprit may be a malfunction in seemingly insignificant parts or sub-systems in the equipment itself.

read the full article here.

From Movies to Data Analysis – Coventor’s SEMulator 3D Pivots

If you’ve been paying attention to the various papers at various advanced semiconductor process conferences, there’s a name you’re seeing more and more: Coventor. We’ve looked at them several times before, in the context of both their SEMulator 3D tool and their MEMS+ tool – the former for development of new semiconductor processes and the latter for designing MEMS devices.

Today we’re focusing on the SEMulator 3D tool, whose 6.1 version was recently announced. We’re doing so because the tool has turned a corner on how it’s used. Before going there, let’s talk about where we’ve been first in order to set the stage.

read the full article here