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Tech Updates

Smartphones Eschew Emerging Memories
Date
January 2019
Source

The NAND size is the key selling point, while only the most technically astute consumers concern themselves with the size of the DRAM. Battery life is also a key selling point in the smartphone market, but it’s still incumbent on the memory vendor to reduce power consumption and improve energy efficiency, not the battery makers. Battery manufacturers deserve great praise for the advances they have made over the past decade but wonders what more they will be able to do in the future.

Date
January 2019

China continues to advance its foundry industry with huge investments in new fabs and technology, despite trade tensions and a slowdown in the IC market. China has the most fab projects in the world, with 30 new facilities or lines in construction or on the drawing board, according to data from SEMI’s World Fab Forecast Report. Of those, 13 fabs are targeted for the foundry market, according to SEMI. The remaining facilities are geared toward LEDs, memory and other technologies.

Light Connects Two Worlds on a Single Chip
Date
January 2019
Source

Researchers of the University of Twente succeeded in connecting two parts of an electronics chip using an on-chip optical link. A light connection can, for example, be a safe way of connecting high-power electronics and digital control circuitry on one chip, without a direct electrical link.  In ‘smart power’ chips, the high-power part can be isolated from the digital control circuits. This isolation guarantees safe operation in application areas like medical electronics and automotive.

Hail the Perovskite Transistors
Date
January 2019
Source

Transistors, and the conductive traces that connect them, are routinely created by the billions on the surface of silicon wafers, which are later cut into the individual “chips” that power our computers, phones, watches, and countless other electronic gadgets. Perovskite semiconductors can be formed simply by coating, say, a piece of glass with the proper chemical solution and letting it dry. This approach has been used, in particular, to produce some remarkably efficient photovoltaic cells, ones that can compete with traditional silicon solar cells. It’s also been used to create perovskite-based photodetectors and light-emitting diodes.

Date
January 2019

The new packages are targeted to address many of the same and challenging applications in the market, such as multi-die integration, memory bandwidth issues and even chip scaling. The idea behind these and other advanced package types is to integrate multiple die in the same package, which is a form of heterogeneous integration. In fan-out, the dies are packaged while on a wafer. Fan-out doesn’t require an interposer, making it cheaper than 2.5D/3D.