WASHINGTON – Asian rivals are quickly closing the gap with the U.S. in supporting science and engineering investment as U.S. high-tech companies shift more of their R&D overseas, a new report warns.
The US government’s most recent defense-related anti-counterfeiting measures are well intended, but they are targeting the wrong links in the supply chain. This merely confirms what many in the electronics supply chain suspect: There is a big gap between the folks who are having a problem and the legislators who try to fix it….[more]
LONDON – Chinese foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (Shanghai, China) has announced that is subsidiary Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Beijing) Corp., has closed a seven-year syndicated loan of $600 million.
The money comes from a consortium of banks led by the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. The loan is mainly intended to support expansion and technology development for SMIC’s 300-mm wafer fab in Beijing.
So, what really are the risks of inflight use of electronics? In the current scheme of things, there’s not a very high risk. However, we’ve seen that with the iPhone short-out and smoke that occurred on the Australian Airlines flight in November last year, that there are some risks. In the near future as 3D ICs make their way into more and more products, particularly smart phones and tablets, there will be some risk that a cyber-physical attack could occur. What would be the outcome? Done well, a similar scenario to the Australian Airlines incident, multiplied by many tablets and phones, particularly with tablets now allowed for use in the cockpit.
In a great write-up by Richard Goering, Rick Cassidy from TSMC states…
“We don’t see an end to Moore’s Law,” Cassidy said. “We are working at 14nm, 10nm and beyond with lots of innovations. I think we can actually beat Moore’s Law.” He spoke of the 12″ wafer “gigafabs” that TSMC is building, and that are already cranking out more than 100,000 wafers per month. He also said that TSMC has invested $13 billion between this year and last year, and 80% of that has gone into building 28nm and 20nm capacity. “We have the capacity in place to serve your needs,” he said.
There is an opportunity to “outpace” Moore’s Law, he said, through 3D-ICs as well as “2.5D ICs” using silicon interposers. “It really perpetuates the scaling opportunity, and if you think about it, there’s a great deal the system designer can do while architecting new products, with different ways to solve problems.”
2.5 D interposers are an important part of the 3D IC evolution path. While TSMC prefers to keep interposers and assembly in-house, other foundries are looking to outsourced assembly and test groups, allowing mixing and matching of die, to handle their packaging. Why is this important? In the assembly of 3D IC stacks where interposers may be used, Trojan circuitry may be placed onto the interposer itself or inserted into the stack during assembly. Depending on the process model, it will be important to have uniform in-process inspection for trusted ICs to ensure no malicious circuitry has been inserted into the stack.