Monthly Archives: August 2018

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Semiconductor Manufacturing – Quick Overview

Many admit that semiconductor manufacturing is the most complex and difficult manufacturing process that exist today. We agree. There are several ways to describe the Semiconductor manufacturing flow, but they are all boiled down to a very basic diagram.


The following diagram is a simplified flow describing the semiconductor manufacturing process.



The very first step in the manufacturing process is sourcing the wafers from a semiconductor foundries (fab). The fab has a lead time of 2-4 months and therefore in some of the cases companies keep wafers on stock to allow quick turnaround in the future (e.g. buffer).


The next step is wafer testing (wafer sort). There are 2 reasons for wafer sort: to check whether the wafer yield meets the production target and to label the bad dies. Wafer test is not always a necessary step. In low volume applications, wafer sort is often skipped. Wafer sort is a relatively quick step and can take 2-4 weeks depending on your batch size.


Following that step, the wafers are assembled. The assembly house will take the good dies from each wafer and assemble them into the designated package. Provided that all the necessary material is available at the assembly house – the packaging phase will take 1-3 weeks. Both QFN and BGA package types would need a leadframe or a substrate to be able to assemble die. Therefore, you may want to make sure that they are available at the assembly house.


Now the dies are available in their final package. But it’s not a good idea to ship them to the end customer.


The last step in the semiconductor manufacturing process is to test the chips to ensure the end-customer is receiving good-tested-chips. The final test is a last step in the manufacturing process and can take 2-4 weeks depending on the batch size. The final test step is often a more comprehensive test compared to the wafer sort and covers all chip functionality and connectivity.


Now the chips are split into two bins: good and bad dies. The good dies are ready to be shipped to the customer or store in storage. They bad dies are scrapped.


IC Mask Design Are Awarded ISO9001:2015

IC Mask Design are pleased to announce they have been awarded the ISO 9001: 2015 standard following a recent ISO audit. ISO9001:2015 is the most updated standard of its kind and focuses on quality management systems and performance. It assists companies in developing a management system that aligns quality with their wider business strategy.


Fergal Brosnan IC Mask Design CEO, “We are always striving to deliver the best quality service to our customers, and achieving the ISO9001:2015 standard was a key requirement in our business strategy. This demonstrates our commitment to a focus on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction”.


The aim of ISO 9001:2015 is to enable businesses to satisfy their customers effectively and it helps companies provide their customers with a consistent and rewarding experience. For customers using suppliers accredited with ISO 9001:2015 it means consistent, good quality products and services which in turn benefits the customer’s business.


For IC Mask Design receiving the ISO 9001: 2015 certification supports IC Mask Design’s on-going commitment to providing a consistent, high level of customer satisfaction and experience. IC Mask Design has been providing IC Layout Services and Training, with specific expertise in VDSM Technology Nodes, since 2002. IC Mask Design is committed to remaining on the leading edge of technology and automation, and research and development and being dedicated and responsive to serving each of our customers’ individual needs.


For more details about IC Mask Design, please click here.


DRAM Sales Forecast to Top $100 Billion This Year with 39% Market Growth

IC Insights recently released its Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report 2018.  The update includes a revised forecast of the largest and fastest-growing IC product categories this year.  Sales and unit growth rates are shown for each of the 33 IC product categories defined by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization in the Mid-Year Update.
The five largest IC product categories in terms of sales revenue and unit shipments are shown in Figure 1.  With forecast sales of $101.6 billion, (39% growth) the DRAM market is expected to be the largest of all IC product categories in 2018, repeating the ranking it held last year.  If the sales level is achieved, it would mark the first time an individual IC product category has surpassed $100.0 billion in annual sales. The DRAM market is forecast to account for 24% of IC sales in 2018.  The NAND flash market is expected to achieve the second-largest revenue level with total sales of $62.6 billion this year. Taken together, the two memory categories are forecast to account for 38% of the total $428.0 billion IC market in 2018.


Figure 1
For many years, the standard PC/server MPU category topped the list of largest IC product segments, but with ongoing increases in memory average selling prices, the MPU category is expected to slip to the third position in 2018.  In the Mid-Year Update, IC Insights slightly raises its forecast for 2018 sales in the MPU category to show revenues increasing 5% to an all-time high of $50.8 billion, after a 6% increase in 2017 to the current record high of $48.5 billion.  Helping drive sales this year are AI-controlled systems and data-sharing applications over the Internet of Things.  Cloud computing, machine learning, and the expected tidal wave of data traffic coming from connected systems and sensors is also fueling MPU sales growth this year.



Two special purpose logic categories—computer and peripherals, and wireless communications—are forecast to round out the top five largest product categories for 2018.



Four of the five largest categories in terms of unit shipments are forecast to be some type of analog device.  Total analog units are expected to account for 54% of the total 318.1 billion IC shipments forecast to ship this year.  Power management analog devices are projected to account for 22% of total IC units and are forecast to exceed the combined unit shipment total of the next three categories on the list.  As the name implies, power management analog ICs help regulate power usage and to keep ICs and systems running cooler, to manage power usage, and ultimately to help extend battery life—essential qualities for an increasingly mobile and battery-powered world of devices.



Report Details:  The 2018 McClean Report
The complete list of all 33 major IC product categories ranked by sales and unit growth along with other details on market trends within the IC industry is provided in the Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry (released in January 2018).  A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.



To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website:



More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Brian Matas, Vice President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133, email:
PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at



RoodMicrotec N.V.: RoodMicrotec selected as key partner for EnSilica automotive ASIC project

RoodMicrotec N.V., the leading independent company for semiconductors supply and quality services, has been selected by EnSilica as a key partner to support a major automotive ASIC design win. EnSilica is one of Europe’s leading companies in the field of custom mixed signal and digital ASIC design. This design win is an ASIC to a major automotive industry Tier-1 supplier.


This new engagement underscores RoodMicrotec’s position as a key supplier in the European automotive ASIC industry. With its high quality services and the Reliability Competence Centre (RCC), RoodMicrotec is seeing significant growth in this segment. In 2016 automotive business contributed to 38% of the overall revenue. This increased to 41% last year and further growth in 2018 and beyond is anticipated. This growth is fuelled by RoodMicrotec’s recognised position as qualified supplier to many companies in the automotive industry. This includes both OEMs and their suppliers. RoodMicrotec is fully equipped to execute qualifications according the AEC-Q 100 and related standards. These procedures and process flows meet the requirements of the automotive industry.


“We have been recognized for our unique capabilities, in-depth experience and excellent track record as a supplier to many automotive customers. We are most delighted to expand our collaboration with EnSilica in this area”, says Martin Sallenhag, CEO of RoodMicrotec.


“EnSilica have already successfully worked with RoodMicrotec on a number of projects. We are pleased to partner with RoodMicrotec on this key high volume automotive project”, says Ian Lankshear, CEO of EnSilica.



About EnSilica

Founded in 2001, EnSilica Limited is headquartered in Wokingham, Berkshire with design centres in Oxford, and India. It is a leading fabless design house focused on complete turn-key chip and systems design, development and supply. The company has world-class expertise in supplying custom analogue, mixed signal and digital IC’s to its customers worldwide in the automotive, industrial and IoT markets. EnSilica has a track record in delivering high quality solutions to demanding industry standards.
Further information on EnSilica at (


About RoodMicrotec

With more than 45 years’ experience as an independent value-added service provider in the area of micro and optoelectronics, RoodMicrotec offers Fabless Companies, OEMs and other companies a one-stop shop proposition. With its powerful solutions RoodMicrotec has built up a strong position in Europe.

Our services comply with the industrial and quality requirements of the high reliability/space, automotive, telecommunications, healthcare, industrial and electronics sectors.

Our integrated quality management system is based on international DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 standards. In addition, our quality management is broadly consistent with the Automotive Specification ISO/TS 16949. The company also has an accredited laboratory for test activities and qualification to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

Its value-added services include (eXtended) supply chain management and total manufacturing solutions with partners, failure & technology analysis, qualification & burn-in, test & product engineering, production test (including device programming and end-of-line service), ESD/ESDFOS assessment & training and quality & reliability consulting.

RoodMicrotec has branches in Germany (Dresden, Nördlingen, Stuttgart), United Kingdom (Bath) and the Netherlands (Zwolle).

For more information visit (



Further information
Martin Sallenhag – CEO, Reinhard Pusch – COO, Arvid Ladega – CFO
Telephone: +31 38 4215216 Email: ( Web: (


SCALINX opens new ASIC design center in Caen, France

To support its fast growth, SCALINX opened this month, in addition to its ASIC design center in Paris, the second one in Caen, France, offering design services for custom designed Integrated Circuits.



“We are very excited to be opening our second design center, which has a highly educated team with tremendous IC design expertise, here in Caen France” said Hussein Fakhoury, CEO of SCALINX. “Initially, this dynamic design team will consist of 5 engineers expecting rapid growth as we continue supplying application specific ICs to our customers, applying innovative art of signal conversion.”


The new design center in Caen gives SCALINX the ability to augment the design support for its customers.


SCALINX is among the fastest growing and highly trusted companies in the Semiconductor Industry, designing signal conversion ASICs formed on its proprietary SCCORETMtechnology for Test & Measurement, Defense, Aerospace and Communications markets.


About SCCORETM technology – Smart Conversion CORE technology uses proprietary wide-band Continuous-Time ΔƩ A/D Converter architecture facilitating solutions where bandwidth vs. resolution trade-offs are implemented in programmable digital circuity. This technology leads to significant performance improvement and BoM saving.



2-bis avenue de Cambridge
14200 Hérouville Saint-Clair


Lekha Wireless appoints T2M for global marketing, representation and business development

Lekha Wireless, the leading wireless communications and embedded systems technology company, has signed an agreement with T2M, the world’s largest independent global semiconductor IP provider, to act as a global representative and business development partner of Lekha Wireless’ IP and technology solutions.


Lekha Wireless has a wide range of Wireless Connectivity IP solutions for NB-IOT, 5G, LTE and WiMAX for both UE and base station products. Lekha’s team has extensive wireless development and deployment experience in a wide range of wireless technologies.


Lekha chose T2M as its global business development partner because of T2M’s expertise in Wireless technologies, the global semiconductor industry and in delivering complex system-level solutions to manufacturers developing next generation mobile, IoT (internet of things), wearable technology products, consumer electronics products.


T2M has a large portfolio of semiconductor IP (intellectual property), software and SoC White Box IP which it supplies to integrated semiconductor device manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers globally.  Nigel Dixon, CEO of T2M, said “Our global presence provides Lekha Wireless immediate exposure to multiple markets. In addition, T2M’s executives have extensive wireless technical, strategic and market knowledge in licensing IP to the high tech industry, targeting relevant customers for Lekha’s technology”.


“The partnership with T2M further corroborates our commitment to technology and innovation for global wireless market, flexibility in business models and uncompromisingly high standards of delivery,” said Ramu, Founder Director of Lekha. “This is an important step towards taking Lekha’s products and solutions into next generation wireless Networks worldwide. T2M has extensive industry experience and right contacts to accelerate our business growth worldwide”.



About Lekha Wireless

Lekha specializes in the development of Software and Hardware for wireless communication network. We are a recognized ICT R&D company ranked among fast 50 Growing Technology company in India by Deloitte for the year 2017,2014 and 2013.


Lekha Wireless provides complete reference design for LTE UE, eNB, CatM1 and NB-IOT solutions targeting Private LTE networks and IOT applications.


An ‘all-under-a-single-roof’ technology partner, Lekha offers system level expertise and solutions in the areas of complex wireless Physical Layer modem designs as well as L2/3 Software stacks, hardware board design, FPGA, embedded software, industrial design and design for compliance. They also provide support for customization, system integration and manufacturing services. Lekha Wireless Solutions Pvt. Ltd., was established in 2010 with a vision to translate deep wireless domain expertise into quality technology solutions. Lekha is based in Bangalore, India. For more information visit



About T2M

T2M is the world’s largest independent global semiconductor technology provider, supplying complex IP, software, KGD and disruptive technologies enabling accelerated production of IoT, wireless, consumer and automotive electronics devices. Located in all key tech clusters around the world, our senior management team provides local access to leadership companies and technology. For more information, please visit