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.Simply put, defects introduced by process-critical components in fab equipment can impact wafer yields, according to members from SEMI’s Semiconductor Components, Instruments, and Subsystems (SCIS) Special Interest Group, an organization that represents suppliers of components and sub-systems. The issues have been known for some time, but they are expected to become more problematic as chipmakers move to 10nm/7nm and … [Read more...] about Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts
Companies undergoing organizational change
The technology leader in the DRAM industry has a greater advantage in terms of market share and profit. BY HEISEUNG KIM and HEESANG LEE, Management of Technology Department at Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South KoreaThis paper presents an empirical study that links between firms’ technological leadership and the firms’ sustainability. While extant studies focused on the effect of incremental or radical innovation on the firm, a few researches have been carried out on the other types of innovation. In this study, architecture innovation in the DRAM industry is used to analyze how the continuous archi- tecture innovation of scaling affects firms’ performance. We compared the historical technology roadmap of each firm with their market share and profit data and concluded that continuous architecture innovation would positively affects the performance of a firm as well as its chance of survival. This study suggests that continuous architecture innovations are required … [Read more...] about Architecture innovation in the DRAM industry: How it affects firms’ sustainable competence
Alphabet-owned Nest Labs is undergoing yet another restructure. According to a report from Fortune, a few dozen employees of Nest are heading over to Google, another Alphabet-owned company, to help bolster Google’s smart home offerings.The move does make some sense. Google is increasingly making waves in the smart home with products like OnHub and Google Home, a new smart speaker aimed at taking on the Amazon Echo.The engineers heading to Google are mainly responsible for developing the Nest platform, and will now be working with Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer to help build on Google’s smart home products.Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean that Nest is dead, though it has undergone a number of organizational changes over the years. The company has still rose to prominence thanks in part to its partnerships with the likes of Belkin, Philips, and August, a smart lock manufacturer, and Nest will continue to build its own platform and develop software around its … [Read more...] about Google is building up its smart home division with Nest employees
Aberdeen surveyed 240 users and managers of IT support to find out how organizations in this new world can ensure that workers are productive and customers enjoy their products. The 107 support managers who responded to Aberdeen's survey ranked the metrics they use to evaluate their IT support staff on a scale from one to five, where 1 was the highest priority and 5 the lowest.The functional tie between first-call resolution, customer satisfaction, priority of issues resolved, and speed of issue resolution reflects the number of competing mandates technical support must balance. If first-call resolution percentage is weighted too heavily over customer satisfaction, support personnel will be discouraged from transferring calls to experts; if only high-priority issues are ever addressed, customers with small but nevertheless bothersome issues will become disgruntled.Notably, call duration is rarely recognized as a top-priority metric by technical support managers. Short calls are not … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS What Is World-Class IT Support?
Cloud Computing Electronic Study Management<!-- New technology to increase the efficiency of pre-clinical studiesMichael H. ElliottBack in the late 1970s, I was working in a biology research institution evaluating the metabolism of antipsychotic drugs by performing in vivo animal studies. To manage these studies, our team took pen to paper and tracked subjects, controls, observations and analytical results in a bound laboratory notebook. We soon discovered and purchased the new IBM personal computer. No longer did we have to vie for time on the mainframe; we could now write our own programsNew technology to increase the efficiency of pre-clinical studies -->New technology to increase the efficiency of pre-clinical studiesBack in the late 1970s, I was working in a biology research institution evaluating the metabolism of antipsychotic drugs by performing in vivo animal studies. To manage these studies, our team took pen to paper and tracked subjects, controls, observations and … [Read more...] about Electronic Study Management
"SOA transition" is buzz term growing in popularity among IT managers, especially when they meet with corporate boardroom residents. Businesses are transitioning into service-oriented architecture by tapping into the increasing number of SOA products software makers are creating to meet this new interest.However, for the uninitiated, SOA can be just another entry in themushrooming jumble of acronyms and alphabet soups business technology users must digest. The world of e-commerce is undergoing a transition toward greater use of SOA. Its proponents claim that SOA holds real promise to drive further adoption and greater efficiency for e-commerce.SOA can be a powerful asset for IT organizations, enabling them to unite disparate systems using well-defined, common standard interfaces. Do not view SOA as a new technology, however. It is a flexible business process that can help adopters cost-effectively deliver increased value to their customers.Rather than throwing investment money into … [Read more...] about The Shift to SOA: Repurposing Priceless Business Logic
The average American credit cardholder carries 3.5 credit cards, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's 2010 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice. Today, consumers use credit cards to pay for more than just large-ticket items. Everything from household items and utilities to insurance premiums and student loans are tallying up charges on the average monthly statement, demonstrating the growing reliance of consumers on credit cards and the importance of protecting these numbers.So, whether you are a large retailer or a small Internet boutique, if you accept credit cards, you need to keep that information secure. It's not just about compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) -- more importantly, you owe it to your customers.PCI DSS was developed as part of a collaboration between MasterCard Worldwide, Visa International, American Express, Discover Financial Services and JCB. Their efforts have culminated in the standard that serves as a directive … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE PCI DSS Compliance: Failure Is Not an Option
2006 witnessed the beginning of a convergence between physical and IT security, driven largely by the greatest fear of security professionals -- a coordinated assault that combines an attack on the IT network to eliminate an organization's ability to command, control and communicate with a physical security attack.In order to get a firm grasp of an organization's overall security posture, it is increasingly important to integrate all of your various physical and IT security systems -- systems that until now have been managed and run in separate silos.For an organization to adequately protect itself from today's increasingly sophisticated threats, it's critical to leverage advancements in technologies that cater to both physical and IT environments.In addition to the convergence of physical and IT security systems, the convergence continues in video technologies as well -- IP video technologies (DVRs, NVRs, cameras, etc.) are quickly being assimilated into the technology … [Read more...] about The Rise of Physical Security Information Management
Driven to reap ROI from real-time data access and advanced collaboration among employees and partners, more and more IT executives are hunting for the right enterprise portal.This is not a simple search, however. The array of choices is dizzying, with portal solutions up for grabs from such firms as pure-play vendors BroadVision and Plumtree, platform stalwarts IBM and Microsoft, and ERP giants SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle.To top it off, the crowded market is undergoing rapid consolidation. In other words, the vendor you pick today might not be around -- at least in its original form -- tomorrow. Just last year, for example, portal pioneer Epicentric was scooped up by content management maven Vignette."All of these vendors are fighting mightily in this market right now. There's no runaway leader," Aberdeen Group research director Dana Gardner told the E-Commerce Times. "It's rapidly changing and consolidating. And as a customer, you can get some attractive deals because [the portal … [Read more...] about E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT Which E-Business Portal Is Right for You?
Germany-based chipmakerInfineon has announced that its memory chip spinoff, dubbed Qimonda, will officially launch May 1, ahead of the original schedule for the strategic move.Qimonda -- conceived in response to the challenges of running two very different kinds of semiconductor businesses -- will remain under Infineon's umbrella until its Initial Public Offering (IPO), set for an undisclosed later date.Qimonda and Infineon, which started out as a spinoff of European technology giant Siemens, will function as two separate companies with different strategies."I think it really speaks to the idea that it is very, very difficult to combine a memory operation and logic operation in the same company," Semico Vice President Bob Merritt told TechNewsWorld, citing business management and process development differences.With the spinoff, Infineon is separating itself from the dynamic random access memory business. Splitting both the technical and organizational operations of the two companies … [Read more...] about Infineon to Spin Off Qimonda Ahead of Schedule