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Smart Cars Drive 200 mm Fabs

March 18, 2019

New sensing and actuating technologies for cars are introducing a new generation of 200 mm tools. Michelle Bourke, strategic marketing director in the customer support group, shares her thoughts on this topic with EE Times.

The industry has transformed from one that learned its trade making microprocessors and memory for PCs to one that now supplies chips for cloud computing, AI, machine learning, VR, robotics, medical, mobile, IoT, and automotive. Automotive, though currently dwarfed by PCs and mobile in market share, shows the highest potential for growth, with an estimated compound annual growth rate for the five years ending in 2021 of nearly 14%, according to IC Insights.

The end-game for automotive manufacturers is self-driving cars, though there is general agreement that wide-spread adoption of fully autonomous driving is still at least ten years away. That adoption will be paced by the wide variety of technologies and infrastructure that must be developed to support it. The diversity of these requirements will make collaboration between automotive manufacturers and new industry players, including semiconductor equipment manufacturers, an essential ingredient for success.

Automotive ICs span a range of device types with more than 75% of the total comprised of microprocessors/controllers, analog devices, and sensors. These same segments, plus memory, also show the highest potential for growth. This is driving demand for 200mm manufacturing, which is more accommodating of diversity than leading-edge manufacturing processes developed primarily for purely digital microprocessors and memory.

Continue reading the article on EE Times.

 

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