manufacturing process en Slipup at HP’s Chinese Manufacturing Facility Gives a Rare Glimpse Into Life on the Assembly Line <!--paging_filter--><p><a href=";v=nSXmUWbyGpQ&amp;noredirect=1"><img src="/files/u46173/hpslipup.png" alt="HP Slip Up" style="float: right;" /></a>When it comes to manufacturing in North America we make food, cars, and import just about everything else. Our hunger for high tech has gone into hyper active mode over the last decade, and the thousands of new products pouring into our local Best Buy are usually made in China, Taiwan, or just about anywhere inexpensive labour can be found. The repetitive tasks and long hours have led to a PR nightmare for companies such as Apple, who in earnest, have offered up several guided tours to help highlight the positive aspects of life at these city sized plants responsible for making our gadgets. These tours have been guided, carefully staged events however, and many have wondered what a candid un-staged video might look like. If that’s you, wonder no longer. A manufacturing slipup by Quanta has given us a <a href="">rare glimpse</a> at one of the HP manufacturing lines, and it’s pretty darn dull.</p> <p>We chose to highlight this video not because its particularly action packed, but because of how rare a candid look into these facilities actually are. HP doesn’t have much to do on this one in terms of damage control, as life at this Chongqing manufacturing facility seems pretty mundane. The workers depicted here seem to be part of the quality process, and are testing the various hardware components as the machines move down the line. At one point the worker glances up to make eye contact with the web camera he is presumably testing, but that’s about it.</p> <p>If these workers are lucky, they are making about $2 an hour. Does the video change your opinion on “Made in China”?</p> <p><a href=";v=nSXmUWbyGpQ&amp;noredirect=1">Check out the video here.</a></p> china Hardware hp laptop manufacturing process News Sun, 29 Jul 2012 15:21:17 +0000 Justin Kerr 23859 at TSMC's 28nm Chip Production Skyrocketed Last Quarter, Will Only Get Better <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/tsmc_wafer.jpg" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />The industry-wide move to the 28nm manufacturing process has been slowed by the 28nm manufacturing struggles suffered by TSMC and other for-hire chip fabricators. Poor 28nm yields have adversely affected product availability for several of TSMC's partners, to the point that Nvidia and Qualcomm were rumored to be threatening to take their business elsewhere. Those dark days may be (mostly) behind, however, as TSMC's 28nm production skyrocketed in the second quarter.</p> <p>Xbit Labs listened to TSMC's conference call and dug through the company's financial data, then <a href="">reported that the fab's 28nm output jumped by a whopping 70 percent last quarter</a>. That's admirable, but still not anywhere near as much 28nm production as TSMC's customers are looking for. Fortunately, TSMC execs ensured investors that the company expects its 28nm shipments to double in the upcoming quarter en route to picking up steam and fully meeting OEM demand in the first quarter of 2013.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.</em></p> 28nm tsmc chip manufacturing fab fabrication plant manufacturing process news tsmc News Fri, 27 Jul 2012 17:43:04 +0000 Brad Chacos 23856 at Intel to Spend $2.7 Billion on Upgrading Israeli Chip Plant <!--paging_filter--><p>Intel’s chip plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel, is about to be <a href="">upgraded to 22nm production capability</a>, the chip maker said at a news conference. The upgrade will see the company invest around $2.7 billion, including a $210 million grant that was recently approved by the Israeli government. The fab is expected to begin production on 22nm process technology in December, which is in keeping with the late 2011/early 2012 launch of Ivy Bridge processors -- 22nm die shrink of Sandy Bridge. A few months back, Intel announced that it would spend up to $8 billion on similar upgrades to four of its existing plants in Oregon and Arizona and the construction of a new 22nm fab in Oregon.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="../../files/u46168/20050725-intel_wh.jpg" width="400" height="312" /></p> <p><em>Image Credit: Crown Heights</em></p> 22nm arizona atom fab intel Israel ivy bridge manufacturing process oregon processor sandy bridge News Thu, 20 Jan 2011 02:42:03 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 16743 at Intel Roadmap Reveals 15nm Atom Processors <!--paging_filter--><p>Exactly how low can Intel's Atom processors go? At least <a href="">down to 15nm</a>, according to Intel's latest roadmap. Think about that for a moment. At just 15nm, the manufacturing process is about the size of 60 atoms. By comparison, human hair measures 100,000nm in diameter. Pretty amazing, isn't it?</p> <p>Intel's plans were revealed in a slide being shown at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), which also showed 32nm and 22nm parts filling in the gap between 15nm and currently shipping 45nm Atom processors.</p> <p>The slide is short on details, but interestingly it looks as though Intel will crank out more Atom chip offerings as the manufacturing process continues to shrink. At 15nm, Intel shows five chips each for netbooks, nettops, and consumer electronics, and six chips each for handheld "Z" series and embedded "E" series products.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/intel_atom_roadmap.jpg" alt="" width="405" height="279" /></p> <h5 style="text-align: left;">Image Credit: Intel via CNet</h5> 15nm atom cpu Hardware IDF intel manufacturing process processor News Fri, 17 Sep 2010 14:14:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 14568 at Toshiba Trumps Intel, Micron with 24nm NAND Manufacturing <!--paging_filter--><p>Toshiba today <a href=";uid=20100831-1112e">announced</a> it has begun mass producing NAND flash chips using a 24nm CMOS manufacturing process, representing the smallest geometry and highest density yet in NAND flash, the company said.</p> <p>The announcement steals a bit of thunder from IM Flash -- a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- which said it would begin churning out 25nm-based NAND chips by the end of 2010.</p> <p>"Toshiba leads the industry in fabricating high density, small die size NAND flash memory chips," Toshiba said in a statement. "Application of the 24nm generation process technology will further shrink chip size, allowing Toshiba to boost productivity and bring further enhancements to the high density, small sized products. The 24nm process products are also equipped with Toggle DDR, which enhances data transfer speed."</p> <p>Toshiba says its latest technology has already been applied to 2 bit-per-cell 64Gb chips that are the world's smallest on a single chip (8GB), and will also add 32Gb and 3 bit-per-cell products fabricated on a 24nm process soon.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_homer.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="285" /></p> 24nm flash memory intel manufacturing process micron nand technology toshiba News Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:28:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 14221 at Kateeva Could Make OLED Displays Mainstream Fare <!--paging_filter--><p>OLED displays are widely accepted to provide some of the best image quality money can buy. The problem is that it does take a lot of money to buy them. The current generation of manufacturing tech means that small OLEDs, like the one found on the Nexus One, are really at the upper limit of cost effectiveness. A start up called Kateeva wants to change that. They are developing a system for <a href="">printing OLED displays</a>.</p> <p> Kateeva’s manufacturing process has been shown to be capable of printing 1.8 by 1.5 meter OLED displays. They estimate the costs to be roughly 60% of current methods. Don’t get too excited yet. The OLED printer is set to be tested by display manufacturers next year. Just imagine, in a few short years you may be tossing out your tired old plasma or LCD HDTV and buying an OLED version.<br /> <div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u94712/oled1_0.png" alt="oo" width="405" height="220" /></div> </p> displays lcd led manufacturing process oled News Fri, 12 Feb 2010 02:40:39 +0000 Ryan Whitwam 10870 at Intel Jumping Right to 32nm, Updates CPU Phase-Out Schedule <!--paging_filter--><p>Development for 32nm is going well for Intel, so well that the chip maker has <a href="">decided </a>to axe its 45nm Havendale chips before they reached volume production and will make the move to the 32nm Clarkdale instead, according to DigiTimes. Havendale was originally scheduled to launch by the end of the year, but Intel will instead go forward with 32nm Clarkdale in the first quarter of 2010.</p> <p>Citing sources at motherboard makers, DigiTimes says Intel also plans to <a href="">mark several processors</a> as EOL (end of life) in the second half of 2009 and through the first quarter of 2010. Among them will be the Core 2 Extreme QX9775, Core i7 940, and a bunch of Core 2 Quad, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs. The chip maker will also begin discontinuing both the Atom 330 and Atom 220 in April 2010.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the sources say Intel plans to launch the Core 2 Quad Q9505S, a quad-core CPU designed specifically for all-in-on PCs. </p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/NehalemDie_Thumbnail.png" width="415" height="150" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: xx-small">Image Credit: Intel </span></p> 32nm 45nm clarksdale cpu havendale intel manufacturing process processor News Thu, 18 Jun 2009 20:55:11 +0000 Paul Lilly 6650 at Moore's Law to Hit a Brick Wall at 18nm <!--paging_filter--><p>Intel co-founder Gordon Moore once predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every 18 to 24 months, a prediction which has been famously dubbed Moore's Law. But according to market research firm iSuppli, the move to 18nm will signal the end of Moore's Law.</p> <p>&quot;The usable limit for semiconductor process technology will be reached when chip process geometries shrink to be smaller than 20nm, to 18nm nodes,&quot; <a href="">said Len Jelinek</a>, director and chief analyst, semiconductor manufacturing, for iSuppli. &quot;At those nodes, the industry will start getting to the point where semiconductor manufacturing tools are too expensive to depreciate with volume production, i.e., their costs will be so high, that the value of their lifetime productivity can never justify it.&quot;</p> <p>So when exactly will it happen? According to iSupply, in the year 2014. In 2007, Gordon Moore said his prediction could be upheld for at least another decade. Five years from now, one of them is going to be wrong.</p> <p align="center"><img src="" width="415" height="325" /> </p> cpu manufacturing process Moore's Law processor technology transistors News Tue, 16 Jun 2009 21:00:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 6623 at Moore’s Law Lives Another Day With Maskless Lithography Trick <!--paging_filter--><p>&#160;</p> <div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u57670/microprocessor.png" width="415" height="231" /></div> <p> <span style="font-size: xx-small">Image Credit: Wikipedia</span> </p><p>&#160;</p> <p>When it comes to Moore’s law these days, it seems like everyone’s a cynic. However, now there’s one more reason to be optimistic about the future of miniaturization, as researchers have published a paper describing a lithography technique which may provide a new means of producing chip features smaller than 32nm.  </p> <p>The technique involves the use of quasiparticles called plasmons to focus light at an incredibly high resolution. Chris Lee at Ars Technica <a href="">describes the technology</a>: “A lens, based on plasmons, can be created by a set of concentric metal rings. The fields from the plasmons in each ring act in such a way as to create a tightly focused spot of light. In principle, these lenses could focus light tightly enough to create features about five to ten nanometers in size.”</p> <p>The problem with plasmon lenses is that they must be positioned at just 20 nm away from the wafer. The scientists claim to have overcome this hurdle with their new technique, which uses air pressure to control the lens’s distance from the wafer.</p> <p>Significantly, the new technique eliminates the need to create a new photomask for each revision to the chip, potentially lowering costs and speeding up development.</p> Hardware manufacturing process Moore's Law Science News Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:49:51 +0000 Alex Castle 3855 at IBM Making Moves Toward 22nm Chips <!--paging_filter--><p>It might not be as well publicized as Micheal Phelps' race to 14 gold medals, but there's another kind of race going on in the chip industry, and that's to see who will be the first to reach 22nm. But it might not be Intel leading the way, and instead it looks as though IBM may be <a href="">emerging</a> as the front runner.</p> <p>Unlike the path to 45nm and 32nm, getting to 22nm presents some significant challenges for chip makers, one of which includes getting the circuits &quot;printed&quot; in a process called photolithography. As IBM engineer Subu Iyer notes, &quot;Once the wavelength of light becomes comparable to the size of the thing you're trying to print, things break down. The challenge is to use a light wavelength of 192 nanometers because 'extreme ultraviolet' radiation is still impractical.&quot;</p> <p>Iyer went on to say that in terms of physics, getting to 22nm is a tall order requiring a tremendous amount of computation. To help with that, IBM has <a href="">developed</a> what it's calling the Computational Scaling (CS) initiative, which includes support from several of IBM's partners. If nothing else, this collaboration puts added heat on Intel, who <a href="">downplayed</a> IBM's foray into 22nm earlier this summer. </p> <p>Might IBM beat Intel to the punch? Hit the jump and make your prediction. </p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/IBM.png" width="415" height="150" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: xx-small">Image Credit: IBM </span></p> 22nm cpu ibm manufacturing process processor News Thu, 18 Sep 2008 16:21:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 3564 at 40nm GPUs Will Take Away Intel's Lead in Chip Manufacturing <!--paging_filter--><p>Intel can not only lay claim as the current king of chip technology, but its upcoming <a href="/article/features/nehalem_primer_what_we_know_so_far_about_intels_nextgen_penryn_killer">Nehalem microarchitecture</a> looks poised to keep the silicon studs on top of the competition well into 2009. AMD has yet to threaten Intel's position ever since Conroe, and while the company remains confident under Dirk Meyer as the <a href="/article/news/amds_ceo_steps_down">new head honcho</a>, it's still <a href="/article/news/amd_initiates_pilot_program_45nm_chips">playing catch up</a> to Intel's 45nm technology.</p> <p>The situation gets a little more competitive when switching from CPUs to GPUs, and according to reports, sources at both ATI and Nvidia are <a href=",6012.html">saying</a> they will each have a 40nm GPU manufacturing process by the first half of 2009, possibly to be unveiled at next year's CeBit.</p> <p>Assuming either company meets their target, the accomplishment will unseat Intel as the technological leader in terms of the smallest chip structures, even if only for a short time. The road won't stop at Nehalem and Intel is already busy developing 32nm CPUs, which many expect to be shown off in prototype form at the company's spring development forum in H1 2009. Volume shipments could come as early as Q3 next year. </p> <p>Even so, if 40nm GPUs materialize as reported, it will mark the first time GPUs will overtake CPUS in terms of production nodes. That won't necessarily make it a better chip, but you can expect plenty of fanfare should Nvidia and/or ATI dethrone the silicon king.</p> <p><em>Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi</em>?</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/Toothpick.png" width="415" height="150" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: xx-small">Image Credit: Intel </span></p> 40nm 45nm amd ati Build a PC chip cpu gpu graphics Hardware intel manufacturing process nvidia processor videocard News Fri, 01 Aug 2008 02:54:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 3010 at