Much has been written over the last few years on the significant cost issues semiconductor companies are and will be facing over the coming years. While newer manufacturing nodes have increased transistor density and reduced power consumption, they have come at a cost of increased manufacturing and development costs for chips using these nodes. Yet more worrying for manufacturers, the costs of preparing chips for new nodes isn’t just rising but rising quickly, with mask sets already over a million dollars and expected to grow even further thanks to the high costs of developing masks for current multi-patterning technologies. As a result semiconductor companies have been increasingly focused on containing costs, especially in the highly competitive and lower margin commodity markets, where customers are very...

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