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Manufacturing Bits: March 21


Making harder windows Using cubic silicon nitride materials, a team of researchers have developed a harder window that can sustain severe conditions. There is a demand for harder and stronger windows in various applications, such as engines, ball bearings, cutting tools and other others. To enable this technology, researchers used materials based on transparent polycrystalline ceramics. One... » read more

Patterning Problems Pile Up


Chipmakers are ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm now moving into early production. But at 10nm and beyond, chipmakers are running into a new set of problems. While shrinking feature sizes of a device down to 10nm, 7nm, 5nm and perhaps beyond is possible using current and future fab equipment, there doesn't seem to be a simple way to solve the edge placement error (EPE)... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s TSMC Technology Symposium in San Jose, Calif., TSMC rolled out a dizzying array of new processes and technologies. Perhaps the most surprising announcement was a 22nm bulk CMOS process, which is geared for ultra low-power planar chips. The technology will compete against a 22nm FD-SOI technology from GlobalFoundries. Stay tuned. The battle has just begun. As e... » read more

Following Multiple Patterns


The lithography market is in flux. Today, chipmakers plan to extend today’s 193nm immersion lithography and multi-patterning to at least 10nm and 7nm. For the most critical layers, though, it’s unclear if optical lithography can extend beyond 7nm. For that reason, chipmakers hope to insert extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 7nm and/or 5nm. To get a handle on the state of patterning, S... » read more

Inside Lithography And Masks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask technologies with Gregory McIntyre, director of the Advanced Patterning Department at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"]; Harry Levinson, senior fellow and senior director of technology research at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; David Fried, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22210" e_name="Cove... » read more

China: Fab Boom or Bust?


China’s semiconductor industry continues to expand at a frenetic pace. At present there are nearly two dozen new fab projects in China. Whether all these fab projects get off the ground is not entirely clear because the dynamics in China remain fluid. What is clear is the motivation behind this building frenzy—China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continu... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 14


Sonic screwdrivers and tricorders Inspired by two famous TV shows, the Australian National University (ANU) has developed a futuristic handheld device that combines molecular MRI and mass spectrometry for use in chemical analysis of objects. The device was inspired by the sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who and the tricorder from Star Trek. The sonic screwdriver is a tool used in Doctor Who, ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools In response to SEMI members and partners, SEMI says it is not organizing Semicon Russia 2017, or any other events in Russia this year. “In light of the current market conditions and SEMI stakeholder concerns, SEMI reached out to members and customers over the last six months to assess how to provide the most value for our community in Russia,” said Laith Altimime, president of SE... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 7


Materials database Electronic materials and nanocrystals are used in a variety of applications. To integrate materials and crystals in devices, researchers must search in multiple places to discover new technologies and their various properties. On top of that, researchers may require long hours in the lab, and large computational resources, to enable new materials. Seeking to help res... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

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