CMOS Image Sensors (CIS): Past, Present & Future


Over the last decade, CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) technology has made impressive progress. Image sensor performance has dramatically improved over the years, and CIS technology has enjoyed great commercial success since the introduction of mobile phones using onboard cameras. Many people, including scientists and marketing specialists, predicted 15 years earlier that CMOS image sensors were going t... » read more

What Drives SADP BEOL Variability?


Until EUV lithography becomes a reality, multiple patterning technologies such as triple litho-etch (LELELE), self-aligned double patterning (SADP), and self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) are being used to meet the stringent patterning demands of advanced back-end-of-line (BEOL) technologies. For the 7nm technology node, patterning requirements include a metal pitch of 40nm or less. This ... » read more

Photoresist Shape In 3D


Things were easy for integrators when the pattern they had on the mask ended up being the pattern they wanted on the chip. Multi-patterning schemes such as Self-Aligned Double Patterning (SADP) and Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) have changed that dramatically. Now, what you have on the mask determines only a part of what you will get at the end. You will only obtain your final product... » read more

MEMS Microphones: A Bright Spot Among Commoditized Consumer Sensors


MEMS microphones have emerged as a bright spot among consumer sensors, which in general are going through a rapid commoditization and profit-squeezing trend. To understand what’s driving the MEMS microphone market, consider that the Apple iPhone 7 and 7S each have 4 MEMS microphones. As reported by System Plus Consulting, the latest iPhones have “a front-facing top microphone, presumably f... » read more

Semiconductor Process Development: Finding A Faster Way To Profitability


Building a chip fabrication facility requires billions of dollars in investment for land, buildings, processing equipment, chemical and hazardous material safety, not to mention the deployment of hundreds of highly experienced process engineering and manufacturing personnel. Bringing up an advanced semiconductor process in any fab, new or established, is a several-hundred-million dollar effort,... » read more

Integrating Process Models With TCAD Simulation…


Novel semiconductor technologies are creating complex process flows, which are needed to support the manufacturing of advanced 3D semiconductor structures. It can be helpful to model process flows, and their effect on a novel device, prior to physical fabrication. Process modeling is a technique that can predict the 3D structure of a device using an understanding of unit process steps. Durin... » read more

BEOL Barricades Ahead


Coventor recently assembled an expert panel at IEDM 2016, to discuss changes to BEOL process technology that would be needed to continue dimensional scaling to 7 nm and lower. Among the questions posed to panelists: What is BEOL? Where does it begin and end? Are there fundamental limits to interconnect processes? How much longer can we continue to use current interconnect processes and te... » read more

Bringing Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Technologies To Higher Education


Universities and other institutions of higher learning play a key role in developing our next generation of semiconductor technologies. Along with the theory of semiconductor technology, our next generation of scientists and engineers must learn about the practical methods used to design and manufacture the latest generation of semiconductor products. Recently, Coventor’s predictive, 3D proce... » read more

Achieving The Vision Of Silicon Photonics Processing


With the increasing need for faster data transfer rates, the transition from electrical to optical signaling in data processing is inevitable. Copper cabling cannot keep up with the upcoming data center bandwidth requirements for applications such as multimedia streaming and high performance computing. One technology that could enable true optical communication is silicon photonics. Silicon is ... » read more

Design Process Technology Co-Optimization For Manufacturability


Yield and cost have always been critical factors for both manufacturers and designers of semiconductor products. Meeting yield and product cost targets is a continuous challenge, due to new device structures and increasingly complex process innovations introduced to achieve improved product performance at each new technology node. Design for manufacturability (DFM) and design process technology... » read more

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