Reducing BEOL Parasitic Capacitance Using Air Gaps


Reducing back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect parasitic capacitance remains a focus for advanced technology node development. Porous low-k dielectric materials have been used to achieve reduced capacitance, however, these materials remain fragile and prone to reliability concerns. More recently, air gap has been successfully incorporated into 14nm technology [1], and numerous schemes have b... » read more

Using Advanced Statistical Analysis To Improve FinFET Transistor Performance


Trial and error wafer fabrication is commonly used to study the effect of process changes in the development of FinFET and other advanced semiconductor technologies. Due to the interaction of upstream unit process parameters (such as deposition conformality, etch anisotropy, selectivity) during actual fabrication, variations based upon process changes can be highly complex. Process simulators t... » read more

Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation And Manufacturing Challenges


As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur i... » read more

The Future Of MEMS Design: Making MEMS Design More Like CMOS Design


MEMS-based component suppliers want to rapidly ramp their designs into high-volume production. This demand is driving MEMS suppliers to focus on ways to more efficiently re-use established process steps, stacks or technology platforms. To meet this need, we see the emergence of standard MEMS technology and design platforms similar to those used in CMOS design. The semiconductor industry and ... » read more

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

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