Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Tariffs The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to tariffs. These actions are on top of another set of tariffs, which were put in place. The additional tariffs will be effective starting Sept. 24, and initially will be in the amount of 10%. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the level of the additional tariffs wi... » read more

The Big Blur


Chip companies, research houses, foundries—and more recently large systems companies—have been developing alternative technologies to continue scaling power and performance. It's still not obvious which of those will win, let alone survive, or what they will do to the economics of developing chips. For more than five decades, the biggest concern was scaling devices in order to save money... » read more

The Value of Runtime Knowledge Management


In clinical and commercial manufacturing when measures are taken to prevent deviations, the findings aren’t often shared across the enterprise and when corrective actions are taken to resolve an issue, they often don’t address the actual root cause(s). The Applied SmartFactory® Rx™ Knowledge Management solution allows knowledge captured in the R&D and design phases to be used th... » read more

Atomic Layer Etching: Rethinking the Art of Etch


Atomic layer etching (ALE) is the most advanced etching technique in production today. In this Perspective, we describe ALE in comparison to long-standing conventional etching techniques, relating it to the underlying principles behind the ancient art of etching. Once considered too slow, we show how leveraging plasma has made ALE a thousand times faster than earlier approaches. While Si is the... » read more

Advanced Defect Inspection Techniques For nFET And pFET Defectivity At 7nm Gate Poly Removal Process


By Ian Tolle, GlobalFoundries, and Michael Daino, KLA-Tencor During 7nm gate poly removal process, polysilicon is removed exposing both NFET and PFET fins in preparation for high-k gate oxide. If the polysilicon etch is too aggressive or the source and drain are not sufficiently protected, the etch can damage the active region and render the FET inoperative. Different materials are used in t... » read more

China’s Electric Car Ambitions


China, the world’s largest car market, is also leading the charge in the electric vehicle business. But with little or no fanfare, China also wants to dominate the critical ecosystem for battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the nation is already the world’s largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles. And it also controls a sizable part of the supply chain, such as the... » read more

A New Type Of Switch


Back in July, Applied Materials announced that we’d been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop technology for AI. While Applied is engaged on the development of many disruptive technologies, it’s not often that we’re in a position to discuss them in early development. Thanks to the vision of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative and their ... » read more

Cryogenic Etch Re-Emerges


After years in R&D, a technology called cryogenic etch is re-emerging as a possible option for production as the industry faces new challenges in memory and logic. Cryogenic etch removes materials in devices with high aspect ratios at cold temperatures, although it has always been a challenging process. Cryogenic etch is difficult to control and it requires specialized cryogenic gases in... » read more

Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

More Fabs, More Equipment Spending


Global fab equipment spending will increase 14 percent this year to US$62.8 billion and is expected to rise 7.5 percent, to US$67.5 billion, in 2019, marking the fourth consecutive year of spending growth and the highest investment year for fab equipment in the history of the industry, according to the latest World Fab Forecast Report published by SEMI. Investments in new fab construction are a... » read more

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