What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

Can A Supply Chain Be Too Efficient?


The semiconductor industry is a model of efficiency—literally. When other industries look at adding smart manufacturing into their operations, they often look to chip manufacturing as a shining example. After decades of business gyrations, semiconductor companies have figured out how to instill efficiency into every aspect of making chips. This is evident in device scaling. At 90nm, the co... » read more

Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Tech Talk: 7nm Litho


David Fried, chief technology officer at Coventor, digs into future scaling issues involving multi-patterning and new transistor types. https://youtu.be/FBnYRAL1xKY Related Stories Faster Time To Yield Coventor’s CEO talks about how to get chips through manufacturing more quickly. » read more

Filtering Out Fab Problems


Bertrand Loy, president and CEO of Entegris, sat down to discuss the semiconductor industry, process challenges and filter technology with Semiconductor Engineering. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What is the outlook for the IC industry? Loy: A lot of positive things are happening. Eighty percent of what we do are consumables, which would be chemistries and filters. ... » read more

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

Architecture First, Node Second


What a difference a node makes. A couple of rather important changes have occurred in the move from 16/14 to 10/7nm (aside from more confusing naming conventions). First, companies that require more transistors—processor companies such as [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], AMD, [getentity id="22306" comment="IBM"] and [getentity id="22676" e_name="Qualcomm"]—have come to grips with t... » read more

Inside FD-SOI And Scaling


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss FD-SOI, IC scaling, process technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In logic, GlobalFoundries is shipping 14nm finFETs with 7nm in the works. The company is also readying 22nm FD-SOI technology with 12nm FD-SOI ... » read more

Modeling On-Chip Variation At 10/7nm


Simulation, a workhorse tool for semiconductor design, is running out of steam at 10/7nm. It is falling behind on chips with huge gate counts and an enormous number of possible interactions between all the different functions that are being crammed onto a die. At simulation's root is some form of SPICE, which has served as its underpinnings ever since SPICE was first published 44 years ago. ... » read more

Security Issues Up With Heterogeneity


The race toward heterogeneous designs is raising new security concerns across the semiconductor supply chain. There is more IP to track, more potential for unexpected interactions, and many more ways to steal data or IP. Security is a difficult problem no matter what kind of chip is involved, and it has been getting worse as more devices, machines and systems are connected to the Internet. B... » read more

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