Why EUV Is So Difficult


For years, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has been a promising technology that was supposed to help enable advanced chip scaling. But after years of R&D, EUV is still not in production despite major backing from the industry, vast resources and billions of dollars in funding. More recently, though, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography appears to be inching closer to pos... » read more

10nm FinFET Market Heats Up


The 10nm finFET market is heating up in the foundry business amid the ongoing push to develop chips at advanced nodes. Not long ago, Intel announced its 10nm finFET process, with plans to ramp up the technology in 2017. Then, TSMC recently introduced its 10nm process, with plans to move into production by the fourth quarter of 2016. Now, Samsung Electronics said that it has commenced mass... » read more

7nm Lithography Choices


Chipmakers are ramping up their 16nm/14nm logic processes, with 10nm expected to move into early production later this year. Barring a major breakthrough in lithography, chipmakers are using today’s 193nm immersion and multiple patterning for both 16/14nm and 10nm. Now, chipmakers are focusing on the lithography options for 7nm. For this, they hope to use a combination of two technologies ... » read more

1xnm DRAM Challenges


At a recent event, Samsung presented a paper that described how the company plans to extend today’s planar DRAMs down to 20nm and beyond. This is an amazing feat. Until very recently, most engineers believed DRAMs would stop scaling at 20nm or so. Instead, Samsung is ramping up the world’s most advanced DRAMs—a line of 20nm parts—with plans to go even further. Micron and SK Hynix soo... » read more

EUV: Cost Killer Or Savior?


Moore’s Law, the economic foundation of the semiconductor industry, states that transistor density doubles in each technology generation, at constant cost. As IMEC’s Arindam Mallik explained, however, the transition to a new technology node is not a single event, but a process. Typically, when the new technology is first introduced, it brings a 20% to 25% wafer cost increase. Process opt... » read more

Getting Over Overlay


Chipmakers continue to migrate to the next node, but there are signs that traditional IC scaling is slowing down. So what’s causing the slowdown? Or for that matter, what could ultimately undo [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"]? It could be a combination of factors. To be sure, IC design costs and complexity are soaring at each node. Scaling challenges are also playing a role. And ov... » read more

Next EUV Challenge: Mask Inspection


Extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography is still not ready for prime time, but the technology finally is moving in the right direction. The EUV light source, for example, is making progress after years of delays and setbacks. Now, amid a possible breakthrough in EUV, the industry is revisiting a nagging issue and asking a simple question: How do you inspect EUV p... » read more

Flash Dance For Inspection And Metrology


Chipmakers are moving from planar technology to an assortment of 3D-like architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs For these devices, chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab. But one surprising and oft-forgotten technology is emerging as perhaps the biggest challenge in both logic and memory—process control. Process control includes metrology and wafer inspection. Metrolo... » read more

Issues And Options At 5nm


While the foundries are ramping up their processes for the 16nm/14nm node, vendors are also busy developing technologies for 10nm and beyond. In fact, chipmakers are finalizing their 10nm process offerings, but they are still weighing the technology options for 7nm. And if that isn’t enough, IC makers are beginning to look at the options at 5nm and beyond. Today, chipmakers can see a p... » read more

Why Is My Device Better Than Yours?


Differentiation is becoming a big problem in the semiconductor industry with far-reaching implications that extend well beyond just chips. The debate over the future of [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] is well known, but it's just one element in a growing list that will make it much harder for chip companies, IP vendors and even software developers to stand out from the pack. And withou... » read more

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