Transferring Skills Getting Harder


Rising complexity in developing chips at advanced nodes, and an almost perpetual barrage of new engineering challenges at each new node, are making it more difficult for everyone involved to maintain consistent skill levels across a growing number of interrelated technologies. The result is that engineers are being forced to specialize, but when they work with other engineers with different ... » read more

Uncertainty Grows For 5nm, 3nm


As several chipmakers ramp up their 10nm finFET processes, with 7nm just around the corner, R&D has begun for 5nm and beyond. In fact, some are already moving full speed ahead in the arena. [getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] recently announced plans to build a new fab in Taiwan at a cost of $15.7 billion. The proposed fab is targeted to manufacture TSMC’s 5nm and 3nm processes, whic... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » read more

Advanced Packaging Requires Better Yield


Whether Moore's Laws truly ends, or whether the semiconductor industry reaches into the Angstrom world after 3nm—the semiconductor industry dislikes fractions—advanced packaging increasingly will dominate semiconductor designs. Apple already is on board with its iPhone 7, using TSMC's fan-out approach. And all of the major foundries and OSATs are lining up with a long list of capabilitie... » read more

Making 2.5D, Fan-Outs Cheaper


Now that it has been shown to work, the race is on to make advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] more affordable. While device scaling could continue for another decade or more, the number of companies that can afford to develop SoCs at the leading edge will continue to decline. The question now being addressed is what can supplant it, supplement it, or redefine it. At the center o... » read more

Partitioning For Power


Examine any smartphone design today and most of the electronic circuitry is "off" most of the time. And regardless of how many processor cores are available, it's rare to use more than a couple of those cores at any point in time. The emphasis is shifting, though, as the mobility market flattens and other markets such as driver-assisted vehicles and IoT begin gaining traction. In a car, turn... » read more

Moore’s Law Debate Continues


Does shrinking devices still make sense from a cost and performance perspective? The answer isn’t so simple anymore. Still, the discussion as to whether semiconductors are still on track with [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] occurs on a frequent enough basis to continue analyzing at least some of the dynamics at play. There is much speculation about what happens after 7nm, as well as ... » read more

Power Limits Of EDA


Power has become a major gating factor in semiconductor design. It is now the third factor in design optimization, along with performance, and is almost becoming more important than area. But there are limits to the amount of help that [getkc id="7" kc_name="EDA"] can provide with [getkc id="106" kc_name="power optimization"]. Power is not just an optimization problem. It is a design problem... » read more

Faster Time To Yield


Michael Jamiolkowski, president and CEO of Coventor, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about ways improve yield ramp and optimize designs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Why does it take so long to get a chip all the way through to manufacturing? Jamiolkowski: There are three parts to that. There is a research side. You want to be able to explore new th... » read more

How Small Will Transistors Go?


By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling There is nearly universal agreement that Moore’s Law is slowing down. But whether it will truly end, or just become too expensive and less relevant—and what will supplant device scaling—are the subject of some far-reaching research and much discussion. Semiconductor Engineering sat down with each of the leaders of three top research houses—[getent... » read more

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