The Materials Gap


When consolidation thinned the ranks of semiconductor foundries and equipment makers, materials companies figured things were about to get better. They haven't. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, semiconductors are now so complex and difficult to develop that a slew of innovations are required on all sides. Everyone is familiar with transistor structures, interconnects and lithog... » read more

Unsolved Litho Issues At 7nm


By Ed Sperling & Mark LaPedus EUV lithography is creating a new set of challenges on the photomask side for which there currently are no simple solutions. While lithography is viewed as a single technology, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] actually is a collection of technologies. Not all of those technologies have advanced equally and simultaneously, however. For example, aberrations... » read more

Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

Inside Chip R&D


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss R&D challenges, EUV and other topics with Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Clearly, Moore’s Law is slowing down. The traditional process cadence is extending from 2 years to roughly 2.5 to 3 years. Yet, R&D is not slowing down, right? ... » read more

Extending EUV Beyond 3nm


Jan van Schoot, senior principal architect at [getentity id="22935" comment="ASML"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how far EUV can be extended and where it is today. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: High numerical aperture [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] has been in the works for some time as a way of extending EUV. How is this technology shaping... » read more

Biz Talk: ASICs


eSilicon CEO [getperson id="11145" comment="Jack Harding"] talks about the future of scaling, advanced packaging, the next big things—automotive, deep learning and virtual reality—and the need for security. [youtube vid=leO8gABABqk]   Related Stories Executive Insight: Jack Harding (Aug 2016) eSilicon’s CEO looks at industry consolidation, competition, China’s impact, an... » read more

Playing With Chip Volumes


The overall market for semiconductors continues to grow, but the number of applications that will generate enormous volumes continues to shrink. In theory, this is good for the overall semiconductor industry, but it raises important questions about where R&D dollars will go in the future. The fundamental problem is that the semiconductor business is a volume business for one or two markets. ... » read more

More Degrees Of Freedom


Ever since the publication of Gordon Moore's famous observation in 1965, the semiconductor industry has been laser-focused on shrinking devices to their practical, and more recently, impractical limit. Increasing transistor density has encountered a number of problems along the way, but it also has enabled us to put computers—which once filled specially built rooms—onto the desktop firs... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors


The IC industry is moving in several different directions at once. The largest chipmakers continue to march down process nodes with chip scaling, while others are moving towards various advanced packaging schemes. On top of that, post-CMOS devices, neuromorphic chips and quantum computing are all in the works. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these technologies with Marie Semeri... » read more

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

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