Design Rule Complexity Rising


Variation, edge placement error, and a variety of other issues at new process geometries are forcing chipmakers and EDA vendors to confront a growing volume of increasingly complex, and sometimes interconnected design rules to ensure chips are manufacturable. The number of rules has increased to the point where it's impossible to manually keep track of all of them, and that has led to new pr... » read more

Searching For EUV Defects


Chipmakers hope to insert extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 7nm and/or 5nm, but several challenges need to be solved before this oft-delayed technology can be used in production. One lingering issue that is becoming more worrisome is how to find defects caused by [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] processes. These processes can cause random variations, also known as stochastic effects... » read more

Architecture, Materials And Software


AI, machine learning and autonomous vehicles will require massive improvements in performance, at the same power consumption level (or better), over today's chips. But it's obvious that the usual approach of shrinking features to improve power/performance isn't going to be sufficient. Scaling will certainly help, particularly on the logic side. More transistors are needed to process a huge i... » read more

Tech Talk: 7/5/3nm Signoff


Anand Raman, director of technical marketing at Helic, explains what's needed to improve confidence in designs at the most advanced process nodes. https://youtu.be/2O2pbMJSta4 » read more

Choosing The Right Interconnect


Efforts to zero in on cheaper advanced packaging approaches that can speed time to market are being sidetracked by a dizzying number of choices. At the center of this frenzy of activity is the [getkc id="36" kc_name="interconnect"]. Current options range from organic, silicon and glass interposers, to bridges that span different die at multiple levels. There also are various fan-out approach... » read more

What Happened To Nanoimprint Litho?


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is re-emerging amid an explosion of new applications in the market. Canon, EV Group, Nanonex, Suss and others continue to develop and ship NIL systems for a range of markets. NIL is different than conventional lithography and resembles a stamping process. Initially, a lithographic system forms a pattern on a template based on a pre-defined design. Then, a separa... » read more

Self-Aligned Block And Fully Self-Aligned Via For iN5 Metal 2 Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning


This paper assesses Self-Aligned Block (SAB) and Fully Self-Aligned Via (FSAV) approaches to patterning using a iN5 (imec node 5 nm) vehicle and Metal 2 Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning. We analyze SAB printability in the lithography process using process optimization, and demonstrate the effect of SAB on patterning yield for a (8 M2 lines x 6 M1 lines x 6 Via) structure. We show that FSAV, co... » read more

Improving Patterning Yield At The 5nm Semiconductor Node


Engineering decisions are always data-driven. As scientists, we only believe in facts and not in intuition or feelings. At the manufacturing stage, the semiconductor industry is eager to provide data and facts to engineers based upon metrics such as the quantity of wafers produced per hour and sites/devices tested on each of those wafers. The massive quantity of data generated in semiconduct... » read more

EUV’s New Problem Areas


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to production, but problematic variations—also known as stochastic effects—are resurfacing and creating more challenges for the long-overdue technology. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC hope to insert [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. But as before, EUV consists of several compo... » read more

DSA Re-Enters Litho Picture


By Mark LaPedus and Ed Sperling Directed self-assembly (DSA) is moving back onto the patterning radar screen amid ongoing challenges in lithography. Intel continues to have a keen interest in [gettech id="31046" t_name="DSA"], while other chipmakers are taking another hard look at the technology, according to multiple industry sources. DSA isn't like a traditional [getkc id="80" kc_name="... » read more

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