Chip Dis-Integration


Just because something can be done does not always mean that it should be done. One segment of the semiconductor industry is learning the hard way that continued chip integration has a significant downside. At the same time, another another group has just started to see the benefits of consolidating functionality onto a single substrate. Companies that have been following Moore's Law and hav... » read more

New Transistor Types Vs. Packaging


Plans are being formulated for the rollout of multiple types of gate-all-around FETs and literally dozens of advanced packaging options. The question now is which ones will achieve critical mass, because there aren't enough chips in the world to support all of them profitably. FinFETs, which were first introduced by Intel at 22nm, are running out of steam. While they will survive 10/7nm, and... » read more

Quantum Effects At 7/5nm And Beyond


Quantum effects are becoming more pronounced at the most advanced nodes, causing unusual and sometimes unexpected changes in how electronic devices and signals behave. Quantum effects typically occur well behind the curtain for most of the chip industry, baked into a set of design rules developed from foundry data that most companies never see. This explains why foundries and manufacturing e... » read more

Chipmakers Look Beyond Scaling


Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the rollout of EUV, the rising cost of designing chips at the most advanced nodes, and the growing popularity of 22nm planar FD-SOI in a number of markets. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: You've just begun deploying EUV. Are you experiencing any issues? Patton: It's a very complicat... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A ANSYS finalized its acquisition of OPTIS. Founded in 1989, OPTIS provided software for scientific simulation of light, human vision and physics-based visualization. The acquisition boosts the company's automotive simulation portfolio with radar, lidar and camera simulation. Terms were not disclosed. IP Arm debuted the Cortex-M35P processor. Aimed at IoT applications, the IP combine... » read more

Design Flows At 5nm And Beyond


It’s probably the first time that you’ll ever hear an old (well, old-ish!) person say this, but things were easier back in my day. 40 nanometers was the most advanced node that I ever designed SoCs at and, although it wasn’t easy back then, it pales against the myriad of challenges facing designers today. Back then, compartmentalization of function and roles was relatively easy. We do ... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » read more

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

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