Battling Fab Cycle Times


The shift from planar devices to finFETs enables chipmakers to scale their processes and devices from 16nm/14nm and beyond, but the industry faces several challenges at each node. Cost and technical issues are the obvious challenges. In addition, cycle time—a key but less publicized part of the chip-scaling equation—also is increasing at every turn, creating more angst for chipmakers and... » read more

Fix Processes, Then Silos


Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, was a big proponent of what he called a "boundaryless corporation." It was a good sound bite, but it pales in comparison to former Intel CEO Andy Grove's philosophy of working out of a cubicle, just like the rest of his staff. While it's great to have corporate buy-in for breaking down silos, which are vertically integrated, the real problem for semiconductor c... » read more

Confidence In 7nm Designs Requires Multi-Variable, Multi-Scenario Analysis


As designs move toward 7-nanometer (nm) process nodes, engineering and production cost dramatically increases and the stake in getting the design right the first time becomes significantly higher than ever before. You are faced with the question, “how confident are you in your design analysis coverage?” Tighter noise margin, increasing power density, faster switching current and greater ... » read more

Routing Signals At 7nm


[getperson id="11763" comment="Tobias Bjerregaard"], [getentity id="22908" e_name="Teklatech's"] CEO, discusses the challenges of designs at 7nm and beyond, how to reduce IR drop and timing issues, and how to improve the economics of scaling. SE: How much further can device scaling go? Bjerregaard: The way you should look at this is [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] provides some valu... » 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

Chip-Package-Board Issues Grow


As systems migrate from a single die in a single package on a board, to multiple dies with multiple packaging options and multiple PCB form factors, it is becoming critical to move system planning, assembly, and optimization much earlier in the design-through-manufacturing flow. This is easier said than done. Multiple tools and operating systems are now used at each phase of the flow, partic... » 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

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » 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

Will EUV Kill Multi-Patterning?


When I first began working on double-patterning (DP) tools back in late 2010, there was already talk that it might be a fruitless, or at a minimum, very short-lived project, as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography was just around the corner and would make all multi-patterning (MP) obsolete. Well, as I begin my seventh year on this project, I can hear echoes of Mark Twain as clearly, the report... » read more

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