Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Next month, GlobalFoundries will host a job fair in Portland, Ore., according to reports. The company hopes to hire former Intel workers. These are workers who lost their jobs as part of Intel's recent layoff. Anokiwave, a developer of chips for the mmWave market, has announced a foundry alliance with GlobalFoundries. GlobalFoundries will make so-called Silicon Core chips on a f... » read more

More EUV Mask Gaps


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is at a critical juncture. After several delays and glitches, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] is now targeted for 7nm and/or 5nm. But there are still a number of technologies that must come together before EUV is inserted into mass production. And if the pieces don’t fall into place, EUV could slip again. First, the EUV source must generate more ... » read more

Human Factors In Automation Software


The semiconductor industry offers some of the most advanced manufacturing environments featuring sophisticated automation and cutting-edge process controls. A typical day in a fab revolves around the production of billions of highly complex, extremely small structures where even the tiniest variations can impact device performance. Even though these production processes are highly automated, te... » read more

Why EUV Is So Difficult


For years, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has been a promising technology that was supposed to help enable advanced chip scaling. But after years of R&D, EUV is still not in production despite major backing from the industry, vast resources and billions of dollars in funding. More recently, though, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography appears to be inching closer to pos... » read more

Saving Energy In The Fab


It’s not an exaggeration to say that integrated circuits are a critical component of any effort to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions. The most efficient engines depend on microcontrollers to optimize fuel consumption. Global shipping uses sophisticated simulators for load balancing and route planning. Computing power that once needed room-sized cooling units now fits in a battery-powered... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Lattice Semiconductor is set for a buyout by private equity fund Canyon Bridge at a price of $1.3 billion, or $8.30 per share. Lattice will operate as a standalone subsidiary and does not expect any changes in operations or management. The deal is expected to close in early 2017. Earlier this week, Lattice announced a low power, small form factor FPGA for 5G SERDES applications. The ... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 26


Synopsys' Robert Vamosi provides some additional information on last Friday's massive DDoS attack against DNS provider Dyn, which hampered access to many big-name websites. On the same note, Cadence's Paul McLellan warns of the hazards default and easy-to-guess device passwords present to people far beyond the original user. Mentor's Arvind Narayanan warns that the 10nm era has changed ph... » read more

GaN Power Semi Biz Heats Up


The market for devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology is heating up amid the push for faster and more power efficient systems. Today, [getkc id="217" kc_name="GaN"] is widely used in the production of LEDs. In addition, it is gaining steam in the radio-frequency (RF) market. And the GaN-based power semiconductor market finally appears ready to take off, after several false starts ... » read more

Will There Be Enough Silicon Wafers?


The silicon wafer industry, a critical part of the IC supply chain, is undergoing a new and perhaps alarming wave of merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in this sector is not new, the pace of M&A activity is picking up and there are fewer companies left. Silicon wafer makers produce and sell raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, which process them into chips. But despite con... » read more

← Older posts