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

5 Takeaways From ISS


At the recent Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) in Half Moon Bay, Calif., there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the outlook for ICs and equipment. It also discussed the latest business and technology trends. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from ISS: Bullish outlook Citing an inventory corre... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 10


Atom interferometers The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has devised one of the world’s most accurate atom interferometers. Interferometry is a common measurement technique. Basically, the technology looks at electromagnetic waves. The waves are superimposed to extract information. One interferometry technology type, called an atom interferometer, utilizes the waves of ato... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Faces Challenges In 2017


After experiencing a gradual recovery and positive growth in 2016, the semiconductor equipment industry sees a mixed picture as well as some uncertainty in 2017. In the near term, though, business is robust. Several chipmakers started to place a sizeable number of fab tool orders in the latter part of 2016, particularly in three areas—3D NAND, logic and foundry. Now, after buying the in... » read more

Inside EUV Resists


Andrew Grenville, chief executive of resist maker Inpria, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about photoresists for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Photoresists are a critical part of lithography. Resists are light-sensitive materials. They form patterns on a surface when exposed to light. For EUV, they are critical. Wha... » 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

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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Samsung Austin Semiconductor plans to invest more than $1 billion in its fab in Austin, Texas. Today, the fab continues to ramp up the company’s 14nm finFET technology. At the same time, Samsung is expanding its advanced finFET foundry process technology offerings with its fourth-generation 14nm process (14LPU) and its third-generation 10nm technology (10LPU). Graphcore is developing a so-... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At upcoming the 2016 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, TSMC will square off against the alliance of IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung at 7nm. IEDM will take place Dec. 3-7, 2016. TSMC will present a paper on 7nm finFET technology. Using 193nm immersion and multi-patterning, the 7nm technology features more than three times the gate density and ei... » read more

Lam, KLA-Tencor Scrap Merger


After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Last year, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. Lam’s proposed and blockbuster move to acquire KLA-Tencor would supposedly create the world’s second largest fab tool maker, behind Applied Materials. O... » read more

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