Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment ASML posted strong sales in the quarter and is apparently nearly sold out of scanners based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, according to analysts. “ASML posted strong 2Q results and 2Q guidance, providing further evidence that demand remains high for semiconductor equipment,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “Demand d... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon


At the recent Semicon West trade show in San Francisco, there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the outlook for ICs, equipment and packaging. Clearly, though, the show is much smaller with fewer attendees, as compared to past years. Most of the big companies no longer have booths. Hardly any have press events or med... » read more

Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 11


China’s storage ring for EUV A group of researchers are banding together to propel the development of a storage ring technology that may one day be used as a power source for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The collaboration includes five institutions. Researchers have organized an informal collaboration or study group with plans to develop a storage ring for EUV based on a techno... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The NAND market is in flux. Not long ago, troubled Toshiba put its memory unit on the block. Finally, the company has selected a group to buy its memory business. The consortium includes the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan and Bain Capital. Rival SK Hynix is also part of the group. Others attempted to bid on the business, including Western Digita... » read more

High-Stakes Litho Game


The commercial introduction of EUV looks all but assured these days. There is enough history to show it works. Uptime and throughput are improving, and systems are shipping today. The question now is how to measure its success. In the short-term, this is a fairly simple financial exercise for companies like ASML and Zeiss, which have been closely collaborating to get these massive systems ou... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

Extending EUV Beyond 3nm


Jan van Schoot, senior principal architect at [getentity id="22935" comment="ASML"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how far EUV can be extended and where it is today. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: High numerical aperture [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] has been in the works for some time as a way of extending EUV. How is this technology shaping... » read more

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