Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up

The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

Many Paths To Hafnium Oxide

Equipment and materials suppliers often talk about the fragmentation of integrated circuit processing. While the number of manufacturers has gone down, the diversity of the underlying semiconductor market has increased. Low-power processors for mobile devices, non-volatile memory for solid state disks, and dedicated graphics processors all have different requirements from the traditional ind... » read more

Managing ALD Effluent

Process designers tend to not think very much about the waste gases from their processes. The chamber exhaust sends the effluent gases to the fab scrubbers, and that is pretty much that. Except when it’s not. It turns out that the design of the ALD process can make life significantly more challenging for the chamber exhaust pumps. In atomic layer deposition, the first precursor gas, su... » read more

ALD Market Heats Up

Amid the shift to 3D NAND, finFETs and other device architectures, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) market is heating up on several fronts. Applied Materials, for example, recently moved to shakeup the landscape by rolling out a new, high-throughput ALD tool. Generally, [getkc id="250" kc_name="ALD"] is a process that deposits materials layer-by-layer at the atomic level, enabling thin and ... » read more

What Works After 7nm?

An Steegen, senior vice president of process technology at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], the Belgium-based R&D organization, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future of process technology and transistor trends all the way to 3nm. SE: Some say the semiconductor industry is maturing. Yet we have more device types and options than ever before, right? Steegen:... » read more

Still Waiting For III-V Chips

For years, chipmakers have been searching for an alternative material to replace traditional silicon in the channel for advanced CMOS devices at 7nm and beyond. There’s a good reason, too: At 7nm, silicon will likely run out of steam in the channel. Until recently, chipmakers were counting on III-V materials for the channels, at least for NFET. Compared to silicon, III-V materials provide ... » read more

Searching For The Next Power Transistor

For decades, the industry has relied on various power semiconductors to control and convert electrical power in an efficient manner. Power semis are ubiquitous, as they are found in adapters, appliances, cars, elevators, switching power supplies, power grids and other systems. But today’s silicon-based power semiconductor transistor technologies, such as IGBTs, MOSFETs and thyristors, are ... » read more

What’s Next For Memory?

Apple, Samsung and others are developing the next wave of smartphones and tablets. OEMs want to integrate new memory schemes that provide more bandwidth at lower power. But there are some challenges in the arena that are prompting memory makers to rethink their mobile DRAM roadmaps. The conventional wisdom was that memory makers would ship mobile DRAMs based on the new LPDDR4 interface stand... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Finally Emerges

The migration towards finFETs and other devices at the 20nm node and beyond will require a new array of chip-manufacturing technologies. Multiple patterning, hybrid metrology and newfangled interconnect schemes are just a few of the technologies required for future scaling. In addition, the industry also will require new techniques that can process structures at the atomic level. For example... » read more

New Challenges For Post-Silicon Channel Materials

In order to bring alternative channel materials into the CMOS mainstream, manufacturers need not just individual transistor devices, but fully manufacturable process flows. Work presented at the recent IEEE Electron Device Meeting (Washington, D.C., Dec. 9-11, 2013) showed that substantial work remains to be done on almost all aspects of such a flow. First and most fundamentally, it is diffi... » read more

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