Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Coming To A Fab Near You?


What do Quentin Tarantino and ASML have in common? Anamorphic lenses. The optical image created by an anamorphic lens is oval, rather than round, with different magnifications along the horizontal and vertical axes. Tarantino used 65mm anamorphic lenses to film The Hateful Eight, and some theaters are also using them to screen the movie. It’s the first fiction feature to use this format s... » read more

Wanted: New Metrology Funding Models


By Mark LaPedus The shift toward the 20nm node and beyond will require new and major breakthroughs in chip manufacturing. Most of the attention centers around lithography, gate stacks, interconnects, strain engineering and design-for-manufacturing (DFM). Lost in the conversation are two other critical but overlooked pieces in the manufacturing puzzle—wafer inspection and metrology. ... » read more

Mask Repair Enters The Spotlight


By Mark LaPedus For years, the biggest challenges in photomask manufacturing have revolved around the slow write times for electron-beam tools and soaring mask inspection costs. Now, photomask repair, a sometimes forgotten technology in the mask shop, is in the spotlight and turning into the clash of the titans. Mask repair involves the process of finding defects on a photomask and repairin... » read more