Dealing With Resistance In Chips


Chipmakers continue to scale the transistor at advanced nodes, but they are struggling to maintain the same pace with the other two critical parts of the device—the contacts and interconnects. That’s beginning to change, however. In fact, at 10nm/7nm, chipmakers are introducing new topologies and materials such as cobalt, which promises to boost the performance and reduce unwanted resist... » read more

Big Trouble At 3nm


As chipmakers begin to ramp up 10nm/7nm technologies in the market, vendors are also gearing up for the development of a next-generation transistor type at 3nm. Some have announced specific plans at 3nm, but the transition to this node is expected to be a long and bumpy one, filled with a slew of technical and cost challenges. For example, the design cost for a 3nm chip could exceed an eye-p... » read more

Blog Review: June 20


Mentor's Randy Allen digs into OpenACC, a collection of directives and routines to help a compiler uncover and schedule parallelism, plus an examination of the GCC implementation's performance. Cadence's Paul McLellan takes a look at the shifting opinions on FD-SOI vs. finFET as Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research finds most see the two as complementary technologies in his latest survey. Synop... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools Applied Materials has launched a suite of products that will enable cobalt metallization schemes for contacts and interconnects in chips at advanced nodes. The products from Applied enable a complete cobalt fill process. The tools include CMP, CVD, PVD and RTP systems. At advanced nodes, cobalt promises to reduce unwanted resistance in the critical parts of a chip. Cobalt is bein... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » read more

New Patterning Options Emerging


Several fab tool vendors are rolling out the next wave of self-aligned patterning technologies amid the shift toward new devices at 10/7nm and beyond. Applied Materials, Lam Research and TEL are developing self-aligned technologies based on a variety of new approaches. The latest approach involves self-aligned patterning techniques with multi-color material schemes, which are designed for us... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 27


Equalizing batteries Engineers at the University of Toledo propose a bilevel equalizer technology to improve the life span of batteries by combining the high performance of an active equalizer with the low cost of a passive equalizer. "Whenever we are talking about batteries, we are talking about cells connected in a series. Over time, the battery is not balanced and limited by the weakest ... » read more

Trump Wants Critical Metals


In recent times, President Trump has taken an active role in the electronics and related sectors, notably the U.S. administration’s move to block Broadcom’s unsolicited, $117 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm. The Trump administration has also raised eyebrows by blocking other deals as well. And with little or no fanfare, the administration is also taking a role in another area—critica... » read more

Executive Insight: Wally Rhines


Wally Rhines, president and CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of industry and technology changes and how that will play out over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What will happen in the end markets? Rhines: The end markets are perhaps more exciting from a... » read more

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