Transistor Options Beyond 3nm


Despite a slowdown in chip scaling amid soaring costs, the industry continues to search for a new transistor type 5 to 10 years out—particularly for the 2nm and 1nm nodes. Specifically, the industry is pinpointing and narrowing down the transistor options for the next major nodes after 3nm. Those two nodes, called 2.5nm and 1.5nm, are slated to appear in 2027 and 2030, respectively, accord... » read more

Nodes Vs. Nodelets


Foundries are flooding the market with new nodes and different process options at existing nodes, spreading confusion and creating a variety of challenges for chipmakers. There are full-node processes, such as 10nm and 7nm, with 5nm and 3nm in R&D. But there also is an increasing number of half-nodes or "node-lets" being introduced, including 12nm, 11nm, 8nm, 6nm and 4nm. Node-lets ar... » read more

Predictions: Manufacturing, Devices And Companies


Some predictions are just wishful thinking, but most of these are a lot more thoughtful. They project what needs to happen for various markets or products to become successful. Those far reaching predictions may not fully happen within 2018, but we give everyone the chance to note the progress made towards their predictions at the end of the year. (See Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA and Man... » read more

Reflections On 2017: Manufacturing And Markets


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. To see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but many have this year. This is the first of two parts that looks at the pred... » read more

Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

Overlay Challenges On The Rise


The overlay metrology equipment market is heating up at advanced nodes as the number of masking layers grows and the size of the features that need to be aligned continue to shrink. Both ASML and KLA-Tencor recently introduced new [getkc id="307" kc_name="overlay"] metrology systems, seeking to address the increasing precision required for lines, cuts and other features on each layer. At 10/... » read more

Next-Gen Mask Writer Race Begins


Competition is heating up in the mask writer equipment business as two vendors—Intel/IMS and NuFlare—vie for position in the new and emerging multi-beam tool segment. Last year, Intel surprised the industry by acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a multi-beam e-beam mask writer equipment vendor. Also last year, IMS, now part of Intel, began shipping the world’s first multi-beam mask writer f... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Materials and equipment A scandal has rocked Japan’s Kobe Steel. The company disclosed that it has falsified inspection data for iron powder, aluminum and copper products that were sent to over 200 customers in the automotive, electronics, transportation and other sectors. The falsified data involves 20,000 tones of products, according to reports. Kobe apologized for the issues and provided ... » read more

Looming Issues And Tradeoffs For EUV


Momentum is building for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, but there are still some major challenges to solve before this long-overdue technology can be used for mass production. [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography—a next-generation technology that patterns tiny features on a chip—was supposed to move into production around 2012. But over the years, EUV has encountered se... » read more

Challenges Mount For Photomasks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss photomask technologies with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at Dai Nippon Printing (DNP); Banqiu Wu, principal member of the technical staff and chief technology officer of the Mask and TSV Etch Division at [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"]; Weston Sousa, general manager of the Reticle Products Division at [getentity id="22876" commen... » read more

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