Timing Closure Issues Resurface


Timing closure has resurfaced as a major challenge at 10nm and 7nm due to more features and power modes, increased process variation and other manufacturing-related issues. While timing-related problems are roughly correlated to rising complexity in semiconductors, they tend to generate problems in waves—about once per decade. In SoCs, timing closure problems have spawned entire methodolog... » read more

200mm Equipment Shortfall


A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » read more

Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) Metallization


Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) for Back-End-of-Line (BEOL) metallization is being pushed to the limits at the 16-nanometer (nm) technology node and beyond. Extending PVD for metal liner and barrier seed deposition is forcing the process into a narrow window that must be characterized prior to manufacturing introduction. Furthermore, understanding the liner dependency on the trench and via etch... » read more

How To Make 3D NAND


In 2013, Samsung reached a major milestone in the IC industry by shipping the world’s first 3D NAND device. Now, after some delays and uncertainty, Intel, Micron, SK Hynix and the SanDisk/Toshiba duo are finally ramping up or sampling 3D NAND. 3D NAND is the long-awaited successor to today’s planar or 2D NAND, which is used in memory cards, solid-state storage drives (SSDs), USB flash dr... » read more

Inside Process Technology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the foundry business, memory, process technology, lithography and other topics with David Fried, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22210" e_name="Coventor"], a supplier of predictive modeling tools. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Chipmakers are ramping up 16nm/14nm finFETs today, with 10nm and 7nm finFETs just around... » read more

Inside Multi-Beam E-Beam Lithography


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, a developer of multi-beam e-beam tools for direct-write lithography applications. Lam is also a venture capitalist. He founded Lam Research in 1980, but left as an employee in 1985. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How has the equipment business changed over the years and what’s the state of the i... » read more

Memory Hierarchy Shakeup


It’s no secret that today’s memory chips and storage devices are struggling to keep up with the growing demands in data processing. To solve the problem, chipmakers have been working on several next-generation memory types. But most technologies have been delayed or fallen short of their promises. But after numerous delays, a new wave of next-generation, nonvolatile memories are finally ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 5


Transparent armor The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed transparent armor. The technology is actually a hard transparent ceramic, based on a material called spinel. Spinel is a magnesium aluminate compound. Spinel is also a gemstone, which could come in various colors. NRL has devised a fabrication process to create the technology, which is harder and superior to glass, sap... » read more

Flash Dance For Inspection And Metrology


Chipmakers are moving from planar technology to an assortment of 3D-like architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs For these devices, chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab. But one surprising and oft-forgotten technology is emerging as perhaps the biggest challenge in both logic and memory—process control. Process control includes metrology and wafer inspection. Metrolo... » read more

Challenges Mount For Patterning And Masks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss [getkc id="80" comment="lithography"] and photomask trends with Uday Mitra, vice president and chief technology officer for the Etch Business Unit at [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"]; Pawitter Mangat, senior manager and deputy director for EUV lithography at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; Aki Fujimura, chief execu... » read more

← Older posts