What Happened To DSA?


Directed self-assembly (DSA) was until recently a rising star in the next-generation lithography (NGL) landscape, but the technology has recently lost some of its luster, if not its momentum. So what happened? Nearly five years ago, an obscure patterning technology called [gettech id="31046" t_name="DSA"] burst onto the scene and began to generate momentum in the industry. At about that t... » read more

The Internet Of Power Also Benefits From Moore’s Law


By Jef Poortmans It may sound strange, but striving to achieve smaller dimensions with Moore’s Law is an important enabler for producing increasingly better solar cells, with a more elaborate technology toolbox (including ALD, epitaxy, etc.) Improved process steps are constantly being developed to achieve these small transistor dimensions (for growing material layers or to etch away str... » read more

A Semiconductor Approach To Desalination


By Bernard Murphy and Jim Hogan We’re not offering breaking news when we observe that the semiconductor industry is in flux. Major consolidations and lack of funding for startups point to an industry that, outside China, is maturing and seems to have lost the recipe for rapid growth. Apologists will argue that analog or MEMS or some other domains are still strong, but this misses the point... » read more

Increasing Challenges At Advanced Nodes


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about new materials, stacked die, how far FD-SOI can be extended, and new directions for interconnects and transistors. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see problems at future nodes? Patton: At the device level, we have to be able to pattern these thing... » read more

Manufacturing Of Next-Generation Channel Materials


One of the many challenges for the IC developers is to change the channel material to increase transistor mobility. But what about manufacturing? Can LED-style epitaxy be migrated to high-volume silicon manufacturing? “The use of Ge and InGaAs quantum wells is an extension of the current strained Si strategy," said Aaron Thean, vice president of process technologies and director of the log... » 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

Counting And Controlling DSA Defects


If directed self-assembly is to succeed in semiconductor manufacturing, [gettech id="31046" t_name="DSA"] processes must achieve defect rates in line with the stringent requirements of sub-20nm device nodes. So far, they haven’t. However, it’s not yet clear whether the high defect rates represent a real obstacle, or are simply part of the development of any new, immature process technology... » read more

More Problems Ahead


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss future scaling problems with Lars Liebmann, a fellow at IBM; Adam Brand, managing director of transistor technology at Applied Materials; Karim Arabi, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm; and Srinivas Banna, a fellow for advanced technology architecture at GlobalFoundries. SE: There seems to be some debate in this group about whether we’r... » read more

Germanium wedge-FETs pry away misfit dislocations


Any approach to alternative channel integration must consider the lattice mismatch between silicon and other channel materials. Some schemes, such as IMEC’s selective epitaxy, view the lattice mismatch as an obstacle and look for ways to minimize its effects. This point of view certainly has merit: misfit dislocations do significantly degrade transistor performance. Still, back in 2011 Shu-Ha... » read more

Alternative Channel Materials For Post-Silicon FinFETs


At first glance, other semiconductors always have looked more attractive to device designers than silicon. Both germanium and III-V compound semiconductors have higher carrier mobility, allowing faster switching at the same device size. And yet, as manufacturers begin to consider alternative channel materials for sub-10nm devices, the industry is remembering why silicon became a standard in ... » read more

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