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

Securing Chips During Manufacturing


David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how next-gen lithography tools can be used to prevent cyber attacks and counterfeiting of hardware. SE: How did you get into the anti-counterfeiting business? Lam: About three years ago we were working with some customers that were troubled by the counterfeiting problem. We became aware of that sense o... » read more

The Trouble With MEMS


The advent of the Internet of Things will open up a slew of new opportunities for MEMS-based sensors, but chipmakers are proceeding cautiously. There are a number of reasons for that restraint. Microelectromechanical systems are difficult to design, manufacture and test, which initially fueled optimism in the MEMS ecosystem that this market would command the same kinds of premiums that analo... » 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

Lam To Acquire KLA-Tencor


In a major and surprising move in the fab tool business, Lam Research has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion in cash and stock. Lam’s proposed move to acquire KLA-Tencor would create a powerhouse in the fab tool industry. The combined company will have approximately $8.7 billion in annual revenue, propelling it to become the world’s second l... » 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

Dealing With Atoms


Chipmakers are ramping up a new range of device architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But to enable current and future devices, IC vendors will require new breakthroughs, including tools that can process tiny structures and films, even at the atomic level. The problem? There are gaps in terms of techniques that can process chips at the atomic level. Looking to help fill part of the ... » 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

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