What’s Next For Atomic Layer Etch?


After years in R&D, several fab tool vendors last year finally began to ship systems based a next-generation technology called atomic layer etch (ALE). [getkc id="284" kc_name="ALE"] is is moving into 16/14nm, but it will play a big role at 10/7nm and beyond. The industry also is working on the next wave of ALE technology for advanced logic and memory production. Used by chipmakers fo... » 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

The Promises And Challenges Of 7nm


Despite a waning Moore’s Law and the increasing costs of advanced process nodes, the semiconductor industry is steadily approaching 7 nanometers (nm). The demand for 7nm is driving expected initial tape-outs from fabs by the end of 2017, with initial volumes beginning in 2018 and ramping up by 2019. Silicon fabbed on 7nm nodes will offer a number of benefits for chipmakers, including lower po... » read more

China’s Ambitious Automotive Plans


China has big plans for cars—and other related markets. After years of trailing behind Japanese, European and U.S.-based carmakers in automotive technology, reliability, status, and even market share within its own political borders, the country is making a concerted push into internally developed and manufactured assisted- and self-driving vehicles. The strategy plays out well for China o... » read more

Exploring New Scaling Approaches


At the recent SPIE Photomask Technology + Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography 2017 conference, Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss semiconductor technology with Tsu-Jae King Liu, the TSMC Distinguished Professor in Microelectronics in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. More specifically, Liu discussed some of the new... » read more

Searching For EUV Mask Defects


Chipmakers hope to insert extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 7nm and/or 5nm, but several challenges need to be solved before this technology can be used in production. One lingering issue that is becoming more worrisome is how to find [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] mask defects. That isn't the only issue, of course. The industry continues to work on the power source and resists. Bu... » 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

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

Unsolved Litho Issues At 7nm


By Ed Sperling & Mark LaPedus EUV lithography is creating a new set of challenges on the photomask side for which there currently are no simple solutions. While lithography is viewed as a single technology, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] actually is a collection of technologies. Not all of those technologies have advanced equally and simultaneously, however. For example, aberrations... » 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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