How Many Nanometers?

What’s the difference between a 10nm and a 7nm chip? That should be a straightforward question. Math, after all, is the only pure science. But as it turns out, the answer is hardly science—even if it is all about numbers. Put in perspective, at 65nm, companies defined the process node by the half pitch of the first metal layer. At 40/45nm, with the cost and difficulty of developing n... » read more

To 10nm And Beyond

Hong Hao, senior vice president of the foundry business at Samsung Semiconductor, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future direction of transistors, process technology, lithography and other topics. What follows are excerpts of those conversations. SE: Samsung recently rolled out its 10nm finFET technology. It appears that Samsung is the world’s first company to ship 1... » read more

What Happened To Inverse Lithography?

Nearly 10 years ago, the industry rolled out a potentially disruptive technique called inverse lithography technology (ILT). But ILT was ahead of its time, causing the industry to push out the technology and relegate it to niche-oriented applications. Today, though, ILT is getting new attention as the semiconductor industry pushes toward 7nm, and perhaps beyond. ILT is not a next-generation ... » read more

10nm FinFET Market Heats Up

The 10nm finFET market is heating up in the foundry business amid the ongoing push to develop chips at advanced nodes. Not long ago, Intel announced its 10nm finFET process, with plans to ramp up the technology in 2017. Then, TSMC recently introduced its 10nm process, with plans to move into production by the fourth quarter of 2016. Now, Samsung Electronics said that it has commenced mass... » read more

450mm And Other Emergency Measures

Talk about boosting wafer sizes from 300mm to 450mm has been creeping back into presentations and discussions at conferences over the past couple months. Earlier this year, discussions focused on panel-level packaging. These are basically similar approaches to the same problem, which is that wafers need to be larger to reap efficiencies out of device scaling. Whether either of these approach... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow

Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Deploying Multi-Beam Mask Writers

Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the company’s deal with Intel, photomasks, multi-beam mask writer technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: This has been a significant year for IMS for two reasons. First, Intel recently announced plans to acquire IMS. Second, at the recent ... » read more

Defect Evolution In Next-Generation Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is a promising next generation lithography technology that may succeed optical lithography at future technology nodes. EUV mask infrastructure and manufacturing of defect-free EUV mask blanks is a key near term challenge in the use of EUV lithography. Virtual fabrication is a computerized technique to perform predictive, three dimensional modeling of sem... » read more

Good Filters, Poor Resists

Shrinking feature sizes and more complex lithography schemes are increasing the pressure on all aspects of the lithography process, including resists and resist filtration. As Clint Haris, vice president and general manager for liquid micro contamination control at Entegris explained, fabs are pushing resist manufacturers toward more stringent control of both contaminants and “soft particl... » read more

Speeding Up Mask Production

Chip production is becoming more complex and expensive at each node. As a result, chipmakers require a growing number of new manufacturing technologies to enable the next wave of devices at advanced nodes. In the fab, for example, the most obvious need is extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography. In addition, chipmakers also need a new class of atomic-level proces... » read more

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