China Unveils Memory Plans


Backed by billions of dollars in government funding, China in 2014 launched a major initiative to advance its domestic semiconductor, IC-packaging and other electronic sectors. So far, though, the results are mixed. China is making progress in IC-packaging, but the nation’s efforts to advance its domestic logic and memory sectors are still a work in progress. In fact, China has yet to achi... » read more

FinFET And Multi-Patterning Aware Place-And-Route Implementation


The use of finFETs and multi-patterning has a huge impact on the entire physical implementation flow. This paper outlines the new challenges in placement, routing, optimization, and physical verification and describes how the Nitro-SoC place and route system handles them. To read more, click here. » read more

Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

Reflecting Back On 2016


Anyone can make a prediction, and sometimes the more outlandish they are the more they get noticed. But at the end of the year some people hit the mark while others may have been way off. Many people simply make projections based on the current trajectory of trends, while others look for the potential discontinuities that may lie ahead. Semiconductor Engineering examines the projections made... » read more

Etching Technology Advances


Let’s get really, really small. That directive from leading semiconductor companies and their customers is forcing the whole semiconductor supply chain to come up with new ways to design and manufacture ever-shrinking dimensions for chips. The current push is to 10nm and 7nm, but R&D into 5nm and 3nm is already underway. To put this in perspective, there are roughly two silicon atom... » read more

Tech Talk: FD-SOI vs. FinFET


Jamie Schaeffer, 22FDX program director at GlobalFoundries, talks about the future of FD-SOI, what the tradeoffs are in performance, power and cost compared with finFETs, how many mask layers and patterning steps are required for each, and when 12nm FD-SOI will be introduced. Related Stories To 7nm And Beyond GlobalFoundries’ top technologists open up on next-gen FD-SOI, the economi... » read more

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

7nm Design Success Starts With Multi-Domain Multi-Physics Analysis


Companies can benefit from advancements in the latest semiconductor process technology by delivering smaller, faster and lower power products, especially for those servicing mobile, high performance computing and automotive ADAS applications. By using 7nm processes, design teams are able to add a lot more functionality onto a single chip and lower the power consumption by scaling operating volt... » read more

Multi-Patterning Issues At 7nm, 5nm


Continuing to rely on 193nm immersion lithography with multiple patterning is becoming much more difficult at 7nm and 5nm. With the help of various resolution enhancement techniques, optical lithography using a deep ultraviolet excimer laser has been the workhorse patterning technology in the fab since the early 1980s. It is so closely tied with the continuation of [getkc id="74" comment="Mo... » read more

Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

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