The Future Of FinFETs


The number of questions about finFETs is increasing—particularly, how long can they continue to be used before some version of gate-all-around FET is required to replace them. This discussion is confusing in many respects. For one thing, a 7nm finFET for TSMC or Samsung is not the same as a 7nm finFET for Intel or GlobalFoundries. There are a bunch of other nodes being proposed, as well, i... » read more

Understanding Process And Design Systematics


As design rules shrink, semiconductor manufacturing becomes more complex which leads to a huge increase in the defects which could cause a non-yielding die. Process control and inline defect analysis becomes widely relevant to help shorten the learning process from R&D to production. This paper discusses the various methodologies which leverage patterned wafer inspection tools to help analyze d... » read more

E-beam Inspection Makes Inroads


E-beam inspection is gaining traction in critical areas in fab production as it is becoming more difficult to find tiny defects with traditional methods at advanced nodes. Applied Materials, ASML/HMI and others are developing new e-beam inspection tools and/or techniques to solve some of the more difficult defect issues in the fab. [gettech id="31057" t_name="E-beam"] inspection is one of tw... » read more

5G Is Coming


When I returned from the holidays, I thought I had entered a time warp. Did I sleep through January and wake up near the end of February? I expected to see the usual deluge of news about the gadgets and gear that will be featured at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018). Instead, I’ve seen story after story about next-generation 5G mobile networks—typically the stuff of Mobile W... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

The Next 5 Years Of Chip Technology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the future of scaling, the impact of variation, and the introduction of new materials and technologies, with Rick Gottscho, CTO of [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; Mark Dougherty, vice president of advanced module engineering at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; David Shortt, technical fellow at [getentity id="22876" co... » read more

Toward Self-Driving Cars


The automotive market for semiconductors is shifting into high gear. Right now the average car has about $350 worth of semiconductor content, but that is projected to grow another 50% by 2023 as the overall automotive market for semiconductors grows from $35 billion to $54 billion. This strong growth is being driven by the need to develop what we are calling the ‘connected car.’ The ... » read more

On-Chip Clock And Process Monitoring Using STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit


Functional safety is one of the most critical priorities for system-on-chips (SoCs) that are involved in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. These requirements are driven by standards such as ISO 26262 and are the backbone of the design and testing of automotive ICs. Synopsys’ STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit helps ensure the accuracy of on-chip clock frequency and... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

Lots Of Little Knobs For Power


Dynamic power is becoming a much bigger worry at new nodes as more finFETs are packed on a die and wires shrink to the point where resistance and capacitance become first-order effects. Chipmakers began seeing dynamic power density issues with the first generation of [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFETs"]. While the 3D transistor structures reduced leakage current by providing better gate contro... » read more

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