Deeper Inside Intel


Mark Bohr, senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel, and Zane Ball, vice president in the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel and co-general manager of Intel Custom Foundry, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future directions of transistors, process technology, the foundry business and packaging. What follows are excerpts of those ... » read more

What Transistors Will Look Like At 5nm


Chipmakers are currently ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm just around the corner. The industry also is working on 5nm. TSMC hopes to deliver a 5nm process by 2020. GlobalFoundries, Intel and Samsung are doing R&D for that node. But 5nm technology presents a multitude of unknowns and challenges. For one thing, the exact timing and specs of 5nm remain cloudy. The... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up


The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

5nm Fab Challenges


At a recent event, Intel presented a paper that generated sparks and fueled speculation regarding the future direction of the leading-edge IC industry. The company described a next-generation transistor called the nanowire FET, which is a finFET turned on its side with a gate wrapped around it. Intel’s nanowire FET, sometimes called a gate-all-around FET, is said to meet the device req... » read more

Will 5nm Happen?


Chipmakers are ramping up their 16/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm finFETs expected to ship sometime in late 2016 or early 2017. So what’s next? The foundries can see a path to extend the finFET transistor to 7nm, but the next node, 5nm, is far from certain and may never happen. Indeed, there are several technical and economic challenges at 5nm. And even if 5nm happens, only a few compani... » read more

Transistor Options Narrow For 7nm


Chipmakers are currently ramping up silicon-based finFETs at the 16nm/14nm node, with plans to scale the same technology to 10nm. Now, the industry is focusing on the transistor options for 7nm and beyond. At one time, the leading contenders involved several next-generation transistor types. At present, the industry is narrowing down the options and one technology is taking a surprising lea... » read more

Has 3D NAND Fallen Flat?


Today’s planar NAND technology will hit the wall at 10nm, prompting the need for the next big thing in flash memory—3D NAND. In fact, 3D NAND may extend NAND flash memory for the next several years and enable new applications. And it will also drive a new wave of fabs and tool orders. But the transition won’t be as smooth as previous rollouts. 3D NAND is harder to manufacture than pr... » read more