Lam, KLA-Tencor Scrap Merger

After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement. Last year, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. Lam’s proposed and blockbuster move to acquire KLA-Tencor would supposedly create the world’s second largest fab tool maker, behind Applied Materials. O... » read more

5 Takeaways From Semicon

As usual, the recent Semicon West trade show was a busy, if not an overwhelming, event. The event, which took place in San Francisco in early July, featured presentations on the usual subjects in the semiconductor and IC-equipment sectors. There were sessions on 200mm, next-generation processes, transistors, lithography, MEMS and many others. In no particular order, here are my five ta... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers It’s been a difficult time for Intel. The chip giant recently announced a major layoff. It also ceased development on several cell-phone chip products. Intel hasn’t given up on Moore’s Law, but the nodes appear to be extending from 18 to 24 months or perhaps longer, at least at Intel. Here’s the latest: For 10nm production, Intel received the production fab tools in Ap... » read more

ASML To Buy Hermes

Looking to expand into new markets, ASML Holding has entered into an agreement to acquire e-beam wafer inspection specialist Hermes Microvision (HMI) in a cash transaction valued at 2.75 billion euros (US$3.08 billion). With the proposed acquisition of Taiwan’s HMI, ASML will enter two new markets—-wafer inspection as well as mask inspection for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. In ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

In a major and surprising move in the fab tool business, Lam Research has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion in cash and stock. "Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have been working to tie together process and process control in an effort to expand process windows and better enable complex production steps, like multi-patterning. This acquisition form... » read more

Next EUV Challenge: Mask Inspection

Extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography is still not ready for prime time, but the technology finally is moving in the right direction. The EUV light source, for example, is making progress after years of delays and setbacks. Now, amid a possible breakthrough in EUV, the industry is revisiting a nagging issue and asking a simple question: How do you inspect EUV p... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 24

Mouse brains to multi-beam At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Sematech provided an update on its multi-beam, e-beam inspection program. The goal is to develop a next-generation inspection tool, which could be faster than traditional e-beam inspection and could one day displace brightfield inspection. “Optical inspection is having trouble detecting particles that are small... » read more

5 Disruptive Mask Technologies

Photomask complexity and costs are increasing at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. On one front, for example, traditional single-beam e-beam tools are struggling to keep up with mask complexity. As a result, the write times and costs continue to rise. Mask complexity also impacts the other parts of the tool flow, such as inspection, metrology and repair. I... » read more