1xnm DRAM Challenges


At a recent event, Samsung presented a paper that described how the company plans to extend today’s planar DRAMs down to 20nm and beyond. This is an amazing feat. Until very recently, most engineers believed DRAMs would stop scaling at 20nm or so. Instead, Samsung is ramping up the world’s most advanced DRAMs—a line of 20nm parts—with plans to go even further. Micron and SK Hynix soo... » read more

Inside Inspection And Metrology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about inspection, metrology and other issues with Mehdi Vaez-Iravani, vice president of advanced imaging technologies at Applied Materials. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Today, the industry is working on a new range of complex architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. For these technologies, the industry is clearly struggling... » read more

ALD Market Heats Up


Amid the shift to 3D NAND, finFETs and other device architectures, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) market is heating up on several fronts. Applied Materials, for example, recently moved to shakeup the landscape by rolling out a new, high-throughput ALD tool. Generally, [getkc id="250" kc_name="ALD"] is a process that deposits materials layer-by-layer at the atomic level, enabling thin and ... » read more

Dealing With Atoms


Chipmakers are ramping up a new range of device architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But to enable current and future devices, IC vendors will require new breakthroughs, including tools that can process tiny structures and films, even at the atomic level. The problem? There are gaps in terms of techniques that can process chips at the atomic level. Looking to help fill part of the ... » read more

Searching For Rare Earths Again


Rare earths are back in the spotlight again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semiconductor production, rare earths are used in high-k dielectrics, CMP slurries and other applications. Last year, the World Tr... » read more

Will Materials Derail Moore’s Law?


Is Moore’s Law slowing down? Clearly, chipmakers are struggling to keep up with Moore’s Law these days. But one sometimes forgotten and critical technology could easily derail Moore’s Law--materials. In fact, the cost and complexity for electronic materials are increasing at each node. “Chemical and gas commodity procurement spends are growing rapidly due to process complexity and un... » read more

Executive Viewpoint: Qualcomm On Process Technology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss current and future process technology challenges with Geoffrey Yeap, vice president of technology at Qualcomm. SE: You have pointed out there is a fundamental shift taking place at the 28nm logic node. This is the first node in which mobile chips have been ramped up first within the foundries, ahead of computing-based ICs. Many believe that 28nm ... » read more