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

Measuring Atoms And Beyond


David Seiler, chief of the Engineering Physics Division within the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the current and future directions of metrology. NIST, a physical science laboratory, is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: W... » read more

Fab Issues At 7nm And 5nm


The race toward the 7nm logic node officially kicked off in July, when IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and Samsung jointly rolled out what the companies claim are the industry’s first 7nm test chips with functional transistors. They're not alone, of course. Intel and TSMC also are racing separately to develop 7nm technology. And in the R&D labs, chipmakers also are working on technologies f... » read more

Waiting For Next-Gen Metrology


Chipmakers continue to march down the various process nodes, but the industry will require new breakthroughs to extend IC scaling at 10nm and beyond. In fact, the industry will require innovations in at least two main areas—patterning and the [getkc id="36" comment="Interconnect"]. There are other areas of concern, but one technology is quickly rising near the top of the list—metrology.... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Finally Emerges


The migration towards finFETs and other devices at the 20nm node and beyond will require a new array of chip-manufacturing technologies. Multiple patterning, hybrid metrology and newfangled interconnect schemes are just a few of the technologies required for future scaling. In addition, the industry also will require new techniques that can process structures at the atomic level. For example... » read more

Gaps In Metrology Could Impact Yield


For some time, chipmakers have been developing new and complex chip architectures, such as 3D NAND, finFETs and stacked die. But manufacturing these types of chips is no simple task. It requires a robust fab flow to enable new IC designs with good yields. In fact, yield is becoming a more critical part of the flow. Yield is a broad term that means different things to different parts of the ... » read more

Experts At The Table: Issues In Metrology And Inspection


By Mark LaPedus Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design sat down to discuss future metrology and inspection challenges with John Allgair, senior member of the technical staff at GlobalFoundries; Kevin Heidrich, vice president of marketing and business development at Nanometrics; Robert Newcomb, executive vice president at Qcept Technologies; and Shrinivas Shetty, vice president of marketing f... » read more