What’s Next In Scaling, Stacking


An Steegen, executive vice president of semiconductor technology and systems at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss IC scaling, chip stacking, packaging and other topics. Imec is an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Chipmakers are shipping 16nm/14nm processes with 10nm and 7nm technologies... » read more

TFETs Cut Sub-Threshold Swing


One of the main obstacles to continued transistor scaling is power consumption. As gate length decreases, the sub-threshold swing (SS) — the gate voltage required to change the drain current by one order of magnitude — increases. As Qin Zhang, Wei Zhao, and Alan Seabaugh of Notre Dame explained in 2006, SS faces a theoretical minimum of 60 mV/decade at room temperature in conventional MO... » read more

Uncertainty Grows For 5nm, 3nm


As several chipmakers ramp up their 10nm finFET processes, with 7nm just around the corner, R&D has begun for 5nm and beyond. In fact, some are already moving full speed ahead in the arena. [getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] recently announced plans to build a new fab in Taiwan at a cost of $15.7 billion. The proposed fab is targeted to manufacture TSMC’s 5nm and 3nm processes, whic... » read more

GaN Power Semi Biz Heats Up


The market for devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology is heating up amid the push for faster and more power efficient systems. Today, [getkc id="217" kc_name="GaN"] is widely used in the production of LEDs. In addition, it is gaining steam in the radio-frequency (RF) market. And the GaN-based power semiconductor market finally appears ready to take off, after several false starts ... » read more

Focus Shifting To Photonics


Silicon photonics finally appears ready for prime time, after years of unfulfilled expectations and a vision that stretches back at least a couple decades. The biggest challenge has been the ability to build a light source directly into the silicon process, rather than trying to add one onto a chip after manufacturing. [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"] today said it has achieved that mi... » read more

RF GaN Gains Steam


The RF [getkc id="217" kc_name="gallium nitride"] (GaN) device market is heating up amid the need for more performance with better power densities in a range of systems, such as infrastructure equipment, missile defense and radar. On one front, for example, RF GaN is beginning to displace a silicon-based technology for the power amplifier sockets in today’s wireless base stations. GaN is m... » 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

Photonics Moves Closer To Chip


Silicon photonics is resurfacing after more than a decade in the shadows, driven by demands to move larger quantities of data faster, using extremely low power and with minimal heat. Until recently, much of the attention in photonics focused on moving data between servers and storage. Now there is growing interest at the PCB level and in heterogeneous multi-chip packages. Government, academi... » read more

Pathfinding Beyond FinFETs


Though the industry will likely continue to find ways to extend CMOS finFET technology further than we thought possible, at some point in the not-so-distant future, making faster, lower power ICs will require more disruptive changes. For something that could be only five to seven years out, there’s a daunting range of contending technologies. Improvements through the process will help, from E... » read more

7nm Fab Challenges


Leading-edge foundry vendors have made the challenging transition from traditional planar processes into the finFET transistor era. The first [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFETs"] were based on the 22nm node, and now the industry is ramping up 16nm/14nm technologies. Going forward, the question is how far the finFET can be scaled. In fact, 10nm finFETs from Samsung are expected to ramp by ye... » read more

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