What Happened To Inverse Lithography?

Nearly 10 years ago, the industry rolled out a potentially disruptive technique called inverse lithography technology (ILT). But ILT was ahead of its time, causing the industry to push out the technology and relegate it to niche-oriented applications. Today, though, ILT is getting new attention as the semiconductor industry pushes toward 7nm, and perhaps beyond. ILT is not a next-generation ... » read more

Deploying Multi-Beam Mask Writers

Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the company’s deal with Intel, photomasks, multi-beam mask writer technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: This has been a significant year for IMS for two reasons. First, Intel recently announced plans to acquire IMS. Second, at the recent ... » 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

Multi-Beam Market Heats Up

The multi-beam e-beam mask writer business is heating up, as Intel and NuFlare have separately entered the emerging market. In one surprising move, [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"] is in the process of acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a [gettech id="31058" t_name="multi-beam e-beam"] equipment vendor. And separately, e-beam giant NuFlare recently disclosed its new multi-beam mask writer t... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Looks Cloudy

Amid a slowdown in the foundry and DRAM sectors, the outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry looks somewhat cloudy, if not challenging, in 2016. In fact, for equipment vendors, 2016 could resemble the lackluster year in 2015. In 2015, for example, capital spending in the foundry sector fell during the year, although NAND flash began to pick up steam. In 2015, though, the big stor... » read more

Mask Metrology Challenges Grow

Photomasks are becoming more complex at each node. In fact, masks are moving from traditional shapes to non-orthogonal patterns and complex shapes, such as curvilinear mask patterns. To measure patterns and shapes on the mask, photomask makers use traditional critical-dimension scanning electron microscopes (CD-SEMs). In general, the CD-SEM, the workhorse metrology tool in the mask shop, use... » read more

Mask Supply Chain Preps For 10nm

As the semiconductor industry gears up for the 10nm logic node—now likely to begin in the second half of 2017—the photomask supply chain is preparing to grapple with the associated challenges, including dramatic increases in photomask complexity, write times and data volumes. The 10nm node will require more photomasks per mask set, the ability to print smaller and more complex features, ... » read more

Challenges Mount For Patterning And Masks

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss [getkc id="80" comment="lithography"] and photomask trends with Uday Mitra, vice president and chief technology officer for the Etch Business Unit at [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"]; Pawitter Mangat, senior manager and deputy director for EUV lithography at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; Aki Fujimura, chief execu... » read more