Mask Maker Worries Grow


Leading-edge photomask makers face a multitude of challenges as they migrate from the 14nm node and beyond. Mask making is becoming more challenging and expensive at each node on at least two fronts. On one front, mask makers must continue to invest in the development of traditional optical masks at advanced nodes. On another front, several photomask vendors are preparing for the possible ra... » read more

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

Predictions For 2016: Semiconductors, Manufacturing And Design


Seventeen companies sent in their predictions for this year with some of them sending predictions from several people. This is in addition to the CEO predictions that were recently published. That is a fine crop of views for the coming year, especially since they know that they will be held accountable for their views and this year, just like the last, they will have to answer for them. We beli... » read more

Taming Mask Metrology


For years the IC industry has worried about a bevy of issues with the photomask. Mask costs are the top concern, but mask complexity, write times and defect inspection are the other key issues for both optical and EUV photomasks. Now, mask metrology, the science of measuring the key parameters on the mask, is becoming a new challenge. On this front, mask makers are concerned about the critic... » 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

Tech Talk: Inverse Lithography


D2S’ Leo Pang talks with Semiconductor Engineering about lithography, inverse lithography, photomasks, where the problems are, and what needs to be done to move forward. [youtube vid=mn8JWaP8Z68] » read more

One-On-One: Linyong Pang


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss trends in the lithography and photomask business with Linyong “Leo” Pang, the new chief product officer and executive vice president at D2S, which focuses on model-based mask data preparation as well as other mask writing technologies. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Before you arrived at D2S you were at Luminescent, whic... » read more