The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

2.5D, Fan-Out Inspection Issues Grow


As advanced packaging moves into the mainstream, packaging houses and equipment makers are ratcheting up efforts to solve persistent metrology and inspection issues. The goal is to lower the cost of fan-outs, [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] and [getkc id="42" kc_name="3D-IC"], along with a number of other packaging variants consistent with the kinds of gains that are normally associated with Moo... » read more

Sizing up China’s Fab Tool Biz


China is pouring billions of dollars into its semiconductor industry and is building several new fabs. As reported, China is bolstering its IC industry for good reason. China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continues to import a large percentage of its chips from foreign vendors. Behind the scenes, China also continues to develop its domestic semiconductor eq... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment and test VLSI Research has released its top 10 semiconductor equipment supplier ranking in terms of sales in 2016. Applied Materials topped the list again, achieving a growth of 18%. ASML was second, followed by Lam Research, TEL and KLA-Tencor. Fig. 1: Ranking based on 2016 sales. Source: VLSI Research. Unic Capital Management, a Chinese-based private equity fund, announ... » read more

Fractilia: Pattern Roughness Metrology


A new startup has emerged and unveiled a technology that addresses one of the bigger but less understood problems in advanced lithography--pattern roughness. The startup, called Fractilia, is a software-based metrology tool that analyzes the CD-SEM images of pattern roughness on a wafer. Fractilia, a self-funded startup, is led by Chris Mack and Ed Charrier. Mack, known as the gentleman sc... » read more

Battling Fab Cycle Times


The shift from planar devices to finFETs enables chipmakers to scale their processes and devices from 16nm/14nm and beyond, but the industry faces several challenges at each node. Cost and technical issues are the obvious challenges. In addition, cycle time—a key but less publicized part of the chip-scaling equation—also is increasing at every turn, creating more angst for chipmakers and... » read more

Accuracy In Optical Overlay Metrology


By Barak Bringoltz, Tal Marciano, Tal Yaziv, Yaron DeLeeuw, Dana Klein, Yoel Feler, Ido Adam, Evgeni Gurevich, Noga Sella, Ze’ev Lindenfeld, Tom Leviant, Lilach Saltoun, Eltsafon Ashwal, Dror Alumot and Yuval Lamhot, Xindong Gao, James Manka, Bryan Chen, and Mark Wagner. Abstract In this paper we discuss the mechanism by which process variations determine the overlay accuracy of optical m... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Faces Challenges In 2017


After experiencing a gradual recovery and positive growth in 2016, the semiconductor equipment industry sees a mixed picture as well as some uncertainty in 2017. In the near term, though, business is robust. Several chipmakers started to place a sizeable number of fab tool orders in the latter part of 2016, particularly in three areas—3D NAND, logic and foundry. Now, after buying the in... » read more

Highly Sensitive Focus Monitoring Technique Based On Illumination And Target Co-Optimization


By Myungjun Lee, Mark D. Smith, Pradeep Subrahmanyan, and Ady Levy. Abstract We present a cost-effective focus monitoring technique based on the illumination and the target co-optimization. An advanced immersion scanner can provide the freeform illumination that enables the use of any kind of custom source shape by using a programmable array of thousands of individually adjustable micro-mi... » read more

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