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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Toshiba’s problems have gone from bad to worse. “Toshiba postponed its earnings call by up to one month, and the chairman resigned. The provisional results show large losses in its nuclear power business, while the NAND operations remain very profitable,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a research note. “The next few months appear very uncerta... » 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

Betting On Wafer-Level Fan-Outs


Advanced packaging is starting to gain traction as a commercially viable business model rather than just one more possible option, propelled by the technical difficulties in routing signals at 10nm and 7nm and skyrocketing costs of device scaling on a single die. The inclusion of a [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-out"] package for logic in Apple's iPhone 7, based on TSMC's Integrated Fan-Out (... » read more

Blog Review: Feb. 1


Synopsys' Anand Thiruvengadam investigates the challenges and tradeoffs that come with different abstraction models and use models in mixed-signal verification. Cadence's Paul McLellan highlights 16 big questions facing autonomous cars, from a presentation by Andreessen-Horowitz's Frank Chen. Mentor's Colin Walls says that when it comes to free stuff, keep an eye out for the real cost. ... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » read more

Managing Parasitics For Transistor Performance


The basic equations describing transistor behavior rely on parameters like channel doping, the capacitance of the gate oxide, and the resistance between the source and drain and the channel. And for most of the IC industry's history, these have been sufficient. “Parasitic” or “external” resistances and capacitances from structures outside the transistor have been small enough to discoun... » read more

New Embedded Memories Ahead


The embedded memory market is beginning to heat up, fueled by a new wave of microcontrollers (MCUs) and related chips that will likely require new and more capable nonvolatile memory types. The industry is moving on several different fronts in the embedded memory landscape. On one front, traditional solutions are advancing. On another front, several vendors are positioning the next-generatio... » read more

China Unveils Memory Plans


Backed by billions of dollars in government funding, China in 2014 launched a major initiative to advance its domestic semiconductor, IC-packaging and other electronic sectors. So far, though, the results are mixed. China is making progress in IC-packaging, but the nation’s efforts to advance its domestic logic and memory sectors are still a work in progress. In fact, China has yet to achi... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 18


Mentor's Michael White warns that while skipping a node can be appealing, be prepared for the increase in computation requirements. Synopsys' Hezi Saar checks out the benefits of moving to the MIPI I3C standardized sensor interface. Cadence's Paul McLellan highlights a talk by Eric Grosse on approaches to security and the RISC-V architecture. Applied's Mike Chudzik explains the problem... » read more

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