200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

Blog Review: May 2


Arm's Greg Yeric looks towards the future of 3D ICs with a dive into transistor-level 3D, including the different proposed methods of stacking transistors, power/performance benefits, and challenges such as parasitic resistance. Mentor's Kurt Takara, Chris Kwok, Dominic Lucido, and Joe Hupcey III explain how a custom synchronizer methodology can help avoid CDC mistakes and errors in FPGA des... » read more

Advanced 3D Design Technology Co-Optimization For Manufacturability


By Yu De Chen, Jacky Huang, Dalong Zhao, Jiangjiang (Jimmy) Gu, and Joseph Ervin Yield and cost have always been critical factors for both manufacturers and designers of semiconductor products. It is a continuous challenge to meet targets of both yield and cost, due to new device structures and the increasing complexity of process innovations introduced to achieve improved product performanc... » read more

Design Rule Complexity Rising


Variation, edge placement error, and a variety of other issues at new process geometries are forcing chipmakers and EDA vendors to confront a growing volume of increasingly complex, and sometimes interconnected design rules to ensure chips are manufacturable. The number of rules has increased to the point where it's impossible to manually keep track of all of them, and that has led to new pr... » read more

New Patterning Options Emerging


Several fab tool vendors are rolling out the next wave of self-aligned patterning technologies amid the shift toward new devices at 10/7nm and beyond. Applied Materials, Lam Research and TEL are developing self-aligned technologies based on a variety of new approaches. The latest approach involves self-aligned patterning techniques with multi-color material schemes, which are designed for us... » read more

Searching For EUV Defects


Chipmakers hope to insert extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 7nm and/or 5nm, but several challenges need to be solved before this oft-delayed technology can be used in production. One lingering issue that is becoming more worrisome is how to find defects caused by [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] processes. These processes can cause random variations, also known as stochastic effects... » read more

Blog Review: Apr. 18


Cadence's Meera Collier provides an overview of five emerging technologies that could drive the semiconductor industry in the future, from carbon nanotubes to quantum computing. Mentor's Colin Walls reminds embedded software developers of a few common sense tips, including better readability with braces in C/C++ and monitoring stack overflow. Synopsys' Tim Mackey rounds up the last few we... » read more

Blog Review: Apr. 11


Mentor's Dennis Brophy looks at how the black box nature of IP means it's hard to tell if a block is free from security risks, even if verification IP and open-source design code can help. Synopsys' Sri Deepti Pisipati explains Panel Self Refresh, a power saving mechanism in Display Port that allows for turning off the video processor and its circuitry when an image is static. Cadence's P... » read more

TEL Sells Packaging Tool Unit


Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) has signed a definitive agreement to sell its packaging equipment unit, TEL NEXX, to ASM Pacific Technology. With the proposed deal, ASM Pacific enters some new markets. ASM Pacific sells wire bonders, pick-and-place systems, leadframes and other products. Established in 2001, TEL NEXX sells electrochemical deposition (ECD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) s... » read more

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