Why EUV Is So Difficult


For years, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has been a promising technology that was supposed to help enable advanced chip scaling. But after years of R&D, EUV is still not in production despite major backing from the industry, vast resources and billions of dollars in funding. More recently, though, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography appears to be inching closer to pos... » read more

Deeper Inside Intel


Mark Bohr, senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel, and Zane Ball, vice president in the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel and co-general manager of Intel Custom Foundry, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future directions of transistors, process technology, the foundry business and packaging. What follows are excerpts of those ... » read more

7nm Lithography Choices


Chipmakers are ramping up their 16nm/14nm logic processes, with 10nm expected to move into early production later this year. Barring a major breakthrough in lithography, chipmakers are using today’s 193nm immersion and multiple patterning for both 16/14nm and 10nm. Now, chipmakers are focusing on the lithography options for 7nm. For this, they hope to use a combination of two technologies ... » read more

Double Patterning Custom Design And Debug


Litho-Etch-Litho-Etch (LELE) double pattern (DP) processing affects many aspects of the design flow at/below the 20 nm node level. This can be very disruptive for the custom designer, impacting basic cell design strategy, layout rules and debug as well as parasitic extraction. This paper discusses how to deal with these impacts, avoid common design mistakes, and debug quickly and accurately. ... » read more

Litho Challenges Break The Design-Process Wall


The days when chip designers could throw tape “over the wall” to the manufacturing side are long gone. Over the last several technology generations, increasingly restrictive process kits have forced designers to accommodate their circuit structures to the manufacturing process. Lacking a successor to 193nm lithography, the industry has turned to increasingly complex resolution enhancemen... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 10nm FinFETs


Foundry vendors are currently ramping up their 16nm/14nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] processes in the market. Vendors are battling each other for business in the arena, although the migration from planar to finFETs is expected to be a slow and expensive process. Still, despite the challenges at 16nm/14nm, vendors are gearing up for the next battle in the foundry business—the 10nm nod... » read more

Balancing On The Color Density Tightrope


Balancing on wobbly tightropes is something that chip designers get pretty good at. For instance, there is a fine balance between optimizing performance and minimizing leakage in a design layout. Dealing with the new requirements that multi-patterning (MP) introduces into a design flow creates many new tightropes to walk. I tiptoed out on one of the rarely talked about ones in my last article... » read more

Multiple Patterns, Multiple Trade-Offs


As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” That is a reality that chip designers have had to live by from the beginning. From the advent of the first design rule, it was clear that you couldn’t just do anything you wanted. In the end, everything comes down to trade-offs. Whether it’s area, speed, leakage, noise sensitivity, or drive current, doing something to impr... » read more

Litho Options Sparse After 10nm


Leading-edge foundries are ramping up their 16nm/14nm logic processes, with 10nm and 7nm in R&D. Barring a major breakthrough in [getkc id="80" comment="lithography"], chipmakers will use 193nm immersion and multiple patterning for both 16nm/14nm and 10nm. So now, chipmakers are focusing on the lithography options for 7nm. As before, the options include the usual suspects—[gettech id="... » read more

How Much Multipatterning?


The latest consensus among litho experts is that extreme ultraviolet (EUV) will appear in the market sometime in coming months in a commercially viable form. The only question is the degree of commercially viability, and what it will actually cost. While some debate lingers about whether EUV will ever get going, the general feeling is that enough progress has been made recently to make it work.... » read more

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