And The Award Goes To…


I like to look at what users find the most interesting topics, not because it directly influences what I write, but to get a sense of the subjects that are on most people's minds. Some of it comes as no surprise. Content about new fabrication technologies tends to blow everything else away. While it directly affects very few of us, I think we all want to know the general direction of the indust... » read more

Fill/Cut Self-Aligned Double-Patterning


By David Abercrombie, Rehab Ali, Ahmed Hamed-Fatehy, and Shetha Nolke Self-aligned double patterning (SADP) is an alternative double-patterning process to the traditional litho-etch-litho-etch (LELE) approach used in most advanced production nodes. The main difference between the two approaches is that in LELE, the layout is divided between two masks, and the second mask is aligned with resp... » read more

Mastering The Magic Of Multi-Patterning


Multi-patterning technology was introduced at the 20 nm node to overcome lithographic limitations in current IC manufacturing processes. While processes like double and triple patterning may sometimes seem like magic, successfully implementing multi-patterning compliance in the IC design and verification flow requires a thorough understanding of multi-patterning techniques and their impact on y... » read more

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

How Many Nanometers?


What’s the difference between a 10nm and a 7nm chip? That should be a straightforward question. Math, after all, is the only pure science. But as it turns out, the answer is hardly science—even if it is all about numbers. Put in perspective, at 65nm, companies defined the process node by the half pitch of the first metal layer. At 40/45nm, with the cost and difficulty of developing n... » read more

To 10nm And Beyond


Hong Hao, senior vice president of the foundry business at Samsung Semiconductor, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future direction of transistors, process technology, lithography and other topics. What follows are excerpts of those conversations. SE: Samsung recently rolled out its 10nm finFET technology. It appears that Samsung is the world’s first company to ship 1... » read more

Design Process Technology Co-Optimization For Manufacturability


Yield and cost have always been critical factors for both manufacturers and designers of semiconductor products. Meeting yield and product cost targets is a continuous challenge, due to new device structures and increasingly complex process innovations introduced to achieve improved product performance at each new technology node. Design for manufacturability (DFM) and design process technology... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Deploying Multi-Beam Mask Writers


Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the company’s deal with Intel, photomasks, multi-beam mask writer technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: This has been a significant year for IMS for two reasons. First, Intel recently announced plans to acquire IMS. Second, at the recent ... » read more

Defect Evolution In Next-Generation Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is a promising next generation lithography technology that may succeed optical lithography at future technology nodes. EUV mask infrastructure and manufacturing of defect-free EUV mask blanks is a key near term challenge in the use of EUV lithography. Virtual fabrication is a computerized technique to perform predictive, three dimensional modeling of sem... » read more

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