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

Good Filters, Poor Resists

Shrinking feature sizes and more complex lithography schemes are increasing the pressure on all aspects of the lithography process, including resists and resist filtration. As Clint Haris, vice president and general manager for liquid micro contamination control at Entegris explained, fabs are pushing resist manufacturers toward more stringent control of both contaminants and “soft particl... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 13

Direct-write liquid litho The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed what could be called direct-write liquid lithography. In the lab, researchers have modified a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). Then, using the STEM as an e-beam tool, researchers have devised a technology that enables the direct write of tiny features in “microfabricated liq... » read more

Executive Insight: Aart de Geus

Aart de Geus, chairman and co-CEO of Synopsys, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss Moore's Law, the IoT, inflection points and how chip design will evolve in coming years. SE: We are in the middle of possibly one of the biggest transition points we’ve ever seen in this industry. How do you envision things shaking out? De Geus: There is no question that there is an enormou... » read more

Introduction To Multi-Patterning

Multi-patterning enables accurate lithographic resolution at today's most advanced nodes. Learn about the basics of this technology, and how it impacts your IC design and verification tasks and responsibilities. To read more, click here. » read more

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