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

FinFET And Multi-Patterning Aware Place-And-Route Implementation


The use of finFETs and multi-patterning has a huge impact on the entire physical implementation flow. This paper outlines the new challenges in placement, routing, optimization, and physical verification and describes how the Nitro-SoC place and route system handles them. To read more, click here. » read more

Morphing Moore’s Law


In 1965, Gordon Moore defined a timetable for doubling the number of transistors on a piece of silicon every two years. The law, as he originally defined it, is now hopelessly outdated. Any attempts to apply it to the most advanced chips today are a stretch at best, and complete fiction at worst. No one is on a two-year cadence between process nodes anymore—not even Intel. In fact, no one ... » read more

Etching Technology Advances


Let’s get really, really small. That directive from leading semiconductor companies and their customers is forcing the whole semiconductor supply chain to come up with new ways to design and manufacture ever-shrinking dimensions for chips. The current push is to 10nm and 7nm, but R&D into 5nm and 3nm is already underway. To put this in perspective, there are roughly two silicon atom... » read more

Tech Talk: FD-SOI vs. FinFET


Jamie Schaeffer, 22FDX program director at GlobalFoundries, talks about the future of FD-SOI, what the tradeoffs are in performance, power and cost compared with finFETs, how many mask layers and patterning steps are required for each, and when 12nm FD-SOI will be introduced. Related Stories To 7nm And Beyond GlobalFoundries’ top technologists open up on next-gen FD-SOI, the economi... » read more

Multi-Patterning Issues At 7nm, 5nm


Continuing to rely on 193nm immersion lithography with multiple patterning is becoming much more difficult at 7nm and 5nm. With the help of various resolution enhancement techniques, optical lithography using a deep ultraviolet excimer laser has been the workhorse patterning technology in the fab since the early 1980s. It is so closely tied with the continuation of [getkc id="74" comment="Mo... » read more

Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

More EUV Mask Gaps


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is at a critical juncture. After several delays and glitches, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] is now targeted for 7nm and/or 5nm. But there are still a number of technologies that must come together before EUV is inserted into mass production. And if the pieces don’t fall into place, EUV could slip again. First, the EUV source must generate more ... » 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

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