Speeding Up E-beam Inspection


Wafer inspection, the science of finding killer defects in chips, is reaching a critical juncture. Optical inspection, the workhorse technology in the fab, is being stretched to the limit at advanced nodes. And e-beam inspection can find tiny defects, but it remains slow in terms of throughput. So to fill the gap, the industry has been working on a new class of multiple beam e-beam inspectio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Christopher Rolland, an analyst at FBR, made a startling statement in a recent report. “At the pace of consolidation set thus far this year, 32% of all U.S. publicly traded semiconductor companies would be acquired in 2015! While this run-rate is not likely sustainable and should slow as the year progresses, we still expect ~15% consolidation rates for the remainder of this cycle (above low-t... » read more

Next EUV Challenge: Mask Inspection


Extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography is still not ready for prime time, but the technology finally is moving in the right direction. The EUV light source, for example, is making progress after years of delays and setbacks. Now, amid a possible breakthrough in EUV, the industry is revisiting a nagging issue and asking a simple question: How do you inspect EUV p... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 24


Mouse brains to multi-beam At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Sematech provided an update on its multi-beam, e-beam inspection program. The goal is to develop a next-generation inspection tool, which could be faster than traditional e-beam inspection and could one day displace brightfield inspection. “Optical inspection is having trouble detecting particles that are small... » read more

Maglen: Multi-Beam E-Beam Inspection


Wafer inspection, the science of finding defects on a wafer, is becoming more challenging and costly at each node. In fact, the ability to detect sub-30nm defects is challenging with today’s inspection tools, which are primarily based on two separate technologies—optical and e-beam. In the inspection flow, chipmakers first use e-beam inspection, mainly for engineering analysis. E-beam is... » read more

2014 eBeam Survey Results


An industry-wide poll highlights what the industry is thinking about EUV and mask writing at advanced nodes. To view the poll, click here. » read more

Wanted: Multi-beam E-Beam Inspection


The IC industry is making a giant leap from planar devices to a range of next-generation architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But it’s taking longer than expected to ramp up these new technologies in the market. And the challenges are expected to mount for the next round of chips. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact issues with 3D NAND and finFETs. On the manufacturing front alo... » read more

What Happened To Next-Gen Lithography?


Chipmakers continue to march down the process technology curve. Using today’s optical lithography and multiple patterning, the semiconductor industry is scaling its leading-edge devices far beyond what was once considered possible. The question is how far can the industry extend 193nm immersion [getkc id="80" comment="lithography"] and multiple patterning before these technologies become t... » read more

Blog Review: June 25


Is the Amazon Fire smart phone a paradigm shift? Cadence’s Brian Fuller looks at the first application-specific smart phone and why it’s noteworthy—regardless of how well it fares against phones made by Apple and Samsung. Rambus’ Deepak Chandra Sekar digs deep into interconnect technology and where the prevailing winds are blowing—copper barrier/cap/liner optimization, a slowdown i... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


According to one analyst, the capital spending picture looks gloomy. “We expect finFET and 3D NAND to ramp over the next two years. However, foundry and memory customers are showing great restraint with respect to spending plans, limiting the rate of new node transitions and overall capex upside. In the near term, we see no evidence of meaningful equipment orders to support high-volume finFET... » read more

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