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

ECOs and Multi-Patterning: It Can Be Done


By David Abercrombie and Alex Pearson A lot has been written and discussed about how to decompose (color) layouts for advanced process nodes that require multi­patterning (MP). However, one topic that has been sorely ignored is how to efficiently make changes to designs that are already colored, or even taped out and processed. We tend to act like all designs work out the first time through... » read more

What Works After 7nm?


An Steegen, senior vice president of process technology at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], the Belgium-based R&D organization, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future of process technology and transistor trends all the way to 3nm. SE: Some say the semiconductor industry is maturing. Yet we have more device types and options than ever before, right? Steegen:... » read more

Why DSA Is Cost Effective For 7nm And Below


The upcoming 7nm process node presents tough challenges both for printability and cost. At 7nm and below, multi-patterning is required, which makes the manufacturing process more expensive by requiring more masks. To control costs, any alternative technology that provides equivalent yields with fewer patterning steps should be explored. One promising option is to use directed self-assembly (... » read more

Here Comes 7nm


A consortium of companies involving IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung has rolled out the first 7nm test chip using silicon germanium as a substrate, using EUV to pattern multiple layers. While this doesn't mean the cost equation is even close to being solved, or that more than a handful of companies will push forward to that node anytime soon using SiGe as the substrate material, it does cre... » 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

Tech Talk: 14nm


Tamer Ragheb, digital design methodology technical lead at GlobalFoundries about what's changed with 14nm finFETs, including coloring with double patterning, new corners, Miller Effects, timing issues and variability. [youtube vid=Yk6jSKCtsjU] » read more

How We’ll Get There from Here


The electronics industry is like a battleship with remarkable handling properties. I thought about it this week sitting at an industry event a day after stumbling across Neptune—the technology project, not the god. Those two experiences forced me to rethink some fundamental assumptions about system design and how the ecosystem responds to change. If you’ve not heard of Neptune, it... » read more

Future Directions Unknown


The semiconductor industry has been on cruise control when it comes to shrinking features, but as process technology progresses to 10nm and 7nm there will be some significant changes. For one thing, the cost per new design will continue to rise, which means only the largest companies with the biggest market opportunity will be able to invest at the leading-edge nodes. Chips for mobile phones... » read more

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