Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

Searching For EUV Mask Defects


Chipmakers hope to insert extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 7nm and/or 5nm, but several challenges need to be solved before this technology can be used in production. One lingering issue that is becoming more worrisome is how to find [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] mask defects. That isn't the only issue, of course. The industry continues to work on the power source and resists. Bu... » read more

Next-Gen Mask Writer Race Begins


Competition is heating up in the mask writer equipment business as two vendors—Intel/IMS and NuFlare—vie for position in the new and emerging multi-beam tool segment. Last year, Intel surprised the industry by acquiring IMS Nanofabrication, a multi-beam e-beam mask writer equipment vendor. Also last year, IMS, now part of Intel, began shipping the world’s first multi-beam mask writer f... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 27


World’s brightest laser The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has set the unofficial record for the world’s brightest laser. Researchers have focused a laser at a brightness of 1 billion times greater than the surface of the sun. This feat was accomplished using the so-called Diocles Laser at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The laser has a combination of peak power and a repetition ra... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The NAND market is in flux. Not long ago, troubled Toshiba put its memory unit on the block. Finally, the company has selected a group to buy its memory business. The consortium includes the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan and Bain Capital. Rival SK Hynix is also part of the group. Others attempted to bid on the business, including Western Digita... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Mask and fab equipment Seeking to speed up the semiconductor design and manufacturing process, D2S has rolled out its fifth-generation computational design platform (CDP). D2S, a supplier of GPU-accelerated computational systems or platforms, said the latest CDP is designed to enable faster simulations for a range of applications. Using Nvidia’s Pascal-based Tesla P40 GPUs, D2S’ fifth-... » read more

Big Changes In Patterning


Aki Fujimura, CEO of [getentity id="22864" comment="D2S"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss patterning issues at 10nm and below, including mask alignment, the need for GPU acceleration, EUV's future impact on the total number of masks, and what the re-introduction of curvilinear shapes will mean for design. SE: Patterning issues are getting a lot of attention at 10nm and 7n... » read more

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

Inside Photomask Writing


Hirokazu Yamada, a board member and the director of the Mask Lithography Division of NuFlare, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss photomask technology, e-beam mask writer trends and other topics. NuFlare is the world’s largest supplier of e-beam mask writers. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How does the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] market look in... » read more

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