Inside Inspection And Metrology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about inspection, metrology and other issues with Mehdi Vaez-Iravani, vice president of advanced imaging technologies at Applied Materials. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Today, the industry is working on a new range of complex architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. For these technologies, the industry is clearly struggling... » read more

Getting Over Overlay


Chipmakers continue to migrate to the next node, but there are signs that traditional IC scaling is slowing down. So what’s causing the slowdown? Or for that matter, what could ultimately undo [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"]? It could be a combination of factors. To be sure, IC design costs and complexity are soaring at each node. Scaling challenges are also playing a role. And ov... » read more

Waiting For Next-Gen Metrology


Chipmakers continue to march down the various process nodes, but the industry will require new breakthroughs to extend IC scaling at 10nm and beyond. In fact, the industry will require innovations in at least two main areas—patterning and the [getkc id="36" comment="Interconnect"]. There are other areas of concern, but one technology is quickly rising near the top of the list—metrology.... » read more

Flash Dance For Inspection And Metrology


Chipmakers are moving from planar technology to an assortment of 3D-like architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs For these devices, chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab. But one surprising and oft-forgotten technology is emerging as perhaps the biggest challenge in both logic and memory—process control. Process control includes metrology and wafer inspection. Metrolo... » read more

Searching For 3D Metrology


In the previous decade, chipmakers made a bold but necessary decision to select the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] as the next transistor architecture for the IC industry. Over time, though, chipmakers discovered that the finFET would present some challenges in the fab. Deposition, etch and lithography were the obvious hurdles, but chipmakers also saw a big gap in metrology. In fact,... » read more

Challenges Mount In Inspection And Metrology


Chipmakers are moving full speed ahead toward smaller process nodes, thereby driving up the costs and complexities in chip manufacturing. The migrations also are putting enormous stress on nearly all points of the fab flow, including a critical but unsung part of the business—process control. Process control involves 20 or so different segments in the inspection and metrology arena. Genera... » read more

Waiting For 3D Metrology


By Mark LaPedus Over the years, suppliers of metrology equipment have managed to meet the requirements for conventional planar chips. But tool vendors now find themselves behind in the emerging 3D chip era, prompting the urgent need for a new class of 3D metrology gear. 3D is a catch-all phrase that includes a range of new architectures, such as finFET transistors, 3D NAND and stacked-die ... » read more