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

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

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

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Leading-edge photomask makers face a multitude of challenges as they migrate from the 14nm node and beyond. Mask making is becoming more challenging and expensive at each node on at least two fronts. On one front, mask makers must continue to invest in the development of traditional optical masks at advanced nodes. On another front, several photomask vendors are preparing for the possible ra... » read more

Next EUV Challenge: Pellicles


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is still not ready for high-volume manufacturing, but the technology is at least moving in the right direction. Both the [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] light source and resists are making noticeable progress, even though there are still challenges in the arena. And then, there is the EUV mask infrastructure, which also has some gaps. “When EUV i... » read more

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