Avoiding Traffic Jams In SoC Design


While sitting in a traffic jam on the way to work, I realized that the sheer volume of vehicles on the road exceeds the capacity originally planned for by civil engineers, when highways first hit the drawing boards 50 or 60 years ago. It dawned on me that there is a parallel to today’s System-on-Chip design—engineers are struggling to close timing on the interconnect during the back-end pla... » read more

Advanced Packaging Picks Up Steam


The semiconductor industry’s push toward continued miniaturization and increasing complexity is driving wider adoption of system-in-package (SiP) technology. One of the big benefits of [getkc id="199" kc_name="SiP"] is that it allows more features to be squeezed into ever-smaller form factors, such as wearable gadgets and medical implants. So while the individual chips in this package may ... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

Architect Specs Harder To Follow


Interpreting and implementing architects' specifications is getting harder at each new process node, which is creating problems throughout the design flow, into manufacturing, and sometimes even post-production. Rising complexity and difficulties in scaling have pushed much more of the burden onto architects to deal with everything from complex power schemes, new packaging approaches, and to... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » 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

Stacked Die Changes


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with David Pan, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; Max Min, senior technical manager at [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung"]; John Hunt, senior director of engineering at ASE; and Sitaram Arkalgud, vice president of 3D portfolio and technologies at Invensas. ... » read more

Optimization Challenges For 10nm And 7nm


Optimization used to be a simple timing against area tradeoff but not anymore. As we go to each new node, the tradeoffs become more complicated involving additional aspects of the design that used to be dealt with in isolation. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these issues with Krishna Balachandran, director of product management for low-power products at [getentity id="22032" e... » read more

To 7nm And Beyond


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], and Thomas Caulfield, senior vice president and general manager of Fab 8, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss future directions in technology, including the next rev of FD-SOI, the future of Moore’s Law, and how some very public challenges will likely unfold. SE: What do you see as the... » read more

Building Faster Chips


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch An explosion in IoT sensor data, the onset of deep learning and AI, and the commercial rollout of augmented and virtual reality are driving a renewed interest in performance as the key metric for semiconductor design. Throughout the past decade in which mobility/smartphone dominated chip design, power replaced performance as the top driver. Processors ha... » read more

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