The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers Alain Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has resigned. This comes amid charges that Kaloyeros was involved in an alleged bid-rigging scheme, according to multiple reports. SUNY Poly, a high-tech educational ecosystem in New York, was recently formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology. ... » read more

ASML To Buy Hermes

Looking to expand into new markets, ASML Holding has entered into an agreement to acquire e-beam wafer inspection specialist Hermes Microvision (HMI) in a cash transaction valued at 2.75 billion euros (US$3.08 billion). With the proposed acquisition of Taiwan’s HMI, ASML will enter two new markets—-wafer inspection as well as mask inspection for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. In ... » read more

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

The Next Resists…Continued

As previously discussed, conventional chemically-amplified resists are struggling to balance the competing requirements of EUV lithography. Simultaneously meeting the industry’s targets for resolution, sensitivity, and line-edge roughness may require new resist concepts. Inpria’s resist technology, based on tin-oxide nano clusters, is one possibility. Recently published work at SUNY Albany ... » read more

Inside The SRC

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk with Ken Hansen, the new president and chief executive of the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC), a U.S.-based technology research consortium. Prior to joining the SRC in May, Hansen was vice president and chief technology officer at Freescale. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: My impression is that the SRC allocates funding for va... » read more

Finding Defects Is Getting Harder

Chipmakers are plotting out a strategy to scale the transistor to 10nm and beyond. Migrating to these nodes presents a number of challenges, but one issue is starting to gain more attention in the market—killer defects. Defects have always been problematic in the yield ramp for chip designs, but the ability to find them is becoming more difficult and expensive at each node. And it will be... » read more

Fab Issues At 7nm And 5nm

The race toward the 7nm logic node officially kicked off in July, when IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and Samsung jointly rolled out what the companies claim are the industry’s first 7nm test chips with functional transistors. They're not alone, of course. Intel and TSMC also are racing separately to develop 7nm technology. And in the R&D labs, chipmakers also are working on technologies f... » read more

Speeding Up E-beam Inspection

Wafer inspection, the science of finding killer defects in chips, is reaching a critical juncture. Optical inspection, the workhorse technology in the fab, is being stretched to the limit at advanced nodes. And e-beam inspection can find tiny defects, but it remains slow in terms of throughput. So to fill the gap, the industry has been working on a new class of multiple beam e-beam inspectio... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 16

Harmonic EUV The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has devised an efficient extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source. The technology could one day be used for a new class of metrology tools, based on angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). This technique makes use of a photoelectric effect for studying materials. To enable the source, Berkeley Labs devel... » read more

Semiconductor R&D Crisis?

Research and development is a sometimes forgotten but critical element in the semiconductor industry. The delicate R&D ecosystem enables many of the key breakthroughs in the business. But there could be a troubling trend, if not a crisis, brewing on two fronts in the R&D arena. On one front, R&D costs for semiconductor technologies are escalating at each node. Higher R&D costs are not only ... » read more

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