FD-SOI Strains For The Future


One of the challenges facing supporters of FD-SOI is the need to provide a pathway to improved performance. While FD-SOI wafers offer some significant advantages over bulk silicon wafers, performance enhancements like strain and alternative channel materials are more difficult to implement in the thin SOI environment. On the other hand, once a fab is willing to incorporate layer transfer techni... » read more

Pathfinding Beyond FinFETs


Though the industry will likely continue to find ways to extend CMOS finFET technology further than we thought possible, at some point in the not-so-distant future, making faster, lower power ICs will require more disruptive changes. For something that could be only five to seven years out, there’s a daunting range of contending technologies. Improvements through the process will help, from E... » read more

Insider’s Guide To Fab Technology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss fab technology with Matt Paggi, vice president of advanced technology development at GlobalFoundries. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s driving demand for semiconductors today? Paggi: You are aware of what the worldwide semiconductor revenue growth is this year. There are peaks and valleys in the worldwide semiconduc... » read more

Internet of FD-SOI Things?


Are fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) wafers having a moment? Certainly SOI wafers are not new. Soitec’s SmartCut layer transfer technology was patented in 1994, and wafers with implanted oxide layers were available before that. Still, adoption of SOI wafers has been limited. Though they offer improved device isolation and reduced parasitics, the increased wafer cost has been an ob... » 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

Measuring FinFETs Will Get Harder


The industry is gradually migrating toward chips based on finFET transistors at 16nm/14nm and beyond, but manufacturing those finFETs is proving to be a daunting challenge in the fab. Patterning is the most difficult process for finFETs. But another process, metrology, is fast becoming one of the biggest challenges for the next-generation transistor technology. In fact, [getkc id="252" kc_n... » read more

Increasing Challenges At Advanced Nodes


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about new materials, stacked die, how far FD-SOI can be extended, and new directions for interconnects and transistors. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see problems at future nodes? Patton: At the device level, we have to be able to pattern these thing... » read more

Moving Electrons Is Getting Harder


Numerous executives across the ecosystem—from EDA and equipment companies to foundries—recently have stated that Moore's Law has at least 10 more years of life. This is interesting math, considering the semiconductor industry is now working on 10nm, with chips expected to roll out next year. So given that Moore's Law is on a two-year cadence of doubling the number of transistors every 24... » read more

Pathfinding Beyond 10nm


After higher aspect-ratio finFETs and higher mobility SiGe and III-V materials, the industry will move to lateral nanowires and then to vertical nanowire transistors, and to new tunnel junction FETs or spin wave architectures ─ or to various combinations of these technologies for different applications, reported An Steegan, Imec senior vice president of process technology, during SEMICON West... » read more

Reliability After Planar Silicon


Negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) poses a very serious reliability challenge for highly scaled planar silicon transistors, as previously discussed. However, the conventional planar silicon transistor appears to be nearing the end of its life for other reasons, too. The mobility of carriers in silicon limits switching speed even as it becomes more difficult to maintain sufficient elec... » read more

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