Ion Implanter Market Heats Up

The ion implanter market has been a stable, if not a sleepy, business. The last big event took place in 2011, when Applied Materials re-entered the ion implanter market by acquiring Varian, the world’s leading supplier of these tools. The acquisition gave Applied Materials a commanding 80% share of the implanter business, with the other players fighting for the crumbs. But after year... » read more

Overcoming Shallow Trench Isolation

By Kathryn Ta To prevent electrical current leaking between adjacent transistors, state-of-the-art microchips feature shallow trench isolation (STI) to isolate transistors from each other. Key steps in the STI process involve etching a pattern of trenches in the silicon, depositing dielectric materials to fill the trenches, and removing the excess dielectric using technologies such as chemical... » read more

Fabless-Foundry Model Under Stress

By Mark LaPedus The semiconductor roadmap was once a smooth and straightforward path, but chipmakers face a bumpy and challenging ride as they migrate to the 20nm node and beyond. Among the challenges seen on the horizon are the advent of 3D stacking, 450mm fabs, new transistor architectures, multi-patterning, and the questionable availability of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. ... » read more