The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab tools Applied Materials has officially rolled out the Producer Selectra system, a selective etch tool. The system falls under the loosely defined category called atomic layer etch (ALE). Applied’s technology addresses a number of challenges. Today’s advanced chips have complex structures. They may also have deep and narrow trenches. One of the challenges is the inability of wet ... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Looks Cloudy

Amid a slowdown in the foundry and DRAM sectors, the outlook for the semiconductor equipment industry looks somewhat cloudy, if not challenging, in 2016. In fact, for equipment vendors, 2016 could resemble the lackluster year in 2015. In 2015, for example, capital spending in the foundry sector fell during the year, although NAND flash began to pick up steam. In 2015, though, the big stor... » read more

Fab Tool Biz Faces Challenges In 2015

After a slight downturn in 2013, the semiconductor equipment industry rebounded and experienced a solid upturn in 2014. The recovery was primarily driven by tool spending in the foundry and [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]sectors. Another big and ongoing story continued to unfold in 2014. In late 2013, [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"] announced a definitive agreement to acquir... » read more

DSA: Hype Or Revolution?

Directed self-assembly (DSA) has become the subject of a great deal of research attention in the lithography world, to the point where there were dedicated sessions at this year’s Advanced Lithography conference in February. So is this just another passing research fad, or is it a technology that will revolutionize semiconductor manufacturing? DSA utilizes a block copolymer that effectivel... » read more

The Bumpy Road To FinFETs

The shift from planar transistors to finFETs is a major inflection point in the IC industry. FinFETs are expected to enable higher performance chips at lower voltages. And the next-generation transistor technology also could allow the industry to extend CMOS to the 10nm node and perhaps beyond. But as it turns out, finFET technology is also harder to master than previously thought. For exam... » read more

Directed Self-Assembly Gains Momentum

At last year’s SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium, directed self-assembly (DSA) grabbed the spotlight as chipmakers provided the first glimpse of their initial work and results with the technology. The results were stunning, thereby propelling DSA from a curiosity item to a possible patterning solution for next-generation devices. Last year, in fact, GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel and Sams... » read more