200mm Equipment Shortfall


A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating. None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers strugg... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up


The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

Ready For Nanoimprint?


Nanoimprint has been discussed, debated, and hyped since the term was first introduced in 1996. Now, a full 20 years later, it is being taken much more seriously in light of increasing photomask costs and delays in bringing alternatives to market. Nanoimprint lithography is something like a room-temperature UV cure embossing process. The structures are patterned onto a template or mold using... » read more

Can Nano-Patterning Save Moore’s Law?


For years the academic community has explored a novel technology called selective deposition. Then, more than a year ago, Intel spearheaded an effort to bring the technology from the lab to the fab at 7nm or 5nm. Today, selective deposition is still in R&D, but it is gaining momentum in the industry. With R&D funding from Intel and others, selective deposition, sometimes called ALD-e... » read more

The Price Of Consolidation


Consolidation is causing far-reaching changes across the global semiconductor ecosystem due to the size of companies being bought and the dearth of startups to replenish those being acquired. Coupled with the rising cost and difficulty of shrinking features down to advanced process nodes—many argue that is the largest driver of consolidation—the market dynamics for who's buying IP, EDA t... » read more

ALD Market Heats Up


Amid the shift to 3D NAND, finFETs and other device architectures, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) market is heating up on several fronts. Applied Materials, for example, recently moved to shakeup the landscape by rolling out a new, high-throughput ALD tool. Generally, [getkc id="250" kc_name="ALD"] is a process that deposits materials layer-by-layer at the atomic level, enabling thin and ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Semicon West is always a busy week. Typically, there are a plethora of events going on during the week. It’s also a good week to get a pulse on the industry. The good news: Innovation is alive and well. Bad news: Intel cut its CapEx. And tool makers are in the midst of a lull right now, with a cloudy outlook projected for 2016. Some even see a dreaded downturn next year. Pacific Crest Secu... » read more

Can Copper Revolutionize Interconnects Again?


Electromigration and resistivity present serious obstacles to interconnect scaling, as previously discussed. In a copper damascene process, grain growth is constrained by the narrow trenches into which copper is deposited. As the grain size approaches the mean free path of electrons in copper, electron scattering at sidewalls and grain boundaries increases and resistivity jumps. Meanwhile, incr... » read more

Chip Business Picks Up In Japan


Japan's semiconductor business is showing signs of recovery after several years of slumping sales due to an overall market recovery, the favorable exchange rate for the yen, and ongoing business restructuring. Consider Renesas, for example. The company went through several downsizing phases, causing a decline in semiconductor sales by 3.9% to 199.6 billion yen ($1.69 billion) in its fiscal Q... » read more

Applied Materials And Tokyo Electron Unveil Eteris


By Kevin Winston Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron (TEL) achieved another important milestone, unveiling the name of our combined company—Eteris [pronounced: eh-TAIR-iss]. Tetsuro Higashi, chairman and CEO of TEL, and Gary Dickerson, president and CEO of Applied Materials, revealed the new company name and logo to an enthusiastic crowd assembled for Applied’s annual analyst briefing ... » read more

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