New Patterning Options Emerging


Several fab tool vendors are rolling out the next wave of self-aligned patterning technologies amid the shift toward new devices at 10/7nm and beyond. Applied Materials, Lam Research and TEL are developing self-aligned technologies based on a variety of new approaches. The latest approach involves self-aligned patterning techniques with multi-color material schemes, which are designed for us... » read more

Improving Patterning Yield At The 5nm Semiconductor Node


Engineering decisions are always data-driven. As scientists, we only believe in facts and not in intuition or feelings. At the manufacturing stage, the semiconductor industry is eager to provide data and facts to engineers based upon metrics such as the quantity of wafers produced per hour and sites/devices tested on each of those wafers. The massive quantity of data generated in semiconduct... » read more

Nontraditional Post Develop Inspection And Review Strategy For Via Defects


A viable in-line monitor for missing vias in the back end of line (BEOL) has traditionally been challenging due to the nature of the defects. Today’s available solutions do not meet the requirements of a true in-line and at-level monitor strategy. These solutions either indirectly monitor the defect further down the line, put production at risk of damage or contamination due to exceeding stri... » read more

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » read more

SoC Power Grid Challenges


The consumption of power and dissipation of heat within large SoCs has received a lot of attention recently, but that is only part of the issue. Power also has to be reliably delivered onto and around the system. This is becoming increasingly difficult, and new nodes are adding to the list of challenges. "If we were building chips where there was only a single Vdd and Vss then it is not that... » read more

Interconnect Challenges Rising


Chipmakers are ramping up their 14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm slated to ship possibly later this year or next. At 10nm and beyond, IC vendors are determined to scale the two main parts of the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] structure—the transistor and interconnects. Generally, transistor scaling will remain challenging at advanced nodes. And on top of that, the interconnects ... » read more

IMEC Partner Technical Week Review


In March 2016, Coventor was invited to the biannual Partner Technical Week (PTW) at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium. IMEC, a world-leading research group in nanotechnology, organizes their Partner Technical Week every six months to present scientific results to their partners. During this week, a number of specialists from IMEC's many partner companies also discuss their progress in areas related to IM... » read more

EDA Vendors Prepare For 7nm


It’s not too early to begin looking at design tools for the 7nm, even though the node is not expected to be production-ready until later this decade. While still in the early stages, foundries already in development with leading EDA companies, even though the water remains murky at this point. “7nm right now is in early definition, so we don't know exactly what it will be,” observed... » read more

Challenges In 3D Resists


3D integration straddles the line between CMOS fabs and packaging and assembly houses. Depending on the structure being fabricated, the most appropriate process might be more “CMOS-like” or more “package-like.” For example, in CMOS fabs lithography means spin-on photoresist, exposed by a high precision stepper. Inherent in this approach is an assumption that the wafer surface is flat... » read more