ASML To Buy Hermes

Looking to expand into new markets, ASML Holding has entered into an agreement to acquire e-beam wafer inspection specialist Hermes Microvision (HMI) in a cash transaction valued at 2.75 billion euros (US$3.08 billion). With the proposed acquisition of Taiwan’s HMI, ASML will enter two new markets—-wafer inspection as well as mask inspection for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. In ... » 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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

IC Insights released its preliminary top IC rankings in terms of sales for 2015. In the rankings, Intel remains in first place in terms of chip sales in 2015, followed by Samsung and TSMC. GlobalFoundries and UMC also moved up in the rankings. Beyond that, the market is in flux. “The pending mergers of Avago and Broadcom and NXP and Freescale will have a significant impact on future top-20 ra... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Looking to propel the next wave of OLED displays, Applied Materials has rolled out two new systems. The tools enable the volume production of OLED displays for both mobile products and TVs. In addition, Applied Materials has shipped an Applied TopMet roll-to-roll metal deposition system to Jindal Poly Films, a leader in PET and BOPP films for flexible packaging and labeling applications. In... » read more

Gaps Remain For EUV Masks

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is once again at a critical juncture. The oft-delayed technology is now being targeted for 7nm. But there are still a number of technologies that must come together before EUV is inserted into mass production at that node. First, the EUV source must generate more power. Second, tool uptime must improve. Third, the industry needs better EUV resists. A... » read more

Finding Defects Is Getting Harder

Chipmakers are plotting out a strategy to scale the transistor to 10nm and beyond. Migrating to these nodes presents a number of challenges, but one issue is starting to gain more attention in the market—killer defects. Defects have always been problematic in the yield ramp for chip designs, but the ability to find them is becoming more difficult and expensive at each node. And it will be... » read more

Fab Issues At 7nm And 5nm

The race toward the 7nm logic node officially kicked off in July, when IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and Samsung jointly rolled out what the companies claim are the industry’s first 7nm test chips with functional transistors. They're not alone, of course. Intel and TSMC also are racing separately to develop 7nm technology. And in the R&D labs, chipmakers also are working on technologies f... » read more

Speeding Up E-beam Inspection

Wafer inspection, the science of finding killer defects in chips, is reaching a critical juncture. Optical inspection, the workhorse technology in the fab, is being stretched to the limit at advanced nodes. And e-beam inspection can find tiny defects, but it remains slow in terms of throughput. So to fill the gap, the industry has been working on a new class of multiple beam e-beam inspectio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

At an event, Samsung rolled out its 10nm finFET technology. The company also showed a 300mm wafer with 10nm finFET transistors. "We have silicon-based PDKs out," said Kelvin Low, senior director of foundry marketing for Samsung. Samsung plans to move into production with its 10nm finFET technology by the end of 2016, he said. IC Insights released its chip rankings in terms of sales in the fi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 24

Mouse brains to multi-beam At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Sematech provided an update on its multi-beam, e-beam inspection program. The goal is to develop a next-generation inspection tool, which could be faster than traditional e-beam inspection and could one day displace brightfield inspection. “Optical inspection is having trouble detecting particles that are small... » read more

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