July 2012


Analog In The 300mm Era


By Adrienne Downey Semico forecasts the 2012 analog market will grow 5.1% to $44.5 billion, up from $42.3 billion in 2011. This is higher than the 0.1% analog revenue growth experienced in 2011 but lower than the 12.6% growth expected in 2013. Growth is coming from automotive electronics, the energy industry, wireless communications, and healthcare diagnostic and monitoring devices. In a re... » read more

Litho Community Meets And Votes


Every 18 months or so, the leading lithography lights of the IEEE meet in an off-the-record workshop to discuss the state and future of our craft. This year’s event took place amid the restored colonial splendor of Williamsburg Virginia in June. Co-chairs Mordechai Rothschild and Lars Liebmann assembled a technical program that covered not only lithography for semiconductor manufacturing, but... » read more

Experts At The Table: Multipatterning


By Ed Sperling Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design sat down with Michael White, physical verification product line manager at Mentor Graphics; Luigi Capodieci, R&D fellow at GlobalFoundries; Lars Liebmann, IBM distinguished engineer; Rob Aitken, ARM fellow; Jean-Pierre Geronimi, CAD director at STMicroelectronics; and Kuang-Kuo Lin, director of foundry design enablement at Samsung El... » read more

Flowing Copper


By Richard Lewington If you were to slice up a microchip and take a look (you’d need a really powerful microscope, I'm afraid) you would see what looks like a nanoscale layer cake. All the active circuit elements—transistors, memory cells, etc.—are on the bottom. The other 90% of the chip is a maze of tiny copper wires, which we call interconnects. The history of chip developme... » read more

Capping Tools Tame Electromigration


By Mark LaPedus The shift towards the 28nm node and beyond has put the spotlight back on the interconnect in semiconductor manufacturing. In chip scaling, the big problem in the interconnect is resistance-capacitance (RC). Another, and sometimes forgotten, issue is electromigration. “Electromigration gets worse in device scaling,” said Daniel Edelstein, an IBM Fellow and manager of BE... » read more

EUV Remains Elusive


By David Lammers Intel’s decision to invest as much as $4.1 billion in ASML has raised overall confidence levels in EUV lithography, and should allow the Dutch lithography vendor to funnel more funds into the stubbornly difficult effort to raise the EUV source power. ASML has said it needs to reach 250 Watts of average source power to achieve the 125 wph throughputs sought by its early cu... » read more

Firms Rethink Fabless-Foundry Model


By Mark LaPedus As chipmakers move toward 20nm designs, finFETs and 3D stacked devices, the industry is beginning to re-think the fabless-foundry model. Leading-edge foundries are finally getting serious about the “virtual IDM” model, in which vendors will act more like integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), as opposed to being mere production partners. In this model, the found... » read more

The Changing Role Of The OSAT


By Ann Steffora Mutschler As process geometries and packaging technologies have matured over time, the OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) provider has played an evolving role in the semiconductor packaging ecosystem. With true 3D chip stacking on the horizon, their role may evolve once again as ecosystem players jostle for position in the 3D universe. There are two things tha... » read more

DSA Moves To R&D Pilot Lines


By Mark LaPedus Directed self-assembly (DSA), an alternative lithography technology that makes use of block copolymers, is still in the R&D stage for semiconductor production. But as the exotic patterning technology continues to make astounding progress, there are signs the IC industry is accelerating its efforts to bring DSA from the lab to the fab. In fact, DSA suddenly has become a ... » read more

Designing into A Foundry Low-Power High-k Metal Gate 28nm CMOS Solution


28nm Super Low Power is the low power CMOS offering delivered on a bulk silicon substrate for mobile consumer and digital consumer applications. The 28nm process technology is slated to become the foundation for a new generation of portable electronics that are capable of handling streaming video, data, voice, social networking and mobile commerce applications. To view this white paper, clic... » read more

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