Author's Latest Posts


Finding The Source Of EUV Stochastic Effects


The next phase of EUV development has begun—making EUV more predictable and potentially more mainstream—and it's looking to be every bit as difficult and ambitious as other developments in advanced lithography. In the early days of EUV development, supporters of the technology argued that it was “still based on photons,” as opposed to alternatives like electron beam lithography. Whil... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

The Good And Bad Of 2D Materials


Despite years of warnings about reaching the limits of silicon, particularly at leading-edge process nodes where electron mobility is limited, there still is no obvious replacement. Silicon’s decades-long dominance of the integrated circuit industry is only partly due to the material’s electronic properties. Germanium, gallium arsenide, and many other semiconductors offer superior mobili... » read more

What’s For Dinner?


Robots, as currently implemented, don’t do well in uncontrolled environments. In factories and warehouses, they are fenced off by yellow safety tape, doing highly repetitive and predictable tasks. When deployed to monitor parks and malls, they are easily thwarted by malicious humans and even unexpected landscape features. Yet robots able to assist elderly and disabled people will be genuin... » read more

In-Memory Computing Challenges Come Into Focus


For the last several decades, gains in computing performance have come by processing larger volumes of data more quickly and with superior precision. Memory and storage space are measured in gigabytes and terabytes now, not kilobytes and megabytes. Processors operate on 64-bit rather than 8-bit chunks of data. And yet the semiconductor industry’s ability to create and collect high quality ... » read more

Quantum Issues And Progress


Quantum computing is showing significant promise, and research is beginning to move from the earliest stages to a deeper understanding of what works best commercially and why. On paper, quantum computing algorithms are potentially revolutionary. They suggest a way to solve some problems more quickly and more accurately than conventional computers ever could. But out in the real world of prac... » read more

Interest Grows In Ferroelectric Devices


Ferroelectric FETs and memories are beginning to show promise as researchers begin developing and testing next-generation transistors. One measure of the efficiency of a transistor is the subthreshold swing, which is the change in gate voltage needed to increase the drain current by one order of magnitude. Measured in units of millivolts per decade, in conventional MOSFETs it is limited to k... » read more

What’s A Mott FET?


The unique physics of two-dimensional semiconductors offers the potential for new kinds of switches that could extend the usefulness of conventional MOSFETs into a variety of new areas. A MOSFET applies a voltage to one side of the gate capacitor. The resulting electric field in the channel shifts the band structure and facilitates or impedes the flow of carriers. So as devices shrink, the g... » read more

Can Graphene Be Mass Manufactured?


Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, the high mobility and unique transport properties of 2-dimensional semiconductors have tantalized physicists and materials scientists. Their in-plane carrier transport and lack of dangling bonds potentially can minimize line/edge scattering and other effects of extreme scaling. While 2-D materials cannot compete with silicon at current device dime... » read more

Collaboration And Advanced Substrates


Discussions of semiconductor manufacturing tend to focus on CMOS logic and memory devices, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. Discussions of silicon-on-insulator wafer markets focus on the needs of high performance logic. Lithography analysts emphasize high density memories. It’s easy to forget that real systems contain other devices, too. A modern smartphone probably supports ... » read more

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