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Author's Latest Posts


Shortages Spark Novel Component Lifecycle Solutions


The semiconductor industry’s supply chain problems are prompting some innovative solutions and workarounds, and while they don't solve all problems, they are improving efficiency and extending equipment lifetimes. The shortages, which affect everything from the chips used in automotive, IoT, and consumer ICs to the equipment used to manufacture and test them — span global supply lines. T... » read more

How AI/ML Improves Fab Operations


Chip shortages are forcing fabs and OSATs to maximize capacity and assess how much benefit AI and machine learning can provide. This is particularly important in light of the growth projections by market analysts. The chip manufacturing industry is expected to double in size over the next five years, and collective improvements in factories, AI databases, and tools will be essential for doub... » read more

Strategies For Faster Yield Ramps On 5nm Chips


Leading chipmakers TSMC and Samsung are producing 5nm devices in high volume production and TSMC is forging ahead with plans for first 3nm silicon by year end. But to meet such aggressive targets, engineers must identify defects and ramp yield faster than before. Getting a handle on EUV stochastic defects — non-repeating patterning defects such as microbridges, broken lines, or missing con... » read more

Extending Copper Interconnects To 2nm


Transistor scaling is reaching a tipping point at 3nm, where nanosheet FETs will likely replace finFETs to meet performance, power, area, and cost (PPAC) goals. A significant architectural change is similarly being evaluated for copper interconnects at 2nm, a move that would reconfigure the way power is delivered to transistors. This approach relies on so-called buried power rails (BPRs) and... » read more

HBM, Nanosheet FETs Drive X-ray Fab Use


Paul Ryan, vice president and general manager of Bruker’s X-ray Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the movement of x-ray metrology into manufacturing to better control nanosheet film stacks and solder bump quality. SE: Where are you seeing the greatest growth right now, and what are the critical drivers for your technology from the application side? Ryan: One b... » read more

MicroLEDs Moving From Lab to Fab


Every disruptive technology has its "aha" moment — the time when everyone from engineers to investors realizes that, yes, this technology is the real deal and it won’t be scrapped on the R&D floor. For many, it was Samsung’s recent announcement of a 110-inch microLED TV that irrevocably put microLEDs on the map. The TV’s price is $155,000, but as with most consumer electronics th... » read more