The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

More Rare Earth Rumblings


It’s time to look at the market for rare earths again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. These elements, which are critical, are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. So why worry about them? China produces and controls 80% of the world’s rare earths. Other nations depend on China for these materi... » read more

New Plastics Can Speed Flexible Printed Electronics Development


Substrates play a huge role when designing any type of device, including printed and flexible electronics. From its compatibility with your printing process or with the inks and materials you’re using, to its thermal properties, the choice of substrate can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and manufacturability of your product. However, substrate material capabilities tend to ... » read more

Comparing New Memory Types


After decades of research and development, three new types of memory—magnetic RAM (MRAM), phase change memory (PCRAM) and resistive RAM (ReRAM)—are moving toward commercial adoption, making this an exciting time for the semiconductor and computing industries. All three of these emerging memories are enabled by new materials and will require breakthroughs in process technology and manufactur... » read more

Lithography Options For Next-Gen Devices


Chipmakers are ramping up extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for advanced logic at 7nm and/or 5nm, but EUV isn’t the only lithographic option on the table. For some time, the industry has been working on an assortment of other next-generation lithography technologies, including a new version of EUV. Each technology is different and aimed at different applications. Some are here today, w... » read more

ALD Tungsten Solves Capacity Challenges in 3D NAND Device Manufacturing


Our increasingly connected and ever “smarter” world generates increasing amounts of data, putting pressure on manufacturers who face new technical challenges in delivering the increasing capacity required for processing and storage. The ALD Tungsten process is helping 3D NAND manufacturers overcome the technical challenges of producing memory chips with higher storage capacity. 3D NAND a... » read more

Self-aligned Fin Cut Last Patterning Scheme for Fin Arrays of 24nm Pitch and Beyond


In 5nm FinFET technology and beyond, SRAM cell size reduction to 6 tracks is required with a fin pitch of 24nm. Fin depopulation is mandatory to enable area scaling, but it becomes challenging at small pitches. In the first part of our study, we simulate a FinFET process flow with various fin cut approaches to obtain a 3D model of a FinFET SRAM device. Layout dependent effects on silicon and pr... » read more

Inspecting IC Packages Using Die Sorters


The shift toward more complex IC packages requires more advanced inspection systems in the production flow to capture unwanted defects in products. This includes traditional optical inspection tools in the in-line production flow, but it also now requires new die sorting equipment with advanced inspection capabilities. Die sorters are not the kind of equipment that typically attracts attenti... » read more

Lithography Challenges For Leading Edge 3D Packaging Applications


Leading edge consumer electronic products drive demand for enhanced performance and small form factors. This in turn drives manufacturing requirements for all aspects of semiconductor device fabrication. As the cost of front end device manufacturing continues to escalate rapidly with each new technology node, semiconductor manufacturing companies are now also focusing on packaging technology to... » read more

From Sand To Wafers


More than most industries, ours is identified with a single element, silicon. Consider the self-adopted naming conventions of all the places that want to be recognized as members of the club—Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, Silicon Forest and so on. Silicon wafers are fundamental in manufacturing the electronic “chips” that pervade almost every aspect of our lives. New applications in IoT, ... » read more

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