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Specialty Technologies Bring New Functionality


As a materials engineer, I am very proud of the fact that key advances in human civilization have been driven by materials innovation. The stone age, bronze age, and iron age were all essential steps in setting the human race on the path that we are on today. Innovations are not without their downsides, but they have enabled progress in agriculture, medicine, transportation, communication, a... » read more

Using Less Helium In Semiconductor Manufacturing


Helium gas is increasingly in short supply. While consumers may be most familiar with it for use in filling balloons, it is used much more heavily in a variety of industrial processes – including semiconductor fabrication. As a result of supply concerns, many companies, including Lam, are looking for ways to reduce their helium usage. The making of a semiconductor chip involv... » read more

Potential For 5G In Daily Life


The excitement around the rollout of 5G technology could not be more palpable. We see this next-generation technology in news headlines and commercials, with promises to usher in the next wave of internet capabilities, speeds, and frictionless internet access. Let’s look at what 5G is and how semiconductor advancements are driving this new technology. What is 5G? 5G technology can be su... » read more

Why New Photoresist Technology Is Critical


As chipmakers move to advanced technology nodes, they are challenged to resolve ever finer features. One of the major roadblocks involves the material used to transfer chip design to the wafer. That material is rapidly reaching its limit to accurately transfer designs. To keep next-generation device scaling on track, a breakthrough technology has been introduced: dry resist. To better understan... » read more

From FinFETs To Gate-All-Around


When they were first commercialized at the 22 nm node, finFETs represented a revolutionary change to the way we build transistors, the tiny switches in the “brains” of a chip. As compared to prior planar transistors, the fin, contacted on three sides by the gate, provides much better control of the channel formed within the fin. But, finFETs are already reaching the end of their utility as... » read more

Winning The Global Race For Semiconductor Technology With Virtual Fabrication


Semiconductor process development is no easy task, with each generation of devices more difficult and expensive to create. Traditional cycles of build-and-test development are becoming obsolete, since they are too expensive and time-consuming for the most advanced processes. The high cost of process development Most chip designers developing new products rely on existing manufacturing process... » read more

ML Apps Enable Tool Diagnostics


Diagnosis of any kind requires the synthesis of information. As humans we are much better at doing this when we have ways of visualizing information versus looking at numbers and statistics, especially when the data represents something happening over time. Think of a GPS tracker that shows where you have walked in a day. The raw data are coordinates and time stamps. A map that shows you this i... » read more

Fan-Out Wafer-Level Packaging And Copper Electrodeposition


By Steven T. Mayer, Bryan Buckalew, and Kari Thorkelsson As integrated circuit designers bring more sophisticated chip functionality into smaller spaces, heterogeneous integration, including 3D stacking of devices, becomes an increasingly useful and cost-effective way of mixing and connecting various functional technologies. One of the heterogeneous integration platforms gaining increased ac... » read more

Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere


It’s pretty hard to talk about technology today without artificial intelligence, or AI, entering into the conversation. It seems to be everywhere… and growing. Businesses are using it to operate more efficiently, it’s resulting in safer and more useful products, and it has the promise of allowing us to personalize our worlds as devices learn our preferences. The age of AI AI refers to t... » read more

Big Problems In A Little Data World


Lam Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Richard A. Gottscho, gave a keynote at the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS), the annual executive conference for the semiconductor industry. Titled “I’m Living in a Little Data World, but I Have a Big Problem,” Rick talked about the challenges faced by the “little data world” of process development and the potential for ... » read more

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