Predicting And Preventing Process Drift


Increasingly tight tolerances and rigorous demands for quality are forcing chipmakers and equipment manufacturers to ferret out minor process variances, which can create significant anomalies in device behavior and render a device non-functional. In the past, many of these variances were ignored. But for a growing number of applications, that's no longer possible. Even minor fluctuations in ... » read more

Electromigration Concerns Grow In Advanced Packages


The incessant demand for more speed in chips requires forcing more energy through ever-smaller devices, increasing current density and threatening long-term chip reliability. While this problem is well understood, it's becoming more difficult to contain in leading-edge designs. Of particular concern is electromigration, which is becoming more troublesome in advanced packages with multiple ch... » read more

What Works Best For Chiplets


The semiconductor industry is preparing for the migration from proprietary chiplet-based systems to a more open chiplet ecosystem, in which chiplets fabricated by different companies of various technologies and device nodes can be integrated in a single package with acceptable yield. To make this work as expected, the chip industry will have to solve a variety of well-documented technical an... » read more

Enabling Advanced Devices With Atomic Layer Processes


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) used to be considered too slow to be of practical use in semiconductor manufacturing, but it has emerged as a critical tool for both transistor and interconnect fabrication at the most advanced nodes. ALD can be speeded up somewhat, but the real shift is the rising value of precise composition and thickness control at the most advanced nodes, which makes the ext... » read more

Early STEM Education Key To Growing Future Chip Workforce


A key factor in building a domestic workforce for the chip industry is attracting kids to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects at a younger age. That way they are more likely to follow through and attain the skills and degrees needed to enter the semiconductor job market. Industry and government are partnering with schools and community organizations to address the chal... » read more

Powering CFETs From The Backside


The first CMOS circuits to incorporate backside power connections are likely to be based on stacked nanosheet transistors, but further down the road, planners envision complementary transistors (CFETs) that vertically integrate stacked NFET and PFET devices. With at least twice the thickness of a nanosheet transistor, connecting CFETs to each other and to the rest of the circuit is likely to... » read more

UCIe Goes Back To The Drawing Board


The integration of multiple dies within a single package increasingly is viewed as the next evolution for extending Moore’s Law, but it also presents myriad challenges — particularly in achieving a universally accepted standard integrating plug-and-play chiplets from different vendors. “In some respects, people are already doing this,” says Debendra Das Sharma, Intel senior fellow an... » read more

Building CFETs With Monolithic And Sequential 3D


Successive versions of vertical transistors are emerging as the likely successor to finFETs, combining lower leakage with significant area reduction. A stacked nanosheet transistor, introduced at N3, uses multiple channel layers to maintain the overall channel length and necessary drive current while continuing to reduce the standard cell footprint. The follow-on technology, the CFET, pushes... » read more

Tackling Variability With AI-based Process Control


Jon Herlocker, co-founder and CEO of Tignis, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how AI in advanced process control reduces equipment variability and corrects for process drift. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How is AI being used in semiconductor manufacturing and what will the impact be? Herlocker: AI is going to create a completely different factor... » read more

Chip Ecosystem Apprenticeships Help Close The Talent Gap


Competency-based apprenticeship programs are gaining wider acceptance across the chip industry as companies and governments look for new ways to address talent shortages, and as workers look for new skills that can span multiple industry sectors and industries. Funded in part by the CHIPS Act in the U.S. the European Chips Act, and various other nation-specific and regional programs, apprent... » read more

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