Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing the... » 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

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

EUV Mask Blank Battle Brewing


Amid the ramp of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, suppliers of EUV mask blanks are expanding their production. And a new player—Applied Materials—is looking to enter the market. AGC and Hoya, the two main suppliers of EUV mask blanks, are adding capacity for these critical components that are used for EUV photomasks. A mask blank serves as the substrate for a photomas... » read more

Multi-Beam Mask Writing Finally Comes Of Age


Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss photomask and mask writing trends. IMS, a subsidiary of Intel, is a supplier of multi-beam e-beam systems for photomask production. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: For years, photomask makers have used single-beam e-beam tools to pattern or write the features on ... » read more

Machine Learning Moves Into Fab And Mask Shop


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chip and photomask manufacturing technologies with Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S; Jerry Chen, business and ecosystem development manager at Nvidia; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Mikael Wahlsten, director and product area manager at Mycronic. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » 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

EUV Pellicle, Uptime And Resist Issues Continue


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to realization, but several problems involving scanner uptime, photoresists and pellicles need to be resolved before this long-overdue technology is put into full production. Intel, Samsung and TSMC are hoping to insert EUV into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. While the remaining issues don’t necessarily pre-empt using EUV, they do affec... » read more

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