Electric Cars Gain Traction, But Challenges Remain


Battery-powered electric vehicles are expected to reach a milestone in terms of shipments in 2019, but the technology faces several significant hurdles to gain wider adoption in the market. Limited driving range, high costs, battery issues, and a spotty charging infrastructure are the main challenges for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). In addition, there are issues with various power semic... » 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

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

Moore’s Law Now Requires Advanced Packaging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

Finding The Source Of EUV Stochastic Effects


The next phase of EUV development has begun—making EUV more predictable and potentially more mainstream—and it's looking to be every bit as difficult and ambitious as other developments in advanced lithography. In the early days of EUV development, supporters of the technology argued that it was “still based on photons,” as opposed to alternatives like electron beam lithography. Whil... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

Making Chip Packaging Simpler


Packaging is emerging as one of the most critical elements in semiconductor design, but it's also proving difficult to master both technically and economically. The original role of packaging was simply to protect the chips inside, and there are still packages that do just that. But at advanced nodes, and with the integration of heterogeneous components built using different manufacturing pr... » read more

EUV Mask Readiness Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and photomask technologies with Emily Gallagher, principal member of the technical staff at Imec; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Chris Spence, vice president of advanced technology development at ASML; Banqiu Wu, senior director of process development at Applied Materials; and Aki Fujimura, chief ... » read more

The Good And Bad Of 2D Materials


Despite years of warnings about reaching the limits of silicon, particularly at leading-edge process nodes where electron mobility is limited, there still is no obvious replacement. Silicon’s decades-long dominance of the integrated circuit industry is only partly due to the material’s electronic properties. Germanium, gallium arsenide, and many other semiconductors offer superior mobili... » read more

Engineering Talent Shortage Now Top Risk Factor


Demand is increasing for engineers and related technical fields in the IC industry, but companies are struggling to find enough talent. The problem is even worse in hot new markets such as AI and 5G, where competition is fierce for experienced workers. The talent shortfall starts with college graduates and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)... » read more

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