Cryogenic Etch Re-Emerges


After years in R&D, a technology called cryogenic etch is re-emerging as a possible option for production as the industry faces new challenges in memory and logic. Cryogenic etch removes materials in devices with high aspect ratios at cold temperatures, although it has always been a challenging process. Cryogenic etch is difficult to control and it requires specialized cryogenic gases in... » read more

Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

SiC Chip Demand Surges


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

Auto Chip Design, Test Changes Ahead


The automotive industry’s unceasing demand for performance, coupled with larger and more complex processors, are driving broad changes in how electronics are designed, verified and tested. What's changing is that these systems, which include AI-oriented logic developed at the most advanced process nodes, need to last several times longer than traditional IT and consumer devices, and they n... » read more

Survey: EUV Optimism Grows


The confidence level remains high for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, although the timing of the insertion remains a moving target, according to a new survey released by the eBeam Initiative. At the same time, the outlook for the overall photomask industry is bullish, according to the survey. On the downside, however, there appears to be no progress in terms of improving mask turnaro... » read more

Aging In Advanced Nodes


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss design reliability and circuit aging with João Geada, chief technologist for the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS; Hany Elhak, product management director, simulation and characterization in the custom IC and PCB group at Cadence; Christoph Sohrmann, advanced physical verification at Fraunhofer EAS; Magdy Abadir, vice president of marketing at ... » read more

Enabling Cheaper Design


While the EDA industry tends to focus on cutting edge designs, where design costs are a minor portion of the total cost of product, the electronics industry has a very long tail. The further along the tail you go, the more significant design costs become as a percent of total cost. Many of those designs are traditionally built using standard parts, such as microcontrollers, but as additional... » read more

Process Corner Explosion


The number of corners that need to be checked is exploding at 7nm and below, fueled by everything from temperature and voltage to changes in metal. Lowering risk and increasing predictability of an SoC at those nodes starts with understanding what will happen when a design is manufactured on a particular foundry process, captured in process corners. This is basically a way of modeling what i... » read more

Minimizing Chip Aging Effects


Aging kills semiconductors, and it is a growing problem for an increasing number of semiconductor applications—especially as they migrate to more advanced nodes. Additional analysis and prevention methods are becoming necessary for safety critical applications. While some aspects of aging can be mitigated up front, others are tied to the operation of the device. What can an engineering tea... » read more

Intel’s Next Move


Gadi Singer, vice president and general manager of Intel's Artificial Intelligence Products Group, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about Intel's vision for deep learning and why the company is looking well beyond the x86 architecture and one-chip solutions. SE: What's changing on the processor side? Singer: The biggest change is the addition of deep learning and neural ne... » read more

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