Scaling Sideways


The next steps in semiconductor technology don't follow the same vectors. While 3nm chips are likely to roll out at some point in the future, it's not clear what the business case will be for developing them. What's clear is the number of companies developing chips at that node will shrink to a handful (or less), because they're going to be far too expensive to design, verify and manufacture... » read more

Practical Methods To Overcome The Challenges Of 3D Logic Design


What should you do If you don’t have enough room on your floor to store all your old boxes? Luckily, we live in a 3D world, and you can start stacking them on top of each other. The Challenge: How can we shrink logic devices? Logic designers are currently facing even bigger challenges than you might be having in tidying up your storage area. Not only are logic cells highly packed together... » read more

Advanced Packaging Confusion


Advanced packaging is exploding in all directions. There are more chipmakers utilizing different packaging options, more options for the packages themselves, and a confusing array of descriptions and names being used for all of these. Several years ago, there were basically two options on the table, 3D-ICs and 2.5D. But as chipmakers began understanding the difficulty, cost and reduced benef... » read more

Choosing The Right Interconnect


Efforts to zero in on cheaper advanced packaging approaches that can speed time to market are being sidetracked by a dizzying number of choices. At the center of this frenzy of activity is the [getkc id="36" kc_name="interconnect"]. Current options range from organic, silicon and glass interposers, to bridges that span different die at multiple levels. There also are various fan-out approach... » read more

AI: The Next Big Thing


The next big thing isn't actually a thing. It's a set of finely tuned statistical models. But developing, optimizing and utilizing those models, which collectively fit under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, will require some of the most advanced semiconductors ever developed. The demand for artificial intelligence is almost ubiquitous. As with all "next big things," it is a horizonta... » read more

The Next 5 Years Of Chip Technology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the future of scaling, the impact of variation, and the introduction of new materials and technologies, with Rick Gottscho, CTO of Lam Research; Mark Dougherty, vice president of advanced module engineering at GlobalFoundries; David Shortt, technical fellow at KLA-Tencor; Gary Zhang, vice president of computational litho products at ASML; and Shay... » read more

Exponentials At The Edge


The age of portable communication has set off a scramble for devices that can achieve almost anything a desktop computer could handle even five years ago. But this is just the beginning. The big breakthrough with mobile devices was the ability to combine voice calls, text and eventually e-mail, providing the rudiments of a mobile office-all on a single charge of a battery that was light enou... » read more

New Issues In Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging is gaining in popularity as the cost and complexity of integrating everything onto a planar SoC becomes more difficult and costly at each new node, but ensuring that these packaged die function properly and yield sufficiently isn't so simple. There are a number of factors that are tilting more of the the semiconductor industry toward advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packag... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

New Thermal Issues Emerge


Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

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