Designing In 4D


The chip design world is no longer flat or static, and increasingly it's no longer standardized. Until 16/14nm, most design engineers viewed the world in two dimensions. Circuits were laid out along x and y axes, and everything was packed in between those two borders. The biggest problems were that nothing printed as neatly as the blueprint suggested, and current leaked out of two-dimension... » read more

Scaling Up And Down


You don’t have to look very far in the semiconductor world before you see the word “scaling.” Perhaps you read an industry news article headline about transistor scaling – how those nearly nanoscale components are shrinking even smaller in size down to the atomic scale. Or maybe you heard a reference to memory capacity scaling – how our favorite mobile devices can store more high-reso... » read more

Advanced Patterning Techniques For 3D NAND Devices


By Yu De Chen and Jacky Huang Driven by Moore’s law, memory and logic semiconductor manufacturers pursue higher transistor density to improve product cost and performance [1]. In NAND Flash technologies, this has led to the market dominance of 3D structures instead of 2D planar devices. Device density can be linearly increased by increasing stack layer counts in a 3D NAND device [2]. At th... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out two new tools for use in the production of 3D NAND. The first tool, called the VECTOR DT, is geared for backside deposition. The second system, the EOS GS, is a wet etch tool for film removal on backside and bevel. Designed to control the wafer bow in 3D NAND manufacturing, the VECTOR DT system is the latest addition to Lam’s plasma-enhanced chemical ... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Node Within A Node


Enough margin exists in manufacturing processes to carve out the equivalent of a full node of scaling, but shrinking that margin will require a collective push across the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. Margin is built into manufacturing at various stages to ensure that chips are manufacturable and yield sufficiently. It can include everything from variation in how lines are... » read more

Challenges And Solutions For Silicon Wafer Bevel Defects During 3D NAND Flash Manufacturing


As semiconductor technology scales down in size, process integration complexity and defects are increasing in 3D NAND flash, partially due to larger stack deposits and thickness variability between the wafer center and the wafer edge. Industry participants are working to reduce defect density at the wafer edge to improve overall wafer yield. Attention has focused on common wafer bevel defects s... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

ALD Tungsten Solves Capacity Challenges in 3D NAND Device Manufacturing


Our increasingly connected and ever “smarter” world generates increasing amounts of data, putting pressure on manufacturers who face new technical challenges in delivering the increasing capacity required for processing and storage. The ALD Tungsten process is helping 3D NAND manufacturers overcome the technical challenges of producing memory chips with higher storage capacity. 3D NAND a... » read more

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