What’s The Outlook for Memory?


What a difference a year makes in the memory business. At this time last year, the industry was in the midst of a boom cycle for both NAND and DRAM. More specifically, there was huge demand for 3D NAND. Then, starting in the first quarter of 2018, the NAND market began to decline and it continues to fall. And now, the DRAM market is also falling off the cliff. So, it’s time to take a q... » read more

3D NAND: Challenges Beyond 96-Layer Memory Arrays


Unlike scaling practices in 2D NAND technology, the direct way to reduce bit costs and increase chip density in 3D NAND is by adding layers. In 2013, Samsung shipped the first V-NAND product using 24 layers and MLC [1]. Five years later, in 2018, vendors of 3D-NAND have all announced production plans for 96-Layer NAND using TLC [2]. According to recent news reports, vendors are already working ... » read more

Digging Deep Into High Aspect Ratio Process Control For Memory Technology


By Mark Shirey and Janay Camp Data is an integral part of our lives. Contrary to the past, where files had to be removed periodically to free up storage space, we now assume that our data will never be deleted. Why risk deleting the wrong file? Just keep them! This new approach consumes a lot of memory, and intensifies the demand for storage. Two of the main workhorses of the memory segment ... » read more

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

3D NAND Flash Wars Begin


3D NAND suppliers are gearing up for a new battle amid a period of price and competitive pressures, racing each other to the next technology generations. Competition is intensifying as a new player enters the 3D NAND market—China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Backed by billions of dollars in funding from the Chinese government, YMTC recently introduced its first 3D NAND techn... » read more

Modeling Semiconductor Process Variation


3D semiconductors, 3D NAND Flash, FinFETS and other advanced devices are bringing tremendous opportunities to the semiconductor industry. Unfortunately, these devices are also bringing new design, process and production problems. Process variability has been a major contributor to production delays as feature sizes have decreased and process complexity has increased. Virtual fabrication is a co... » read more

More Lithography/Mask Challenges (Part 2)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask technologies with Gregory McIntyre, director of the Advanced Patterning Department at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"]; Harry Levinson, senior fellow and senior director of technology research at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; Regina Freed, managing director of patterning technology at [getentity id="... » read more

What Happened To Nanoimprint Litho?


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is re-emerging amid an explosion of new applications in the market. Canon, EV Group, Nanonex, Suss and others continue to develop and ship NIL systems for a range of markets. NIL is different than conventional lithography and resembles a stamping process. Initially, a lithographic system forms a pattern on a template based on a pre-defined design. Then, a separa... » read more

Will China Succeed In Memory?


China's fledging memory makers are expected to reach a major milestone and move into initial production this year, although vendors are already running into various roadblocks. China's domestic vendors are focusing on two markets, 3D NAND and DRAM. In both cases local vendors are either behind in technology, struggling to develop these products, or both. And one vendor recently was hit with ... » read more

What’s Next in 3D NAND?


In 2018, the industry needs to keep a close eye on 3D NAND as the vendor base is in the midst of some major changes. The changes involve several partnerships, including the Toshiba/Western Digital and Intel/Micron duos. It also impacts the other 3D NAND players, namely Samsung and SK Hynix. But first, demand for NAND flash memory remains robust due to the onslaught of data in systems. ... » read more

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