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Strategies For Faster Yield Ramps On 5nm Chips


Leading chipmakers TSMC and Samsung are producing 5nm devices in high volume production and TSMC is forging ahead with plans for first 3nm silicon by year end. But to meet such aggressive targets, engineers must identify defects and ramp yield faster than before. Getting a handle on EUV stochastic defects — non-repeating patterning defects such as microbridges, broken lines, or missing con... » read more

Planning EDA’s Next Steps


Anirudh Devgan, Cadence's new CEO, and the recipient of the Phil Kaufman Award in December, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about what's next in EDA, the underlying technology and business challenges and changes, and new markets that are unfolding for floor-planning, verification, CFD, and advanced packaging. SE: Where does EDA need to improve? Devgan: We have made it much... » read more

Next-Gen Transistors


Nanosheets, or more generally, gate-all-around FETs, mark the next big shift in transistor structures at the most advanced nodes. David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about the advantages of using these new transistor types, along with myriad challenges at future nodes, particularly in the area of metrology. » read more

Transistors Reach Tipping Point At 3nm


The semiconductor industry is making its first major change in a new transistor type in more than a decade, moving toward a next-generation structure called gate-all-around (GAA) FETs. Although GAA transistors have yet to ship, many industry experts are wondering how long this technology will deliver — and what new architecture will take over from there. Barring major delays, today’s GAA... » read more

Photomask Challenges At 3nm And Beyond


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss optical and EUV photomasks issues, as well as the challenges facing the mask business, with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at DNP; Peter Buck, director of MPC & mask defect management at Siemens Digital Industries Software; Bryan Kasprowicz, senior director of technical strategy at Hoya; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What f... » read more

End In Sight For Chip Shortages?


The current wave of semiconductor and IC packaging shortages is expected to extend well into 2022, but there are also signs that supply may finally catch up with demand. The same is true for manufacturing capacity, materials and equipment in both the semiconductor and packaging sectors. Nonetheless, after a period of shortages in all segments, the current school of thought is that chip suppl... » read more

Fan-Out And Packaging Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss various IC packaging technologies, wafer-level and panel-level approaches, and the need for new materials with William Chen, a fellow at ASE; Michael Kelly, vice president of advanced packaging development and integration at Amkor; Richard Otte, president and CEO of Promex, the parent company of QP Technologies; Michael Liu, senior director of globa... » read more

Building Complex Chips That Last Longer


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about design challenges in advanced packages and nodes with John Lee, vice president and general manager for semiconductors at Ansys; Shankar Krishnamoorthy, general manager of Synopsys' Design Group; Simon Burke, distinguished engineer at Xilinx; and Andrew Kahng, professor of CSE and ECE at UC San Diego. This discussion was held at the Ansys IDEAS co... » read more

Wrestling With Analog At 3nm


Analog engineers are facing big challenges at 3nm, forcing them to come up with creative solutions to a widening set of issues at each new process node. Still, these problems must be addressed, because no digital chip will work without at least some analog circuitry. As fabrication technologies shrink, digital logic improves in some combination of power, performance, and area. The process te... » read more

New Memories Add New Faults


New non-volatile memories (NVM) bring new opportunities for changing how we use memory in systems-on-chip (SoCs), but they also add new challenges for making sure they will work as expected. These new memory types – primarily MRAM and ReRAM – rely on unique physical phenomena for storing data. That means that new test sequences and fault models may be needed before they can be released t... » read more

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