Nodes Vs. Nodelets

Foundries are flooding the market with new nodes and different process options at existing nodes, spreading confusion and creating a variety of challenges for chipmakers. There are full-node processes, such as 10nm and 7nm, with 5nm and 3nm in R&D. But there also is an increasing number of half-nodes or "node-lets" being introduced, including 12nm, 11nm, 8nm, 6nm and 4nm. Node-lets ar... » read more

The Future Of FinFETs

The number of questions about finFETs is increasing—particularly, how long can they continue to be used before some version of gate-all-around FET is required to replace them. This discussion is confusing in many respects. For one thing, a 7nm finFET for TSMC or Samsung is not the same as a 7nm finFET for Intel or GlobalFoundries. There are a bunch of other nodes being proposed, as well, i... » read more

The Materials Gap

When consolidation thinned the ranks of semiconductor foundries and equipment makers, materials companies figured things were about to get better. They haven't. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, semiconductors are now so complex and difficult to develop that a slew of innovations are required on all sides. Everyone is familiar with transistor structures, interconnects and lithog... » read more

Node Warfare?

By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling GlobalFoundries uncorked a 12nm finFET process, which the company said will provide a 15% increase in density and more than 10% improvement in performance over the foundry's existing 14nm process. This is GlobalFoundries' second 12nm process. It announced a 12nm FD-SOI process called 12FDX last September, although it first mentioned a 12nm process back in J... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?

Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

Samsung Unveils Scaling, Packaging Roadmaps

Samsung Foundry unveiled an aggressive roadmap that scales down to 4nm, and which includes a fan-out wafer-level packaging technology that bridges chips in the redistribution layer, 18nm FD-SOI, and a new organizational structure that allows the unit much greater autonomy as a commercial enterprise. The moves put [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung Foundry"] in direct competition with [get... » read more