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

Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

Inside Chip R&D


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss R&D challenges, EUV and other topics with Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Clearly, Moore’s Law is slowing down. The traditional process cadence is extending from 2 years to roughly 2.5 to 3 years. Yet, R&D is not slowing down, right? ... » read more

New BEOL/MOL Breakthroughs?


Chipmakers are moving ahead with transistor scaling at advanced nodes, but it's becoming more difficult. The industry is struggling to maintain the same timeline for contacts and interconnects, which represent a larger portion of the cost and unwanted resistance in chips at the most advanced nodes. A leading-edge chip consists of three parts—the transistor, contacts and interconnects. The ... » read more

2.5D, ASICs Extend to 7nm


The leading-edge foundry market is heating up. For example, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC have recently announced their new and respective processes. The new processes from vendors range anywhere from 10nm to 4nm, although the current battle is taking place at 10nm and/or 7nm. In fact, one vendor, GlobalFoundries, this week will describe more details about its previously-announced... » read more

System Bits: June 6


Silicon nanosheet-based builds 5nm transistor To enable the manufacturing of 5nm chips, IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung, and equipment suppliers have developed what they say is an industry-first process to build 5nm silicon nanosheet transistors. This development comes less than two years since developing a 7nm test node chip with 20 billion transistors. Now, they’ve paved the way for 30 billi... » 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

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

High-Stakes Litho Game


The commercial introduction of EUV looks all but assured these days. There is enough history to show it works. Uptime and throughput are improving, and systems are shipping today. The question now is how to measure its success. In the short-term, this is a fairly simple financial exercise for companies like ASML and Zeiss, which have been closely collaborating to get these massive systems ou... » read more

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