Improving EUV Process Efficiency


The semiconductor industry is rethinking the manufacturing flow for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in an effort to improve the overall process and reduce waste in the fab. Vendors currently are developing new and potentially breakthrough fab materials and equipment. Those technologies are still in R&D and have yet to be proven. But if they work as planned, they could boost the flo... » read more

Timing Closure At 7/5nm


Mansour Amirfathi, director of application engineering at Synopsys, examines how to determine if assumptions about design are correct, how many cycles are needed for a particular operation and why this is so complicated, and what happens if signals get out of phase. » read more

3nm: Blurring Lines Between SoCs, PCBs And Packages


Leading-edge chipmakers, foundries and EDA companies are pushing into 3nm and beyond, and they are encountering a long list of challenges that raise questions about whether the entire system needs to be shrunk onto a chip or into a package. For 7nm and 5nm, the problems are well understood. In fact, 5nm appears to be more of an evolution from 7nm than a major shift in direction. But at 3nm, ... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Rising


The chiplet model is gaining momentum as an alternative to developing monolithic ASIC designs, which are becoming more complex and expensive at each node. Several companies and industry groups are rallying around the chiplet model, including AMD, Intel and TSMC. In addition, there is a new U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiative. The goal is to speed up time to market and reduce the cost... » read more

2020 IC Outlook: Uncertainty


After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor and equipment industries looked promising at the start of 2020. In 2019, the downturn was primarily due to the memory markets, namely DRAM and NAND. Both DRAM and NAND saw lackluster demand and falling prices last year. At the start of 2020, though, the memory markets were beginning to recover. Unlike memory, the logic and foundry markets were s... » read more

Automotive Chip Design Workflow


Stewart Williams, senior technical marketing manager at Synopsys, talks about the consolidation of chips in a vehicle and the impact of 7/5nm on automotive SoC design, how to trade off power, performance, area and reliability, and how ISO 26262 impacts those variables. » read more

Where Timing And Voltage Intersect


João Geada, chief technologist at ANSYS, talks about the limitations for power delivery networks and what processors can handle, why the current solutions to these issues are causing failures, and how voltage reduction can affect timing. » read more

The MCU Dilemma


The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore's Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, re... » read more

Extreme Quality Semiconductor Manufacturing


By Ben Tsai and Cathy Perry Sullivan Across the full range of semiconductor device types and design nodes, there is a drive to produce chips with significantly higher quality. Automotive, IoT and other industrial applications require chips that achieve very high reliability over a long period of time, and some of these chips must maintain reliable performance while operating in an environmen... » read more

More Data, More Problems In Automotive


The race toward increasing levels of autonomy is being hampered by competitive concerns over sharing data across the automotive supply chain. Pushing past the initial ADAS levels into full autonomy is expected to take more than a decade, but the infrastructure for those systems, and making sure all assisted and autonomous vehicles work with other vehicles, is under development today. Still, ... » read more

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