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EUV’s Uncertain Future


The ground appears to be solidifying under EUV. Intel announced this week it is reducing its stake in ASML to less than 3%, the second such move in a year. Apparently ASML no longer needs outside help. According to the company's earnings report, ASML turned in net sales of €2.776 billion, a slight increase over the €2.447 billion (GAAP) the company reported in Q3 and way up over the €... » read more

Can Graphene Be Mass Manufactured?


Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, the high mobility and unique transport properties of 2-dimensional semiconductors have tantalized physicists and materials scientists. Their in-plane carrier transport and lack of dangling bonds potentially can minimize line/edge scattering and other effects of extreme scaling. While 2-D materials cannot compete with silicon at current device dime... » read more

Why Test Costs Will Increase


The economics of test are under siege. Long seen as a necessary but rather mundane step in ensuring chip quality, or a way of testing circuitry from the inside while it is still in use, manufacturers and design teams have paid little attention to this part of the design-through-manufacturing flow. But problems have been building for some time in three separate areas, and they could have a b... » read more

Thermal Impact On Reliability At 7/5nm


Haroon Chaudhri, director of RedHawk Analysis Fusion at Synopsys, talks about why thermal analysis is shifting left in the design cycle and why this is so critical at the most advanced process nodes. https://youtu.be/wjkrEFLb2vY » read more

EUV Pellicle, Uptime And Resist Issues Continue


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to realization, but several problems involving scanner uptime, photoresists and pellicles need to be resolved before this long-overdue technology is put into full production. Intel, Samsung and TSMC are hoping to insert EUV into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. While the remaining issues don’t necessarily pre-empt using EUV, they do affec... » read more

Process Corner Explosion


The number of corners that need to be checked is exploding at 7nm and below, fueled by everything from temperature and voltage to changes in metal. Lowering risk and increasing predictability of an SoC at those nodes starts with understanding what will happen when a design is manufactured on a particular foundry process, captured in process corners. This is basically a way of modeling what i... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries said that it is putting its 7nm finFET program on hold indefinitely and has dropped plans to pursue technology nodes beyond 7nm. To be sure, it was a tough decision by GF to put 7nm on hold. But generally, analysts believe that GF made the right decision. “There’s only a handful of semiconductor companies that will require high-volume 7nm technology right when... » read more

Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem


Chip aging is a growing problem at advanced nodes, but so far most design teams have not had to deal with it. That will change significantly as new reliability requirements roll out across markets such as automotive, which require a complete analysis of factors that affect aging. Understanding the underlying physics is critical, because it can lead to unexpected results and vulnerabilities. ... » read more

Solving Systemic Complexity


EDA and IP companies have begun branching out in entirely new directions over the past 12 to 18 months, pouring resources into entirely different problems than electrostatic issues and routing complexity. While they're still focused on solving complexity at 10/7/5nm, they also recognize that enabling Moore's Law isn't the only opportunity. For an increasing number of new and established chip... » read more

Debug Issues Grow At New Nodes


Debugging and testing chips is becoming more time-consuming, more complicated, and significantly more difficult at advanced nodes as well as in advanced packages. The main problem is that there are so many puzzle pieces, and so many different use cases and demands on those pieces, that it's difficult to keep track of all the changes and potential interactions. Some blocks are "on" sometimes,... » read more

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