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Innovative Dual Mark Design For Alignment Verification And Process Monitoring In Advanced Lithography


Improving on product overlay is one of the key challenges when shrinking technology nodes in semiconductor manufacturing. . . . With smart placement of alignment mark pairs in the X and Y direction, it is possible to determine intra-wafer distortion wafer-by-wafer. Both the measurement and modeled results are applied directly as a feed-forward correction to enable wafer level control. In this p... » read more

Lower Power Chips: What To Watch Out For


Low-power design in advanced nodes and advanced packaging is becoming a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary challenge, where a long list of issues need to be solved both individually and in the context of other issues. With each new leading-edge process node, and with increasingly dense packaging, the potential for problematic interactions is growing. That, in turn, can lead to poor yield, cos... » read more

Monitoring Performance From Inside A Chip


Deep data, which is generated inside the chip rather than externally, is becoming more critical at each new process node and in advanced packages. Uzi Baruch, chief strategy officer at proteanTecs, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about using that data to identify potential problems before they result in failures in the field, and why it's essential to monitor these devices throughout their... » read more

Novel Etch Technologies Utilizing Atomic Layer Process For Advanced Patterning


We demonstrated a high selective and anisotropic plasma etch of Si3N4 and SiC. The demonstrated process consists of a sequence of ion modification and chemical dry removal steps. The Si3N4 etch with H ion modification showed a high selectivity to SiO2 and SiC films. In addition, we have developed selective etch of SiC with N ion modification. On the other hand, in the patterning etch processes,... » read more

Lower Process Nodes Drive Timing Signoff Software Evolution


A dramatic rise in design complexity has led to a slew of new signoff challenges that impact the ability to predictably meet PPA targets. Smaller technology nodes and larger design sizes have caused the number of corners and modes to grow exponentially leading to much longer turnaround times for timing signoff. Moreover, larger design sizes demand huge compute resources for timing signoff. I... » read more

Lower Process Nodes Drive Timing Signoff Software Evolution


A dramatic rise in design complexity has led to a slew of new signoff challenges that impact the ability to predictably meet PPA targets. Smaller technology nodes and larger design sizes have caused the number of corners and modes to grow exponentially leading to much longer turnaround times for timing signoff. Moreover, larger design sizes demand huge compute resources for timing signoff. I... » read more

Low-Power Analog


Analog circuitry is usually a small part of a large SoC, but it does not scale in the same way as digital circuitry under Moore's Law. The power consumed by analog is becoming an increasing concern, especially for battery-operated devices. At the same time, little automation is available to help analog designers reduce consumption. "Newer consumer devices, like smartphones and wearables, alo... » read more

Accelerating Physical Verification Productivity for Advanced Node Designs with IC Validator


Applications such as deep-learning, autonomous driving vehicles, and mobility on 5G networks fuel the need for continuous advancements in IC integration. Growing design complexity, pressure on design cycle time, process advancements and increasing verification requirements are driving the need for faster, more efficient physical verification flows. The current state-of-the-art FinFET processes ... » read more

Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

Why Chips Die


Semiconductor devices contain hundreds of millions of transistors operating at extreme temperatures and in hostile environments, so it should come as no surprise that many of these devices fail to operate as expected or have a finite lifetime. Some devices never make it out of the lab and many others die in the fab. It is hoped that most devices released into products will survive until they be... » read more

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