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Improving Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)


Research paper "Enhancing sensitivity in atomic force microscopy for planar tip-on-chip probes" from Eindhoven University of Technology, Lorraine University and DRF/IRAMIS/SPEC-LEPO, Centre CEA de Saclay. Abstract "We present a new approach to tuning-fork-based atomic force microscopy for utilizing advanced “tip-on-chip” probes with high sensitivity and broad compatibility. Usually, s... » read more

Strategies For Faster Yield Ramps On 5nm Chips


Leading chipmakers TSMC and Samsung are producing 5nm devices in high volume production and TSMC is forging ahead with plans for first 3nm silicon by year end. But to meet such aggressive targets, engineers must identify defects and ramp yield faster than before. Getting a handle on EUV stochastic defects — non-repeating patterning defects such as microbridges, broken lines, or missing con... » read more

Gaps In The AI Debug Process


When an AI algorithm is deployed in the field and gives an unexpected result, it's often not clear whether that result is correct. So what happened? Was it wrong? And if so, what caused the error? These are often not simple questions to answer. Moreover, as with all verification problems, the only way to get to the root cause is to break the problem down into manageable pieces. The semico... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 11


IC security using AFMs The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a probe assisted doping technique (PAD), a technology that could help prevent counterfeit chips and electronic devices from entering the market. PAD involves creating a unique ID tag on every chip using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Basically, an AFM system incorporates a cantilever with a tin... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Finding, Predicting EUV Stochastic Defects


Several vendors are rolling out next-generation inspection systems and software that locates problematic defects in chips caused by processes in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Each defect detection technology involves various tradeoffs. But it’s imperative to use one or more of them in the fab. Ultimately, these so-called stochastic-induced defects caused by EUV can impact the perf... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 2


Next-gen AFM At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Imec, Infinitesima and others described a new metrology tool technology called a Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM). Infinitesima has shipped its first RPM 3D system, enabling three-dimensional (3D) metrology applications for leading-edge chips. The system was jointly developed with Imec. In the IEDM paper, Imec and Infinitesima... » read more

The Race To Much More Advanced Packaging


Momentum is building for copper hybrid bonding, a technology that could pave the way toward next-generation 2.5D and 3D packages. Foundries, equipment vendors, R&D organizations and others are developing copper hybrid bonding, which is a process that stacks and bonds dies using copper-to-copper interconnects in advanced packages. Still in R&D, hybrid bonding for packaging provides mo... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 30


Scanning nanopore microscopes ETH Zurich has developed a new microscopy technique that can detect and analyze signals between individual cells in living organisms. The technology, called a force-controlled scanning nanopore microscope, is a new way to look at the behavior of individual cells. So far, researchers have tested the technology on rat brain tissue. It could one day be used to pro... » read more

3D NAND Metrology Challenges Growing


3D NAND vendors face several challenges to scale their devices to the next level, but one manufacturing technology stands out as much more difficult at each turn—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems and ensure yields for all chip types. In the case of 3D NAND, the metrology tools are becoming more expensive at each iteration... » read more

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