Power Amp Wars Begin For 5G


Demand is increasing for power amplifier chips and other RF devices for 5G base stations, setting the stage for a showdown among different companies and technologies. The power amplifier device is a key component that boosts the RF power signals in base stations. It's based on two competitive technologies, silicon-based LDMOS or RF gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a III-V technology, outperforms ... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Challenges In Stacking, Shrinking And Inspecting Next-Gen Chips


Rick Gottscho, CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss memory and equipment scaling, new market demands, and changes in manufacturing being driven by cost, new technologies, and the application of machine learning. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: We have a lot of different memory technologies coming to market. What's the impact of that? ... » read more

Making Chips At 3nm And Beyond


Select foundries are beginning to ramp up their new 5nm processes with 3nm in R&D. The big question is what comes after that. Work is well underway for the 2nm node and beyond, but there are numerous challenges as well as some uncertainty on the horizon. There already are signs that the foundries have pushed out their 3nm production schedules by a few months due to various technical issu... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

Atomic Layer Etching: Rethinking the Art of Etch


Atomic layer etching (ALE) is the most advanced etching technique in production today. In this Perspective, we describe ALE in comparison to long-standing conventional etching techniques, relating it to the underlying principles behind the ancient art of etching. Once considered too slow, we show how leveraging plasma has made ALE a thousand times faster than earlier approaches. While Si is the... » read more

Cryogenic Etch Re-Emerges


After years in R&D, a technology called cryogenic etch is re-emerging as a possible option for production as the industry faces new challenges in memory and logic. Cryogenic etch removes materials in devices with high aspect ratios at cold temperatures, although it has always been a challenging process. Cryogenic etch is difficult to control and it requires specialized cryogenic gases in... » read more

Where Is Selective Deposition?


For years, the industry has been working on an advanced technology called area-selective deposition for chip production at 5nm and beyond. Area-selective deposition, an advanced self-aligned patterning technique, is still in R&D amid a slew of challenges with the technology. But the more advanced forms of technology are beginning to make some progress, possibly inching closer from the la... » read more

How Atomic Layer Deposition Works


Imagine being able to deposit a film of material just a few atomic layers at a time. As impossible as that sounds, atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a reality. In fact, it’s being used in an ever-increasing number of applications as an extremely precise and controllable process for creating thin films. Together with its etch counterpart – atomic layer etching (ALE) – ALD is enabling the us... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

← Older posts