Design Compliant Source Mask Optimization (SMO)


Source Mask Optimization (SMO) is required to extend the use of 193 water immersion lithography to the 22nm technology node. Although SMO is being aggressively pushed in volume production the layout design implications of this technology have not been openly discussed. In this paper, the impact of layout design style on simultaneous SMO of Logic and SRAM is studied. In particular the improvemen... » read more

Survey: EUV Optimism Grows


The confidence level remains high for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, although the timing of the insertion remains a moving target, according to a new survey released by the eBeam Initiative. At the same time, the outlook for the overall photomask industry is bullish, according to the survey. On the downside, however, there appears to be no progress in terms of improving mask turnaro... » read more

Fabs Meet Machine Learning


Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss Moore’s Law and photomask technology. Fujimura also explained how artificial intelligence and machine learning are impacting the IC industry. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: For some time, you’ve said we need more compute power. So we need faster chips at advanced nodes, but cost... » read more

What Else Is In A Node?


In part one of this blog, I reported on the 2018 Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) where Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research led a panel with representatives of Synopsys, NVIDIA, Intel, ASML and Applied Materials. The participants discussed how the industry is focused on simultaneously squeezing more capabilities from leading-nodes, inter-nodes and trailing-nodes to drive advances in computing. I to... » read more

What’s In A Node?


In an environment where process nodes are no longer consistently delivering the level of improvements predicted by Moore’s Law, the industry will continue to develop “inter-nodes” as a way to deliver incremental improvements in lieu of “full-nodes.” A shift in market requirements, in part due to the rise of AI and IoT, is increasing emphasis on trailing-nodes. When it comes to leading... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

What’s Missing In EUV?


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is expected to move into production at 7nm and/or 5nm, but as previously reported, there are some gaps in the arena. At one time, the power source was the big problem, but that appears to be solved in the near term. Now, a phenomenon called stochastic effects, or random variations, are the biggest challenge for EUV lithography. But at most events, th... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Trade The trade tensions are building between the U.S. and China. In the latest move, the U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed a ban on U.S. companies selling chips to ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment and mobile phone vendor. The ban has been implemented on ZTE for seven years after the firm “was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran,” according to a report from Reuters. This ... » read more

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