Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries and the Chengdu municipality have signed an amendment and changed the strategy of their joint fab investment in Chengdu, China. Originally, GlobalFoundries was supposed to install 180nm/130nm processes in the China-based 300mm fab. The partners have decided to bypass that technology. Intead, the fab will start with GlobalFoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI process. “Ch... » read more

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

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

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

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