Yield And Reliability Challenges At 7nm And Below


Layout Design Rules have been scaled very aggressively to enable the 7nm technology node without EUV. As a result, achieving acceptable performance and yield in High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) has become an extremely challenging task. Systematic yield and parametric variabilities have become quite significant. Moreover, due to overlay tolerance requirements and diminishing process windows, reli... » 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

5/3nm Wars Begin


Several foundries are ramping up their new 5nm processes in the market, but now customers must decide whether to design their next chips around the current transistor type or move to a different one at 3nm and beyond. The decision involves the move to extend today’s finFETs to 3nm, or to implement a new technology called gate-all-around FETs (GAA FETs) at 3nm or 2nm. An evolutionary step f... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Challenges In Making And Testing STT-MRAM


Several chipmakers are ramping up a next-generation memory type called STT-MRAM, but there are still an assortment of manufacturing and test challenges for current and future devices. STT-MRAM, or spin-transfer torque MRAM, is attractive and gaining steam because it combines the attributes of several conventional memory types in a single device. In the works for years, STT-MRAM features the ... » read more

Connecting Wafer-Level Parasitic Extraction And Netlisting


The semiconductor technology simulation world is typically divided into device-level TCAD (technology CAD) and circuit-level compact modeling. Larger EDA companies provide high-level design simulation tools that perform LVS (layout vs. schematic), DRC (design rule checking), and many other software solutions that facilitate the entire design process at the most advanced technology nodes. In thi... » read more

Five DAC Keynotes


The ending of Moore's Law may be about to create a new golden age for design, especially one fueled by artificial intelligence and machine learning. But design will become task-, application- and domain-specific, and will require that we think about the lifecycle of the products in a different way. In the future, we also will have to design for augmentation of experience, not just automation... » read more

Dealing With Resistance In Chips


Chipmakers continue to scale the transistor at advanced nodes, but they are struggling to maintain the same pace with the other two critical parts of the device—the contacts and interconnects. That’s beginning to change, however. In fact, at 10nm/7nm, chipmakers are introducing new topologies and materials such as cobalt, which promises to boost the performance and reduce unwanted resist... » read more

CMOS-Embedded STT-MRAM Arrays In 2xnm Nodes For GP-MCU Applications


Perpendicular Spin-Transfer Torque (STT) MRAM is a promising technology in terms of read/write speed, low power consumption and non-volatility, but there has not been a demonstration of high density manufacturability at small geometries. In this paper we present an unprecedented demonstration of a robust STT-MRAM technology designed in a 2x nm CMOS- embedded 40 Mb array. Key features are full a... » read more

E-beam Inspection Makes Inroads


E-beam inspection is gaining traction in critical areas in fab production as it is becoming more difficult to find tiny defects with traditional methods at advanced nodes. Applied Materials, ASML/HMI and others are developing new e-beam inspection tools and/or techniques to solve some of the more difficult defect issues in the fab. [gettech id="31057" t_name="E-beam"] inspection is one of tw... » read more

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