The Next Advanced Packages


Packaging houses are readying their next-generation advanced IC packages, paving the way toward new and innovative system-level chip designs. These packages include new versions of 2.5D/3D technologies, chiplets, fan-out and even wafer-scale packaging. A given package type may include several variations. For example, vendors are developing new fan-out packages using wafers and panels. One is... » read more

EUV’s Uncertain Future At 3nm And Below


Several foundries have moved extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production at both 7nm and 5nm, but now the industry is preparing for the next phase of the technology at 3nm and beyond. In R&D, the industry is developing new EUV scanners, masks and resists for the next nodes. 3nm is slated for 2022, followed by 2nm a year or two later. Nonetheless, it will require massive funding... » read more

Super Planarizing Material For Trench And Via Arrays


As device design scales and becomes more complex, fine control of patterning and transfer steps is integral. Planarization of deep trenches and via arrays has always been a challenge. Aspect ratios continue to increase while critical dimensions shrink, and typical trench fill schemes are no longer able to meet the fill and planarization requirements. Traditional design of spin-on carbon (SOC) m... » read more

Metrology Challenges For Gate-All-Around


Metrology is proving to be a major challenge for those foundries working on processes for gate-all-around FETs at 3nm and beyond. Metrology is the art of measuring and characterizing structures in devices. Measuring and characterizing structures in devices has become more difficult and expensive at each new node, and the introduction of new types of transistors is making this even harder. Ev... » 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

Big Changes In Tiny Interconnects


One of the fundamental components of a semiconductor, the interconnect, is undergoing radical changes as chips scale below 7nm. Some of the most pronounced shifts are occurring at the lowest metal layers. As more and smaller transistors are packed onto a die, and as more data is processed and moved both on and off a chip or across a package, the materials used to make those interconnects, th... » read more

Improving EUV Process Efficiency


The semiconductor industry is rethinking the manufacturing flow for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in an effort to improve the overall process and reduce waste in the fab. Vendors currently are developing new and potentially breakthrough fab materials and equipment. Those technologies are still in R&D and have yet to be proven. But if they work as planned, they could boost the flo... » read more

Thin Film Characterization For Advanced Patterning


Authors: Zhimin Zhu; Xianggui Ye; Sean Simmons; Catherine Frank; Tim Limmer; James Lamb Brewer Science, Inc. (United States) A variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometer (VASE) is an essential tool for measuring the thickness of a thin film, as well as its n and k optical parameters. However, for films thinner than 10 nm, precise measurement is very challenging. In this paper, the root cause... » read more

Challenges In Printed And Disposable Chips


Printing inexpensive chips using technology developed for newspapers and magazines is gaining traction across a wide range of applications, from photovoltaic cells to sensors on a flexible substrate. But it's also adding a slew of new challenges that are unique to this approach. The world of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) — printing integrated circuits on or attaching thin IC chips to a... » read more

Demand Picks Up For 200mm


Demand is growing for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, setting the stage for possible shortages in coming months. But there are also some uncertainties, if not warning signs, in the 200mm market and the entire IC industry. Trade disputes, as well as the current coronavirus outbreak in China, likely will impact the chip and equipment markets. The size of the impact and the duration rema... » read more

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