EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

E-Beam Review And CD Measurement Revolutionizes Display Yield Management


Fundamental changes are occurring in the display industry, driven by demands for higher-resolution screens and other capabilities for both mobile and TV applications. To meet these demands, the display technology roadmap in this article calls for innovations in materials, processes and device technology. Critical requirements include smaller design rules and the adoption of a range of materi... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

In-Cell Overlay Metrology By Using Optical Metrology Tool


By Honggoo Lee, Sangjun Han, Minhyung Hong, Seungyong Kima, Jieun Lee, DongYoung Leea, Eungryong Oh, and Ahlin Choi of SK Hynix, and Hyowon Park, Waley Liang, DongSub Choi, Nakyoon Kim, Jeongpyo Lee, Stilian Pandev, Sanghuck Jeon, John C. Robinson of KLA-Tencor Abstract Overlay is one of the most critical process control steps of semiconductor manufacturing technology. A typical advanced s... » 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

Innovative Scalable Design-Based Care Area Methodology For Defect Monitoring In Production


By Ian Tolle, GlobalFoundries, and Ankit Jain, KLA-Tencor Abstract The use of design-based care areas on inspection tools [1, 2] to characterize defects has been well established in recent years. However, the implementation has generally been limited to specific engineering use cases, due to the complexity involved with care area creation and inspection recipe setup. Furthermore, creating, ... » read more

Improving Optical Overlay And Measurement


By Adam Ge and Shimon Levi Patterning challenges for the semiconductor industry are growing as the number of multi-patterned layers being used in the 10nm and beyond nodes increase. Patterning requires highly accurate overlay which has always been an issue, but with the added complexities of multi-patterning, smaller dimensions and subsequent tightening overlay error budget, it is now a majo... » read more

Patterning Problems Pile Up


Chipmakers are ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm now moving into early production. But at 10nm and beyond, chipmakers are running into a new set of problems. While shrinking feature sizes of a device down to 10nm, 7nm, 5nm and perhaps beyond is possible using current and future fab equipment, there doesn't seem to be a simple way to solve the edge placement error (EPE)... » read more

Fractilia: Pattern Roughness Metrology


A new startup has emerged and unveiled a technology that addresses one of the bigger but less understood problems in advanced lithography--pattern roughness. The startup, called Fractilia, is a software-based metrology tool that analyzes the CD-SEM images of pattern roughness on a wafer. Fractilia, a self-funded startup, is led by Chris Mack and Ed Charrier. Mack, known as the gentleman sc... » read more

Can We Measure Next-Gen FinFETs?


After ramping up their respective 16nm/14nm finFET processes, chipmakers are moving towards 10nm and/or 7nm, with 5nm in R&D. But as they move down the process roadmap, they will face a new set of fab challenges. In addition to lithography and interconnects, there is metrology. Metrology, the science of measurements, is used to characterize tiny films and structures. It helps to boost yi... » read more

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