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What’s Next For Transistors And Chiplets


Sri Samavedam, senior vice president of CMOS Technologies at Imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about finFET scaling, gate-all-around transistors, interconnects, packaging, chiplets and 3D SoCs. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: The semiconductor technology roadmap is moving in several different directions. We have traditional logic scaling, but packaging i... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Reducing Rework In CMP: An Enhanced Machine Learning-Based Hybrid Metrology Approach


By Vamsi Velidandla, John Hauck, Zhuo Chen, Joshua Frederick, and Zhihui Jiao The semiconductor industry is constantly marching toward thinner films and complex geometries with smaller dimensions, as well as newer materials. The number of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) steps has increased and, with it, a greater need for within-wafer uniformity and wafer-to-wafer control of the thin... » read more

Bumps Vs. Hybrid Bonding For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging continues to gain steam, but now customers must decide whether to design their next high-end packages using existing interconnect schemes or move to a next-generation, higher-density technology called copper hybrid bonding. The decision is far from simple, and in some cases both technologies may be used. Each technology adds new capabilities in next-generation advanced pac... » read more

Characterization Of CMP Processes With White Light Interferometry


Faster computer and electronic processors require smaller features for integrated circuits (IC), which in turn require smaller and smoother substrate surfaces. Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) has become one of the most critical semiconductor fabrication technologies because it offers a superior means of removing unwanted topography in interlevel dielectric layers and achieving sufficient pl... » read more

Robust Growth And Strong Outlook For Semiconductor Materials


2020 was a year that made a mark in the history of mankind as well as the semiconductor industry. It was a year of business and personal disruptions caused by COVID-19, supply chain interruptions, and exceptional agility of industries coping with the new normal imposed by the pandemic. Nevertheless, it was a year of extraordinary growth for the semiconductor industry, including semiconductor ma... » read more

Breaking The 2nm Barrier


Chipmakers continue to make advancements with transistor technologies at the latest process nodes, but the interconnects within these structures are struggling to keep pace. The chip industry is working on several technologies to solve the interconnect bottleneck, but many of those solutions are still in R&D and may not appear for some time — possibly not until 2nm, which is expected t... » read more

The Darker Side Of Hybrid Bonding


With semiconductors, it's often things everyone takes for granted that cause the biggest headaches, and that problem is compounded when something fundamental changes — such as bonding two chips together using a process aimed at maximizing performance. Case in point: CMP for backend of the line metallization in hybrid bonding. While this is a mature process, it doesn't easily translate for ... » read more

The Race To Much More Advanced Packaging


Momentum is building for copper hybrid bonding, a technology that could pave the way toward next-generation 2.5D and 3D packages. Foundries, equipment vendors, R&D organizations and others are developing copper hybrid bonding, which is a process that stacks and bonds dies using copper-to-copper interconnects in advanced packages. Still in R&D, hybrid bonding for packaging provides mo... » read more

The Chemistry Of Semiconductors


At each new process node, the chemistry of chip manufacturing has become much more complex than at previous nodes. But at 5nm and below, it's going to get orders of magnitude more complex. For the first few decades, the chemistry of chips was largely shielded from view for most of the industry. Caustic gases were relatively well understood because they are a potential health hazard, but the ... » read more

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