Outlook For Masks, Materials and Wafers


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. But what about other key technologies like materials, photomasks and silicon wafers? These are also critical for the semiconductor supply chain and are key indicators where the market is heading. In the first half of 2019, m... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Inspection, Metrology Challenges Grow For SiC


Inspection and metrology are becoming more critical in the silicon carbide (SiC) industry amid a pressing need to find problematic defects in current and future SiC devices. Finding defects always has been a challenging task for SiC devices. But it’s becoming more imperative to find killer defects and reduce them as SiC device vendors begin to expand their production for the next wave of a... » read more

Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail Worsens At 7/5nm


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 7


DNA ROMs The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) are investing $12 million to develop a new class of memories and other technologies, such as DNA-based read-only memory (ROM), nucleic acid memory (NAM) and neural networks based on yeast cells. The effort is called the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies... » read more

More Lithography/Mask Challenges (Part 2)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask technologies with Gregory McIntyre, director of the Advanced Patterning Department at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"]; Harry Levinson, senior fellow and senior director of technology research at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; Regina Freed, managing director of patterning technology at [getentity id="... » read more

EUV’s New Problem Areas


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to production, but problematic variations—also known as stochastic effects—are resurfacing and creating more challenges for the long-overdue technology. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC hope to insert [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. But as before, EUV consists of several compo... » read more

Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation And Manufacturing Challenges


As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur i... » read more

ECO Fill Can Rescue Your SoC Tapeout Schedule


By Vikas Gupta and Bhavani Prasad Integrated circuit (IC) design and manufacturing is one of the most challenging engineering industries. As soon as a design engineer gets into “the groove” and feels comfortable taping out in a particular technology node, the next technology node shrink is already there to pose a new and greater set of challenges. While it almost goes without saying that... » read more

Politics And (Low) Power


This week the entire semiconductor market woke up with a severe political hangover. Aside from the initial shock of the election results themselves, the winning platform of "America First" could have far-reaching implications for an industry that has spent decades optimizing a global supply chain the way it has finely tuned other processes to reduce the cost per transistor. There are many un... » read more

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