MEMS Market Shifting


The MEMS sector is beginning to look more promising, bolstered by new end-market demand and different packaging options that require more advanced engineering, processes and new materials. All of this points to higher selling prices, which are long overdue in this space. For years, the market for microelectromechanical systems was populated by too many companies vying for too few opportunit... » read more

Reducing BEOL Parasitic Capacitance Using Air Gaps


Reducing back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect parasitic capacitance remains a focus for advanced technology node development. Porous low-k dielectric materials have been used to achieve reduced capacitance, however, these materials remain fragile and prone to reliability concerns. More recently, air gap has been successfully incorporated into 14nm technology [1], and numerous schemes have b... » read more

Using Advanced Statistical Analysis To Improve FinFET Transistor Performance


Trial and error wafer fabrication is commonly used to study the effect of process changes in the development of FinFET and other advanced semiconductor technologies. Due to the interaction of upstream unit process parameters (such as deposition conformality, etch anisotropy, selectivity) during actual fabrication, variations based upon process changes can be highly complex. Process simulators t... » read more

What Happened To ReRAM?


Resistive RAM (ReRAM), one of a handful of next-generation memories under development, is finally gaining traction after years of setbacks. Fujitsu and Panasonic are jointly ramping up a second-generation ReRAM device. In addition, Crossbar is sampling a 40nm ReRAM technology, which is being made on a foundry basis by China’s SMIC. And not to be outdone, TSMC and UMC recently put ReRAM on ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries. Lam Research held an analyst event at the recent Flash Memory Summit. The topics included 3D NAND and other technologies. In a blog, here’s what executives from Lam said at the event. Analysts from RBC Cap... » read more

Lam Research Acquires Coventor


In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries. With the acquisition of Coventor, fab tool vendor Lam enters the simulation and modeling technology market. Coventor sells the so-called SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform, which simulates a fab process flow. The “... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » 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

Blog Review: Aug. 16


Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out how Imec sees the future of transistors and the challenges of 3D logic. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi gets a lesson on the electronic systems powering modern cars, and considers when it's ethical to hack one. Mentor's Colin Walls takes a look at how to pass data between RTOS tasks. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff looks at recent semi market predictions, from expand... » read more

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