EUV Mask Blank Battle Brewing


Amid the ramp of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, suppliers of EUV mask blanks are expanding their production. And a new player—Applied Materials—is looking to enter the market. AGC and Hoya, the two main suppliers of EUV mask blanks, are adding capacity for these critical components that are used for EUV photomasks. A mask blank serves as the substrate for a photomas... » read more

Machine Learning Moves Into Fab And Mask Shop


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chip and photomask manufacturing technologies with Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S; Jerry Chen, business and ecosystem development manager at Nvidia; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Mikael Wahlsten, director and product area manager at Mycronic. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 24


Arm's Shidhartha Das digs into Power Delivery Networks with a look at how the specific roles of different components work to provide smooth supply conditions. In a video, VLSI Research's Dan Hutcheson chats with D2S CEO Aki Fujimura about the state of the photomask market, EUV optimism, and the most interesting findings from this year's eBeam Initiative survey. Synopsys' Prasad Subudhi K.... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Amid ongoing delays with its 10nm process, Intel has reorganized its manufacturing unit, according to a report from The Oregonian/OregonLive. Sohail Ahmed, who has jointly led the unit since 2016, will retire next month, according to the report. The industry is racing to put extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production. TSMC recently taped-out its first 7nm chip using E... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » read more

Machine Learning Invades IC Production


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chip and photomask manufacturing technologies with Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S; Jerry Chen, business and ecosystem development manager at Nvidia; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Mikael Wahlsten, director and product area manager at Mycronic. What follows are excerpt... » read more

EUV Pellicle, Uptime And Resist Issues Continue


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to realization, but several problems involving scanner uptime, photoresists and pellicles need to be resolved before this long-overdue technology is put into full production. Intel, Samsung and TSMC are hoping to insert EUV into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. While the remaining issues don’t necessarily pre-empt using EUV, they do affec... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Tariffs The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to tariffs. These actions are on top of another set of tariffs, which were put in place. The additional tariffs will be effective starting Sept. 24, and initially will be in the amount of 10%. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the level of the additional tariffs wi... » 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

Survey: EUV Optimism Grows


The confidence level remains high for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, although the timing of the insertion remains a moving target, according to a new survey released by the eBeam Initiative. At the same time, the outlook for the overall photomask industry is bullish, according to the survey. On the downside, however, there appears to be no progress in terms of improving mask turnaro... » read more

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