How To Improve DPPM By 10X Without Affecting Yield


Chips today are under immense pressure. With wider process variation manifested at wafer and die levels in single-digit nodes, highly complex designs, and effects of application and system integration, it’s no wonder the electronics value chain is becoming ever more reliant on expensive guard-bands. The ecosystem is not yet equipped to find all existing defects during test. So while quality e... » read more

Using Fab Sensors To Reduce Auto Defects


The semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem has begun collaborating on ways to effectively use wafer data to meet the stringent quality and reliability requirements for automotive ICs. Silicon manufacturing companies are now leveraging equipment and inspection monitors to proactively identify impactful defects prior to electrical test. Using machine learning techniques, they combine the monitor ... » read more

Using Machine Learning To Gain Data Insights


Today’s consumers have little appetite for networks that go down, for electronic devices that fail, and for any kind of digital service that doesn’t deliver as promised every time. Reliability is no longer a nice-to-have. It's  a key feature. The continued scaling of advanced electronics and chip manufacturing technologies, however, makes reliability harder to achieve — even as expectati... » read more

Challenges In IP Reuse


Jeff Markham, software architect at ClioSoft, explains why IP reuse is so important in advanced process node SoC chip designs, what companies need to keep track of when working with third-party IP, and how it needs to be characterized. » read more

Wanted: More Fab Tool Part Standards


As chipmakers ramp up the next wave of processes and grapple with how to reduce defect levels, they are encountering problems from an unlikely source—components inside of the fab equipment. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yields and device performance. Typically, they are caused by an unforeseen glitch during the process flow. But a lesser-known problem involves defe... » 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

Reliability Becomes The Top Concern In Automotive


Reliability is emerging as the top priority across the hottest growth markets for semiconductors, including automotive, industrial and cloud-based computing. But instead of replacing chips every two to four years, some of those devices are expected to survive for up to 20 years, even with higher usage in sometimes extreme environmental conditions. This shift in priorities has broad ramificat... » read more

Advanced Defect Inspection Techniques For nFET And pFET Defectivity At 7nm Gate Poly Removal Process


By Ian Tolle, GlobalFoundries, and Michael Daino, KLA-Tencor During 7nm gate poly removal process, polysilicon is removed exposing both NFET and PFET fins in preparation for high-k gate oxide. If the polysilicon etch is too aggressive or the source and drain are not sufficiently protected, the etch can damage the active region and render the FET inoperative. Different materials are used in t... » read more

3D NAND Flash Wars Begin


3D NAND suppliers are gearing up for a new battle amid a period of price and competitive pressures, racing each other to the next technology generations. Competition is intensifying as a new player enters the 3D NAND market—China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Backed by billions of dollars in funding from the Chinese government, YMTC recently introduced its first 3D NAND techn... » read more

More Sigmas In Auto Chips


The journey to autonomous cars is forcing fundamental changes in the way chips are designed, tested and tracked, from the overall system functionality to the IP that goes into those systems. This includes everything from new requirements for automotive-grade chips to longer mean time between failures. But it also makes it far more challenging, time-consuming and complicated to create these d... » read more

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