Upturn Seen In Semi Equipment Biz


Business continues to get better in the semiconductor equipment sector. VLSI Research, for one, has raised its forecast in the arena. But there is still some uncertainty amid mixed growth for semiconductors, trade wars and other factors. After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor equipment market expected an upturn in 2020. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Suddenly, a large percentage... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Making Chips At 3nm And Beyond


Select foundries are beginning to ramp up their new 5nm processes with 3nm in R&D. The big question is what comes after that. Work is well underway for the 2nm node and beyond, but there are numerous challenges as well as some uncertainty on the horizon. There already are signs that the foundries have pushed out their 3nm production schedules by a few months due to various technical issu... » read more

Inspecting, Patterning EUV Masks


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask trends with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Thomas Scheruebl, director of strategic business development and product strategy at Zeiss; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What fol... » read more

Intra-Field Stress Impact on Global Wafer Deformation


One of the contributors to layer-to-layer overlay in today’s chip manufacturing process is wafer distortion due to thin film deposition. Mismatch in the film specific material parameters (e.g., thermal expansion coefficients) may result in process-induced warpage of the wafers at room temperature. When these warped wafers are loaded onto the scanner for the next layer exposure, in-plane disto... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Advanced Process Control


David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, looks at shrinking tolerances at advanced processes, how that affects variation in semiconductor manufacturing, and what can be done to achieve the benefits of scaling without moving to new transistor architectures. » read more

Single Vs. Multi-Patterning EUV


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography finally is moving into production, but foundry customers now must decide whether to implement their designs using EUV-based single patterning at 7nm, or whether to wait and instead deploy EUV multiple patterning at 5nm. Each patterning scheme has unique challenges, making that decision more difficult than it might appear. Targeted for 7nm, single pattern... » read more

Unsticking Moore’s Law


Sanjay Natarajan, corporate vice president at Applied Materials with responsibility for transistor, interconnect and memory solutions, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about variation, Moore's Law, the impact of new materials such as cobalt, and different memory architectures and approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Reliability is becoming more of an... » 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

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