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Metrology Options Increase As Device Needs Shift


Semiconductor fabs are taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to solving tough metrology and yield management challenges, combining tools, processes, and other technologies as the chip industry transitions to nanosheet transistors on the front end and heterogenous integration on the back end. Optical and e-beam tools are being extended, while X-ray inspection is being added on a case-by-... » read more

High-NA EUV Complicates EUV Photomask Future


The eBeam Initiative’s 11th annual Luminaries survey in 2022 reported EUV fueling growth of the semiconductor photomask industry while a panel of experts cited a number of complications in moving to High-NA EUV during an event co-located with the SPIE Photomask Technology Conference in late September. Industry luminaries representing 44 companies from across the semiconductor ecosystem partic... » read more

Improving Yield With Machine Learning


Machine learning is becoming increasingly valuable in semiconductor manufacturing, where it is being used to improve yield and throughput. This is especially important in process control, where data sets are noisy. Neural networks can identify patterns that exceed human capability, or perform classification faster. Consequently, they are being deployed across a variety of manufacturing proce... » read more

Novel E-Beam Techniques For Inspection And Monitoring


In this paper, we report an advanced e-beam defect inspection tool (eProbe®250) and the Design-for-Inspection™ (DFI) system that has been built and deployed by PDF Solutions down to 4nm FinFET technology nodes. This tool has a very high throughput which allows for in-line inspection of nanometer-level defects in the most advanced technology nodes. We also present eProbe applications for... » read more

Finding, Predicting EUV Stochastic Defects


Several vendors are rolling out next-generation inspection systems and software that locates problematic defects in chips caused by processes in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Each defect detection technology involves various tradeoffs. But it’s imperative to use one or more of them in the fab. Ultimately, these so-called stochastic-induced defects caused by EUV can impact the perf... » read more

Speeding Up The R&D Metrology Process


Several chipmakers are making some major changes in the characterization/metrology lab, adding more fab-like processes in this group to help speed up chip development times. The characterization/metrology lab, which is generally under the radar, is a group that works with the R&D organization and the fab. The characterization lab is involved in the early analytical work for next-generati... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Here comes the battle between 5nm and 6nm processes at two foundry vendors—Samsung and TSMC. Meanwhile, Intel is behind and scrambling to get 10nm out the door. (Intel's 10nm is equivalent to 7nm from the foundries.) Last week, TSMC announced delivery of a complete version of its 5nm design infrastructure. TSMC’s 5nm technology is based on a finFET. This week, Samsung anno... » read more

EUV Mask Readiness Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and photomask technologies with Emily Gallagher, principal member of the technical staff at Imec; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Chris Spence, vice president of advanced technology development at ASML; Banqiu Wu, senior director of process development at Applied Materials; and Aki Fujimura, chief ... » read more

E-Beam Review And CD Measurement Revolutionizes Display Yield Management


Fundamental changes are occurring in the display industry, driven by demands for higher-resolution screens and other capabilities for both mobile and TV applications. To meet these demands, the display technology roadmap in this article calls for innovations in materials, processes and device technology. Critical requirements include smaller design rules and the adoption of a range of materi... » read more

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