Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 17


Full-chip inverse lithography D2S has developed new hardware and software that enables a long-awaited technology--full-chip masks using inverse lithography technology (ILT). For years, ILT has been a promising technology. ILT is a next-generation reticle enhancement technique (RET) that enables an optimal photomask pattern for both optical and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography reticles.... » read more

New Imaging Tech Finds Buried Defects


By Shinsuke Mizuno and Vadim Kuchik Defects and contamination on the wafer can slow process development times and limit performance and yield. As chips get more complex, more defects can become buried within the increasing number of layers in the design. Finding and analyzing these buried defects is a major challenge for the industry, especially during the early learning cycles of new manufa... » read more

Masks, Models And Alternative Lithography


Every February an outstanding group of eBeam luminaries gathers at events hosted by the eBeam Initiative during the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference. It was our 10th annual lunch with standing room only attendance again this year. It’s an honor to get to know some of these very talented people. We started producing videos for the community over five years ago to share more of their storie... » read more

More Lithography/Mask Challenges (Part 2)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask technologies with Gregory McIntyre, director of the Advanced Patterning Department at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"]; Harry Levinson, senior fellow and senior director of technology research at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]; Regina Freed, managing director of patterning technology at [getentity id="... » read more

Survey: Optimism Grows for EUV


The optimism is growing for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the market, according to a pair of new surveys released by the eBeam Initiative, which also revealed some new and surprising data about mask writing tools and other photomask technology. In one of the surveys from the [getentity id="22818" e_name="eBeam Initiative"], respondents revealed that they are more optimistic than e... » read more

Battling Fab Cycle Times


The shift from planar devices to finFETs enables chipmakers to scale their processes and devices from 16nm/14nm and beyond, but the industry faces several challenges at each node. Cost and technical issues are the obvious challenges. In addition, cycle time—a key but less publicized part of the chip-scaling equation—also is increasing at every turn, creating more angst for chipmakers and... » read more

Inside Photomask Writing


Hirokazu Yamada, a board member and the director of the Mask Lithography Division of NuFlare, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss photomask technology, e-beam mask writer trends and other topics. NuFlare is the world’s largest supplier of e-beam mask writers. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How does the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] market look in... » read more

More EUV Mask Gaps


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is at a critical juncture. After several delays and glitches, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] is now targeted for 7nm and/or 5nm. But there are still a number of technologies that must come together before EUV is inserted into mass production. And if the pieces don’t fall into place, EUV could slip again. First, the EUV source must generate more ... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Photomasks are becoming more complex and expensive at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. For one thing, the features on the [getkc id="265" kc_name="photomask"] are becoming smaller and more complex at each node. Second, the number of masks per mask-set are increasing as a result of multiple patterning. Third, it costs more to build and equip a new mask fab... » read more

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