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Highly Selective Etch Rolls Out For Next-Gen Chips


Several etch vendors are starting to ship next-generation selective etch tools, paving the way for new memory and logic devices. Applied Materials was the first vendor to ship a next-gen selective etch system, sometimes called highly-selective etch, in 2016. Now, Lam Research, TEL, and others are shipping tools with highly-selective etch capabilities, in preparation for futuristic devices su... » read more

Wirebond IC Substrates: Challenges Ahead


Substrate suppliers are slashing capacity allocated to wirebond IC substrates. We hear about "limited tenting capacity," "no support for EBS designs," and requests for "conversion to etchback" designs. What does all this mean? Let's start with "Line" and "Space." "Line" is the width of a trace on a substrate and "Space" is the distance between the two traces. For wirebond packages such a... » read more

Precision Selective Etch And The Path To 3D


Scaling (the shrinking of the tiny devices in chips such as transistors and memory cells) has never been easy, but making the next generation of advanced logic and memory devices a reality requires creating new structures at the atomic scale. When working with dimensions this small, there is little room for variation. Compounding the problem is a need to remove material isotropically, or, un... » read more

Next-Gen Transistors


Nanosheets, or more generally, gate-all-around FETs, mark the next big shift in transistor structures at the most advanced nodes. David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about the advantages of using these new transistor types, along with myriad challenges at future nodes, particularly in the area of metrology. » read more

2D Semiconductors Make Progress, But Slowly


Researchers are looking at a variety of new materials at future nodes, but progress remains slow. In recent years, 2D semiconductors have emerged as a leading potential solution to the problem of channel control in highly scaled transistors. As devices shrink, the channel thickness should shrink proportionally. Otherwise, the gate capacitance won’t be large enough to control the flow of cu... » read more

Precision Selective Etch Tools Pave The Way For The Next Technology Inflection


Over the past decade, the need for increasingly smaller, denser, more powerful chips has been driving semiconductor manufacturers to move away from planar structures in favor of increasingly complex three-dimensional (3D) structures. Why? Simply put, stacking elements vertically enables greater density. Use of 3D architectures to support advanced logic and memory applications represents the ... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors And Chiplets


Sri Samavedam, senior vice president of CMOS Technologies at Imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about finFET scaling, gate-all-around transistors, interconnects, packaging, chiplets and 3D SoCs. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: The semiconductor technology roadmap is moving in several different directions. We have traditional logic scaling, but packaging i... » read more

Evaluating The Impact Of STI Recess Profile Control On Advanced FinFET Device Performance


In this paper, a 5nm FinFET flow was built using the SEMulator3D virtual fabrication platform. Different STI (shallow trench isolation) recess profiles were investigated using the pattern-dependent etch capabilities of SEMulator3D, including changes in trenching/footing profile, fin height and imbalance fin height. The impact of STI recess profile on device performance was then investigated usi... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Stacked Nanosheets And Forksheet FETs


What comes next after gate-all-around FETs is still being worked out, but it likely will involve some version of stacked nanosheets. The design of advanced transistors is a tradeoff. On one hand, it takes less gate capacitance to control a thin channel. On the other hand, thin channels can’t carry as much drive current. Stacked nanosheet designs seek to reconcile these two objectives by... » read more

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