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Cryogenic CMOS Becomes Cool


Cryogenic CMOS is a technology on the cusp, promising higher performance and lower power with no change in fabrication technology. The question now is whether it becomes viable and mainstream. Technologies often appear to be just on the horizon, not quite making it, but never too far out of sight. That's usually because some issue plagues it, and the incentive is not big enough to solve the ... » read more

Chipmaking In The Third Dimension


Every few months, new and improved electronics are introduced. They’re typically smaller, smarter, faster, have more bandwidth, are more power-efficient, etc. — all thanks to a new generation of advanced chips and processors. Our digital society has come to expect this steady drip of new devices as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Behind the scenes, however, engineers are working feve... » read more

Emulation-Centric Power Analysis Of SoC Designs


Verification expert Lauro Rizzatti recently interviewed Jean-Marie Brunet, senior marketing director, Scalable Verification Solutions Division (SVSD), Siemens EDA, about the importance of accurate power estimation and optimization for system-on-chip (SoC) designs. What is the problem facing the semiconductor industry today regarding pre-silicon power estimation? The problem is the discrep... » read more

End In Sight For Chip Shortages?


The current wave of semiconductor and IC packaging shortages is expected to extend well into 2022, but there are also signs that supply may finally catch up with demand. The same is true for manufacturing capacity, materials and equipment in both the semiconductor and packaging sectors. Nonetheless, after a period of shortages in all segments, the current school of thought is that chip suppl... » read more

Four-Period Vertically Stacked SiGe/Si Channel FinFET Fabrication and Its Electrical Characteristics


Li Y, Zhao F, Cheng X, Liu H, Zan Y, Li J, Zhang Q, Wu Z, Luo J, Wang W. Four-Period Vertically Stacked SiGe/Si Channel FinFET Fabrication and Its Electrical Characteristics. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jun 28;11(7):1689. doi: 10.3390/nano11071689. PMID: 34203194; PMCID: PMC8307669. Find technical paper here. Abstract "In this paper, to solve the epitaxial thickness limit and the high in... » read more

Advancing To The 3nm Node And Beyond: Technology, Challenges And Solutions


It seems like yesterday that finFETs were the answer to device scaling limitations imposed by shrinking gate lengths and required electrostatics. The introduction of finFETs began at the 22nm node and has continued through the 7nm node. Beyond 7nm, it looks like nanosheet device structures will be used for at least the 5nm and probably the 3nm nodes. The nanosheet device structure is the brainc... » 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

Process Variation Analysis Of Device Performance Using Virtual Fabrication — Methodology Demonstrated On A CMOS 14-nm FinFET Vehicle


A new methodology is demonstrated to assess the impact of fabrication inherent process variability on 14-nm fin field effect transistor (FinFET) device performance. A model of a FinFET device was built using virtual device fabrication and testing. The model was subsequently calibrated on Design of Experiment corner case data that had been collected on a limited number of processed fab wafers. W... » read more

Intel/GF deal: Pros, Cons, Unknowns


The industry is still buzzing over a Wall Street Journal report that Intel is in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries (GF) for $30 billion. It’s been a week since the report appeared. Intel is still mum. GF says there are no talks taking place. Regardless, it’s worth looking at all of the possible scenarios just in case, and the pros and cons involved. There are layers upon layers of iron... » read more

In-Chip Sensing And PVT Monitoring: Not Just An Insurance Policy


You wouldn’t drive an expensive car without insurance or take a flight in an aircraft without performing instrument and control surface checks. So why would you take the risk of designing a multi-million dollar advanced node semiconductor device without making sure you are aware of, and able to manage, the dynamic conditions that had the potential to make or break a silicon product? Advanced... » read more

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