The Challenges Of Process Control On FinFETs And FD-SOI


Across the semiconductor industry, both FD-SOI and finFET transistor technologies are in high volume production, with IC manufacturers looking to extend both technologies to gain additional performance improvements and meet the variety of customer specific technical and economic requirements. In developing the processes needed for the next-generation FD-SOI and finFET technologies, both transis... » read more

Supply Monitoring On 28nm & FinFET: The Challenges Posed


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What are the issues with supplies on advanced nodes? The supplies have been coming down, quicker than the threshold voltages which has led to less supply margin. In addition to this, the interconnects are becoming thinner and closer together, which is pushing up resistance and also capacitance. What is the effect of these issues? In short, it... » read more

Thermal Issues And Modern SoCs: How Hot Is Hot?


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What are the thermal issues of modern SoCs? Gate density has been increasing with each node and that pushes up power per unit area, and I think that has become an even bigger issue with FinFET processes where the channels are more thermally isolated than the planar processes before them. In the last few planar nodes, leakage was an issue which led ... » read more

Advanced ASICs: It Takes An Ecosystem


I remember the days of the IDM (integrated device manufacturer). For me, it was RCA, where I worked for 15 years as the company changed from RCA to GE and then ultimately to Harris Semiconductor. It’s a bit of a cliché, but life was simpler then, from a customer point of view at least. RCA did it all. We designed all the IP, did the physical design, owned fabs, assembly and test facilities a... » read more

Exploring New Scaling Approaches


At the recent SPIE Photomask Technology + Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography 2017 conference, Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss semiconductor technology with Tsu-Jae King Liu, the TSMC Distinguished Professor in Microelectronics in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. More specifically, Liu discussed some of the new... » read more

Using Advanced Statistical Analysis To Improve FinFET Transistor Performance


Trial and error wafer fabrication is commonly used to study the effect of process changes in the development of FinFET and other advanced semiconductor technologies. Due to the interaction of upstream unit process parameters (such as deposition conformality, etch anisotropy, selectivity) during actual fabrication, variations based upon process changes can be highly complex. Process simulators t... » read more

Training As A Strategic Weapon


In my last post, I discussed the topic of applying machine learning to the design of machine learning chips. I pointed out that one can achieve significant improvements in schedule predictability, PPA compliance and an overall reduction in program risk if machine learning is applied to the right kind of knowledge base. This is very real, and we are seeing the benefits of this approach daily. Bu... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

2.5D, ASICs Extend to 7nm


The leading-edge foundry market is heating up. For example, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC have recently announced their new and respective processes. The new processes from vendors range anywhere from 10nm to 4nm, although the current battle is taking place at 10nm and/or 7nm. In fact, one vendor, GlobalFoundries, this week will describe more details about its previously-announced... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

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