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

Analog’s Unfair Disadvantage


We live in an analog world, and yet digital has become the technology of choice. Mixed-signal solutions that used to contain significant amounts of analog, with just a small amount of digital signal processing, have migrated into systems where the analog to digital conversion happens at the very first opportunity. There are several reasons for this, and some of them build upon themselves. [g... » read more

Photoresist Shape In 3D


Things were easy for integrators when the pattern they had on the mask ended up being the pattern they wanted on the chip. Multi-patterning schemes such as Self-Aligned Double Patterning (SADP) and Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) have changed that dramatically. Now, what you have on the mask determines only a part of what you will get at the end. You will only obtain your final product... » read more

Understanding How Small Variations In Photoresist Shape Significantly Impact Multi-Patterning Yield


Multi-patterning schemes such as Self-Aligned Double Patterning (SADP) and Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) have been used to successfully increase semiconductor device density, circumventing prior physical limits in pattern density. However, the number of processing steps needed in these patterning schemes can make it difficult to directly translate a lithographic mask pattern to a fin... » read more

Moore’s Law: A Status Report


Moore's Law has been synonymous with "smaller, faster, cheaper" for the past 52 years, but increasingly it is viewed as just one of a number of options—some competing, some complementary—as the chip industry begins zeroing in on specific market needs. This does not make [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] any less relevant. The number of companies racing from 16/14nm to 7nm is higher t... » read more

OSAT Biz: Growth And Challenges


Amid a challenging business environment, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) industry is projected to see steady to strong growth in a number of packaging segments this year. Right now, the [getkc id="83" kc_name="OSATs"]—which provide third-party IC-packaging and test services—are seeing brisk demand for both legacy and advanced chip packages. In addition, IDMs continu... » read more

Design Convergence For 7nm Chips Needs Big Data-Driven Multi-Physics Optimization


Advancements in silicon process technologies are enabling companies to deliver products with faster performance, lower power and greater functionality. These benefits are especially attractive for chip manufacturers servicing markets such as high-end mobile and enterprise computing. However, the cost in terms of both dollars and resources associated with bringing 7-nanometer (nm) finFET-based s... » read more

And The Award Goes To…


I like to look at what users find the most interesting topics, not because it directly influences what I write, but to get a sense of the subjects that are on most people's minds. Some of it comes as no surprise. Content about new fabrication technologies tends to blow everything else away. While it directly affects very few of us, I think we all want to know the general direction of the indust... » read more

7nm Power Issues And Solutions


Being able to achieve 35% speed improvement, 65% power reduction and 3.3X higher density makes adopting a 7nm process for your next system-on-chip (SoC) design seem like an easy decision. However, with $271 million in estimated total design cost and 500 man-years it would take to bring a mid-range 7nm SoC to production, companies need to carefully weigh the benefits against the cost of designin... » read more

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