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Variation In Low-Power FinFET Designs


One of the biggest advantages of moving to the a leading edge process node is ultra-low voltage operation, where devices can achieve better performance using less power. But the latest generation process nodes also introduce a number of new challenges due to increased variation that can affect everything from signal integrity to manufacturing yield. While variation is generally well understo... » read more

GF Puts 7nm On Hold


GlobalFoundries is putting its 7nm finFET program on hold indefinitely and has dropped plans to pursue technology nodes beyond 7nm. The moves, which mark a major shift in direction for the foundry, involve a headcount reduction of about 5% of its worldwide workforce. At the same time, the company is also moving its ASIC business into a new subsidiary. As a result of GlobalFoundries’ ann... » read more

Is Synthesis Still Process-Independent?


For many years, the idea that the release of a new process node from one of the major silicon foundries would require you to update your synthesis flow was a non-starter. Synthesis used the available timing, area and power models in the libraries and that was the beginning and end of the discussion. With the arrival of physical synthesis, physical effects could be taken into consideration in... » read more

Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem


Chip aging is a growing problem at advanced nodes, but so far most design teams have not had to deal with it. That will change significantly as new reliability requirements roll out across markets such as automotive, which require a complete analysis of factors that affect aging. Understanding the underlying physics is critical, because it can lead to unexpected results and vulnerabilities. ... » read more

Leti’s Next Focus


Emmanuel Sabonnadière, chief executive of Leti, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss R&D trends, a new deal with Soitec, and the latest developments at the France-based research organization. Leti is a research institute of CEA Tech. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Leti recently formed an alliance with Soitec. Under the terms, Leti and Soitec are formin... » read more

What’s In A Node?


In an environment where process nodes are no longer consistently delivering the level of improvements predicted by Moore’s Law, the industry will continue to develop “inter-nodes” as a way to deliver incremental improvements in lieu of “full-nodes.” A shift in market requirements, in part due to the rise of AI and IoT, is increasing emphasis on trailing-nodes. When it comes to leading... » read more

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

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