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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

Impact Of GAA Transistors At 3/2nm


The chip industry is poised for another change in transistor structure as gate-all-around (GAA) FETs replace finFETs at 3nm and below, creating a new set of challenges for design teams that will need to be fully understood and addressed. GAA FETs are considered an evolutionary step from finFETs, but the impact on design flows and tools is still expected to be significant. GAA FETs will offer... » read more

Using A Virtual DOE To Predict Process Windows And Device Performance Of Advanced FinFET Technology


By Qingpeng Wang, Yu De Chen, Cheng Li, Rui Bao, Jacky Huang, and Joseph Ervin Introduction With continuing finFET device process scaling, micro loading control becomes increasingly important due to its significant impact on yield and device performance [1-2]. Micro-loading occurs when the local etch rate on a wafer is dependent upon existing feature sizes and local pattern density. Uninten... » read more

Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

Lower Power Chips: What To Watch Out For


Low-power design in advanced nodes and advanced packaging is becoming a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary challenge, where a long list of issues need to be solved both individually and in the context of other issues. With each new leading-edge process node, and with increasingly dense packaging, the potential for problematic interactions is growing. That, in turn, can lead to poor yield, cos... » read more

Thinner Channels With 2D Semiconductors


Moving to future nodes will require more than just smaller features. At 3/2nm and beyond, new materials are likely to be added, but which ones and exactly when will depend upon an explosion of material science research underway at universities and companies around the globe. With field-effect transistors, a voltage applied to the gate creates an electric field in the channel, bending the ban... » read more

Power Optimization: What’s Next?


Concerns about the power consumed by semiconductors has been on the rise for the past couple of decades, but what can we expect to see coming in terms of analysis and automation from EDA companies, and is the industry ready to make the investment? Ever since Dennard scaling stopped providing automatic power gains by going to a smaller geometry, circa 2006, semiconductors have been increasing... » read more

The Future Of FinFETs At 5nm And Beyond


While contact gate pitch (GP) and fin pitch (FP) scaling continues to provide higher performance and lower power to finFET platforms, controlling RC parasitics and achieving higher transistor performance at technology nodes of 5nm and beyond becomes challenging. In collaboration with Imec, we recently used SEMulator3D virtual fabrication to explore an end-to-end solution to better underst... » read more

Breaking The 2nm Barrier


Chipmakers continue to make advancements with transistor technologies at the latest process nodes, but the interconnects within these structures are struggling to keep pace. The chip industry is working on several technologies to solve the interconnect bottleneck, but many of those solutions are still in R&D and may not appear for some time — possibly not until 2nm, which is expected t... » read more

Evaluation Of The Impact Of Source Drain epi Implementation On Logic Performance Using Combined Process And Circuit Simulation


In this paper, we explore an end-to-end solution using SEMulator3D to address the need to include process variation effects in circuit simulation. For the first time, we couple SEMulator3D with BSIM compact modeling to evaluate process variation impacts on circuit performance. The process integration goal of the study was to optimize contacts and spacer thickness of advanced-node FinFETs in ter... » read more

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