Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

How Reliable Are FinFETs?


Stringent safety requirements in the automotive and industrial sectors are forcing chipmakers to re-examine a number of factors that can impact reliability over the lifespan of a device. Many of these concerns are not new. Electrical overstress (EOS), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] (EM) are well understood, and have been addressed by EDA tools f... » read more

Tech Talk: 7nm Litho


David Fried, chief technology officer at Coventor, digs into future scaling issues involving multi-patterning and new transistor types. https://youtu.be/FBnYRAL1xKY Related Stories Inside Next-Gen Transistors Coventor’s CTO looks at new types of transistors, the expanding number of challenges at future process nodes & the state of semiconductor development in China. Faster Time To ... » read more

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

Inside FD-SOI And Scaling


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss FD-SOI, IC scaling, process technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In logic, GlobalFoundries is shipping 14nm finFETs with 7nm in the works. The company is also readying 22nm FD-SOI technology with 12nm FD-SOI ... » read more

What’s Next In Scaling, Stacking


An Steegen, executive vice president of semiconductor technology and systems at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss IC scaling, chip stacking, packaging and other topics. Imec is an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Chipmakers are shipping 16nm/14nm processes with 10nm and 7nm technologies... » read more

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

Power Challenges At 10nm And Below


Current density is becoming much more problematic at 10nm and beyond, increasing the amount of power management that needs to be incorporated into each chip and boosting both design costs and time to market. Current per unit of area has been rising since 90nm, forcing design teams to leverage a number of power-related strategies such as [getkc id="143" kc_name="dynamic voltage and frequency... » read more

Historic FinFET/2.5D Firsts


Recently, I had an opportunity to watch the Academy Award nominated movie “Hidden Figures.” If you’re a geek at heart, you need to see this movie. It chronicles the strong contributions of three black women to the NASA space program during the 1960s. The civil rights backstory of the movie is powerful, but there is another aspect of the movie that stayed with me as well: all of the “fir... » read more

22nm Process War Begins


Many foundry customers at the 28nm node and above are developing new chips and are exploring the idea of migrating to 16nm/14nm and beyond. But for the most part, those companies are stuck because they can’t afford the soaring IC design costs at advanced nodes. Seeking to satisfy a potential gap in the market, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], [getentity id="22846" e_name="... » read more

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