Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 11


FinFET vs. FD-SOI pH sensors At the recent 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), TSMC and National Tsing Hua University presented a paper on an ion detector or pH sensor based on a 16nm finFET technology. Researchers have developed an advanced version of an ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET). Originally developed in the 1970s, ISFETs are pH sensors that are use... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 23


3D stacked finFETs At the upcoming 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Imec is expected to present a paper on a 3D stacked finFET architecture. IEDM is slated from Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco. Imec’s technology is based what on the R&D organization calls sequential integration. Another R&D organization, Leti, calls it 3D monolithic integration. Regardless, the idea... » read more

The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » read more

How The Brain Saves Energy By Doing Less


One of the arguments for neuromorphic computing is the efficiency of the human brain relative to conventional computers. By looking at how the brain works, this argument contends, we can design systems that accomplish more with less power. However, as Mireille Conrad and others at the University of Geneva pointed out in work presented at December's IEEE Electron Device Meeting, the brain... » read more

What If We Had Bi-Directional RRAM?


The ideal memristor device for neuromorphic computing would have linear and symmetric resistance behavior. Resistance would both increase and decrease gradually, allowing a direct correlation between the number of programming pulses and the resistance value. Real world RRAM devices, however, generally do not have these characteristics. In filamentary RRAM devices, the RESET operation can raise ... » read more

What’s Next In Neuromorphic Computing


To integrate devices into functioning systems, it's necessary to consider what those systems are actually supposed to do. Regardless of the application, [getkc id="305" kc_name="machine learning"] tasks involve a training phase and an inference phase. In the training phase, the system is presented with a large dataset and learns how to "correctly" analyze it. In supervised learning, the data... » read more

E-beam Inspection Makes Inroads


E-beam inspection is gaining traction in critical areas in fab production as it is becoming more difficult to find tiny defects with traditional methods at advanced nodes. Applied Materials, ASML/HMI and others are developing new e-beam inspection tools and/or techniques to solve some of the more difficult defect issues in the fab. [gettech id="31057" t_name="E-beam"] inspection is one of tw... » read more

A New Memory Contender?


Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

What the Experts Think


Coventor recently sponsored an expert panel discussion at IEDM 2017 to discuss how we might advance the semiconductor industry into the next generation of technology. The panel discussed alternative methods to solve fundamental problems of technology scaling, using advances in semiconductor architectures, patterning, metrology, advanced process control, variation reduction, co-optimization and ... » read more

What’s Next With Computing?


At the recent IEDM conference, Jeff Welser, vice president and lab director at IBM Research Almaden, sat down to discuss artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing and supercomputing with Semiconductor Engineering. Here are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where is high-end computing going? Welser: We are seeing lots of different systems start to come up. First of all,... » read more

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