Inspection, Metrology Challenges Grow For SiC


Inspection and metrology are becoming more critical in the silicon carbide (SiC) industry amid a pressing need to find problematic defects in current and future SiC devices. Finding defects always has been a challenging task for SiC devices. But it’s becoming more imperative to find killer defects and reduce them as SiC device vendors begin to expand their production for the next wave of a... » read more

Hidden Soldier Joints Inspection: 4 Case Studies


IC packaging technologies are becoming smaller and thinner. Ball grid array (BGA) packages were introduced some years ago in order to save space on the PCB, and are now widely used. To overcome the resulting problems with using optical microscopy as an inspection tool, the endoscope found its way into quality engineering departments. To read more, click here. » read more

The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

Inspecting IC Packages Using Die Sorters


The shift toward more complex IC packages requires more advanced inspection systems in the production flow to capture unwanted defects in products. This includes traditional optical inspection tools in the in-line production flow, but it also now requires new die sorting equipment with advanced inspection capabilities. Die sorters are not the kind of equipment that typically attracts attenti... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

New Metrology and Inspection Technologies Needed for More-Than-Moore Markets


The escalating costs of following Moore’s Law have shifted the semiconductor industry’s focus to More-than-Moore (MtM) technologies, where analog/mixed-signal, RF, MEMS, image sensing, power or other technologies may be integrated with CMOS in a variety of planar, 2.5D and 3D architectures. The integration of these and other key technologies is enabling a host of fast-growing application... » read more

Digging Deep Into High Aspect Ratio Process Control For Memory Technology


By Mark Shirey and Janay Camp Data is an integral part of our lives. Contrary to the past, where files had to be removed periodically to free up storage space, we now assume that our data will never be deleted. Why risk deleting the wrong file? Just keep them! This new approach consumes a lot of memory, and intensifies the demand for storage. Two of the main workhorses of the memory segment ... » read more

Advanced Defect Inspection Techniques For nFET And pFET Defectivity At 7nm Gate Poly Removal Process


By Ian Tolle, GlobalFoundries, and Michael Daino, KLA-Tencor During 7nm gate poly removal process, polysilicon is removed exposing both NFET and PFET fins in preparation for high-k gate oxide. If the polysilicon etch is too aggressive or the source and drain are not sufficiently protected, the etch can damage the active region and render the FET inoperative. Different materials are used in t... » read more

The Quest For Perfection


Demands by automakers for zero defects over 15 years are absurd, particularly when it comes to 10/7nm AI systems that will be the brains of autonomous and assisted driving or any mobile electronic device. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, no one has ever used a 10/7nm device under extreme conditions for any length of time. Chips developed at these nodes are just starting to ... » read more

Big Trouble At 3nm


As chipmakers begin to ramp up 10nm/7nm technologies in the market, vendors are also gearing up for the development of a next-generation transistor type at 3nm. Some have announced specific plans at 3nm, but the transition to this node is expected to be a long and bumpy one, filled with a slew of technical and cost challenges. For example, the design cost for a 3nm chip could exceed an eye-p... » read more

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