A Wrap-Up Of Photomask Japan 2024


This year, I had the opportunity to attend the 30th Symposium on Photomask and NGL Mask Technology, also called Photomask Japan 2024 (PMJ), in Yokohama, Japan, from April 16 to 18. This well-regarded symposium brings together engineers from all over the world to share ideas on photomasks, NGL masks and related technologies. It was great being back to an in-person conference after four years ... » read more

Progress In Wafer And Package Level Defect Inspection


The technology to enable sampling and the need for more metrology and inspection data in a production setting have aligned just in time to address the semiconductor industry’s newest and most complex manufacturing processes. In both wafer and assembly manufacturing, engineering teams have long relied on imaging tools to measure critical features and to inspect for defects after specific pr... » read more

Using Automatic Defect Classification To Reduce The Escape Rate Of Defects


Automated optical inspection (AOI) is a cornerstone in semiconductor manufacturing, assembly and testing facilities, and as such, it plays a crucial role in yield management and process control. Traditionally, AOI generates millions of defect images, all of which are manually reviewed by operators. This process is not only time-consuming but error prone due to human involvement and fatigue, whi... » read more

Using Picosecond Ultrasonics To Measure Trench Structures In SiC Power Devices


The road to the future is not always a smooth, trouble-free drive. Along the way, there may be unforeseen detours, potholes and accidents, each one capable of setting progress back. But for those behind the wheel, those obstacles are just a part of the journey. Such is the case for the automotive industry as it continues to steer away from gas-powered vehicles and turn toward hybrid and elec... » read more

X-ray Inspection In The Semiconductor Industry


With the ever-present pressure to produce more efficient devices with more power, the sizes of the structures and electrical connections in the production of chips have become smaller and smaller. In addition, the sheer number of these connections in a given unit area have also increased in a spectacular way. At the heart of all X-ray inspection, whether it is manual or fully automated metrolog... » read more

Inspection, Metrology Issues In Advanced Packages


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about how to inspect and measure smaller features across large areas in advanced packaging, with Frank Chen, director of applications and product management at Bruker Nano Surfaces & Metrology; John Hoffman, computer vision engineering manager at Nordson Test & Measurement; and Jiangtao Hu, senior technology director at O... » read more

Closing The Test And Metrology Gap In 3D-IC Packages


The industry is investing in more precise and productive inspection and testing to enable advanced packages and eventually, 3D ICs. The next generations of aerospace, automotive, smartphone, and wearable tech most likely will be powered by multiple layers of intricately connected silicon, a stark departure from the planar landscapes of traditional integrated circuits. These 3D-ICs, compos... » read more

A Bare Wafer Mystery: Inspecting For Back, Edge, And Notch Defects In Advanced Nodes


It is no mystery that the semiconductor industry is always advancing, with specifications becoming increasingly stringent as defects become increasingly more difficult to discover. This is especially true in the case of the most advanced nodes, where ever-smaller flaws and deformities can result in a killer defect. To solve this More than Moore mystery, you do not need to employ the detectiv... » read more

New Insights Into IC Process Defectivity


Finding critical defects in manufacturing is becoming more difficult due to tighter design margins, new processes, and shorter process windows. Process marginality and parametric outliers used to be problematic at each new node, but now they are persistent problems at several nodes and in advanced packaging, where there may be a mix of different technologies. In addition, there are more proc... » read more

DRAM Test And Inspection Just Gets Tougher


DRAM manufacturers continue to demand cost-effective solutions for screening and process improvement amid growing concerns over defects and process variability, but meeting that demand is becoming much more difficult with the rollout of faster interfaces and multi-chip packages. DRAM plays a key role in a wide variety of electronic devices, from phones and PCs to ECUs in cars and servers ins... » read more

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