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Finding, Predicting EUV Stochastic Defects


Several vendors are rolling out next-generation inspection systems and software that locates problematic defects in chips caused by processes in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Each defect detection technology involves various tradeoffs. But it’s imperative to use one or more of them in the fab. Ultimately, these so-called stochastic-induced defects caused by EUV can impact the perf... » read more

Reliability Costs Becoming Harder To Track


Ensuring reliability in chips is becoming more complex and significantly more expensive, shifting left into the design cycle and right into the field. But those costs also are becoming more difficult to define and track, varying greatly from one design to the next based upon process node, package technology, market segment, and which fab or OSAT is used. As the number of options increases fo... » read more

What’s Next In Fab Tool Technologies?


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and other next-generation fab technologies with Jerry Chen, head of global business development for manufacturing & industrials at Nvidia; David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research; Mark Shirey, vice president of marketing and applications at KLA; and Aki Fuj... » read more

Recalculating The Cost Of Test


The cost of test is rising. For decades, test was limited to a flat 2% of the cost of designing and manufacturing a chip. Today, no one is quite sure what that cost really is, and there doesn't seem to be any single formula for determining it. In some cases, there isn't even a sense of urgency to finding out. Several significant changes are occurring that make any formula difficult to cal... » read more

Testing Analog Circuits Becoming More Difficult


Foundries and packaging houses are wrestling how to control heat in the testing phase, particularly as devices continue to shrink and as thermally sensitive analog circuits are added into SoCs and advanced packages to support everything from RF to AI. The overriding problem is that heat can damage chips or devices under test. That's certainly true for digital chips developed at advanced node... » read more

The Quest For Curvilinear Photomasks


The semiconductor industry is making noticeable progress on the development of advanced curvilinear photomasks, a technology that has broad implications for chip designs at the most advanced nodes and the ability to manufacture those chips faster and cheaper. The question now is when will this technology move beyond its niche-oriented status and ramp up into high-volume manufacturing. For ye... » read more

The Future Of Transistors And IC Architectures


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss chip scaling, transistors, new architectures, and packaging with Jerry Chen, head of global business development for manufacturing & industrials at Nvidia; David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research; Mark Shirey, vice president of marketing and applications at KLA; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Part Average Tests For Auto ICs Not Good Enough


Part Average Testing (PAT) has long been used in automotive. For some semiconductor technologies it remains viable, while for others it is no longer good enough. Automakers are bracing for chips developed at advanced process nodes with much trepidation. Tight control of their supply chains and a reliance upon mature electronic processes so far have enabled them to increase electronic compone... » read more

Variation Threat In Advanced Nodes, Packages Grows


Variation is becoming a much bigger and more complex problem for chipmakers as they push to the next process nodes or into increasingly dense advanced packages, raising concerns about the functionality and reliability of individual devices, and even entire systems. In the past, almost all concerns about variation focused on the manufacturing process. What printed on a piece of silicon didn't... » read more

Scramble For The White Space


Chipmakers are pushing to utilize more of the unused portion of a design for different functions, reducing margin in the rest of the chip to more clearly define that white space. White space typically is used to relieve back-end routing congestion before all of the silicon area is used up. But a significant amount of space still remain unused. That provides an opportunity for inserting monit... » read more

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