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Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 2


IRDS lithography roadmap The Journal of Micro/Nanopatterning, Materials, and Metrology (JM3) has published a paper that outlines the lithography roadmap and the various challenges for the next 15 years. The paper, called the "International Roadmap for Devices and Systems lithography roadmap," projects that extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and a next-generation version will remain the m... » read more

Steering The Semiconductor Industry


Progress in semiconductors has been one of the most successful engineering feats, and the industry has ridden an exponential curve longer than anything else in history. It is also a highly conservative industry that has pushed away many disruptive changes in favor of small incremental changes that minimize risk. There have been significant changes over the decades, and they often required a ... » read more

Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

The Increasingly Uneven Race To 3nm/2nm


Several chipmakers and fabless design houses are racing against each other to develop processes and chips at the next logic nodes in 3nm and 2nm, but putting these technologies into mass production is proving both expensive and difficult. It's also beginning to raise questions about just how quickly those new nodes will be needed and why. Migrating to the next nodes does boost performance an... » read more

Gaps Emerging In System Integration


The system integration challenge is evolving, but existing tools and methods are not keeping up with the task. New tools and flows are needed to handle global concepts, such as power and thermal, that cannot be dealt with at the block level. As we potentially move into a new era where IP gets delivered as physical pieces of silicon, this lack of an accepted flow will become a stumbling block. ... » read more

Another Brick Or Two In The Chip Design Wall


Physical challenges come and go in the semiconductor world. But increasingly, they also stick around, showing up in inconvenient places at the worst time. The chip industry has confronted and solved some massive challenges over the years. There was the 1 micron lithography wall, which was supposed to be impenetrable. That was followed by the 193nm litho challenge, which cost many billions of... » read more

ECTC Packaging Trends


At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, a number of packaging houses, R&D organizations and universities presented a slew of papers on the latest IC packaging technologies. The event provided a glimpse of the future of packaging, which is becoming more important in the industry. At one time, IC packaging took a backseat in the semiconductor... » read more

What Happened To Nanoimprint Litho?


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is re-emerging amid an explosion of new applications in the market. Canon, EV Group, Nanonex, Suss and others continue to develop and ship NIL systems for a range of markets. NIL is different than conventional lithography and resembles a stamping process. Initially, a lithographic system forms a pattern on a template based on a pre-defined design. Then, a separa... » read more

DSA Re-Enters Litho Picture


By Mark LaPedus and Ed Sperling Directed self-assembly (DSA) is moving back onto the patterning radar screen amid ongoing challenges in lithography. Intel continues to have a keen interest in [gettech id="31046" t_name="DSA"], while other chipmakers are taking another hard look at the technology, according to multiple industry sources. DSA isn't like a traditional [getkc id="80" kc_name="... » read more

Transistor Options Beyond 3nm


Despite a slowdown in chip scaling amid soaring costs, the industry continues to search for a new transistor type 5 to 10 years out—particularly for the 2nm and 1nm nodes. Specifically, the industry is pinpointing and narrowing down the transistor options for the next major nodes after 3nm. Those two nodes, called 2.5nm and 1.5nm, are slated to appear in 2027 and 2030, respectively, accord... » read more

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