Inspecting Unpatterned Wafers


Unpatterned wafer inspection, which has flown well under the radar for most of the semiconductor industry, is becoming more critical amid the need to find defects earlier in the manufacturing process flow. Finding those defects is getting harder as critical dimensions shrink. It's more difficult to actually detect smaller defects on bare wafers, there is more data to process, and there is mo... » read more

Spectral Tunability For Accuracy, Robustness And Resilience


In overlay (OVL) metrology the quality of measurements and the resulting reported values depend heavily on the measurement setup used. For example, in scatterometry OVL (SCOL) metrology a specific target may be measured with multiple illumination setups, including several apodization options, two possible laser polarizations, and multiple possible laser wavelengths. Not all possible setups a... » read more

The Chiplet Race Begins


Momentum is building for the development of advanced packages and systems using so-called chiplets, but the technology faces some challenges in the market. A group led by DARPA, as well as Marvell, zGlue and others are pursuing chiplet technology, which is a different way of integrating multiple dies in a package or system. In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars After opposing $34 billion in U.S. trade tariffs on behalf of the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry, Jonathan Davis, global vice president of industry advocacy at SEMI, recently spoke out against an additional $16 billion in duties on Chinese goods. The tariffs do little to address U.S. concerns over IP loss, according to SEMI. Over the past month, SEMI has also submitte... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Semi Biz


Both the IC and fab equipment industries have been enjoying a boom cycle for some time, but they could be facing speed bumps and possibly turbulence in the second half of this year and into 2019. In the first half of 2018, the industry was fueled by the momentum carried over from 2017. DRAM prices remained relatively high, which contributed to the revenue growth in the overall IC industry. M... » read more

Embedded Flash Scaling Limits


Embedded nonvolatile flash memory has played a key role in chips for years, but the technology is beginning to face some scaling and cost roadblocks and it’s not clear what comes next. Embedded flash is used in several markets, such as automotive, consumer and industrial. But the automotive sector appears to be the most concerned about the future of the technology. Typically, a car incorpo... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries said that the company’s 22nm FD-SOI technology has delivered more than $2 billion worth of client design win revenue. With more than 50 total client designs, the technology is designed for automotive, 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT). Helic has announced that its electromagnetic (EM) modeling engine has been certified for GlobalFoundries’ 22nm ... » read more

Blog Review: July 4


Applied Materials' Sundeep Bajikar argues that to get the full benefits of AI, new computing architectures are needed – and that will require new breakthroughs in materials engineering to get beyond classic 2D scaling. Cadence's Tom Wong considers to what extent chip dis-integration is happening and how the industry can cope with the escalating costs of new process nodes and higher-speed i... » read more

Dealing With Resistance In Chips


Chipmakers continue to scale the transistor at advanced nodes, but they are struggling to maintain the same pace with the other two critical parts of the device—the contacts and interconnects. That’s beginning to change, however. In fact, at 10nm/7nm, chipmakers are introducing new topologies and materials such as cobalt, which promises to boost the performance and reduce unwanted resist... » 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

← Older posts