The Next New Memories


Several next-generation memory types are ramping up after years of R&D, but there are still more new memories in the research pipeline. Today, several next-generation memories, such as MRAM, phase-change memory (PCM) and ReRAM, are shipping to one degree or another. Some of the next new memories are extensions of these technologies. Others are based on entirely new technologies or involve ar... » read more

Wanted: More Fab Tool Part Standards


As chipmakers ramp up the next wave of processes and grapple with how to reduce defect levels, they are encountering problems from an unlikely source—components inside of the fab equipment. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yields and device performance. Typically, they are caused by an unforeseen glitch during the process flow. But a lesser-known problem involves defe... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools Lam Research has rolled out two new tools for use in the production of 3D NAND. The first tool, called the VECTOR DT, is geared for backside deposition. The second system, the EOS GS, is a wet etch tool for film removal on backside and bevel. Designed to control the wafer bow in 3D NAND manufacturing, the VECTOR DT system is the latest addition to Lam’s plasma-enhanced chemical ... » read more

Yield Impact For Wafer Shape Misregistration-Based Binning For Overlay APC Diagnostic Enhancement


By David Jayez, Kevin Jock, Yue Zhou and Venugopal Govindarajulu of GlobalFoundries, and Zhen Zhang, Fatima Anis, Felipe Tijiwa-Birk and Shivam Agarwal of KLA. 1. ABSTRACT The importance of traditionally acceptable sources of variation has started to become more critical as semiconductor technologies continue to push into smaller technology nodes. New metrology techniques are needed to pur... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Node Within A Node


Enough margin exists in manufacturing processes to carve out the equivalent of a full node of scaling, but shrinking that margin will require a collective push across the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. Margin is built into manufacturing at various stages to ensure that chips are manufacturable and yield sufficiently. It can include everything from variation in how lines are... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Challenges Grow For 5G Packages And Modules


The shift to 5G wireless networks is driving a need for new IC packages and modules in smartphones and other systems, but this move is turning out to be harder than it looks. For one thing, the IC packages and RF modules for 5G phones are more complex and expensive than today's devices, and that gap will grow significantly in the second phase of 5G. In addition, 5G devices will require an as... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

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