Blog Review: May 15


Cadence's Anika Sunda suggests that RISC-V has opened numerous doors for innovation and believes EDA tools can help bridge the knowledge gap and foster a growing community of RISC-V developers. Synopsys' Alessandra Costa chats with industry experts about challenges facing analog design, what's needed for multi-die designs, and the potential of AI. Siemens' Bill Ji explains why understandi... » read more

Using Predictive Maintenance To Boost IC Manufacturing Efficiency


Predicting exactly how and when a process tool is going to fail is a complex task, but it's getting a tad easier with the rollout of smart sensors, standard interfaces, and advanced data analytics. The potential benefits of predictive maintenance are enormous. Higher tool uptime correlates with greater fab efficiency and lower operating costs, so engineers are pursuing multiple routes to boo... » read more

Chip Industry Week In Review


Synopsys refocused its security priorities around chips, striking a deal to sell off its Software Integrity Group subsidiary to private equity firms Clearlake Capital Group and Francisco Partners for about $2.1 billion. That deal comes on the heels of Synopsys' recent acquisition of Intrinsic ID, which develops physical unclonable function IP. Sassine Ghazi, Synopsys' president and CEO, said in... » read more

Predicting And Preventing Process Drift


Increasingly tight tolerances and rigorous demands for quality are forcing chipmakers and equipment manufacturers to ferret out minor process variances, which can create significant anomalies in device behavior and render a device non-functional. In the past, many of these variances were ignored. But for a growing number of applications, that's no longer possible. Even minor fluctuations in ... » read more

Enabling Advanced Devices With Atomic Layer Processes


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) used to be considered too slow to be of practical use in semiconductor manufacturing, but it has emerged as a critical tool for both transistor and interconnect fabrication at the most advanced nodes. ALD can be speeded up somewhat, but the real shift is the rising value of precise composition and thickness control at the most advanced nodes, which makes the ext... » read more

Exploring Process Scenarios To Improve DRAM Device Performance


In the world of advanced semiconductor fabrication, creating precise device profiles (edge shapes) is an important step in achieving targeted on-chip electrical performance. For example, saddle fin profiles in a DRAM memory device must be precisely fabricated during process development in order to avoid memory performance issues. Saddle fins were introduced in DRAM devices to increase channel l... » read more

Interconnects Essential To Heterogeneous Integration


Designing and manufacturing interconnects is becoming more complex, and more critical to device reliability, as the chip industry shifts from monolithic planar dies to collections of chips and chiplets in a package. What was once as simple as laying down a copper trace has evolved into tens of thousands of microbumps, hybrid bonds, through-silicon vias (TSVs), and even junctions for optical ... » read more

Early STEM Education Key To Growing Future Chip Workforce


A key factor in building a domestic workforce for the chip industry is attracting kids to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects at a younger age. That way they are more likely to follow through and attain the skills and degrees needed to enter the semiconductor job market. Industry and government are partnering with schools and community organizations to address the chal... » read more

Digital Twins Target IC Tool And Fab Efficiency


Digital twins have emerged as the hot "new" semiconductor manufacturing technology, enabling fabs to create a virtual representation of a physical system on which to experiment and optimize what's going on inside the real fab. While digital twin technology has been in use for some time in other industries, its use has been limited in semiconductor manufacturing. What's changing is the breadt... » read more

Chip Industry Week In Review


By Adam Kovac, Gregory Haley, and Liz Allan. Cadence plans to acquire BETA CAE Systems for $1.24 billion, the latest volley in a race to sell multi-physics simulation and analysis across a broad set of customers with deep pockets. Cadence said the deal opens the door to structural analysis for the automotive, aerospace, industrial, and health care sectors. Under the terms of the agreement, 6... » read more

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