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Litho Options Sparse After 10nm


Leading-edge foundries are ramping up their 16nm/14nm logic processes, with 10nm and 7nm in R&D. Barring a major breakthrough in [getkc id="80" comment="lithography"], chipmakers will use 193nm immersion and multiple patterning for both 16nm/14nm and 10nm. So now, chipmakers are focusing on the lithography options for 7nm. As before, the options include the usual suspects—[gettech id="... » read more

How Much Multipatterning?


The latest consensus among litho experts is that extreme ultraviolet (EUV) will appear in the market sometime in coming months in a commercially viable form. The only question is the degree of commercially viability, and what it will actually cost. While some debate lingers about whether EUV will ever get going, the general feeling is that enough progress has been made recently to make it work.... » read more

Self-Aligned Double Patterning, Part One


I’m sure most of you have seen a Rorschach test ink blot (Figure 1). Psychiatrists ask the subjects to tell them what they “see” in the ink blot. The answers are used to characterize the respondent’s personality and emotional functioning. I am never sure if I would feel more uncertain being the psychiatrist asking the question, or the subject trying to decide what to say, given there ar... » read more

What If EUV Fails?


It’s the worst kept secret in the industry, but extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography will likely miss the 10nm node. So, chipmakers will likely extend and use today’s 193nm immersion lithography down to 10nm. This, of course, will require a complex and expensive multiple patterning scheme. Now, chipmakers are formulating their lithography strategies for 7nm and beyond. As it stands now,... » read more

Tech Talk: Multipatterning, Take Two


Mentor Graphics' David Abercrombie continues with his whiteboard talk about coloring with advanced lithography, including what goes wrong and how to fix it. [youtube vid=HCBtvHCcbf4] » read more

Directed Self-Assembly Gains Momentum


At last year’s SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium, directed self-assembly (DSA) grabbed the spotlight as chipmakers provided the first glimpse of their initial work and results with the technology. The results were stunning, thereby propelling DSA from a curiosity item to a possible patterning solution for next-generation devices. Last year, in fact, GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel and Sams... » read more

When Order Matters


Do you brush your teeth before dinner? Put on your shoes before going to bed? Iron your clothes before you wash them? Okay, forget that last one. No one irons clothes anymore…do they? Anyway, my point is, if you want to achieve the best results from a process, order can be really important. And so it is with double patterning (DP) error debugging. As I’ve discussed, there are many types ... » read more

What Goes Around Comes Around: Moore’s Law At 10nm And Beyond


Modified by Greg Yeric from original by Eric Fischer Gordon Moore penned his famous observation in an era when the people developing the process were also the people designing the circuits. Over time, things got more complicated and work specialization set in, but all was well in the world for many years as the fabs kept delivering on Moore’s Law. Yes, designers had to come up with lot... » read more

DFM Challenges Abound Below 20nm


By Ann Steffora Mutschler As semiconductor design teams struggle to wring the last few percentage of die shrink from a technology node, much of the ability to do that rests on the EDA tools. From place and route through DFM checks—essentially, everything that happens before the design is sent to the fab or foundry—it all must be tightly integrated with the manufacturing process so it co... » read more

Double Patterning From Design Enablement To Verification


Litho-etch-litho-etch (LELE) is the double patterning (DP) technology of choice for 20 nm contact, via, and lower metal layers. We discuss the unique design and process characteristics of LELE DP, the challenges they present, and various solutions, including: DP design methodologies, current DP conflict feedback mechanisms, and how they can help designers identify and resolve conflicts. E... » read more

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