The Role Of Cobalt In Enabling AI


We are on the cusp of the biggest computing wave yet — the AI era driven by Big Data. Enabling this era will require significant enhancements in processor performance and in the capacity and latency of memory. These requirements are coming at a time when the industry is being increasingly challenged by a slowdown in classic Moore’s Law scaling. What’s needed to continue driving the indust... » read more

Defect Reduction At 7/5nm


Darin Collins, director of metrology at Brewer Science, talks about the cause of defects at advanced nodes and how material purity increasingly plays a role in overall quality and yield. » 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

Surface Modification: Solving Semiconductor Manufacturing Challenges


Process reliability and faster technology deployment are two of the most pressing manufacturing challenges currently facing the semiconductor industry. In a world of ever-evolving technology and innovation, engineers are working to transform materials that don’t possess all the desired functions through a method called “surface modification” – the act of modifying a material’s surface... » read more

Silicon’s Long Game


The era of all-silicon substrates and copper wires may be coming to an end. Progress in the future increasingly depends on more exotic combinations of materials that are developed for specific applications. But after years of predicting the death of silicon, it appears those predictions may be premature. That's not always obvious, given the growing number of chemical combinations being creat... » read more

The Materials Gap


When consolidation thinned the ranks of semiconductor foundries and equipment makers, materials companies figured things were about to get better. They haven't. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, semiconductors are now so complex and difficult to develop that a slew of innovations are required on all sides. Everyone is familiar with transistor structures, interconnects and lithog... » read more

Can A Supply Chain Be Too Efficient?


The semiconductor industry is a model of efficiency—literally. When other industries look at adding smart manufacturing into their operations, they often look to chip manufacturing as a shining example. After decades of business gyrations, semiconductor companies have figured out how to instill efficiency into every aspect of making chips. This is evident in device scaling. At 90nm, the co... » read more

Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » read more

Betting On Power And Deep Learning


Jim Hogan, managing partner of Vista Ventures, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about what investments deliver the biggest returns, how quickly, and why there are so few investors in some big growth areas. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What are you investing in these days and why? Hogan: I have about 15 active deals right now. I generally invest in thi... » read more

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