5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

Advanced Process Control


David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, looks at shrinking tolerances at advanced processes, how that affects variation in semiconductor manufacturing, and what can be done to achieve the benefits of scaling without moving to new transistor architectures. » read more

Sidestepping Moore’s Law


Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about advanced packaging, the challenges involved with the technology, and the implications for Moore’s Law. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What are some of the big issues with IC packaging today? Cheung: Moore’s Law is slowing down, but transistor scaling will co... » read more

CEO Outlook: It Gets Much Harder From Here


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

Partitioning In 3D


The best way to improve transistor density isn't necessarily to cram more of them onto a single die. Moore’s Law in its original form stated that device density doubles about every two years while cost remains constant. It relied on the observation that the cost of a processed silicon wafer remained constant regardless of the number of devices printed on it, which in turn depended on litho... » read more

Controlling Variability And Cost At 3nm And Beyond


Richard Gottscho, executive vice president and CTO of Lam Research, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how to utilize more data from sensors in manufacturing equipment, the migration to new process nodes, and advancements in ALE and materials that could have a big impact on controlling costs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As more sensors are added int... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Builds, Despite Tradeoffs


Chip design is a series of tradeoffs. Some are technical, others are related to cost, competitive features or legal restrictions. But with the nascent 'chiplet' market, many of the established balance points are significantly altered, depending on market segments and ecosystem readiness. Chiplets provide an alternative mechanism for integrating intellectual property (IP) blocks into a semico... » read more

Latency Under Load: HBM2 vs. GDDR6


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, explains why data traffic and bandwidth are critical to choosing the type of DRAM, options for improving traffic flow in different memory types, and how this works with multiple memory types.   Related Video GDDR6 - HBM2 Tradeoffs Why designers choose one memory type over another. Applications for each were clearly delineate... » read more

Target: 50% Reduction In Memory Power


Memory consumes about 50% or more of the area and about 50% of the power of an SoC, and those percentages are likely to increase. The problem is that static random access memory (SRAM) has not scaled in accordance with Moore's Law, and that will not change. In addition, with many devices not chasing the latest node and with power becoming an increasing concern, the industry must find ways to... » read more

Heterogeneous Design Creating Havoc With Firmware Versions


Adding different kinds of processing elements into chips is creating system-level incompatibilities because of sometimes necessary, but usually uncoordinated, firmware updates from multiple vendors. In the past, firmware typically was synchronized with other firmware and the chip was verified and debugged. But this becomes much more difficult when multiple heterogeneous processing elements a... » read more

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