Inside Chip R&D


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss R&D challenges, EUV and other topics with Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Clearly, Moore’s Law is slowing down. The traditional process cadence is extending from 2 years to roughly 2.5 to 3 years. Yet, R&D is not slowing down, right? ... » read more

Going Vertical?


The topic of transistor scaling has been traditionally covered at SEMICON West in its own right. This year’s event, however, will also explore scaling in 3D, as well as using packaging to accomplish similar objectives. Along with traditional transistor scaling, speakers will tackle design and metrology considerations for scaling the package, and address the economic decisions that inform dens... » read more

Inside FD-SOI And Scaling


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss FD-SOI, IC scaling, process technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In logic, GlobalFoundries is shipping 14nm finFETs with 7nm in the works. The company is also readying 22nm FD-SOI technology with 12nm FD-SOI ... » read more

Age Of Acceleration


A shift from the fastest processors to accelerating specific functions is underway, supplanting an era of dark silicon in which one or more processor cores remain in a ready state whenever a single core's performance bogs down. In effect, the dark silicon/multi-core approach is being scrapped for many functions in favor of an accelerator-based microarchitecture that is far more granular. The... » read more

Hardware/Software Tipping Point


It doesn't matter if you believe [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] has ended or is just slowing down. It is becoming very clear that design in the future will be significant different than it is today. Moore's law allowed the semiconductor industry to reuse design blocks from previous designs, and these were helped along by a new technology node—even if it was a sub-optimal solution. I... » read more

Samsung Unveils Scaling, Packaging Roadmaps


Samsung Foundry unveiled an aggressive roadmap that scales down to 4nm, and which includes a fan-out wafer-level packaging technology that bridges chips in the redistribution layer, 18nm FD-SOI, and a new organizational structure that allows the unit much greater autonomy as a commercial enterprise. The moves put [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung Foundry"] in direct competition with [get... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

The Race To 10/7nm


Amid the ongoing ramp of 16/14nm processes in the market, the industry is now gearing up for the next nodes. In fact, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are racing each other to ship 10nm and/or 7nm technologies. The current iterations of 10nm and 7nm technologies are scaled versions of today’s 16nm/14nm finFETs with traditional copper interconnects, high-k/metal-gate and low-k diele... » read more

Extending EUV Beyond 3nm


Jan van Schoot, senior principal architect at [getentity id="22935" comment="ASML"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how far EUV can be extended and where it is today. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: High numerical aperture [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] has been in the works for some time as a way of extending EUV. How is this technology shaping... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

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