Challenges At 3/2nm


David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, talks about issues at upcoming process nodes, the move to EUV lithography and nanosheet transistors, and how process variation can affect yield and device performance. » read more

Introducing Nanosheets Into Complementary-Field Effect Transistors (CFETs)


In our November 2019 blog [1], we discussed using virtual fabrication (SEMulator3D) to benchmark different process integration options for Complementary-FET (CFET) fabrication. CFET is a CMOS architecture that was proposed by imec in 2018 [2]. This architecture contains p- and n-MOSFET structures built on top of each other, instead of having them located side-by-side. In our previous blog, we r... » read more

Moving To GAA FETs


How do you measure the size of a transistor? Is it the gate length, or the distance between the source and drain contacts? For planar transistors, the two values are approximately the same. The gate, plus a dielectric spacer, fits between the source and drain contacts. The contact pitch, limited by the smallest features that the lithography process can print, determines how many transistors ... » read more

EDA In The Cloud


Michael White, director of product marketing for Calibre physical verification at Mentor, a Siemens Business, looks at the growing compute requirements at 7, 5 and 3nm, why the cloud looks increasingly attractive from a security and capacity standpoint, and how the cloud as well as new lithography will affect the cost and complexity of developing new chips. » read more

Variation Issues Grow Wider And Deeper


Variation is becoming more problematic as chips become increasingly heterogeneous and as they are used in new applications and different locations, sparking concerns about how to solve these issues and what the full impact will be. In the past, variation in semiconductors was considered a foundry issue, typically at the most advanced process node, and largely ignored by most companies. New p... » read more

Some Chipmakers Sidestep Scaling, Others Hedge


The rising cost of developing chips at 7nm coupled with the reduced benefits of scaling have pried open the floodgates for a variety of options involving new materials, architectures and packaging that either were ignored or not fully developed in the past. Some of these approaches are closely tied to new markets, such as assisted and autonomous vehicles, robotics and 5G. Others involve new ... » read more

Accelerators Everywhere. Now What?


It's a good time to be a data scientist, but it's about to become much more challenging for software and hardware engineers. Understanding the different types and how data flows is the next path forward in system design. As the number of sources of data rises, creating exponential spikes in the volume of data, entirely new approaches to computing will be required. The problem is understandi... » read more

Can Graphene Be Mass Manufactured?


Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, the high mobility and unique transport properties of 2-dimensional semiconductors have tantalized physicists and materials scientists. Their in-plane carrier transport and lack of dangling bonds potentially can minimize line/edge scattering and other effects of extreme scaling. While 2-D materials cannot compete with silicon at current device dime... » read more

5nm Design Progress


Activity surrounding the 5nm manufacturing process node is quickly ramping, creating a better picture of the myriad and increasingly complex design issues that must be overcome. Progress at each new node after 28nm has required an increasingly tight partnership between the foundries, which are developing new processes and rule decks, along with EDA and IP vendors, which are adding tools, met... » read more

Where Is Selective Deposition?


For years, the industry has been working on an advanced technology called area-selective deposition for chip production at 5nm and beyond. Area-selective deposition, an advanced self-aligned patterning technique, is still in R&D amid a slew of challenges with the technology. But the more advanced forms of technology are beginning to make some progress, possibly inching closer from the la... » read more

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