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Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail Worsens At 7/5nm


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

Design Compliant Source Mask Optimization (SMO)


Source Mask Optimization (SMO) is required to extend the use of 193 water immersion lithography to the 22nm technology node. Although SMO is being aggressively pushed in volume production the layout design implications of this technology have not been openly discussed. In this paper, the impact of layout design style on simultaneous SMO of Logic and SRAM is studied. In particular the improvemen... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries said that it is putting its 7nm finFET program on hold indefinitely and has dropped plans to pursue technology nodes beyond 7nm. To be sure, it was a tough decision by GF to put 7nm on hold. But generally, analysts believe that GF made the right decision. “There’s only a handful of semiconductor companies that will require high-volume 7nm technology right when... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars The Trump administration unveiled a plan to impose additional tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods on July 10. The announced product list included more than ten categories of LED package and lighting products, according to LEDinside, a division of TrendForce. The export value of the major lighting products in the list reached $5 billion in 2017. “So far, the impact of the U... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC has reduced its outlook for 2018 revenue and capital spending, according to Bloomberg. The company blamed the outlook on sluggish “mobile and digital currency mining demand,” according to the report. Samsung has developed the industry’s first 10nm-class 8-gigabit LPDDR5 DRAM. The 8Gb LPDDR5 boasts a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits-per-second (Mb/s), which is 1.5 tim... » read more

Estimating MOSFET Leakage From Low-Cost, Low-Resolution Fast Parametric Test


A method of estimating the subthershold component of MOSFET off-state current (Ioffs) using low-cost, low-resolution fast parallel parametric test is introduced. This method measures the subthreshold slope and uses it to estimate Ioffs. Measurements of individual transistors show a very good agreement between measured Ioffs and Ioffs estimated using our approach. For a simple pad-efficient tran... » read more

Dealing With Resistance In Chips


Chipmakers continue to scale the transistor at advanced nodes, but they are struggling to maintain the same pace with the other two critical parts of the device—the contacts and interconnects. That’s beginning to change, however. In fact, at 10nm/7nm, chipmakers are introducing new topologies and materials such as cobalt, which promises to boost the performance and reduce unwanted resist... » read more

Big Trouble At 3nm


As chipmakers begin to ramp up 10nm/7nm technologies in the market, vendors are also gearing up for the development of a next-generation transistor type at 3nm. Some have announced specific plans at 3nm, but the transition to this node is expected to be a long and bumpy one, filled with a slew of technical and cost challenges. For example, the design cost for a 3nm chip could exceed an eye-p... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test and packaging In a major surprise, Cohu has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Xcerra for approximately $796 million. With the deal, Cohu will enter the ATE market. Last year, a group from China entered into a definitive agreement under which it would acquire Xcerra. But the U.S. blocked Xcerra’s sale to the Chinese group. Ironically, at one time, Cohu was reportedly lobbyin... » read more

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