Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test Lam Research has developed a new self-maintaining or self-cleaning chamber for its etch tools. With the technology, Lam announced a new industry benchmark has been set for productivity in etch processing using its self-maintaining equipment. Etch process modules are typically cleaned weekly or monthly. Recently, Lam and a chipmaker reached the milestone of going 365 days... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

A Crisis In DoD’s Trusted Foundry Program?


The U.S. Department of Defense’s Trusted Foundry program is in flux due to GlobalFoundries’ recent decision to put 7nm on hold, raising national security concerns across the U.S. defense community. U.S. DoD and military/aerospace chip customers currently have access to U.S.-based “secure” foundry capacity down to 14nm, but that's where it ends. No other foundries provide similar “s... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Taiwan on Tuesday suffered a blackout after an accident occurred at a gas-fired plant, according to a report from Bloomberg. The outage, which lasted from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., impacted more than 6 million homes and disrupted some IC production on the island, according to the report. Taiwan’s president was criticized for the event, as the government plans to shutter the island’s nu... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung has formed a new foundry division and rolled out a range of new processes. Specifically, Samsung plans to develop 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm. It also introduced an 18nm FD-SOI technology. GlobalFoundries has provided more details about its 300mm fab plans in China. The company and the Chengdu municipality have announced an investment to develop an ecosystem for its 22nm ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Manufacturing There are more changes at SEMI. SEMI has named David Anderson as president of the SEMI Americas region. Most recently, Anderson was chief executive and chairman of Novati, a specialty manufacturing fab. He replaces Karen Savala, who was president of the SEMI Americas region for six years. In an e-mail, Savala confirmed she left SEMI in October. Meanwhile, in October, SEMI an... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Samsung Austin Semiconductor plans to invest more than $1 billion in its fab in Austin, Texas. Today, the fab continues to ramp up the company’s 14nm finFET technology. At the same time, Samsung is expanding its advanced finFET foundry process technology offerings with its fourth-generation 14nm process (14LPU) and its third-generation 10nm technology (10LPU). Graphcore is developing a so-... » read more

5 Takeaways From BACUS


As usual, the recent SPIE Photomask Technology Conference, sometimes called BACUS, was a busy event. The event, which took place in San Jose, Calif., featured presentations on the usual subjects in the photomask sector. There were presentations on mask writers, inspection, metrology, repair and cleaning. And, of course, the papers included masks based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography... » read more

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