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MEMS: New Materials, Markets And Packaging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about future developments and challenges for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) with Gerold Schropfer, director of MEMS products and European operations in Lam Research's Computational Products group, and Michelle Bourke, senior director of strategic marketing for Lam's Customer Support Business Group. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.... » read more

Untangling 3D NAND: Tilt, Registration, And Misalignment


The multiple demands of 3D NAND to enable yield and performance increase in difficulty at each generation. First generation devices, at 24-32 layer pairs, pushed process tools to extremes, going quickly from 10:1 to 40:1 aspect ratios for today’s 64-96 pair single tier devices. The aspect ratios increased as fast as the manufacturing challenges. To continue bit density scaling, processing imp... » read more

Extreme Quality Semiconductor Manufacturing, Part 1: Automotive


By Ben Tsai and Cathy Perry Sullivan Across the full range of semiconductor device types and design nodes, there is a drive to produce chips with significantly higher quality. Automotive, IoT and other industrial applications require chips that achieve very high reliability over a long period of time, and some of these chips must maintain reliable performance while operating in an environmen... » read more

Weighing Wafers Simplifies Metrology


Building semiconductors is an incredibly exacting process, with critical dimensions posing significant equipment challenges – and with the possibility that small process excursions can cause the yield to decrease. For this reason, it has always been important to measure and monitor the most critical process steps to ensure that no further processing is done on a faulty lot and so that equipme... » read more

Process Control For Next-Generation Memories


The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are driving the need for higher speeds and more power-efficient computing. The industry is responding by bringing new memory technologies to the marketplace. Three new types of memory in particular—MRAM (magnetic random access memory), PCRAM (phase change RAM) and ReRAM (resistive RAM)—are emerging as leading candidat... » read more

Controlling IC Manufacturing Processes For Yield


Equipment and tools vendors are starting to focus on data as a means of improving yield, adding more sensors and analysis capabilities into the manufacturing flow to circumvent problems in real time. How much this will impact the cost of developing complex chips at leading-edge nodes, and in 2.5D and 3D-IC packages, remains to be seen. But the race to both generate data during manufacturing ... » read more

Virtual Fabrication And Advanced Process Control Improve Yield For SAQP Process Assessment With 16nm Half-Pitch


This paper uses Virtual Fabrication to assess the Imec 7nm node (iN7) Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) integration scheme for the 16nm half-pitch Metal 2 line formation. We first present the technical challenge of obtaining defect-free M2 lines with SAQP, and then provide a solution to achieve a » read more

Digging Deep Into High Aspect Ratio Process Control For Memory Technology


By Mark Shirey and Janay Camp Data is an integral part of our lives. Contrary to the past, where files had to be removed periodically to free up storage space, we now assume that our data will never be deleted. Why risk deleting the wrong file? Just keep them! This new approach consumes a lot of memory, and intensifies the demand for storage. Two of the main workhorses of the memory segment ... » read more

The Challenges Of Process Control On FinFETs And FD-SOI


Across the semiconductor industry, both FD-SOI and finFET transistor technologies are in high volume production, with IC manufacturers looking to extend both technologies to gain additional performance improvements and meet the variety of customer specific technical and economic requirements. In developing the processes needed for the next-generation FD-SOI and finFET technologies, both transis... » read more

Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation And Manufacturing Challenges


As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur i... » read more

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