The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Is Moore’s Law alive or dead? That’s still a topic for debate. In any case, chipmakers continue to move to advanced nodes, but the transitions are taking longer. Even mighty Intel is struggling, based on what the company said about its 14nm finFET process during an investors meeting this week. In fact, Intel continues to struggle with its yields. “14nm yield is maturing; 14nm is still not... » read more

Non-Visual Defect Inspection: The Tech of Tomorrow?

Remember when it first became obvious that the semiconductor manufacturing industry was going to expect lithography to resolve features smaller than the wavelength of light used in the litho tools themselves? Thanks to techniques such as the use of phase shift photomasks, sub-wavelength lithography is standard in chip fabs today. It might even be viewed as “old hat,” although still an ex... » read more

Non-visual defect inspection gives fabs better eyes, new insights

For a long time, semiconductor defect inspection focused on particles, and particle defects remain an important cause of yield loss. But as devices have become more complex, additional kinds of defects have drawn the attention of process engineers. Bridging, pattern collapse, and other resist defects have become particularly important in the sub-100 nm era. The introduction of CMP brought abras... » read more

FD-SOI Foundations Ready, Say Semi Execs

By Adele Hars SOI (especially fully depleted “FD-SOI”) was a hot topic in the video and audio interviews that Debra Vogler of SST released recently. Here are brief summaries of the most important SOI-related interviews – with top brass from Leti, Soitec, KT, EVG and Qcept –  that she made at Semicon West ’11. (If you need a quick backgrounder on FD-SOI basics, see this exp... » read more