Battling Over Shrinking Physical Margin In Chips

Smaller process nodes, coupled with a continual quest to add more features into designs, are forcing chipmakers and systems companies to choose which design and manufacturing groups have access to a shrinking pool of technology margin. In the past margin largely was split between the foundries, which imposed highly restrictive design rules (RDRs) to compensate for uncertainties in new proces... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 10nm FinFETs

Foundry vendors are currently ramping up their 16nm/14nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] processes in the market. Vendors are battling each other for business in the arena, although the migration from planar to finFETs is expected to be a slow and expensive process. Still, despite the challenges at 16nm/14nm, vendors are gearing up for the next battle in the foundry business—the 10nm nod... » read more

One-On-One: Dark Silicon

Professor Michael Taylor’s research group at UC San Diego is studying ways to exploit dark silicon to optimize circuit designs for energy efficiency. He spoke with Semiconductor Engineering about the post-Dennard scaling regime, energy efficiency from integrated circuits all the way up to data centers, and how the manufacturing side can help. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (F... » read more

More Problems Ahead

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss future scaling problems with Lars Liebmann, a fellow at IBM; Adam Brand, managing director of transistor technology at Applied Materials; Karim Arabi, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm; and Srinivas Banna, a fellow for advanced technology architecture at GlobalFoundries. SE: There seems to be some debate in this group about whether we’r... » read more

DFM And Multipatterning

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss DFM at advanced nodes with Kuang-Kuo Lin, director of foundry design enablement at Samsung Electronics; Jongwook Kye, lithography modeling and architecture fellow at GlobalFoundries; David Abercrombie, advanced physical verification methodology program manager at Mentor Graphics; Ya-Chieh Lai, engineering director for DFM/CLS silicon signoff and ver... » read more

Good Pattern Flow Ahead For 14, 10nm

By Ann Steffora Mutschler Given complexity, yield, power and other challenges with leading edge manufacturing, semiconductor foundries increasingly have been forced to require more and more restrictive design rules with each new process node. “They keep adding more design rules and more operations to a particular check to eliminate corner cases where in manufacturing they saw some variant... » read more

Increasing Levels Of Risk

Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design sits down with Mentor Graphics' Jean-Marie Brunet to talk about double patterning, finFETs, design rules at advanced nodes and why design for manufacturing (DFM) has suddenly become so popular. [youtube vid=3GHvikyjZow] » read more

Restrictive Design Rules, Take Two

By Ed Sperling For the past couple of years, restrictive design rules have been looming over advanced process nodes as the best way to get a chip out the door with minimal re-spins, on schedule and for the least amount of money. Even with immersion technology, 193nm wavelengths mean the laser beam is entirely too large to create the masks used to create complex systems on chip at 32nm and bel... » read more

Software Becomes The Main Differentiating Factor

By Ed Sperling Software has always been critical in determining what makes one chip different from another, but for the next couple of process nodes it will take on new significance. Rather than just defining function, it also will be one of the key determinants in performance and function. Behind this change is a bottleneck in lithography, which generally is not something most design eng... » read more