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High-NA EUV May Be Closer Than It Appears


High-NA EUV is on track to enable scaling down to the Angstrom level, setting the stage for chips with even higher transistor counts and a whole new wave of tools, materials, and system architectures. At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Mark Phillips, director of lithography hardware and solutions at Intel, reiterated the company’s intention to deploy the technology in high... » read more

Measurement Of Deep Trenches To Study The RIE Lag Effect


The demand for accurate characterization of high aspect ratio geometries such as narrow gaps, deep trenches or deep holes arises in many technologies and industries. A variety of metrology techniques have been utilized to accommodate these needs. Among the candidates for this type of metrology, 3D optical profiling characterization is becoming more and more prevalent in process control. Due to ... » read more

Highly Selective Etch Rolls Out For Next-Gen Chips


Several etch vendors are starting to ship next-generation selective etch tools, paving the way for new memory and logic devices. Applied Materials was the first vendor to ship a next-gen selective etch system, sometimes called highly-selective etch, in 2016. Now, Lam Research, TEL, and others are shipping tools with highly-selective etch capabilities, in preparation for futuristic devices su... » read more

MicroLEDs Moving From Lab to Fab


Every disruptive technology has its "aha" moment — the time when everyone from engineers to investors realizes that, yes, this technology is the real deal and it won’t be scrapped on the R&D floor. For many, it was Samsung’s recent announcement of a 110-inch microLED TV that irrevocably put microLEDs on the map. The TV’s price is $155,000, but as with most consumer electronics th... » read more

Demand, Lead Times Soar For 300mm Equipment


A surge in demand for various chips is causing select shortages and extended lead times for many types of 300mm semiconductor equipment, photomask tools, wafers, and other products. For the last several years, 200mm equipment has been in short supply in the market, but issues are now cropping up throughout the 300mm supply chain, as well. Traditionally, lead times have been three to six mont... » read more

Deprocessing And SEM For Semiconductor Failure Analysis


A typical semiconductor is fabricated from metal and barrier layers separated by passivation layers. A further glassivation and/or polyimide layer on top of these provides environmental and mechanical protection. Optical microscopes By using optical microscopy, the semiconductor die can be inspected for failure modes such as top-down visible crack degradation, melt-down of metal conductors,... » read more

Embedded Phase-Change Memory Emerges


The next-generation memory market for embedded applications is becoming more crowded as another technology emerges in the arena—embedded phase-change memory. Phase-change memory is not new and has been in the works for decades. But the technology has taken longer to commercialize amid a number of technical and cost challenges. Phase-change memory, a nonvolatile memory type that stores data... » read more

Etch Techniques for Next-Generation Storage-Class Memory


Chipmakers make abundant use of two very different functional classes of memory in their products. For operational use (main/primary memory) where speed is critical, DRAM and SRAM are employed, whereas for long-term storage, flash memory – in particular NAND – provides the high capacity at low cost needed. For both classes, efforts to improve speed, capacity, and power usage are ongoing. To... » read more

What’s Next For Atomic Layer Etch?


After years in R&D, several fab tool vendors last year finally began to ship systems based a next-generation technology called atomic layer etch (ALE). [getkc id="284" kc_name="ALE"] is is moving into 16/14nm, but it will play a big role at 10/7nm and beyond. The industry also is working on the next wave of ALE technology for advanced logic and memory production. Used by chipmakers fo... » read more

Dealing With Atoms


Chipmakers are ramping up a new range of device architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But to enable current and future devices, IC vendors will require new breakthroughs, including tools that can process tiny structures and films, even at the atomic level. The problem? There are gaps in terms of techniques that can process chips at the atomic level. Looking to help fill part of the ... » read more