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Imec’s Plan For Continued Scaling


At IEDM in December, the opening keynote (technically "Plenary 1") was by Sri Samevadam of Imec. His presentation was titled "Towards Atomic Channels and Deconstructed Chips." He presented Imec's view of the future of semiconductors going forward, both Moore's Law (scaling) and More than More (advanced packaging and multiple die). It is always interesting to hear Imec's view of the world since... » read more

What’s Next In AI, Chips And Masks


Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about AI and Moore’s Law, lithography, and photomask technologies. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In the eBeam Initiative’s recent Luminary Survey, the participants had some interesting observations about the outlook for the photomask market. What were those observations? Fujimur... » read more

Performance and Power Tradeoffs At 7/5nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

Rethinking The Scaling Mantra


What makes a new chip better than a previous version, or a competitor's version, has been changing for some time. In most cases the key metrics are still performance and power, but what works for one application or use case increasingly is different from another. Advancements are rarely tied just to process nodes these days. Even the most die-hard proponents of Moore's Law recognize that the... » read more

Making Chips To Last Their Expected Lifetimes


Chips are supposed to last their lifetime, but that expectation varies greatly depending upon the end market, whether the device is used for safety- or mission-critical applications, and even whether it can be easily replaced or remotely fixed. It also depends on how those chips are used, whether they are an essential part of a complex system, and whether the cost of continual monitoring and... » read more

Good Vs. Bad Acquisitions


M&A activity is beginning to heat up across the semiconductor industry, fueled by high market caps, low interest rates, and a slew of startups with innovative technology and limited market reach. Some of these deals are gigantic, such as the pending acquisition of Arm by Nvidia, and the proposed purchase of Maxim Integrated by Analog Devices. Others are more modest, such as Arteris IP's ... » read more

Chiplet Reliability Challenges Ahead


Assembling chips using LEGO-like hard IP is finally beginning to take root, more than two decades after it was first proposed, holding the promise of faster time to market with predictable results and higher yield. But as these systems of chips begin showing up in mission-critical and safety-critical applications, ensuring reliability is proving to be stubbornly difficult. The main driver fo... » read more

Speeding Up Process Optimization With Virtual Processing


Advanced CMOS scaling and new memory technologies have introduced increasingly complex structures into the device manufacturing process. For example, the increase in NAND memory layers has achieved greater vertical NAND scaling and higher memory density, but has led to challenges in high aspect ratio etch patterning and foot print scaling issues. Unique integration and patterning schemes have b... » read more

Scaling At The Angstrom Level


It now appears likely that 2nm will happen, and possibly the next node or two beyond that. What isn't clear is what those chips will be used for, by whom, and what they ultimately will look like. The uncertainty isn't about the technical challenges. The semiconductor industry understands the implications of every step of the manufacturing process down to the sub-nanometer level, including ho... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Rising


The chiplet model is gaining momentum as an alternative to developing monolithic ASIC designs, which are becoming more complex and expensive at each node. Several companies and industry groups are rallying around the chiplet model, including AMD, Intel and TSMC. In addition, there is a new U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiative. The goal is to speed up time to market and reduce the cost... » read more

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