Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TrendForce released its foundry rankings for the first quarter of 2019. TSMC is still the clear leader, followed in order by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. It was a tough quarter for all foundries. Samsung has rolled out its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) product. The new solution, called Flashbolt, is the industry’s first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2Gbps... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys announced several new products: a new test family, a physical verification solution, and a software library for neural net SoCs. TestMAX, the new family of test products, includes soft error analysis and X-tolerant logic BIST for automotive test and functional safety requirements. TestMAX enables test through functional high-speed interfaces and supports early validation of DFT logi... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

Making Chip Packaging Simpler


Packaging is emerging as one of the most critical elements in semiconductor design, but it's also proving difficult to master both technically and economically. The original role of packaging was simply to protect the chips inside, and there are still packages that do just that. But at advanced nodes, and with the integration of heterogeneous components built using different manufacturing pr... » read more

EUV Mask Readiness Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and photomask technologies with Emily Gallagher, principal member of the technical staff at Imec; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Chris Spence, vice president of advanced technology development at ASML; Banqiu Wu, senior director of process development at Applied Materials; and Aki Fujimura, chief ... » read more

Slow And Cautious Start To 2019 For Memory Manufacturers


Both NAND and DRAM prices began dropping in the second half of 2018 after a couple years at record highs. Product oversupply and excess inventories are signaling a bleak outlook for the memory market in the first half of 2019. With these conditions in mind, SK Hynix and Samsung have slowed or put on hold their plans for capacity expansion in 2H18 and 2019. The chart below shows DRAM capacity... » read more

E-Beam Review And CD Measurement Revolutionizes Display Yield Management


Fundamental changes are occurring in the display industry, driven by demands for higher-resolution screens and other capabilities for both mobile and TV applications. To meet these demands, the display technology roadmap in this article calls for innovations in materials, processes and device technology. Critical requirements include smaller design rules and the adoption of a range of materi... » read more

The Growing Challenge Of Thermal Guard-Banding


Guard-banding for heat is becoming more difficult as chips are used across a variety of new and existing applications, forcing chipmakers to architect their way through increasingly complex interactions. Chips are designed to operate at certain temperatures, and it is common practice to develop designs with some margin to ensure correct functionality and performance throughout the operat... » read more

Power Budgets At 3nm And Beyond


There is high confidence that digital logic will continue to shrink at least to 3nm, and possibly down to 1.5nm. Each of those will require significant changes in how design teams approach power. This is somewhat evolutionary for most chipmakers. Five years ago there were fewer than a handful of power experts in most large organizations. Today, everyone deals with power in one way or another... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

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