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Synchrotron S-ray Diffraction-based Non-destructive Nanoscale Mapping of Si/SiGe Nanosheets for GAA structures


New research paper titled "Mapping of the mechanical response in Si/SiGe nanosheet device geometries" from researchers at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Sponsored by U.S. DOE. Abstract "The performance of next-generation, nanoelectronic devices relies on a precise understanding of strain within the constituent materials. However, the increased flexibilit... » 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

Transistors Reach Tipping Point At 3nm


The semiconductor industry is making its first major change in a new transistor type in more than a decade, moving toward a next-generation structure called gate-all-around (GAA) FETs. Although GAA transistors have yet to ship, many industry experts are wondering how long this technology will deliver — and what new architecture will take over from there. Barring major delays, today’s GAA... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors And Chiplets


Sri Samavedam, senior vice president of CMOS Technologies at Imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about finFET scaling, gate-all-around transistors, interconnects, packaging, chiplets and 3D SoCs. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: The semiconductor technology roadmap is moving in several different directions. We have traditional logic scaling, but packaging i... » read more

Inspecting, Testing, And Measuring SiC


Achieving the auto industry's stringent zero defect goals is becoming a big challenge for makers of silicon carbide substrates, which are struggling to achieve sufficient yields and reliability as they migrate from 150mm to 200mm wafers and shift their focus away from pure silicon. SiC is a combination of silicon and harder carbide materials, and it has emerged as a key technology for batter... » read more

Behind The Intel-GlobalFoundries Rumor


A Wall Street Journal report that Intel is looking to buy GlobalFoundries has sparked discussions across the industry. But what exactly this would mean, and why now versus a couple years ago, needs some context. There are layers upon layers of irony behind this would-be deal, and it dates back decades to some rather famous encounters. Consider former AMD CEO Jerry Sanders' 1991 comment that ... » read more

New Transistor Structures At 3nm/2nm


Several foundries continue to develop new processes based on next-generation gate-all-around transistors, including more advanced high-mobility versions, but bringing these technologies into production is going to be difficult and expensive. Intel, Samsung, TSMC and others are laying the groundwork for the transition from today’s finFET transistors to new gate-all-around field-effect trans... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Metrology Challenges For Gate-All-Around


Metrology is proving to be a major challenge for those foundries working on processes for gate-all-around FETs at 3nm and beyond. Metrology is the art of measuring and characterizing structures in devices. Measuring and characterizing structures in devices has become more difficult and expensive at each new node, and the introduction of new types of transistors is making this even harder. Ev... » read more

Moving To GAA FETs


How do you measure the size of a transistor? Is it the gate length, or the distance between the source and drain contacts? For planar transistors, the two values are approximately the same. The gate, plus a dielectric spacer, fits between the source and drain contacts. The contact pitch, limited by the smallest features that the lithography process can print, determines how many transistors ... » read more

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