Improving EUV Process Efficiency


The semiconductor industry is rethinking the manufacturing flow for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in an effort to improve the overall process and reduce waste in the fab. Vendors currently are developing new and potentially breakthrough fab materials and equipment. Those technologies are still in R&D and have yet to be proven. But if they work as planned, they could boost the flo... » 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

5/3nm Wars Begin


Several foundries are ramping up their new 5nm processes in the market, but now customers must decide whether to design their next chips around the current transistor type or move to a different one at 3nm and beyond. The decision involves the move to extend today’s finFETs to 3nm, or to implement a new technology called gate-all-around FETs (GAA FETs) at 3nm or 2nm. An evolutionary step f... » read more

Building An MRAM Array


MRAM is gaining traction in a variety of designs as a middle-level type of memory, but there are reasons why it took so long to bring this memory to market. A typical magnetoresistive RAM architecture is based on CoFeB magnetic layers, with an MgO tunneling barrier. The reference layer should have zero net magnetization to make sure that it doesn’t influence the orientation of the free lay... » read more

Wanted: More Fab Tool Part Standards


As chipmakers ramp up the next wave of processes and grapple with how to reduce defect levels, they are encountering problems from an unlikely source—components inside of the fab equipment. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yields and device performance. Typically, they are caused by an unforeseen glitch during the process flow. But a lesser-known problem involves defe... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test In the rankings, ASE was the top OSAT in terms of sales in the first quarter of 2019, according to TrendForce. Amkor and JCET were next in the rankings. “Judging from the falling phone sales 1Q19 impacted by the U.S.-China trade dispute and the oversupply situation in memory markets, the total revenue of the top ten businesses in packaging and testing are predicted to st... » read more

Single Vs. Multi-Patterning EUV


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography finally is moving into production, but foundry customers now must decide whether to implement their designs using EUV-based single patterning at 7nm, or whether to wait and instead deploy EUV multiple patterning at 5nm. Each patterning scheme has unique challenges, making that decision more difficult than it might appear. Targeted for 7nm, single pattern... » 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

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