Finding Defects With E-Beam Inspection


Several companies are developing or shipping next-generation e-beam inspection systems in an effort to reduce defects in advanced logic and memory chips. Vendors are taking two approaches with these new e-beam inspection systems. One is a more traditional approach, which uses a single-beam e-beam system. Others, meanwhile, are developing newer multi-beam technology. Both approaches have thei... » read more

Speeding Up The R&D Metrology Process


Several chipmakers are making some major changes in the characterization/metrology lab, adding more fab-like processes in this group to help speed up chip development times. The characterization/metrology lab, which is generally under the radar, is a group that works with the R&D organization and the fab. The characterization lab is involved in the early analytical work for next-generati... » 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

New Imaging Tech Finds Buried Defects


By Shinsuke Mizuno and Vadim Kuchik Defects and contamination on the wafer can slow process development times and limit performance and yield. As chips get more complex, more defects can become buried within the increasing number of layers in the design. Finding and analyzing these buried defects is a major challenge for the industry, especially during the early learning cycles of new manufa... » read more

3D NAND Metrology Challenges Growing


3D NAND vendors face several challenges to scale their devices to the next level, but one manufacturing technology stands out as much more difficult at each turn—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems and ensure yields for all chip types. In the case of 3D NAND, the metrology tools are becoming more expensive at each iteration... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 19


Hot videos The University of Minnesota has recorded videos that show how heat travels through materials, a move that could give researchers insight into the behavior of atoms and other structures. It could also pave the way towards the development of more efficient materials for use in electronics and other applications. In the lab, researchers used FEI’s transmission electron microsc... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 21


Graphene metrology Harvard University, Monash University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that provides atomic-scale images of colloidal nanoparticles. The technique, dubbed SINGLE, stands for 3D Structure Identification of Nanoparticles by Graphene Liquid Cell Electron Microscopy. Using the technology, researchers ha... » read more

Searching For 3D Metrology


In the previous decade, chipmakers made a bold but necessary decision to select the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] as the next transistor architecture for the IC industry. Over time, though, chipmakers discovered that the finFET would present some challenges in the fab. Deposition, etch and lithography were the obvious hurdles, but chipmakers also saw a big gap in metrology. In fact,... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 24


EUV progress report At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, Calif., ASML Holding said that one customer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC), has exposed more than 1,000 wafers on an NXE:3300B EUV system in a single day. This is one step towards the insertion of EUV lithography in volume production. During a recent test run on the system, TSMC exposed 1,022 w... » read more