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Extending Copper Interconnects To 2nm


Transistor scaling is reaching a tipping point at 3nm, where nanosheet FETs will likely replace finFETs to meet performance, power, area, and cost (PPAC) goals. A significant architectural change is similarly being evaluated for copper interconnects at 2nm, a move that would reconfigure the way power is delivered to transistors. This approach relies on so-called buried power rails (BPRs) and... » 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

Tech Talk: 5/3nm Parasitics


Ralph Iverson, principal R&D engineer at Synopsys, talks about parasitic extraction at 5/3nm and what to expect with new materials and gate structures such as gate-all-around FETs and vertical nanowire FETs. https://youtu.be/24C6byQBkuI » read more

Still Searching For Rare Earths


There is both good and bad news for buyers of rare earths. The good news: It’s a buyers’ market. Prices for rare earths remain depressed amid a glut in the marketplace. The bad news: The supplier base is shaky. China still accounts for 85% of the world’s total production of rare earths, but most Chinese suppliers are operating at a loss. And two of the main non-Chinese suppliers, M... » read more

It’s a Materials World, With Positive Forecast


By Michael Fury What’s the latest in materials forecasts for ALD/CVD precursors, CMP consumables, electronic gases, silicon wafers and sputtering targets? Techcet gives us an update. Metal Gate and Electrode Precursors to Double in Five Years Use of front-end Ta and W metal gate and Hf gate dielectric precursors will grow over 2.5x by 2020, according to a new report from Techcet, “20... » read more

Searching For Rare Earths Again


Rare earths are back in the spotlight again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semiconductor production, rare earths are used in high-k dielectrics, CMP slurries and other applications. Last year, the World Tr... » read more

More Problems Ahead


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss future scaling problems with Lars Liebmann, a fellow at IBM; Adam Brand, managing director of transistor technology at Applied Materials; Karim Arabi, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm; and Srinivas Banna, a fellow for advanced technology architecture at GlobalFoundries. SE: There seems to be some debate in this group about whether we’r... » read more

EU Due Diligence For Conflict Minerals Focuses Upstream, For Now


By Rania Georgoutsakou EU proposed legislation on responsible sourcing of ‘conflict minerals’, published on 5 March 2014, will create a voluntary scheme focusing on upstream suppliers that should help downstream users get the information they need to comply with the U.S. Dodd Frank Act. The EU proposals largely address concerns raised by SEMI and other industry associations, but things cou... » read more