Unsticking Moore’s Law


Sanjay Natarajan, corporate vice president at Applied Materials with responsibility for transistor, interconnect and memory solutions, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about variation, Moore's Law, the impact of new materials such as cobalt, and different memory architectures and approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Reliability is becoming more of an... » read more

Variation’s Long Tentacles


Today, most design engineers don't pay much attention to variation. It's generally considered to be a manufacturing problem. Even within the fab, various job functions are segmented enough that variation in one part of the process, such as the photomask shop, doesn't necessarily come to the attention of the people doing deposition and etch or those polishing the wafers. But increasingly, ... » read more

Variation Issues Grow Wider And Deeper


Variation is becoming more problematic as chips become increasingly heterogeneous and as they are used in new applications and different locations, sparking concerns about how to solve these issues and what the full impact will be. In the past, variation in semiconductors was considered a foundry issue, typically at the most advanced process node, and largely ignored by most companies. New p... » read more

Boosting Analog Reliability


Aveek Sarkar, vice president of Synopsys’ Custom Compiler Group, talks about challenges with complex design rules, rigid design methodologies, and the gap between pre-layout and post-layout simulation at finFET nodes. https://youtu.be/JRYlYJ31LLw » read more

Top Tech Talks Of 2018


2018 shaped up to be a year of transition and inflection, sometimes in the same design. There were new opportunities in automotive, continued difficulties in scaling, and an explosion in AI and machine learning everywhere. Traffic numbers on stories give a snapshot of the most current trends, but with videos those trends are even more apparent because of the time invested in watching those v... » read more

Multi-Beam Mask Writing Finally Comes Of Age


Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss photomask and mask writing trends. IMS, a subsidiary of Intel, is a supplier of multi-beam e-beam systems for photomask production. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: For years, photomask makers have used single-beam e-beam tools to pattern or write the features on ... » read more

Variation At 10/7nm


Klaus Schuegraf, vice president of new products and solutions at PDF Solutions, explains why variability is a growing challenge at advanced nodes, why middle of line is now one of the big problem areas, and what happens when a via is misaligned due to a small process variation. https://youtu.be/jQfggOnxZJQ » read more

Thermal Impact On Reliability At 7/5nm


Haroon Chaudhri, director of RedHawk Analysis Fusion at Synopsys, talks about why thermal analysis is shifting left in the design cycle and why this is so critical at the most advanced process nodes. https://youtu.be/wjkrEFLb2vY » read more

Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail Worsens At 7/5nm


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

Variation In Low-Power FinFET Designs


One of the biggest advantages of moving to the a leading edge process node is ultra-low voltage operation, where devices can achieve better performance using less power. But the latest generation process nodes also introduce a number of new challenges due to increased variation that can affect everything from signal integrity to manufacturing yield. While variation is generally well understo... » read more

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