Lower Resistance Protects Against Failure In IC Design


By Fady Fouad, Esraa Swillam, and Jeff Wilson When you’re fighting off a threat, you typically want all the resistance you can muster. In IC design, on the other hand, minimizing resistance is crucial to success in power structure design. As metals get narrower with technology node advances, resistance levels rise, and voltage drop (IR) and electromigration (EM) issues grow, both in number... » read more

Super Planarizing Material For Trench And Via Arrays


As device design scales and becomes more complex, fine control of patterning and transfer steps is integral. Planarization of deep trenches and via arrays has always been a challenge. Aspect ratios continue to increase while critical dimensions shrink, and typical trench fill schemes are no longer able to meet the fill and planarization requirements. Traditional design of spin-on carbon (SOC) m... » read more

GDDR6: Signal Integrity Challenges For Automotive Systems


Signal integrity (SI) is at the forefront of SoC and system designers’ thinking as they plan for upcoming high-speed GDDR6 DRAM and PHY implementations for automotive and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) applications. Rambus and its partners are closely looking at how GDDR6’s 16 gigabit per second speed at each pin affects signal integrity given the cost and system constraints for a... » read more

CMOS Area Scaling And The Need For High Aspect Ratio Vias


Resolving internal routing congestion will be essential to enable CMOS area scaling to the N5 node and beyond. The solution will require new design maneuvers in place and route (PnR), as well as patterning innovations. In this work, we present inter-layer high aspect ratio vias or ‘SuperVia’ (SV) as one technology element that could enable track height scaling to 4.5T at aggressive N5 dime... » 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

New Patterning Options Emerging


Several fab tool vendors are rolling out the next wave of self-aligned patterning technologies amid the shift toward new devices at 10/7nm and beyond. Applied Materials, Lam Research and TEL are developing self-aligned technologies based on a variety of new approaches. The latest approach involves self-aligned patterning techniques with multi-color material schemes, which are designed for us... » read more

Improving Patterning Yield At The 5nm Semiconductor Node


Engineering decisions are always data-driven. As scientists, we only believe in facts and not in intuition or feelings. At the manufacturing stage, the semiconductor industry is eager to provide data and facts to engineers based upon metrics such as the quantity of wafers produced per hour and sites/devices tested on each of those wafers. The massive quantity of data generated in semiconduct... » read more

Nontraditional Post Develop Inspection And Review Strategy For Via Defects


A viable in-line monitor for missing vias in the back end of line (BEOL) has traditionally been challenging due to the nature of the defects. Today’s available solutions do not meet the requirements of a true in-line and at-level monitor strategy. These solutions either indirectly monitor the defect further down the line, put production at risk of damage or contamination due to exceeding stri... » read more

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm (Part 1)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » read more

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