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Innovative Dual Mark Design For Alignment Verification And Process Monitoring In Advanced Lithography


Improving on product overlay is one of the key challenges when shrinking technology nodes in semiconductor manufacturing. . . . With smart placement of alignment mark pairs in the X and Y direction, it is possible to determine intra-wafer distortion wafer-by-wafer. Both the measurement and modeled results are applied directly as a feed-forward correction to enable wafer level control. In this p... » read more

Greenfield Projects Needed To Meet Silicon Wafer Demand


After logging record shipments in the first quarter of 2021, the silicon wafer industry may need to start greenfield projects as soon as this year to boost capacity over the next two years as market demand and average selling prices continue to improve. One segment hamstrung by a supply shortage is 300mm epitaxial wafers, a shortfall we expect to drive continuing price increases in the comin... » read more

Gradual Rebound Or Slight Dip


Uncertainty has gripped the silicon wafer market as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to upend growth projections for 2020. Declines in both shipments and revenue plagued the silicon wafer market in 2019, a downturn that had given way to optimism for 2020 with rising expectations for normalizing inventory levels, memory market improvements, data center market growth and the 5G market takeoff. ... » read more

Sandia’s Fab Gets An Upgrade


Sandia National Laboratories just finished updating equipment in its microelectronics fab, marking the completion of the first phase of a 3-year fab upgrade program. The transition from 6-inch to 8-inch wafer sizes will align the Department of Energy national lab with industry standards to ensure easier access to tools, spare parts and raw materials. Sandia is a prestigious member of the... » read more

Intra-Field Stress Impact on Global Wafer Deformation


One of the contributors to layer-to-layer overlay in today’s chip manufacturing process is wafer distortion due to thin film deposition. Mismatch in the film specific material parameters (e.g., thermal expansion coefficients) may result in process-induced warpage of the wafers at room temperature. When these warped wafers are loaded onto the scanner for the next layer exposure, in-plane disto... » read more

Q1 2019 Unit Drop Impacts Wafer Demand For 2019


The Semico Wafer Demand Model update for Q1 2019 now results in a 5.9% decline in wafer demand for 2019. Along with process technology and productivity, Semico’s Wafer Demand Model is highly dependent on semiconductor unit sales. In the Q1 2019, total semiconductor units dropped by 7.4% compared to Q4 2018 and 3.8% compared to Q1 2018. The drop in units is significant because of the broad spe... » read more

From Sand To Wafers


More than most industries, ours is identified with a single element, silicon. Consider the self-adopted naming conventions of all the places that want to be recognized as members of the club—Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, Silicon Forest and so on. Silicon wafers are fundamental in manufacturing the electronic “chips” that pervade almost every aspect of our lives. New applications in IoT, ... » read more

150MM Alive and Kicking


Did you think chip making on 150mm wafers was a thing of the past? Think again. Many of the megatrends shaping our collective futures—mobility, autonomous driving and electric vehicles, 5G wireless communications, augmented- and virtual reality (AR/VR), and healthcare—depend on innovations created on the 150mm wafer size. While attention is often riveted on the race to the leading-edge n... » read more

Inspecting Unpatterned Wafers


Unpatterned wafer inspection, which has flown well under the radar for most of the semiconductor industry, is becoming more critical amid the need to find defects earlier in the manufacturing process flow. Finding those defects is getting harder as critical dimensions shrink. It's more difficult to actually detect smaller defects on bare wafers, there is more data to process, and there is mo... » read more

All I Want For Christmas…


As I write this, we’re heading into the 2016 holiday season. December 21 is also the shortest day of the year, so I better get right to the point. 2016 has been a year of many surprises. The spectacular consolidation in the semiconductor industry has permanently altered the landscape.  It has created new, world-class capability and left a few gaps as well. 2.5D designs are finally moving ... » read more

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