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The Race To Zero Defects In Auto ICs


Assembly houses are fine-tuning their methodologies and processes for automotive ICs, optimizing everything from inspection and metrology to data management in order to prevent escapes and reduce the number of costly returns. Today, assembly defects account for between 12% and 15% of semiconductor customer returns in the automotive chip market. As component counts in vehicles climb from the ... » read more

An achromatic X-ray lens


Abstract "Diffractive and refractive optical elements have become an integral part of most high-resolution X-ray microscopes. However, they suffer from inherent chromatic aberration. This has to date restricted their use to narrow-bandwidth radiation, essentially limiting such high-resolution X-ray microscopes to high-brightness synchrotron sources. Similar to visible light optics, one way t... » read more

HBM, Nanosheet FETs Drive X-ray Fab Use


Paul Ryan, vice president and general manager of Bruker’s X-ray Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the movement of x-ray metrology into manufacturing to better control nanosheet film stacks and solder bump quality. SE: Where are you seeing the greatest growth right now, and what are the critical drivers for your technology from the application side? Ryan: One b... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 29


Exploring chemical reactions using EUV The University of Tokyo has established a facility to study fast chemical reactions using a coherent extreme ultraviolet light source. The new coherent extreme ultraviolet (XUV) source facility enables researchers to explore time-dependent phenomena, such as ultrafast chemical reactions of biological or physical samples. Located in an underground fa... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 29


Chip scanning Researchers at the University of Southern California and the Paul Scherer Institut in Switzerland developed an x-ray technique to non-destructively scan chips to make sure they conform to specifications. Such a system could be used to identify manufacturing defects or malicious alterations, the team said. Called ptychographic x-ray laminography, the technique utilizes x-rays f... » read more

System Bits: July 23


Superconductivity seen in trilayer graphene Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley researchers discovered signs of superconductivity in stacking three-layer sheets of graphene, they report. “It’s definitely an exciting development,” says Cory Dean, a physicist at Columbia University. Dean notes that bilayer graphene superconducts only when the atomic lattices of ... » read more

X-ray Detects Hidden Failure Modes


Functional testing and visual examination using stereo microscopy are today's 'standard' quality control techniques for characterising yield and workmanship-related issues in IC fabrication and electronics assembly. Currently used test methodologies—such as IPC-TM-650—rely heavily on visual examination. The visual detection of defects can still be difficult, as samples need to be inspected ... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: May 23


Pushing optical metrology The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a new way to determine crystal types using optical metrology techniques. Using an optical-based technique called absorption spectroscopy, researchers have detected tiny nanocrystals down to about 2nm resolutions. Absorption spectroscopy measures the absorption of radiation. It is measured as a function o... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 18


Measuring gooey materials The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Thermo Fisher Scientific have devised an instrument that correlates the flow properties of “soft gooey” materials, such as gels, molten polymers and biological fluids. The instrument, called a rheo-Raman microscope, combines three instruments into one system. First, the system incorporates a Raman sp... » read more

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