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Reducing BEOL Parasitic Capacitance using Air Gaps

By: Michael Hargrove, SP&I Engineer

Reducing back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect parasitic capacitance remains a focus for advanced technology node development. Porous low-k dielectric materials have been used to achieve reduced capacitance, however, these materials remain fragile and prone to reliability concerns. More recently, air gap has been successfully incorporated into 14nm technology [1], and numerous schemes have been proposed to create the air gap [2-3].  There are many challenges to integrate air gap in BEOL such as process margin for un-landed vias and overall increased process complexity. In this paper, we introduce virtual fabrication (SEMulator3D®) as a means to study air gap process integration optimization and resulting interconnect capacitance reduction. Initial calibration to published air gap data is demonstrated. read more…

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Using Advanced Statistical Analysis to improve FinFET transistor performance

By: Jimmy Gu, SP&I Staff Engineer

Trial and error wafer fabrication is commonly used to study the effect of process changes in the development of FinFET and other advanced semiconductor technologies.  Due to the interaction of upstream unit process parameters (such as deposition conformality, etch anisotropy, selectivity) during actual fabrication, variations based upon process changes can be highly complex. Process simulators that mimic fab unit processes can now be used to model these complex interactions.  They can also help process engineers identify important process and/or design parameters that drive certain critical targets such as CDs, yield limiting spacing, 3D design rule violations, resistance/capacitance, and other process and design issues.   The number of possible parameters that affect device performance and yield can be quite large, so statistical analysis can provide useful insight and help identify critical performance parameters.  Coventor’s SEMulator3D virtual fabrication (or process simulation) platform contains an analytics module for conducting virtual design-of-experiments and statistical analysis. I would like to use an example of a 14nm FinFET process flow in SEMulator3D to identify important process parameters that drive fin top CD, which is a key metric for transistor performance.

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Lam Research Acquires Simulation and Modeling Solutions Firm Coventor

Lam Research completes acquisition of Coventor

EuroTrade – September 6, 2017

Lam Research, a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, has completed the acquisition of Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Lam said the acquisition supports its advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges. read more…

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts

By Mark Lapedus

Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues.

To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equipment or a process step can cause defects, thereby impacting yield. The culprit may be a malfunction in seemingly insignificant parts or sub-systems in the equipment itself.

read the full article here.

Lam Research Completes Acquisition of Coventor, a Leader in Simulation and Modeling Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lam Research Completes Acquisition of Coventor, a Leader in Simulation and Modeling Solutions

FREMONT, CA — (Marketwired) – 8/31/17 – Lam Research Corporation (Nasdaq:LRCX), a global supplier of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Coventor, Inc., a leading provider of simulation and modeling solutions for semiconductor process technology, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet of Things (IoT). The combination of Lam and Coventor supports Lam’s advanced process control vision and is expected to accelerate process integration simulation to increase the value of virtual processing, further enabling chipmakers to address some of their most significant technical challenges. read more…

Senior/Staff/Principal C++ Software Engineer – Waltham, MA

Senior/Staff/Principal C++ Software Engineer

At Coventor Inc., we build innovative software products to solve semiconductor technology challenges.  Our leading 3D modeling software is revolutionizing the way that semiconductor chips are fabricated around the world.  Enabled by our core intellectual property – an accelerated 3D voxel modeling and visualization engine – our software is highly successful and is evolving fast as our business and customer base expand rapidly.

Coventor’s software engineers build the foundations of our software; the infrastructure and programming APIs that all developers use, and the user interfaces our customers see.  Software engineers at Coventor are expert C++ coders, comfortable working with our highly re-usable application infrastructure libraries.  Our software is full of interesting engineering challenges including high-performance parallel algorithms, high performance 3D visualization, multi-process architecture decisions, and an advanced user interface.

Great engineering is Coventor’s heart and soul.  Our software is envisioned and created by world-class engineers in many disciplines: software engineering, numerical physics, statistics, electrical engineering, quality assurance and development operations.  Since our inception as an MIT spin-off in Technology Square, we’ve built an experienced management team able to incite fast product evolution through agile process.  At Coventor, you will have autonomy and responsibility to take initiative and turn your ideas into great products.

Responsibilities:

  • Design, implement, test, maintain and improve software in C++ and Python
  • Develop on both Windows and Linux platforms
  • Participate in our Agile software development process
  • Take ownership of your work, collaborating across teams to solve problems and drive projects to completion

Required Qualifications:

  • BS or MS in Computer Science or a related discipline
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a professional software development environment
  • Strong C++ coding skills, including a working knowledge of the STL
  • Aptitude for object oriented design and software architecture
  • Desire to collaborate, contribute to, and learn from a team
  • Ability to learn new technologies and solve problems effectively

Experience in the following areas would be a bonus:

  • Experience in leading projects.  We welcome applicants who are ready to take their next career step.
  • Experience implementing user interfaces with Qt or similar
  • Experience with OpenGL and/or 3D visualization
  • Experience developing cloud-based software applications
  • Knowledge of distributed design patterns
  • Knowledge of Python

 

This regular, full-time position is located in Waltham, MA.  Coventor offers comprehensive benefits and is an EEO/AA Employer. You must be a current legal resident of the U.S. or have a valid U.S. visa to apply for this position. Please e-mail your resume to job1836@coventor.com.

For more information about Coventor, our business, and our products, please visit us on the web at http://www.coventor.com.

Senior C++ Computational Physics/Math Developer for Semiconductor Applications – Waltham, MA

Senior C++ Computational Physics/Math Developer for Semiconductor Applications – Waltham, MA

At Coventor Inc., we build innovative software products to solve semiconductor technology challenges.  Our 3D modeling software is revolutionizing the way that semiconductor chips are fabricated around the world.  Enabled by our core intellectual property – an accelerated 3D voxel modeling and visualization engine – our software is evolving fast as our business and customer base expands rapidly.

Coventor’s modeling team builds the core capabilities of SEMulator3D; the ability to model a wide variety of physical phenomena accurately and efficiently using a variety of numerical techniques.  As a key member of our modeling team you will implement new solvers for coupled, non-linear partial differential equations related to the fabrication and/or behavior of nanoscale semiconductor devices.  This is a hands-on software development position, requiring proficiency in C++ and expertise in numerical methods and physical modeling. Your title, level of responsibility, creative freedom and salary will be commensurate with your education and experience.

Great engineering is Coventor’s heart and soul.  Our software is envisioned and created by world-class engineers in many disciplines: software engineering, numerical physics, statistics, electrical engineering, quality assurance and development operations.  Since our inception as an MIT spin-off in Technology Square, we’ve focused on agility by enabling individuals to take initiative and find innovative solutions to hard problems.  At Coventor, we hire engineers with broad skills who are ready to contribute in multiple ways to create our next great software product.

Responsibilities:

  • Research, prototype and characterize numerical methods for simulation of physical phenomena associated with fabrication and/or behavior of nanoscale semiconductor devices
  • Implement new numerical methods in C++, using and extending existing modeling infrastructure and APIs
  • Optimize algorithms for speed, including profiling and parallel implementation
  • Participate in general software engineering tasks, including verification, testing, bug fixing and maintenance of existing code

Required Qualifications (all of the following):

  • PhD in Electrical Engineering or equivalent, with strong understanding of semiconductor device behavior and carrier transport in semiconductors
  • Direct experience in implementation of numerical simulation algorithms in three dimensions (finite-element, finite-volume, boundary element, etc.) for physical simulation.
  • Direct experience with implementation of software solutions for non-linear partial differential equations
  • Strong  C++ coding skills, including use of the standard template library
  • Strong math skills, including a thorough knowledge of linear algebra and calculus
  • Desire to collaborate, contribute to, and learn from a team

Desirable Qualifications (any of the following):

  • Experience with Monte Carlo or semiclassical modeling techniques
  • General knowledge of semiconductor processing technology
  • Experience solving systems outside of the semiconductor space such as convection-diffusion or stress/strain
  • Experience in modeling or fabrication of nanoscale semiconductor devices
  • Experience with cross-platform development, on Windows and Linux
  • Experience with one or more of: Boost, STL, C++11 or later, Python

This regular, full-time position is located in Waltham, MA. Coventor offers comprehensive benefits and is an EEO/AA Employer. You must be a current legal resident of the U.S. or have a valid U.S. visa to apply for this position. Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to job1864@coventor.com.

About Coventor

Coventor® is the market leader in software solutions for the development of semiconductor process technology, as well as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, memory suppliers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations. Our SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform provides fast and accurate ‘virtual fabrication’ of advanced manufacturing processes, allowing engineers to understand manufacturing effects early in the development process and reduce time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles. Our MEMS design solutions are used to develop MEMS-based products for automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, and consumer electronics applications, including smart phones, tablets, and gaming systems. Our software and expertise helps customers predict the structures and behavior of their designs before they commit to time-consuming and costly fabrication.  For more information please visit www.coventor.com.

From Movies to Data Analysis – Coventor’s SEMulator 3D Pivots

If you’ve been paying attention to the various papers at various advanced semiconductor process conferences, there’s a name you’re seeing more and more: Coventor. We’ve looked at them several times before, in the context of both their SEMulator 3D tool and their MEMS+ tool – the former for development of new semiconductor processes and the latter for designing MEMS devices.

Today we’re focusing on the SEMulator 3D tool, whose 6.1 version was recently announced. We’re doing so because the tool has turned a corner on how it’s used. Before going there, let’s talk about where we’ve been first in order to set the stage.

read the full article here