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What the Experts Think: Delivering the Next 5 Years of Semiconductor Technology

Coventor recently sponsored an expert panel discussion at IEDM 2017 to discuss how we might advance the semiconductor industry into the next generation of technology.  The panel discussed alternative methods to solve fundamental problems of technology scaling, using advances in semiconductor architectures, patterning, metrology, advanced process control, variation reduction, co-optimization and new integration schemes.  Our panel included Rick Gottscho, CTO of Lam Research; Mark Dougherty, vice president of advanced module engineering at GlobalFoundries; David Shortt, technical fellow at KLA-Tencor; Gary Zhang, vice president of computational lithography products at ASML; and Shay Wolfling, CTO of Nova Measuring Instruments.

The Next 5 Years of Semiconductor Technology

L-R: Ed Sperling (moderator), Shay Wolfling, Rick Gottscho, Mark Dougherty, Gary Zhang, David Shortt

Here are a few expert predictions for the next 5 years of semiconductor technology that came out of the discussion:

FinFETs will get extended to at least to 5nm, and possibly 3nm

Rick Gottscho of Lam Research felt that FinFETs will get extended to at least 5nm, and possibly 3nm.    Shay Wolfing of Nova Measuring Instruments predicted that nanosheet technology could be used after FinFET extensions would not scale further.

EUV will be used at new nodes, followed by High NA Lithography

Gary Zhang of ASML stated that EUV will drive lithography at new nodes, with high-NA as an extension to EUV on the technology roadmap. Gary felt that managing the complexity and the cost of these new lithography techniques will be challenging, but feasible.

Materials and basic structures may diverge by supplier, at 7 nm and beyond

Mark Dougherty of GlobalFoundries noted that suppliers may not align at the end of the day on the same materials and basic structures to scale semiconductor technology. It’s possible that there might be some divergence, such as in back-end-of-line metallurgy.

Metrology can meet future technical challenges, but inspection and measurement costs may rise

Gary Zhang confirmed that 3D measurements below an angstrom are now possible, and that we have metrology solutions available for the near future.   David Shortt of KLA-Tencor asserted that end-to-end cycle time and cost are increasing for inspection and metrology, and that these trends may continue unless technical risk reduction is started early in the development process.

3D NAND technology will continue scaling beyond the existing 48 layer structures

Rick Gottscho stated that he sees a path over the next 10 years to scale 3D NAND manufacturing technology, up to 256 layers.   Rick had some concerns over film stress and challenging etch requirements in meeting this scaling projection.

If you are interested in reading more about this panel, you can find the first part of the panel transcript at Semiconductor Engineering.   Future articles in Semiconductor Engineering will highlight the remainder of the panel discussion, including the expert’s views on the role of advanced process control, variation reduction, co-optimization and new integration schemes in delivering the next 5 years of semiconductor technology.

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Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation and Manufacturing Challenges

By: Sandy Wen, Principal Engineer

As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur in silicon photonics manufacturing and discuss techniques to mitigate these effects.

Figure 1. Example test photonic IC, with common elements such as waveguides, grating coupler, MZI, photodetector and fill pattern.

read more…

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Coventor Unveils New Scientific Findings on Lithography Processing For Improved Semiconductor Scalability and Performance

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At SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017, Coventor Will Present Results of Studies to Increase Density and Yield of Next-Generation Semiconductor Devices

CARY, NC– February 13, 2017 – Coventor®, Inc., the leading supplier of virtual fabrication solutions for semiconductor devices and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), will present findings from its research on advanced semiconductor fabrication processes at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017. The results of these studies provide insight into techniques for advancing the state-of-the-art in semiconductor technology through use of new and emerging photomask, lithography and process technologies. read more…

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IMEC Partner Technical Week Review

IMEC Partner Technical Week Review

By:   Aurélie Juncker, Semiconductor Process & Integration Engineer

a.Fully aligned Via with Cu recess approach - Gayle Murdoch, b. STT-RAM - Davide Crotti, c. N10 Supernova2 process - Matt Gallagher

a. Fully aligned Via with Cu recess approach – Gayle Murdoch, b. STT-RAM – Davide Crotti, c. N10 Supernova2 process – Matt Gallagher

In March 2016, Coventor was invited to the biannual Partner Technical Week (PTW) at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium. IMEC, a world-leading research group in nanotechnology, organizes their Partner Technical Week every 6 months to present scientific results to their partners. During this week, a number of specialists from IMEC’s many partner companies also discuss their progress in areas related to IMEC’s research. This event brings together a large number of engineers who are specialists in their domain, and provides an interesting forum to leverage the scientific knowledge gained by IMEC and its partners. read more…

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Inside Process Technology

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By Mark Lapedus

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the foundry business, memory, process technology, lithography and other topics with David Fried, chief technology officer at Coventor, a supplier of predictive modeling tools. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.

SE: Chipmakers are ramping up 16nm/14nm finFETs today, with 10nm and 7nm finFETs just around the corner. What do you see happening at these advanced nodes, particularly at 7nm?

Fried: Most people are predicting evolutionary scaling from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm. It’s doubtful that we will see anything really earth-shattering in these technologies. And so, a lot of the challenges come down to patterning. We are going to see multi-patterning schemes really take hold at more levels. For example, the fins are now based on self-aligned double patterning. People will move into self-aligned quad patterning. The gates are maybe self-aligned double. Now, they will move into self-aligned quad. So, that’s going to be a big expense, because each level is going to have multiple passes and multiple cuts.

read the full article here

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