Table of Contents

Solid State Technology

Year 2007
Issue 3



Where should products be manufactured?

With large sectors of manufacturing, including chipmaking, moving from the US and Europe to Asia, what impact is this having on national economies?

World News

SEMI, VLSI add up 2006 chip, equipment numbers

Demand for new semiconductor manufacturing equipment surged in December, during what was the final fiscal month for most North American companies, according to the latest data from SEMI.

Tech News

Intel unveils 45nm chip with high-k, metal gates

Claiming “a significant breakthrough in transistor technology,” Intel Corp. says it has advanced its 45nm process technology from a SRAM test chip unveiled in Jan. 2006 into working 45nm micrprocessors, chips that incorporate a hafnium-based high-k dielectric material and a new combination of metals for the transistor gate electrode.


Pushing the limits of CMP mechanical control

Any chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) process can be conceptually separated into chemical and mechanical components.

Emerging Technology

Stretching silicon mobility with strain engineering

For years, semiconductor manufacturers depended on a happy coincidence: smaller transistors are less expensive to manufacture and also deliver better performance.

Yield Management

A sub-100nm manufacturing technique for for hot-spot removal

In today’s advanced integrated circuits (ICs), critical manufacturing challenges such as hot spots are becoming routine phenomena.


Exposure equipment trends in TFT-LCD manufacturing

Made manifest by any trip to an electronics store, LCDs are now everywhere in applications from cell phones to televisions.

Chip Forensics

Freescale’s process and fab strategy puts a new spin on MRAM

Freescale was recently honored with a product award for its magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) product, the Freescale MR2A16ATS35C 4-Mbit MRAM.


Product News

Industry Forum

Smaller OEMs keep pace with new trends in software

Today, the cost of developing and maintaining software is rising faster than other costs associated with semiconductor equipment design, largely due to an increased emphasis on automation and process control.


Cover Article

Improving particle contamination control with in-tool air ionization

Feature sizes of state-of-the-art production semiconductor devices are now in the 65nm regime, and this has produced a corresponding reduction in the size of “killer” defects that destroy device functionality and critically degrade process yield.


Managing defects in DRAM stack capacitors using in-line e-beam inspection

The growing complexity of the stack capacitor process module is driving new electron-beam inspection applications in advanced DRAM manufacturing fabs.

Gases Gas Handling

Reducing cost and PFC effluent with optimized C2F6 chamber cleaning

Two chamber cleaning gases, CF4 and C2F6, dominated the cleaning gas market for old-generation CVD tools.



Key to China’s growth is early adoption of next-gen technologies

Market projections by industry analysts indicate that China is on a steady growth path, reinforcing its stake as a viable, competitive player in the global IC manufacturing arena.


New rules create opportunity for OEMs headquarted in China

As in many industries, the growth lifecycle of the semiconductor industry can be described by the three phases of a classic S-curve.