ERS uncrated the ERS AirCool 3 wafer thermal test system with modular options and easy integration into all major wafer prober systems.
Tamar Technology shipped its first fully automated WaferScan system to a major semiconductor fab. The system performs TSV etch depth, deep trench depth, wafer thickness, photo-resist thickness, and hole diameter metrology.
The Unifire 7900IR provides 3D inspection of wafer-scale packaging features as well as registration for wafer-to-wafer bonding applications for use in advanced wafer scale packaging process control.
Rudolph Technologies Inc. will deliver 14 NSX Series 320 inspection systems to a large outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) provider.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (Nasdaq: KLAC) introduced the ICOS CI-T620, a high-performance component inspector system for tape and reel. The CI-T620 system has dual tapers working sequentially with minimal operator intervention to increase units per hour.
Rudolph Technologies (NASDAQ:RTEC) delivered the first MetaPULSE metrology system to measure under bump metallization (UBM) and redistribution layers (RDL) in advanced package manufacturing.
LTX-Credence Corporation (Nasdaq:LTXC) released the Diamondx test platform for ASSP and the DragonRF for RF device test. In addition, LTX-Credence launched a SerDes test instrument and new testing software.
An unidentified "premier global industry research center in Asia" will use Rudolph Technologies' MetaPulse G metrology system in its advanced packaging process development activities.
New work from Stanford goes beyond simple bump shear testing to allow simulation of stresses exerted on chips during semiconductor packaging. The researchers are able to explore how the stresses affect back-end structures. Alex Hsing, a PhD student in Professor Reinhold Dauskardt's Group at Stanford University, summarizes the group's approach.
NXP named Tektronix Service Solutions to provide calibration and repair services for all test and measurement instruments at NXP's production and development sites in the Netherlands.
Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: CAMT) received repeat automatic optical inspection (AOI) orders from an Asia-based foundry doing advanced micro bump inspection and metrology. Challenges arise in measuring such small bumps used in advanced packages, including efficiently handling huge amounts of data.
Agilent debuted its compliance test application, Agilent N6462A DDR4, for systems using DDR4 memory.
SEMI's Collaborative Alliance for Semiconductor Test released a Docking and Mounting Generic Terminology Guideline document that can be used to improve the
Lasertec joined SEMATECH’s 3D Interconnect program to develop robust, cost-effective process metrology technology solutions for readying high-volume via-mid through silicon via (TSV) manufacturing. This article includes a video interview with SEMATECH about the partnership.
Nanometrics Incorporated (Nasdaq: NANO) announced that a leading semiconductor foundry has ordered a UniFire 7900 metrology system for advanced 3D wafer-scale packaging process control.
SEMATECH, the SIA, and SRC have established a new 3D Enablement program targeting standards in inspection, metrology, microbumping, bonding, and thin wafer and die handling.
The phoenix nanotom m, from GE´s Inspection Technologies business, has been developed for high resolution and high precision X-ray computed tomography (CT) in non-destructive 3D analysis and 3D metrology.
Rudolph Technologies Inc. (RTEC) is partnering with a major outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) services manufacturer to provide its inspection and metrology capability in the development of stacked packaging processes. The process uses silicon interposer technology, sometimes referred to as 2.5D IC, as an intermediate step toward full blown 3D ICs.
The EuroPIC project aims to facilitate access by small companies to cost-effective photonic integrated circuit (PIC) manufacture in Europe. It also will encourage research on manufacturing methods to develop an open-access industrial generic foundry production capability for Europe. EuroPIC is a collaborative project formed by a consortium of experts, consisting of a mix of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry, and academic partners in the fields of component manufacturing, PIC design and applications, photonic CAD, and packaging.
The Full Service Foundry business unit of ams extended its dedicated test solutions for foundry customers, offering known good die (KGD), with customers' complex analog/mixed-signal ICs 100% electrically tested according to their own test specification.
Jan Vardaman, president and founder of TechSearch International, summarizes highlights from her SEMICON West presentation on TSVs, speaking to RDL development, LED packaging, and TSV-alternative PoP.
Greg Baker, Olympus Integrated Technologies America, discusses why the company chose to focus its efforts on IR metrology for defect inspection of bonded wafers. Olympus-ITA launched the latest 3DIR Metrology and Defect Review System at SEMICON West 2011, booth 1524.
EV Group (EVG) added an in-line metrology module for its EVG850TB/DB automated temporary bonding and debonding systems.
Bruker Corporation acquired all of the shares of SkyScan NV, a scientific instruments company serving materials science and life sciences/pre-clinical imaging needs.
At the recent Common Platform Technology Forum -- produced by Global Foundries, Samsung and IBM -- Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager of the physical IP division at ARM, spoke about the impact of the internet of things and mobile computing on the way electronics are designed and used.
The 2011 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has been publicly released. Several areas of advancement are highlighted in the 2011 ITRS: DRAM and Flash memory, and MEMS.
The electronics industry will edge out coal-fired boilers as the biggest purchaser of ultrapure water systems and consumables in 2012, according to the McIlvaine report: Ultrapure Water World Markets.
Worldwide silicon wafer revenues improved 2% YOY, shows the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group. Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments, however, decreased 3%, indicating a loss of momentum in H2 2011, said Kazuyo Heinink, SEMI SMG.
VLSIresearch released its 2011 Top Semiconductor Equipment suppliers rankings, noting important acquisitions and strong spending in lithography tools in 2011. Semiconductor equipment spending was driven by aggressive capacity expansion in the foundry and logic sectors.
Execs from Samsung, IBM, GlobalFoundries and ARM looked to the future at The Common Technology Platform Forum in Santa Clara. They focused on the innovation pipeline for 20nm and 14nm technology nodes, and the role that EUV, FinFETs, TSVs, CNTs and DSA will play.
Riber, MBE tool supplier will work with imec on epitaxy process technologies for next-generation III-V semiconductor CMOS devices.
Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $43.53 billion in 2011, representing a year-over-year increase of 9%, shows SEMI. North America surpassed Taiwan as the region with the highest amount of spending.
Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of semiconductor wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step.
Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step. CJ Muse looks at the growth areas for test.
Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step. CJ Muse considers the rebound in process control due to weak yields at smaller chip nodes.
Barclays Capital looks at wafer fab equipment trends in 2011, based on Gartner data. Top 5 takeaways? The top 5 vendors continue to gain market share, Intel is a key customer, segment-leading vendors strengthened their holds, intensity edged higher, and changes are in store in 2012.
Metrology tool supplier Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (NASDAQ:NVMI) will provide the production tools of record performing CMP metrology at a leading foundry.
Core Wafer Systems, subsidiary of Action Products International, upgraded its PDQ-WLR on-wafer accelerated reliability product line to version 7.0, designed specifically for Agilent Technologies' Parametric Testers.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.16 billion in orders in December 2011, $1.32 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.88, according to SEMI. The book-to-bill ratio has been climbing since September 2011. In December, bookings climbed back above the $1 billion mark.
Intel plans $12.5 billion semiconductor capital expeditures in 2012; Samsung plans $12.2 billion. Watch for wide and growing separation between these two companies and their competition, says IC Insights.
KLA-Tencor Corporation launched 3 semiconductor wafer defect inspection systems: the 2900, Puma 9650, and eS800 series. The suite is tailored to detect defects arising from new materials, device structures, and design rules.
Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., Techcet Group, reports from SEMI’s International Semiconductor Strategy meeting, with a closing day focused on innovation and new applications.
36% of semiconductor fabs are in high-risk zones, finds Semico, noting the industry disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake and tsunami and Thai flooding and the challenges these presented to chip makers in the regions.
Lita Shon-Roy and Michael Fury, PhD, Techcet will present "CMP Market Outlook & New Technology - Dynamic Slurry Metrology," a free webinar at 2 times on February 22.
RAVE N.P. Inc. established a new division, Advanced Technical Instruments or ATI, comprising SEM, AFM, and other analysis tools, as well as custom semiconductor and photomask services such as haze generation systems.
Tektronix donated semiconductor test and measurement equipment to Washington State University Vancouver: arbitrary/function generations, a real-time spectrum analyzer, digital phosphor and mixed signal oscilloscopes, Keithley's semiconductor parameter analyzers, and Fluke's True-rms multimeters.
The March 2012 issue of Solid State Technology will feature "450mm wafer transition" from Dr. Brian Trafas, chief marketing officer at KLA-Tencor. The following is a sneak preview of Dr. Trafas' article.
SEMATECH authors discuss semiconductor metrology solutions currently being investigated to address the challenges of future nodes. FinFETs raise new metrology complexities, as the entire 3D structure becomes critical for process control, including fin and gate dimensions, profiles and roughness, and metal gate undercuts.
Theta Delta will incorporate Core Wafer Systems technologies into its burn-in test and long-term reliability test systems for semiconductors. Core Wafer Systems provides parallel measurement schema for semiconductor test.
The Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) kicked off today in Half Moon Bay, CA under blustery skies with choppy seas, an apt metaphor for the information about to be shared inside, says blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet.
Taiwan became the region with the largest share of installed wafer capacity in 2011, according to IC Insights' Global Wafer Capacity 2011-12 report. This is the first time Taiwan has led the global wafer capacity rankings, with 21% of total in mid-2011.
Semiconductor sales were weaker than expected in Q3 2011, and Q4 shows weak guidance, prompting chip makers to reduce production. Gartner expects this inventory correction to work out in early 2012.
Former SEMI president and CEO Stanley T. Myers was named a director emeritus of the association by itsl Board of Directors. Myers led SEMI for 15 years, was a board member for 24, and has been part of the semiconductor industry for more than 50.
Key points from SEMI's 2012 semiconductor fab equipment spending forecast include a predicted decline of 11% to $35 billion, steady growth in 300mm installs, and an H1 dip/H2 surge format.
Camtek launched Xact200, a transmission electron microscope (TEM) sample preparation system for the semiconductor industry. Camtek calls the system an alternative to FIB analysis.
Solid State Technology asked top analysts and technologists to provide insights on the transition to 22nm semiconductor devices. Read through the whole 10-forecast series, or check out the individual articles as you have time to see perspectives on lithography, device architecture, and more.
The global semiconductor market will see a slow 2012, reports IHS, with economic uncertainty and semiconductor inventory not moving enough to stimulate new production. Expect negative growth in Q1 2012, a nascent rebound in Q2, and strong growth in Q3 2012, IHS reports.
Texas Instruments (TI, NASDAQ:TXN) will close 2 older semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Hiji, Japan and Houston, TX over the course of the next 18 months. Production from these analog chip sites will be moved to more advanced TI facilities.
President Barack Obama visited the Intel Ocotillo campus in Chandler, AZ. The President spoke about Intel's technological innovation, and manufacturing jobs in America.
NIST materials scientists modified a standard SEM for a roughly 10-fold improvement in measuring the crystal structure of nanoparticles and extremely thin films. It enables crystal structure study of particles as small as 10nm.
ABB Robotics introduced an ISO 5 (Class 100) Cleanroom version of the IRB 120, its smallest multipurpose 6-axis robot. Any source materials in the IRB 120 prone to particle generation were modified to eliminate contamination potential in the manufacturing area.
Soitec joined SEMATECH's Front End Processes and Advanced Metrology Programs, bringing SOI wafers and other advanced engineered wafers into the group to work on new processes and technologies enabling high-performance, low-power IC applications.
Carl Zeiss won orders for its EUVL actinic aerial image metrology system, AIMS EUV, from 2 of the 4 members of SEMATECH’s EMI partnership. The tool allows chip makers to review defects in advanced masks needed for EUVL.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) debuted the CIRCL suite high-throughput defect inspection/metrology/review system for implementation at lithography, outgoing quality control (OQC) and other process modules in semiconductor manufacturing lines.
Hexagon Metrology released the Optiv Classic 321GL tp benchtop vision-measuring metrology system for the North American market. It suits electronics and precision parts inspection, including micro-holes, fiber optics, filters, and more.
Strong lithography spending, as well as several acquisitions and divestures in the space, brought changes to the critical subsystems of semiconductor/related markets sector, says VLSIresearch.
With a book-to-bill ratio of 1.13, North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment saw a sixth climb in the ratio, which has steadily improved since it hit 0.71 in September 2011, shows SEMI.
The 23rd Annual SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC 2012) will be held May 15-17 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The conference will feature presentations of more than 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts covering critical process technologies and fab productivity. This year’s event features a panel discussion on “Competing for R&D Dollars,” moderated by Solid State Technology Editor-in-Chief Pete Singer.
Intel Corporation announced its 2011 Intel Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) awards, selecting 19 of its thousands of suppliers. Two suppliers received Intel’s Achievement Award.
The 22nm node marks the beginning of a major transition from conventional scaling of planar memory devices to complex 3D architectures. SEMATECH authors examine the metrology needs of 3D memory device architectures in Part 2 of this three-part series.
IC manufacturers closed 49 wafer fabs between 2009 and 2011, according to IC Insights. Smaller wafer fabs (≤200mm) suffered the most closures, and Japan and North America led the way.
Tool obsolescence is increasingly important to semiconductor manufacturers running 200mm wafer fab lines, reports ISMI, which has chartered an Equipment Obsolescence Forum for alternative sourcing.
SEMI-GAS Systems, ultra-high-purity gas source and distribution system maker, will outfit the University of Nebraska - Lincoln’s new Nanoscience Metrology Facility. Applied Energy Systems will provide field services.
President Barack Obama toured the SUNY - Albany Nano-Tech Complex today, speaking about the economy and education in the CNSE NanoFab Extension Building.
A leading, US-based IDM ordered about $5 million of front- and back-end semiconductor automatic optical inspection (AOI) tools from Camtek Ltd.
SÜSS MicroTec AG has increased its shareholding in SUSS MicroOptics S.A. to 100%. SUSS MicroOptics is a leading company for high-quality refractive and diffractive micro-optics.
Advantest Corporation uncrated the next-generation high-speed DRAM test system, T5511, offering 8Gbps test speed. It can be deployed from R&D through to volume production.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.18 billion in orders, $1.24 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill of 0.95 in January 2012, according to SEMI.
As semis are manufactured at the 2X and 1Xnm nodes, new metrology technologies must evolve to fill the gaps. In Part 3 of this 3-part metrology series, SEMATECH discusses the inspection/metrology options for advanced semiconductors.
SEMI’s International Strategy Symposium (ISS) meets for its Europe session February 26-28 in Munich, Germany. Following are some of the 450mm wafer presentations scheduled to take place.
The IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) is set for April 15, 2012 – April 19, 2012, in Anaheim, CA.
The National Physical Laboratory in the UK is leading a new EMRP project on thin film manufacturing metrology for industries such as opto electronics, plastic and printed electronics, displays and lighting, memories and solar cells.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES appointed Magnus Matthiasson, formerly of Philips Lumileds, as chief procurement officer (CPO), reporting to CFO Dan Durn.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor fab equipment posted $1.60 billion in orders and $1.45 billion in billings in April 2012 for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.10, according to SEMI.
Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending is projected to total $38.9 billion in 2012, an 11.6% decline from 2011 spending of $44 billion, according to Gartner Inc.
A high-volume semiconductor fab using particle monitor wafers to test for contamination in wafer fab tools looked to reduce its labor and test time. The fab switched to wireless wafer-like airborne particle sensors. Allyn Jackson, CyberOptics Semiconductor, shares the case study.
CEA-Leti has introduced the “LETI-3S” concept, for “Silicon Specialty Solutions.” The research is oriented to start-ups, component integrators, fabless or fablite chip companies, and equipment/consumable suppliers.
Solid State Technology and SEMI will present the 2012 Best of West product awards at SEMICON West 2012, July 10-12 in San Francisco. Best of West recognizes important product and technology developments in the microelectronics industries.
Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (NASDAQ:NVMI) received $12 million in orders from leading semiconductor foundries for metrology on 2Xnm manufacturing ramp ups.
Confovis will begin providing MountainsMap imaging and surface analysis software from Digital Surf with its ConfoCAM LED grid-confocal measuring systems for inspection and research.
Semiconductor fab equipment spending will remain flat in 2012, says SEMI. But look for a record spend from semiconductor makers in 2013, jumping from $38.85 billion spent in 2012 to $45 billion in 2013.
After only 2 months, semiconductor foundries are already considering raising their 2012 capex budgets, says Terence Whalen, Semiconductor Equipment analyst for North America at Citi.
A group of partners in Europe summarize results from their completed project to deliver the first EUV lithography optics, with progress in several optics components and in mask handling, cleaning, and repair.
In case anyone needed a reminder or a wake-up, new data from SEMI reiterates chip tool sales are slumping badly in the latter part of this year.
In the fifth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss the need for proper reticle cleaning and inspection. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
At SEMICON Europa, European government representatives, consortia, and suppliers discussed programs to support and participate in the 450mm wafer-size transition -- including a comprehensive presentation from ASML about its roadmap for 450mm EUV platforms.
Intel spoke of caution in end markets when discussing its 3Q12 results, but a big dip in capex and lack of 2013 visibility will likely cause concern in the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.
SEMI has extended the deadline to submit proposed papers to next spring's China Semiconductor Technology International Conference 2013, and added a new symposium on circuit design, system integration, and application.
In the seventh installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss cycle time and the impact of inspection. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
With this week's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012) now underway, here are four of the papers that were accepted late: on 90nm integrated silicon photonics, ZnNO for next-gen displays, and III-V TFETs for the 7nm node.
Semiconductor equipment demand is persistently sluggish as the industry takes a break from a "multiyear expansion period" to digest recent investments and wrestle with a broader economic slowdown, acknowledges SEMI in its updated year-end forecast. But make no mistake: leading-edge technology investments are still happening, and growth will return in the typical cyclical pattern.
In prep for Semicon Japan in December, Advantest announces three new tools: 2 SEMs and a litho system.
Swiss firm Adlyte, a developer of high-brightness laser-produced plasma (LPP) EUV light source for actinic mask inspection, is outlining its current expansion efforts, which includes appointing a longtime industry exec to its strategic advisory board.
In the sixth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss the ins and outs of parametric correlation when using measurements based on reflectometry, ellipsometry, or a combination of the two. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
FEI, Hillsboro, OR, has introduced its new Helios NanoLab 450 F1 DualBeam system designed to provide faster, better images of their most advanced device architectures.
Quartz Imaging Corp., Vancouver, BC, Canada, will be showing its newest FA-LIMS system (failure analysis laboratory information system) at the International Symposium for Testing & Failure Analysis.
This year's International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) encompassed five themes describing use of CMP: new device structures, equipment and methods, Cu interconnects, consumables, and new CMP methods and processes.
A reference book from the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) and IC Insights puts foundry information at the fingertips of those who need it the most.
The latest monthly numbers for semiconductor manufacturing equipment demand aren't pretty: lows in both orders and sales not seen since the last major downcycle three years ago, and the short-term comparisons continue to widen.
Industry watchers have been lowering their outlooks for 2013 over the past few weeks, but there's one set of opinions that still see optimism for an industry rebound in 2013 -- chip industry executives themselves.
The FlexTech Alliance has awarded 4D Technology (Tucson, AZ) a contract to develop an optical system that addresses a shortcoming in roll-to-roll (R2R) electronics manufacturing: in situ, high-resolution mapping of surface topography and defects on a moving, flexible web.
Global spending on wafer fab equipment (WFE) is now on pace to finish 2012 with a -17% annual decline, and 2013 now looks like it'll only be slightly better at a -10% dropoff, before the next cyclical spending upturn begins in 2014, according to an updated forecast from Gartner.
Abingdon, England--Oxford Instrumentshas acquired Asylum Research, a maker of scanning probe microscopes (SPM) with subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, and Taiwan. Its products are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications.
Samsung's reaffirmation of its planned $4B investments in its Austin, TX facilities don't offer much extra info, but do serve as a message to the market about its future plans -- with or without Apple.
A “leading semiconductor technology innovator” ordered Qcept Technologies Inc.’s ChemetriQ 5000 NVD inspection system for unit process development and process integration activities for advanced nodes, including 2Xnm and 1Xnm logic nodes for both front-end-of-line and back-end-of-line processes.
Zeta Instruments will install multiple optical profilers for micron-scale surface analysis at sapphire substrate maker Rubicon Technology, for metrology and inspection on sapphire substrates and wafer production aimed at the HB-LED market.
In the third installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss some of the challenges of 450mm wafers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
The ConFab, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only event for the semiconductor industry, took place in June, with presenters from top companies and analyst firms. If you couldn’t be there, check out all the coverage from the event -- reports, presentations, video interviews and more.
EDAX Inc. introduced the Octane Series silicon drift detectors (SDD) for its TEAM EDS Analysis Systems on electron microscopes.
FEI (NASDAQ:FEIC) launched the Verios XHR SEM for metrology on beam-sensitive and sub-nanometer-scale materials in advanced semiconductors.
Solid State Technology and SEMI today announced the finalists for the 2012 “Best of West” awards, recognizing important product and technology developments in the microelectronics supply chain.
Following are some of the process control, device inspection, defect detection, and other metrology and test products that will be on display at SEMICON West 2012, July 10-12 in San Francisco, CA.
DFMSim announced a distribution agreement with a leading US process control OEM that involves the integration of DFMSim’s SMARTlitho manufacturing software into new tools for advanced metrology.
SEMATECH added Michael Lercel as senior director for nanodefectivity and metrology, taking the helm on SEMATECH’s ongoing semiconductor wafer metrology program and the new Nanodefect Center in NY.
Evans Analytical Group Inc. (EAG) added electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) to its analytical and testing services.
Semiconductor manufacturers will spend $2.3 billion in 2012 for flow control and treatment products, shows McIlvaine Company. Even more pure water is required as the line sizes on chips are decreasing. This aspect, coupled with the opportunity for water reuse, is creating new opportunities.
North-America-based manufacturers of semiconductor fab equipment posted $1.61 billion in orders worldwide in May 2012, $1.54 billion in billings, and a 1.05 book-to-bill ratio, shows SEMI.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) presented its 2012 University Researcher Awards to Stanford University professors Krishna Saraswat and Bruce Wooley as well as its 2012 Congressional Leadership Awards to Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Wally Herger.
The IDE Group developed the STC series of Active Vibration Isolation Systems supporting OEMs in the production of 450mm wafer equipment.
Maxim is spending $200 million to upgrade and expand its US semiconductor manufacturing facilities in San Antonio and Dallas, TX; Beaverton, OR; and San Jose, CA. Maxim manufactures about 50% of its products in the US.
Semiconductor manufacturers identified key factory productivity challenges that need to be addressed and shared effective solutions they will need to stay leading-edge and competitive amid turbulent industry transitions during the recent ISMI Manufacturing Week.
Sonoscan unveiled its Lab Model 9600 C-SAM acoustic micro imaging system to serve laboratory/failure analysis applications and for use in low-volume semiconductor production inspection.
SEMICON West kicked off with a surprise announcement regarding Intel's investment in ASML, but generally the event highlighted trends “as expected” in the fab supply chain, say Barclays analysts.
Bruker introduced three 450mm X-ray and AFM semiconductor metrology tools -- the InSight-450 3DAFM, the D8 FABLINE X-ray system, and the S8 FABLINE-T X-ray system -- during SEMICON West.
The overriding message for 2012 is that the roadmap has been largely
stabilized with the significant changes that were input last year in the
2012 publication,” said Intel’s Alan Allan, speaking at Semicon West.
Newport Corporation introduced a line of high-performance air bearing stages specifically designed for the 450mm semiconductor wafer initiative.
Barclays Capital is seeing various reasons for a Q3 2012 semiconductor fab order/shipment pull-back, following meetings around SEMICON West 2012. The analysts expect strong orders in Q4.
After meeting with various semiconductor manufacturing tool suppliers -- Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor, Lam Research, Tokyo Electron, Teradyne and Cymer -- at SEMICON West, Citi analysts share impressions on foundry spending plans and tool choices.
Sanjay Rajguru, director of ISMI, will present “Tool Obsolescence and the Impact on 200mm Manufacturing” at The ConFab 2012’s final session, Maximizing the Longevity of Investments.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) measures a 70% increase in fab process steps from 90nm to 32nm semiconductor nodes. This doubles the critical inspection steps required, report Citi analysts.
In this first installment of a series called "Process Watch,” experts from KLA-Tencor explain why a defect might be classified as “Not Found” or “SEM Non-visual (SNV),” and how a SNV count can disguise or hide real problems.
Mike Fury reports on Day 2 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference), from San Jose, CA.
The 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference) opened Monday, June 4 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, CA. Recurring themes this year were variations on 3D and TSV, novel systems and packaging, and back end memory. Mike Fury reports.
At The ConFab’s opening session, “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” capex was a major point of interest. Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico all touched on it, with Hutcheson expanding on the idea of capex trends to present an entire ecosystem of semiconductor business management.
W. L. Gore & Associates and CT Associates developed a method for measuring <50nm particles in ultra-pure water (UPW) used in semiconductor processes, and removing particles as small as 12nm, through a combination of ultrafiltration and microfiltration.
AKHAN Technologies will collaborate with the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory to fully characterize Miraj Diamond devices and materials, which are made by doping n-type diamond and can be used in the semiconductor industry.
Michael A. Fury reports on the NCCAVS CMP Users Group meeting, held on May 16th.
At imec's International Technology Forum, An Steegen, Senior Vice President Process Technology at imec, discusses the three technology knobs that are key for a further system scaling.
At imec's International Technology Forum, the research consortium's CEO, Lec van den Hove, draws attention to the need for the industry to solve the world's health problems.
THE BEST rankings from VLSIresearch identify the highest-rated suppliers of wafer processing, assembly, and test equipment. Check out the top-rated suppliers of wafer processing equipment, by company size and customer ranking.
VLSIresearch polled semiconductor manufacturers about their tool suppliers, asking chipmakers to rank equipment providers on customer satisfaction. This year’s results show renewed focus on fab needs.
Rudolph Technologies launched the MetaPULSE FP thin film metrology system with an initial sale to a major manufacturer of flat panel displays (FPD) for handheld mobile devices.
Solid State Technology and SEMI announced the Best of West Award winner -- Jordan Valley Semiconductor -- during SEMICON West today. Jordan Valley Semiconductor’s QC-TT defect inspection system predicts breakage in 450mm wafers, which are subject to more handling steps and more thermal stresses due to their larger size.
Semiconductor equipment sales will reach $42.4 billion in 2012, according to the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at SEMICON West 2012.
Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., reports from the pre-opening day (July 9) of SEMICON West at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. The first day hosts SEMI’s press conference on semiconductor revenues and the SEMI/Gartner Market Symposium.
Following are some of the new and flagship products that will appear this week at SEMICON West, July 10-12 in the Moscone Center of San Francisco, CA.
We at Solid State Technology have compiled the best conference reports so far this year, in the lead up to SEMICON West 2012, next week in San Francisco.
Ushio launched its thinnest UV irradiance meter 'UIT-q365." The meter is 4.9mm thick, used to keep major UV processes within spec. It can be used during optical film manufacturing for flexible electronics, as well as during adhesion of precision optical parts.
In the second installment in a series called Process Watch, the author provides tips on how to make sure you’re reviewing the yield killing defects and not wasting time reviewing nuisance events. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions for chip manufacturing at the leading edge.
Tom Jefferson, G450 Consortium, shares an update on 450mm wafers for semiconductor manufacturing. The consortium is adding staff and ramping its silicon supply, and getting ready for equipment selection.
Fab equipment spending has improved in 2012, breaking the barrier into positive growth for the year, shows SEMI. Semiconductor makers will invest $39.5 billion in fabs, up 2% from 2011 spending. Fab capex will hit a record in 2013, $46.3 billion or 17% above 2012.
SEMI recently conducted a survey of semiconductor fab equipment and materials suppliers, finding that 60+% of respondents say that IP challenges have had an adverse impact on their companies.
SRC-sponsored researchers developed new sensor-based metrology technology that can significantly reduce water and related energy usage during semiconductor manufacturing.
RED Equipment’s Carl McMahon suggests a different model for handling secondary semiconductor equipment for greater efficiency, cost reduction and quality control: full turnkey services engineered to the fab’s needs without the expense of customization.
Rudolph Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:RTEC) acquired the assets of NanoPhotonics GmbH, adding inspection technology and an intellectual property (IP) portfolio to serve its advanced package inspection tool customers.
MicroSense reports an increase in orders for its MRAM magnetic metrology systems. The metrology tools characterize the magnetic properties of multi-layer wafers used in the development and manufacturing of perpendicular MRAM.
Qcept Technologies Inc. has received more than 30 orders from 8 customers for its new ChemetriQ Inspection Services (Q-Services), which enable semiconductor manufacturers and equipment vendors to begin implementing non-visual defect (NVD) inspection programs tailored to their needs prior to purchasing a Qcept ChemetriQ NVD inspection system.
In a webcast scheduled for June 27th at 1:00 Eastern, 11:00 Pacific, David McCann of GLOBALFOUNDRIES will provide a status report on advanced packaging and 3D integration. McCann is responsible for Packaging R&D and back-end strategy and implementation at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
Mitutoyo America Corporation launched the Surftest SJ-411/412 portable surface roughness tester, conforming to roughness standards JIS-B0601-2001, JIS-B0601-1994, JIS-B0601-1982, VDA, ISO-1997 and ANSI.
Older production facilities face equipment obsolescence; skills obsolescence; scarce availability of parts, software, and support; and equipment capability extension and tool re-use. At the ConFab 2012 Executive Roundtable, representatives from Sematech/ISMI, IDMs, OEMs, equipment dealers, and industry consultants gathered to have an open discussion on concerns, roadblocks, and possible solutions.
MicroSense, maker of high-resolution capacitive position sensors, metrology modules, and high-sensitivity magnetic metrology tools, acquired SigmaTech, developer of high-sensitivity metrology tools for LED, MEMS, and semiconductor manufacturing.
Semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings and bookings were virtually tied in Q1 2012, reports SEMI, with $10.61 billion in billings and $10.07 in bookings. This is a 13-14% improvement sequentially, and 9% below the same quarter last year.
As the dust settles after the launch of the iPhone 5, analysts tally which suppliers in the semiconductor ecosphere are most likely to gain the most.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says it's combined scanning techniques and statistical data to both more precisely and less expensively measure features on a chip -- and two big chip firms are already on board.
Global demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment slipped -4% in 2Q12 with softness in just about every region -- except Taiwan which stepped on the pedal during the quarter, according to updated data from SEMI and SEAJ.
While various industry segments appear to be tapping the brakes, others are revving their engines, observes SEMI's Christian Gregor Dieseldorff -- and a 2012 stall could pave the way for a record-breaking 2013.
EUV Symposium host imec and a pair of industry analysts gauge the pace of improvements in EUV lithography and its long march toward production readiness.
Four of the leading micro- and nanoelectronics regions in Europe are joining forces to form a cluster alliance called “Silicon Europe.”
Learn about the changes in semiconductor manufacturing as well as related markets -- photovoltaics, displays, LEDs, etc -- at the 2012 Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), to be held on October 23-24 in San Jose, CA. SEMI reports.
ASMC 2013, the leading international technical conference for exploring solutions to improve collective microelectronics manufacturing expertise, has issued a call for papers.
FEI will pay $15M to settle the dispute over focused ion beam systems, in exchange for dropping litigation and cross-licensing FIB technologies.
Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting and security solutions, was named by the DoD Defense Logistics Agency as the provider of authentication services for microcircuits supplied by defense contractors.
"Bookings and billings for North American semiconductor equipment in July are close to values reported exactly one year ago," said Denny McGuirk, SEMI, noting seasonally slow investment activity.
Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, is poised to celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual TECHCON conference Sept. 10-11.
FEI announced two new Helios NanoLab systems, the 450HP and 1200HP DualBeam systems, which include new capability that meets the critical requirements for semiconductor process development at the 28nmdevice geometry node and below.
Two extensions to Brooks Automation's vacuum quality monitoring (VQM) components make it easier to measure gases and conditions inside a vacuum chamber.
SEMI's new "450 Central" information portal offers news and perspectives about the 450mm wafer-size transition.
Bruker released the PeakForce Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy mode for its AFMs. PeakForce KPFM improves quantitative surface potential data for semiconductor metrology and materials research.
Fab equipment spending continues to soften in 2012, and hopes for a reprieve in 2013 are waning, warns one analyst.
Researchers have begun to investigate a new 2D material—molybdenum sulfide (MoS)—which has similar characteristics but offers something graphene doesn’t: a wide energy bandgap, enabling transistors and circuits to be built from it directly.
At the upcoming International Electron Device Meeting, Macronix researchers will describe how they built flash memories that could heal themselves by means of tiny onboard heaters that provide thermal annealing just at the spots where it is needed.
In an invited paper at the International Electron Devices Meeting, researchers from Everspin Technologies will describe how they built the largest functional ST-MRAM circuit ever built, a 64-Mb device with good electrical characteristics.
At the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December, a team led by IBM will report on the world’s first high-performance hybrid-channel ETSOI CMOS device.The researchers built a ring oscillator circuit to benchmark performance that worked even better than FinFETs.
In the fourth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss overlay registration and new capabilities to align to buried layers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.
ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc. unveiled NanoYield, yield prediction and optimization software for memory, logic, analog and digital circuit design.
During sessions at this month's SEMICON Taiwan, execs from TEL, Lam Research, Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor revealed the latest developments in 450mm technology.
Demand for chip tools fell again in August and is off by -30% from its peak in early summer, fulfilling fears that the second half of 2012 will be sluggish for chipmaking investments, according to the latest data from SEMI.
At this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), foundry TSMC will describe a heterogeneous epitaxial growth process which for the first time enables Ge to be directly grown on Si.
The first working 3D NAND flash memory at sub-40nm feature sizes will be described by Macronix researchers at this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM).
A book-to-bill of 1.08 means that $108 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.
Outlook for semiconductor equipment market improves, but remains soft in the short term.
Through a series of lectures and workshops, SEMATECH will address R&D challenges and closing key infrastructure technology gaps from July 8–12 at SEMICON West in San Francisco, CA.
Rozich, who previously was a member of the company’s board, succeeds Michael R. Polcari, who served as chairman since November 2009.
Total inventory held by semiconductor suppliers declined significantly in the first quarter as excess stockpiles created during the global economic malaise of 2012 were cleared away, done in anticipation of a resurgence in consumer demand for electronic products expected by the second half of 2013.
IBM and United Microelectronics Corporation, a global semiconductor foundry, today announced that UMC will join the IBM Technology Development Alliances as a participant in the group's development of 10nm CMOS process technology.
At next week's 50th Design Automation Conference in Austin, Texas, GLOBALFOUNDRIES will unveil a comprehensive set of certified design flows to support its most advanced manufacturing processes.
In advance of the 2013 SEMICON West TechXPOTs on lithography and nonplanar transistors beyond 20nm, SEMI asked some of the speakers and industry experts to comment on the challenges they wanted to highlight. Many of the inputs focused on the need for precision in the processes used to form transistors, as well as how EDA can contribute to mitigating variability.
Fab equipment spending will grow two percent year-over-year (US$ 32.5 billion) for 2013 and about 23 to 27 percent in 2014 ($41 billion) according to the May edition of the SEMI World Fab Forecast.
Dr. Zhihong Liu, Executive Chairman of ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc., says that design-for-yield (DFY) considerations are more important than ever. And yet, we as an industry may not fully understand device modeling and its impact on DFY results.
The critical processes and technologies necessary to continue Moore’s Law are currently more uncertain than ever before in the history of advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
More than 100 representatives from government and the photonics industry convened in Washington, D.C., on February 28 to identify focus areas for a national photonics initiative (NPI), engaging academia, industry, and government in a collaboration to address barriers to continued U.S. leadership in photonics.
Over 2,000 industry professionals attended last week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography, where important progress reports were revealed on extreme ultraviolet (EUV), lithography, directed self-assembly (DSA), metrology, and related topics. The event ran February 24-28 in San Jose, California.
Following a healthy expansion in 2012, the growth of the global automotive semiconductor market will decelerate slightly this year because of a slowdown in the aftermarket and portable navigation device (PND) segments.
While investments and capital spending in Asia-Pacific garner much of the attention regarding semiconductor manufacturing, spending on equipment and materials in North America has totaled more than $100 billion over the past decade as leading device manufacturers expand capacity and invest in new facilities.
SRC and NIST will provide a combined $5 million in annual funding for three multi-university research centers tasked with demonstrating non-conventional, low-energy technologies that outperform current technologies on critical applications in 10 years and beyond.
Qualcomm, TSMC, and SK Hynix each register greater than 20 percent year-over-year growth.
SEMI today announced that Philip Yeo, chairman of SPRING Singapore, and Lee Kok Choy, country manager of Micron Technology Inc. Singapore, have been voted by the SEMI Singapore Regional Advisory Board as recipients of two prestigious awards recognizing their contributions to the development and success of the Southeast Asian semiconductor industry.
Rudolph Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has purchased selected assets, including a patent portfolio, relating to metrology capability from Tamar Technology, Newbury Park, Calif.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced today that GLOBALFOUNDRIES has collaborated with Cadence to provide pattern classification data for manufacturing processes of 20 and 14 nanometers.
Morgan Advanced Materials has joined SEMATECH’s International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), a program designed to improve semiconductor equipment manufacturing productivity, yield, and cost.
Infineon Technologies and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc. today announced a joint technology development and production agreement for 40nm embedded flash (eFlash) process technology.
Global macroeconomic developments and technological advances, personal computers, and memory markets are expected to drive demand over the forecast period, Research and Markets predicts in their report, “Global Semiconductor Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis.”
Sales in March 2013 were up slightly compared to February 2013 and March 2012.
The semiconductor chip giant revealed plans to branch out beyond PCs. Will it work?
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.14 billion in orders worldwide in March 2013 (three-month average basis) and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.14, according to the March Book-to-Bill Report published today by SEMI.
Error correction code and redundant addresses are both techniques well-known in memories as a way of optimizing yield. But new data from the University of Ferrara shows that these common techniques may be overused. By classifying erratic bits more carefully, it’s possible to use less ECC and up to 35 percent less redundancy.
The ability of a resistive RAM device to maintain its resistance state, otherwise known as retention time, can be impacted by the electrode materials used.
New flash memory chips are replacing the floating gate with thin layers of material that "trap the charge." The charge trap is a sandwich of materials such as silicon-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (SONOS), metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (MONOS) and tantalum-aluminum oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (TANOS), all of which are substantially smaller than the floating gate.
At the International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), being held April 14-18, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa in Monterey, CA, imec will present new research focused on the stress induced breakdown between the tungsten trench local interconnects (M1, M2) and metal gate in a 28nm CMOS technology. Imec’s Thomas Kauerauf will present a paper titled “Reliability of MOL local interconnects.”
New finFETs feature high-k dielectrics, which are better than conventional silicon nitride dielectrics in that they can be thinner, yet still enable good control of the transistor’s channel region from the gate.
It’s well-known that transistors generate heat when they’re operating, and that can have a significant impact on the chip’s reliability and longterm longevity. A small increase of 10°C–15°C in the junction temperature may result in ∼ 2× reduction in the lifespan of the device.
FinFETs offer several advantages compared to traditional planar transistors, but it’s not yet clear what kind of new reliability problems might arise as FinFETs are scaled to smaller dimensions.
Several years ago when the challenges to 450mm wafer processing, EUV development and novel transistor designs were first being discussed, SEMI commissioned a study that predicted the industry could face an R&D funding gap that could exceed $9 billion if current technology and economic trends continue.
In semiconductor manufacturing, 450mm is the next big opportunity. Issues of economic scale and complexity will force fab designers, OEMs and process integrators to investigate all open avenues in the search for solutions to the huge challenges that accompany 450mm.
In order to maintain profitability manufacturers must increase the productivity and return from their R&D investments.
It is becoming increasingly clear that new MEMS and 3D high-volume, low-cost manufacturing technologies will accelerate a radical change to society’s cyber skyline.
The SEMI Consensus Forecast and the SEMI World Fab Forecast, with data collected from two different methodologies, point to the same conclusion: 0% growth for 2013.
Worldwide silicon wafer revenues declined by 12 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its year-end analysis of the silicon wafer industry.
In the second of two installments, Linx Consulting reports a steady growth in semiconductor production, as released in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.
In the first of two installments, we examine the global issues facing the semiconductor industry, as released by Linx Consulting in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.
A new econometric semiconductor industry forecast predicts semiconductor wafer area production to grow slightly less than 6% in 2013, according to Linx Consulting.
Dr. Steffen Schulz discusses the role of a flexible platform for computational lithography in a successful business strategy.
Spending on research and development by semiconductor companies grew 7% in 2012 to a record-high $53.0 billion, even though the semiconductor market declined 1% to $317.6 billion.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) announced the eS805, a new electron-beam inspection system capable of detecting very small defects, and defects that cause electrical problems.
GlobalFoundries says it plans to build a $2 billion "Technology Development Center" R&D facility at its Fab 8 campus in Saratoga County, NY, for semiconductor technology development and manufacturing: EUV lithography photomasks to new interconnect and packaging technologies enabling 3D chip stacking, "and everything in between."
SEMI's HB-LED Standards Committee has approved its first standard, specifying sapphire wafers used in making high-brightness light-emitting diode (HB-LED) devices.
We are in an age where chemistry is center stage in the race to advance Moore’s Law and More Than Moore.
The International Data Corporation is forecasting that semiconductor revenues worldwide will improve by 4.9% to $319 billion in 2013 and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% from 2011-2016.
Based on current indications, capital spending would seem to be flat in 2013. However, Semico predicts healthy revenue growth this year, which may encourage more spending, particularly in the second half of the year. This may bring total capex for 2013 into the positive range.
Predictions for 2013 show several notable trends: overall silicon area growth for 2013 should average approximately 6%; the first quarter and the second half are likely to show slower growth than the second quarter; and the modest growth forecast for 2013 is predominantly demand driven.
ProPlus Design Solutions announced it is shipping a new wafer-level, 1/f noise measurement system. Increasingly, circuit designers are interested in 1/f noise data at higher frequencies.
A particle as small as three microns in diameter, attached to the back side of the wafer—the dark side, if you will—can cause yield-limiting defects on the front side of the wafer during patterning of a critical layer.
IBM Researchers won the prestigious Feynman prize given by the Foresight Group. The team was the first to produce images detailed enough to identify the structure of individual molecules, as well as metal-molecule complexes.
SPIE Advanced Lithography, the annual forum for discussions on state-of-the-art lithographic tools, resists, metrology, materials characterization, and design and process integration, will bring the community together in San Jose, California, next week to address those challenges.
Papers showcase EUV extendibility and metrology techniques for defect inspection and 3D TSVs.
New metrology and inspection products facilitate advanced patterning techniques for manufacturing sub-20nm memory and microprocessor chips.
Luminescent Technologies Inc., a provider of computational metrology and inspection solutions for the global semiconductor manufacturing industry, and Dai Nippon Printing Company, Ltd. announced today the successful completion of the first phase of a three-year joint development program for computational metrology and inspection using Luminescent’s Automated Image Processing Hub (LAIPH) platform.
Worldwide sales of semiconductors were $24.05 billion the month of January, up 3.8% from January 2012 and down 2.8% from December 2012, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
After reaching a worrisome high in the third quarter of 2012, global semiconductor inventories held by chip suppliers fell at a surprisingly fast rate in the fourth quarter, led by dramatic reductions for market leader Intel Corp.
STM, Imec, CEA-LETI, ASML, Soitec and EU representatives discussed directions at ISS Europe 2013 in Italy.
Over the past five years, revenue dipped and spiked from the impact of the global recession; in the five years to come, increased offshoring will detract from the growth in global demand from an improved economy.
Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today announced development of a modeling process designed to simulate atomic-level etching with chemicals that are effective alternatives to widely used perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases.
Most electronic systems that power our digital life are inflexible and flat. Rigid electronic designs work for our computers and phones but not for our bodies. Humans are soft and curved. Electronic systems capable of bending, twisting, and stretching have great potential for applications in which conventional, stiff semiconductor microelectronics would not suffice.
PI miCos announced the release of a new 2-axis precision linear translation stage. The new MCS XY precision linear stage was designed for industrial precision motion control and surface metrology applications and combines robustness and high accuracy.
Semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and academia to collaborate on real-world issues at SEMI event.
Mentor Graphics User Conference 2013 speaker line-up boasts a host of industry bigwigs, including former foundry CTO, Dr. Chenming Hu. Hu will give the keynote address on April 25 in San Jose, California, addressing the future of FinFET.
Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that Dr. Raj Jammy has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of the semiconductor group.
ARM and TSMC today announced the first tape-out of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor on FinFET process technology. The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $23.25 billion for the month of February 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent from February 2012 when sales were $22.93 billion. Effective government policies needed to spur stronger growth.
Targeting CMP consumables suppliers, commercial device manufacturers, and academic R&D organizations, the agreement enables customers to leverage the combined strengths of both companies with in-depth analysis and fundamental research for virtually any aspect of CMP on any material.
Rigaku Innovative Technologies announced further expansion into the optics market for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. RIT plans to continue supporting the industry by supplying Osmic Coatings, a line of multilayer coated optics that are essential to EUVL.
Carl Zeiss SMS and Synopsys will collaborate to support in–die metrology solutions for the 32nm technology node and below. Using CATS as a data preparation engine, mask engineers using PROVE can benefit from improved efficiency and usability of a registration metrology system that meets stringent overlay accuracy requirements.
The SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference is where experts come to tell their advances in lithography, resists, metrology and design, and this week it appears to be heating up as a battle between optical and surging EUV, with other litho technologies offering a "sanity check," writes Griff Resor.
Advantest Corporation released a SEM-based critical dimension (CD) measurement system for next-generation photomasks and patterned media. The E3630 is fully compatible with Advantest’s existing E3610/E3620 CD-SEM measurement systems and software, and boasts 30% improved linewidth repeatability.
Authors from Synopsys and IMEC assess the readiness of rigorous physical resist model calibration for accurate EUV lithography simulation. They discuss pattern selection for calibration, illustrate the speed and robustness of model building, and examine model validation results. Predictability of the resist model is demonstrated across various flare levels, pitches and critical-dimension ranges.
In this video from SEMICON West 2010, Sagar Kekare, Synopsis, presents ideas from his paper on rapid root cause analysis and process change validation using design-centric volume diagnostics.
Techcet's Michael Fury reports from Day 1 of SEMICON West, from keynotes to CMP to thermal characterization, and the continued use of “zombie” semiconductor manufacturing technologies.
The biggest change in 2009 was Mentor passing Cadence to become number two in product sales in EDA. This is an indication of the market shift caused by the move into the ESL Methodology. Synopsys remains a strong number one.
Alok Vaid of GlobalFoundries, explains the technology in his paper on time-to-solution for scatterometry metrology. Scatterometry takes a long time, but Vaid proposes a new approach with more automation.
With the development and production release of the microRSP-A300, CAPRES has addressed the challenges associated with in-line measurement on production wafers, reducing reliance on data extrapolation and monitor wafers to validate doping levels.
The Semiconductor front-end track of SEMICON Europa includes the 14th Fab Managers Forum; and sessions on lithography, automation and process control, metrology, new materials, secondary equipment/services, and a progress review of 450mm.
Tom Gubiotti, product marketing manager at KLA-Tencor, discusses the design decisions that drove the company’s new film metrology tool -- the Aleris 8330 -- targeted for non-critical films at 32nm and below. Among the drivers -- especially for memory manufacturers -- is the need for high-throughput, low cost-of-ownership tools that are capable of recipe sharing around the fab, so-called, “future proofing.”
James Moyne, Applied Materials, highlights a new technology: virtual metrology. Virtual metrology, on which Moyne presented at ASMC/SEMICON, enables tighter semi fab control using line data analysis. The summarized data is synched with real metrology data. Virtual metrology is now adaptive.
LEDs, SiGe semiconductors, and WLP bumps each present their own challenges to metrology systems, says Alon Kapel, Jordan Valley Semiconductor.
SigmaTech's UltraMap-TSV system won Best of West at SEMICON West, presented by industry association SEMI and Solid State Technology.
KLA-Tencor will join SEMATECH-led efforts to identify and eliminate defects in EUV lithography, including mask metrology infrastructure and metrology source development.
Cosense launched the SL 900 Series of Ultrasonic Liquid Level Detectors that detect and micro-measure ultrapure chemical fluids for semiconductor chip manufacturing.
Metryx will work with IMEC and Intel via the joint European Semiconductor Equipment Assessment Leveraging Innovation (SEAL) project to assess high-resolution mass metrology viability at 20nm and smaller nodes.
The requirement for CMP slurry to perform consistently during the wafer polishing process has resulted in a push on the part of IC manufacturers to improve slurry metrics. Marty Mason, Vantage Technology Corp., explains how on-wafer slurry conditions can differ from slurry measurements, and new advances to rectify measurements.
EV Group (EVG) released a wafer bonding system for 450mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers: EVG850SOI/450-mm. EVG's Paul Lindner discusses the tool, and challenges of 450mm and SOI.
At SEMICON West 2011, Phil Bryson, SEMATECH, covers the top challenges in semiconductor metrology at advanced nodes.
ASML has added three extensions to its Twinscan NXT 1950i tool, to improve imaging, overlay, and system throughput.
The updated "Garment System Considerations for Cleanrooms and Other Controlled Environments" document includes new sections on measuring footwear, frocks and other garments, as well as a new subsection for tracking system use, such as RFID chips and barcodes.
Applied Materials, Inc. debuted its defect review scanning electron microscope (DR-SEM) Applied SEMVision G5 system to image and analyze 20nm yield-limiting defects in a production environment without manual intervention.
Under new CEO Ajit Monocha's realignment plan, GLOBALFOUNDRIES named new CFO, CTO, and customer engineering and quality leaders. The CTO position is a new one at the semiconductor foundry. The moves are meant to separate technology strategy from technology development.
Dr. John Chen, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia, and Thomas Jefferson, ISMI's 450mm project manager, are among the updated speaking roster of ConFab 2012, which will address the economics of semiconductor manufacturing and associated industries (LEDs, MEMS, displays).
"The recent period
Intermolecular Inc. (Nasdaq:IMI) priced its initial public offering of 9,650,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $10.00 per share.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $973.3 million in orders in November 2011, $1.17 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.83, according to the November Book-to-Bill Report from SEMI.
Altatech Semiconductor S.A. launched its first LED inspection system, the non-contact AltaSight LEDMax, for detecting, classifying and characterizing defects on wafers used in manufacturing LEDs.
SEMI reports worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment bookings fell 38% year-over-year in Q3 2011; billings dropped 5% for the same quarter.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) added to its SensArray portfolio of advanced wireless temperature monitoring wafers. The products use time-based, in-situ temperature monitoring to register process-environment effects on production wafers.
Nanometrics Incorporated (Nasdaq:NANO), advanced process control metrology provider, launched the Mosaic II turnkey image-based overlay metrology solution for advanced high-volume IC manufacturing. NANO reports an initial delivery to a leading Asian memory customer.
Cymer Inc. (Nasdaq: CYMI) introduced a focus drilling technology for its immersion light sources including the XLR 600ix, XLR500i, XLA 400 and XLA 300. Focus drilling provides up to a 2X improvement in the depth of focus on the wafer.
Carl Zeiss introduced a new production tool aimed to improve registration and overlay of advanced photomasks. RegC is based on ZEISS femtosecond-laser technology. RegC enables correction on high-end photomasks for remaining registration errors after the pattern generation process. Current results show registration improvements over 50% in advanced lithography.
Magneto-optical (MO) effects can be used for a wide range of applications, from data storage and processing to thin films characterizations or even remote magnetic field sensors. Gabriel Monette, Université de Montréal and Marc Verhaegen, Photon etc., performed measurements of spectral dependence of the Faraday MO effect in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum along with temperature dependence measurements on a semiconductor 2µm epilayer (GaP) grown with embedded metallic ferromagnetic nanoclusters (MnP).
Janice Golda, Intel, co-led a session at The ConFab 2011 on continued device scaling. EUV infrastructure will be a major topic, as well as transistor challenges. While lithography difficulties exist at tighter device densities, Golda reminds us that metrology obstacles must also be tackled.
CAMECA unveiled the latest addition to its line of high-end metrology systems: the EX-300 metrology tool targeted for front-end process control of 22 nm technology nodes and beyond. e EX-300 is a versatile metrology tool based on LEXES (Low-energy Electron induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry) technology.
CAPRES A/S, semiconductor metrology systems maker for the direct nano- and micro-scale electrical characterization of materials, announced a repeat order for its fully automated 300mm microRSP-A300 from an industry-leading foundry in Asia.
SoftJin Technologies, a provider of customized automation software for electronic design and manufacturing, enhanced NxDAT, its defect analysis software. The enhanced version of NxDAT is optimized for better speed and memory performance.
Novellus Systems subsidiary Peter Wolters GmbH introduced a new version of its microLine double side lapping system for prime silicon wafers. The AC-2100L system features independently driven inner and outer pin rings, automatic force calibration, and in-situ wafer thickness metrology.
Avantor Performance Materials, Inc. (formerly Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc.) plans to open an electronics applications laboratory in Taiwan in 2Q11, to conduct customer demos, perform process-of-record (POR) development, and support the company's global electronics technologies development.
Among the topics covered at KLA-Tencor’s annual Lithography Users Forum was extension of KLAC's Teron 600 platform for inspection of EUV blanks at the 16nm hp node. Here, Brian Trafas speaks with Debra Vogler about process control in advanced lithography.
DCG Systems introduced the OPTIFIB Viper system for circuit edit at the 22nm node. It uses a new coaxial photon-ion column to provide spot sizes 50% smaller than those of the flagship OptiFIB-IV.
ICs manufactured at 65nm nodes and smaller introduce new design-specific and feature-sensitive failure mechanisms, with systematic yield issues even more challenging to diagnose and overcome. SMIC and Mentor Graphics cover how to use scan diagnosis for better semiconductor yields.
ULVAC Inc. uncrated the UNECS-3000A spectroscopic ellipsometer, which can measure the thinness of a thin film and optical constant. The noncontact film measurement tool targets semiconductor and liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing control.
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) launched the eDR-7000 electron-beam (e-beam) wafer defect review system for chip manufacturing at the 20nm device nodes and below.
Light source supplier Cymer Inc. (Nasdaq:CYMI) launched SmartPulse, which monitors light source parameters at the wafer, collecting data for a suite of reporting and analysis tools.
Bryan Rice, SEMATECH's newly appointed director of strategic initiatives, tells SST what his new job entails: what he sees as his biggest challenges, which areas will keep SEMATECH's main attention (hint: the "once and future king" of resources), and what new areas are being explored.
Dr. Stefan Wurm, newly appointed director of SEMATECH's lithography program, tells SST what areas continue to be top-priority to SEMATECH, where progress is being made, and how SEMATECH's pursuits are changing along with its membership base.
Semiconductor equipment spending in 2011 looks to be slightly weaker than anticipated, and is looking a lot softer in 2012 across the board, according to Gartner's new semiconductor capex forecasts.
Syn: Robert Newcomb from Qcept Technologies discusses non-visual defects in today's wafer fab processes, at 22nm, and in the advanced nodes below 22nm. As nodes shrink, more defects will escape optical metrology, he predicts.
Synopsys enhanced its TetraMAX ATPG and Yield Explorer to improve volume diagnostics flow and speed up yield ramp for IC manufacturing. Flow in TetraMAX ATPG and Yield Explorer is automated with a new direct connection between the two products.
Entegris, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTG) opened a manufacturing and research facility in Hsinchu City, Taiwan, for advanced filtration and materials handling components for the semiconductor industry and other high-tech industries.
SEMI honored Dr. Tibor Pavelka (Semilab) with the European SEMI Award; Heinz Kundert (SEMI Europe) with the IC Industry Award for Excellence; and Christian Prischmann (UIbrich) with the SEMI Europe Standards Leadership Award.
Imec and tool vendor ASML have signed a new 5-year deal to continue collaboration on lithography technologies, both immersion and EUV, as well as associated components -- including new sensors to help calibrate lens alignment and dose.
Avantor Performance Materials and SSMC Inc. compare the use of a semi-aqueous post-etch ash residue remover with an industry-standard HA-based residue removal chemistry. The semi-aqueous-based product was shown to reduce COO for manufacturing of low- and high-voltage logic devices, and increase yields.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) elected Freescale Semiconductor CEO Rich Beyer as its 2012 chairman. This will be the SIA's 35th year.
IEST-RP-CC042.1: Sizing and Counting of Submicrometer Liquid-Borne Particles Using Optical Discrete-Particle Counters, is now available from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology. It dispels a common misconception among semiconductor, FPD, and data storage manufacturing users.
International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), the global consortium of major semiconductor manufacturers, today announced the launch of its new Environment, Safety & Health (ESH) Technology Center in Austin, Texas. The Center will be dedicated to providing green technology solutions that lead to reduced energy consumption, lower costs, and greater productivity in semiconductor manufacturing.
Several papers presented at last week's SPIE/BACUS Symposium described the mastering, replication and metrology challenges of patterned media, writes Toppan Photomasks' Franklin Kalk, reporting exclusively for SST.
EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW A powerful new method can identify systematic defects within a large defect sample, prior to SEM review. By integrating design data with defect data, this method enables accurate binning of randomly distributed structural systematic defects. Instead of relying on inefficient random review sampling to identify defects of interest (DOI), this technique applies a pattern search engine...
Detecting profile excursions using spectroscopic ellipsometry
This work evaluates the capability of a spectroscopic ellipsometry-based profile technology as a new metrology tool to monitor polysilicon gate processes at 130nm and 90nm nodes. This study proves that this method can consistently flag different profile excursions of polysilicon gate.
Automated micro-defect monitoring for 300mm lithography
As the semiconductor industry continues to push toward the 90nm node, controlling defect density in the lithography cell becomes ever more critical to the success of the overall manufacturing process. MORE
Asylum Research introduced the Variable Field Module2 (VFM2) for the MFP-3D AFM. It allows researchers to apply magnetic fields in conductive AFM experiments, magnetic force microscopy, and other applications.
Citing a change in the microscope customer market over the past decade, Carl Zeiss launchEd Carl Zeiss Microscopy. 2,500 employees of MicroImaging und Nano Technology Systems now form the new business group in the Carl Zeiss Group.
Carl Zeiss Nano Technology Systems, CEOS GmbH, and the University of Ulm have completed 2 years of evaluation and are starting the second phase of the Sub Angstrom Low Voltage Electron Microscope (SALVE) project.
Leica Microsystems and Digital Surf announced an agreement whereby Leica Map surface imaging and metrology software, based on Digital Surf's Mountains Technology, will be used with the Leica Application Suite (LAS) for Leica industrial microscopes.
Sunrise Optical LLC debuted the Zebraoptical low coherence fiber optic interferometer with microscope attachment. The Zebraoptical Integrated Metrology Tool (ZIMT) provides metrology readings on micro electromechanical system (MEMS) wafers.
Bruker Corporation will acquire Center for Tribology Inc. (CETR) for an undisclosed sum. CETR will become a separate Tribology and Indenting business in the Bruker Nano Surfaces division, joining the atomic force microscope (AFM) and stylus and optical metrology (SOM) businesses.
Veeco agreed to sell its Metrology business to Bruker, for $229 million in cash. The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of both companies and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ: BRKR) debuted the AcuityXR optical surface profiler mode that combines patent-pending Bruker hardware and software technology to enable select ContourGT non-contact, 3D optical surface profilers to break the optical diffraction limit and deliver better lateral resolutions.
With its capability to process up to 6" wafers using up to 8 precursors, GEMStar has the flexibility to deposit atomically thin layers of material on virtually any substrate and was designed with the most challenging high aspect ratio and through-pore deposition applications in mind.
A major high-volume MEMS maker has purchased a FOGALE nanotech T-MAP DUAL 3D 200A for its US manufacturing facility. The tool will be equipped with 2 load ports and will be fully automated.
Norcada launched 2 microporous silicon nitride TEM sample holders, suiting ALD analysis, thin film growth, and other applications under TEM, SEM, or STXM tools.
Advantest Corporation began producing MEMS relays for semiconductor testing equipment, high-speed communications devices, HF wave measurement equipment and their components.
Nanolab Technologies Incorporated inaugurated its 47,000sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility in Milpitas, CA, more than doubling Nanolab Technologies' space.
Nanometrics Incorporated, a provider of advanced process control metrology and inspection systems, today announced that SK Hynix has reported significant process control improvement by deploying the Atlas II platform for optical critical dimension (OCD) metrology across its memory device production.
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Volterra Semiconductor Corp. for $23 per share, which represents a 55 percent premium to Volterra Semiconductor's closing share price on August 14, 2013.
Michael R. Splinter will serve as executive chairman.
View Inc. today announced Harold Hughes, a semiconductor industry veteran, is joining the company's board of directors.
At SEMICON West 2013, Boston Semi Equipment (BSE), LLC announced the expansion of its semiconductor front end and back end equipment businesses in Tempe, Ariz. into a new and larger facility.
cyberTECHNOLOGIES GmbH announced the addition of White-Light Interferometry (WLI) to its suite of production-proven CT SERIES non-contact surface metrology systems at SEMICON West 2013.
SEMICON West 2013 included a robust set of technical and marketing presentations on the general theme of developing new semiconductor devices in the session “Lab to Fab: From R&D to High Volume Manufacturing” held 1:30-3:30PM on July 9.
In the afternoon of the last day of SEMICON/West 2013, a session was devoted to updates from the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) Front End of Line Technologies.
SEMATECH's Mark Neisser provided a sobering overview of the challenges associated with extending Lithography technology to pattern device structures below a half-pitch of 20nm.
Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today announced that they have developed a more efficient purge technique that reduces the consumption of ultra-high purity (UHP) purge gases by more than 20 percent during the production of semiconductors.
Fab 5 second phase construction will start at the end of August this year and be completed in summer next year. Decisions on equipment investment and production will reflect market trends.
After a flat year in 2012, global purchasing of semiconductors by the world’s top electronic brands is set to return to growth in 2013, as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics contend to claim the title of biggest spender.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.33 billion in orders worldwide in June 2013 (three-month average basis) and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.10.
Rudolph Technologies, Inc., a provider of process characterization, photolithography equipment and software for the semiconductor, FPD, LED and solar industries, today released three new application-specific configurations of its industry-leading NSX 320 Automated Macro Defect Inspection System.
Dialog Semiconductor plc, a provider of highly integrated power management, audio, AC/DC and short-range wireless technologies today announced that Richard Beyer, appointed to the board in February this year, as an independent non-executive director, will succeed Gregorio Reyes as chairman of the board. Greg will continue to serve as a board member.
Semiconductor revenue worldwide will see improved growth this year of 6.9 percent and reaching $320 billion according to the mid-year 2013 update of the Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF) from International Data Corporation (IDC).