It is becoming increasingly important for metrology to analyse chips in more than two dimensions. Nick Dawes, Todd Henry and Doug Hahn of FEI Company report on a technology that brings the third dimension to bear.
Even the slightest vibrations can damage silicon wafers, especially at the latest technology nodes. That's why vibration management is becoming an increasingly important issue for fab managers. Reactec commercial director Tim Kent reports.
HF appears to be one of the best chemicals for selectively wet etching favoured high-k material HfO2 but, according to recent research, it must be acidified and heated to work correctly. Kurt Christenson of FSI International explains.
One of the biggest challenges at the 90nm node is power dissipation, which causes chips to heat up and drains batteries. World number one foundry TSMC believes that electronic design automation will play a key role in overcoming this tricky problem.
Progress in miniaturising electronic components for portable devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players is being boosted by the development of ultra-thin packaging techniques. Luu Nguyen and Sadanand Patil of National Semiconductor report.
Whenever a piece of equipment fails in a fab – or has to be taken out of service for maintenance – the costs can be enormous in terms of lost production. David Holt of Perlast reports on a new seal that promises to improve the reliability of a vital component of many deposition tools.
Metrology is becoming an ever more challenging area as a result of smaller feature sizes, copper interconnects and new fragile low-k materials that are susceptible to damage during measuring. Philips AMS take a look at how these challenges are being met.
Lab-on-chips could become a major growth area for the semiconductor industry but in the past no-one has been prepared to risk the cash needed for volume production. Alec Reader of Innos believes it is now time for that risk to be taken.
The European commission has issued a revision to the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) directive – which aims to prevent radio interference from electronic products. The commission claims the revision simplifies regulatory procedures, reduces manufacturers' costs and increases product information and documentation available to inspectors.
The industry's never-ending quest to scale down is throwing up some tough challenges for metrology. Neal Sullivan and Paul Knutrud of Solurus explain how one metrology method is measuring up to sub-100nm processes.
With ever more patent disputes going to court, it has never been more important for companies to build up strong evidence to back up their patent claims. Reverse engineering is one of the most effective ways of achieving this, writes Chipworks patent advisor Andrea Girones.
Extensive research has been carried out to determine the impact of different slurries on post chemical mechanical planarisation topography and electrical performance. Dr Zvezdalina Stavreva and Dr Goetz Springer of Infineon and Roger Tushingham, Jim Schlueter and Sanjay Basak of Novellus Systems present the results of this research.