The Complexities of the Resolution Limits of Advanced Lithography

The Complexities of the Resolution Limits of Advanced Lithography
by Fred Chen on 01-10-2021 at 6:00 am

The Complexities of the Resolution Limits of Advanced Lithography

For advanced lithography used to shrink semiconductor device features according to Moore’s Law, resolution limits are an obvious consideration. It is often perceived that the resolution limit is simply derived from a well-defined equation, but nothing can be further from the truth.

Optical Lithography: the fine print

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CD-Pitch Combinations Disfavored by EUV Stochastics

CD-Pitch Combinations Disfavored by EUV Stochastics
by Fred Chen on 11-29-2020 at 6:00 am

CD Pitch Combinations Disfavored by EUV Stochastics

Ongoing investigations of EUV stochastics [1-3] have allowed us to map combinations of critical dimension (CD) and pitch which are expected to pose a severe risk of stochastic defects impacting the use of EUV lithography. Figure 1 shows a typical set of contours of fixed PNOK (i.e., the probability of a feature being Not OK due… Read More


Downplaying SMIC – Uplaying TSMC

Downplaying SMIC – Uplaying TSMC
by Robert Maire on 11-01-2020 at 6:00 am

SMIC China TSMC
  • KLAC sports solid QTR & Guide- Foundry & Logic drivers
  • Management remains dismissive of SMIC embargo
  • Execution & financials are solid but macro headwinds remain
  • Nice September Quarter

KLA reported revenue of $1.54B and Non GAAP EPS of $3.03 versus street expectations of $1.49B and EPS of $2.77. Guidance is for revenues… Read More


ASML is Strong Because TSMC is Hot!

ASML is Strong Because TSMC is Hot!
by Robert Maire on 10-15-2020 at 10:00 am

TSMC ASML EUV 2020
  • ASML has strong quarter lead by great Taiwan and EUV
  • EUV “crossed over” DUV as revenue leader- signaling new era
  • Taiwan doubles, China grows, Korea weaker, US further behind

ASML hits great numbers
ASML reported revenues of Euro 4B, with income of Euro 2.54EPS, both beating estimates handily. Ten EUV systems were … Read More


Highlights of the TSMC Technology Symposium – Part 1

Highlights of the TSMC Technology Symposium – Part 1
by Tom Dillinger on 09-04-2020 at 8:00 am

A72 core high density

Recently, TSMC held their 26th annual Technology Symposium, which was conducted virtually for the first time.  This article is the first of three that attempts to summarize the highlights of the presentations.

This article focuses on the TSMC process technology roadmap, as described by the following executives:

  • Y.J. Mii, SVP,
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Fully Self-Aligned 6-Track and 7-Track Cell Process Integration

Fully Self-Aligned 6-Track and 7-Track Cell Process Integration
by Fred Chen on 08-23-2020 at 6:00 am

Fully Self Aligned 6 Track and 7 Track Cell Process Integration

For the 10nm – 5nm nodes, the leading-edge foundries are designing cells which utilize 6 or 7 metal tracks, entailing a wide metal line for every 4 or 5 minimum width lines, respectively (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Left: a 7-track cell. Right: a 6-track cell.

This is a fundamental vulnerability for lithography, as defocus can change… Read More


SEMICON West – Applied Materials Selective Gap Fill Announcement

SEMICON West – Applied Materials Selective Gap Fill Announcement
by Scotten Jones on 08-17-2020 at 5:00 pm

Applied Materials Selective Gapfill July 2020 Page 02

At SEMICON West, Applied Materials announced a new selective gap fill tool to address the growing resistance issues in interconnect at small dimensions. I had the opportunity to discuss this new tool and the applications for it with Zhebo Chen global product manager in the Metal Deposition Products group at Applied Materials.… Read More


EUV faces Scylla and Charybdis

EUV faces Scylla and Charybdis
by Fred Chen on 08-03-2020 at 6:00 am

EUV faces Scylla and Charybdis

It is now time for the EUV community to realize they are caught between the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis. In Greek mythology, the two monsters terrorized ships that were unlucky enough to pass between them. By avoiding one, you approached the other.

S for Scylla, or Stochastics

Scylla was a former beautiful nymph turned into

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Application-Specific Lithography: a 28 nm Pitch DRAM Active Area

Application-Specific Lithography: a 28 nm Pitch DRAM Active Area
by Fred Chen on 07-19-2020 at 2:00 pm

Application Specific Lithography 28 nm Pitch DRAM Active Area

In the recent DRAM jargon, “1X”, “1Y”, “1Z”, etc. have been used to express all the sub-20 nm process generations. It is almost possible now to match them to real numbers which are roughly the half-pitch of the DRAM active area, such as 1X=18, 1Y ~ 17, etc. At this rate, 14 nm is somewhere around

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ASML More Covid Concerns and Impact

ASML More Covid Concerns and Impact
by Robert Maire on 07-19-2020 at 6:00 am

ASML Covid
  • Covid related Revenue Rec causes rev/EPS miss
  • Sharp order drop reflects H2 industry uncertainty
  • EUV remains solid- Memory/Logic mix is better

Results were in line after correcting Covid Caused Revenue Rec issue-
ASML reported revenues of Euro3.3B and EPS of Euro1.79 as revenues from two EUV systems was not recognized, due to … Read More