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IN THIS ISSUE — November 29, 2011
1. News & Features
2. Round Table Discussions/Videos
3. Blogs
Applied Offers Atomic-level Low-k Treatment
Applied Materials has developed an atomic-level treatment process for low-k dielectrics which restores carbon lost during processing steps, improving the dielectric constant while hardening the film. The process can be applied after etch, CMP, and other steps, resulting in lower RC delays and reduced power consumption in the interconnect stack.
Crossing Automation Sees 450mm Buying Activity
Crossing Automation introduced two new pieces of the 450mm automation puzzle, a loadport and a modular development platform. Marketing vice president May Su said recent purchase orders signal the first phase of spending by equipment vendors on 450mm sorters, EFEMs, and load ports.
ASML's EUV Roadmap Points to New Wavelength
Even before 13.5nm wavelength EUV is in full production - and amid constant delays for the technology - ASML for some time has been talking about extending EUV with smaller wavelengths. More recently, ASML has been making a strong case in the industry for EUV based on wavelengths ranging from 6.6nm to 6.8nm, according to a recent presentation.
Foundries Extend Reach into Packaging Fronts
Taking another step in the IC-packaging market, silicon foundry giant TSMC outlined its 2.5D chip interposer strategy, saying it would provide a turnkey or end-to-end solution for customers. Other foundries are moving into the interposer front - putting them on a further collision course against the traditional IC-packaging houses.
Leading-edge Foundries to Enter Interposer Fray
The IC industry is entering the 2.5D era, but not all chip makers can participate in the arena. There are still a lack of suppliers that can provide the key component in the segment: leading-edge or fine-pitch interposers. GlobalFoundries and UMC will soon join TSMC in the fine-pitch interposer market.
Silicon Foundries Eye Power Management Arena
Leading-edge IC companies tend to grab the headlines, as several high-profile vendors are racing to stay on Moore's Law. But another race is taking place in power management, where foundries are bringing out their latest 0.18-micron processes. There is a pressing need for "energy-efficient chips and systems," said Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-Fab.
Applied Sees 'Challenging' Environment Continuing
Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter said fiscal 2011 was "a tale of two markets" with a "significant drop off in the second half of the year." The "near-term capital equipment spending environment remains challenging." Display and solar equipment sales dropped sharply in the second half of 2011.
Uncertainty Dampening Industry's Capex Investments
The uncertain economic environment means that production capital is sitting on the sidelines. Bill McClean, president of IC Insights, said the industry is in a kind of "corporate freeze, where managers don't know what to do." IC Insights is predicting a 16 percent decline in semiconductor-related capital investments next year.
More News & Features
Considerations for Porting a Bulk CMOS Design to FD-SOI
Technologists describe a straight port of an existing bulk CMOS design to FD-SOI at the same node, obtaining the value of fully depleted SOI for a modest redesign effort.
Experts At The Table: Stacked Die And The Supply Chain
First of three parts: The growing need for standards; questions about cost and business relationships; new terminology; who's responsible when something goes wrong.
Experts At The Table: Improving Yield
Second of three parts: Improving information exchange; the impact of software; dark silicon; through-silicon vias and electrical effects; stacking die in 2.5D and 3D configurations; testing issues; DFM challenges; the limitations of interposers.
Experts At The Table: Improving Yield
Last of three parts: Stress effects from TSVs; testing stacked die; simplifying design rules and shifting from what's not allowed to what is; the effect of 450nm and re-use on total cost.
More Round Table Discussions/Videos
Semico Spin

Smart Money in Analog
Over the next five years, semiconductor units will grow at a CAGR of 9.6%. The analog market will grow at a CAGR of 10.1%.
Editor's View

TI's Evolving Manufacturing Strategy
TI is "only a few tools away" from expanding production at the 300mm RFAB in Richardson, Texas.
Mentor Musings

DFM is a Competitive Weapon
DFM is not something separate and apart from design rule checking (DRC).
Viewpoints: SEMI

Mighty Japan Endures as Leader
After the devastating natural disaster in March, Japan's semiconductor industry has once again proven that it can overcome disaster and recover quickly.
ASN's All Things SOI

ARM: Bulk ports directly to FD-SOI
ARM Fellow JL Pelloie looked at design flow, found little change.

Transdermal patches – a maturing bio imprint application?
Kimberly Clark (UK) may be targeting the $3B transdermal patch market, using imprint technology.
Semi Mentor Applied Materials Soitec Global Foundries Novellus
Just how easy is to move designs from one foundry to another? It depends who you ask.
What problems are we likely to face at future nodes and with 3D structures?
More Videos/Podcasts