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IN THIS ISSUE — December 13, 2011
1. News & Features
2. Round Table Discussions/Videos
3. Blogs
NEWS & FEATURES
Test Challenges and DFM Debate Seen in 3D Chip Era
As the industry has lowered its chip-testing costs over the years, IC test has been somewhat predictable. But in the emerging 2.5D and 3D chip era, IC test is entering the spotlight and the traditional test flow is under the gun. And there is a little-known debate brewing over a 3D design-for-manufacturing (DFM) standard over the test access architecture.
IEDM: STMicro Adds TSVs, eDRAM to 28nm SOI CMOS
STMicroelectronics has integrated TSVs, embedded DRAM, and back biasing techniques to it 28nm CMOS platform, now moving towards production of a smartphone processor. The ultra-thin-body fully depleted SOI technology is cost effective because of fewer implant steps and a planar architecture, said STMicroelectronics program manager Franck Arnaud.
IEDM: SuVolta, Fujitsu Tout Low Voltage SRAM
SuVolta Inc. and Fujitsu's semiconductor operation presented a joint paper at IEDM 2011 showing reliable SRAM performance below 0.5V operation. Fujitsu, which took an early license to SuVolta's Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) transistor technology, plans to introduce products next year based on the low-power technology.
IEDM: Intel Sees Tri-Gate Future for InGaAs Devices
Researchers from Intel said vertical InGaAs structures have better electrostatics than highly scaled planar III-V devices. At IEDM, Intel researcher Marko Radosavljevic said InGaAs tri-gate devices outperformed the 10nm planar ultra-thin-body devices. A Purdue research team reported good results with III-V nanowires in a vertical architecture.
Silicon Foundries to Expand into MEMS Business
The MEMS foundry business is a paradox that is up for grabs. The balance of power could soon change as several silicon foundry vendors — such as GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, SMIC, UMC, TSMC and X-Fab — will expand their efforts in MEMS. "In MEMS, you will see consolidation," said Peter Himes, vice president of marketing for MEMS foundry Silex.
IEDM to Leave Washington D.C. After 2015 Meeting
The International Electron Devices Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. in 2013 and 2015, but after that will be held annually in San Francisco, said IEDM 2011 chairman Kazunari Ishimaru. Since 1982, IEDM has alternated between Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, but attendance is significantly higher when it is held near Silicon Valley.
Samsung Ramps U.S. Fab and Plans China Plant
Amid the IC downturn, many chip makers are slowing down their fab expansion plans. But not all are in the same boat. Gearing up for demand from Apple Inc.'s iPad, iPhone as well as other end-user products, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is moving on three chip fronts, including plans to ramp its U.S. fab.
IEDM: Bohr Sees Heterogeneous Future for CMOS
Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr said III-V and germanium channel materials may serve to reduce power consumption on future ICs while delivering good performance. In a plenary speech at the IEDM conference now underway in Washington, D.C., Bohr said "our real goal is good performance at lower voltage," noting that III-V transistors can operate at .5V.
IBM Sees Performance from FD-SOI Transistors
IBM technologists said their fully depleted SOI transistors and ring oscillator test circuits are delivering performance competitive with the best-reported bulk finFETs. Bruce Doris, an IBM Albany research manager, said the work shows that "there is a bit of a misnomer out there that the bulk FinFET has superior performance."
IEDM: Samsung Describes 20nm CMOS Challenges
Samsung had to work hard to overcome the performance degradation effects which come from simple scaling. External resistances, strain effects, and implant doping all get harder as the contacted poly pitch shrinks to 80nm.
ReRAM Gains Momentum in 'Universal Memory' Race
Resistive RAMs (ReRAMs) are one of several next-generation memory candidates to succeed NAND flash, but there are material, production and cost issues associated with the technology. Elpida, Hynix, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and others are working on ReRAM. In fact, Micron and Sony have forged an alliance in ReRAM. And IMEC made a big announcement.
More News & Features
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS / VIDEOS
Experts At The Table: Stacked Die And The Supply Chain
Last of three parts: Blurring the lines between packaging and manufacturing; progress on cross-disciplinary test and tools; issues in packaging, interconnect and test; who's in charge and driving changes; why tools are lagging for creating TSVs; who owns what; debate over whether the supply chain will grow or shrink.
Experts At The Table: Stacked Die And The Supply Chain
Second of three parts: Starting points for stacking; where standards are needed; 2.5D vs. 3D stacks; the role of test; the challenge of interconnects; potential power shifts in terms of who's in control.
Time For FD-SOI?
Soitec COO Paul Boudre discusses what will be the best solution for 20nm – fully depleted silicon on insulator or bulk 3D transistors? The answer will likely include both.
More Round Table Discussions/Videos
BLOGS / TWITTER
Editor's View

The IEDM Logic Debate
FinFETs, FD-SOI, or SuVolta? At IEDM, much of the discussion compared the attributes and challenges.
Semico Spin

MEMS Oscillators Market News – Accelerating Adoption of silicon MEMS timing
Recently there have been two major announcements in the MEMS Oscillator market.
Viewpoints: SEMI

Market Growth for Packaging Materials
Following a record year in terms of semiconductor sales and unit shipments, 2011 turned into a lower growth year than initially expected with several challenges emerging for the packaging material suppliers.
ASN's All Things SOI

FD-SOI bests FinFETs for mobile multimedia SOCs? ST says yes.
In his SOI Conference paper, T. Skotnicki made the case for planar FD-SOI at 28nm and beyond.
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VIDEOS/PODCASTS
Soitec COO Paul Boudre discusses what will be the best solution for 20nm – fully depleted silicon on insulator or bulk 3D transistors? The answer will likely include both.
Just how easy is to move designs from one foundry to another? It depends who you ask.
More Videos/Podcasts