Big Inflections in the Semiconductor Industry Have Created Big Yield Problems

For decades, the semiconductor industry has been driven by Moore’s Law and the planar transistor architecture. This allowed for a predictable, self-sustaining roadmap for transistor cost scaling and well-defined interfaces where each individual process/layer could follow its own technology trajectory independently. But the days of the traditional planar transistor have reached their end.

The semiconductor industry is currently experiencing major inflections in device architectures and process technologies (e.g. finFET and 3-D NAND). For the 16nm Node and below, entirely new device architectures are needed . These inflections have presented very difficult and unprecedented challenges for the industry, resulting in lowered manufacturing yield. In order to achieve acceptable yield levels with these new architectures, very tight process specifications must be achieved. Thus, better process control and integration schemes are needed more than ever. At StreamMosaic, we take a more holistic approach to process control by integrating processes to improve yield.

A specific challenge being faced is in lithography for sub-20nm node manufacturing. AS EUV lithography is not yet ready for production, 193nm immersion lithography must extend its capability via multi-patterning schemes, which adds masks and process steps, and is very complicated and expensive.

The processes now also require more complex integration and can no longer be developed independently of each other. FinFET’s and 3-D NAND’s three-dimensional architecture, as well as more complex relationships between process steps, have changed the way that process variability affects device performance and yield. StreamMosaic’s founder has conceptualized specific ways to meet these challenges and improve manufacturing yield by using predictive analytics and process control. StreamMosaic’s founder has deep subject matter expertise in the semiconductor industry, and proven track record as an inventor and innovator of production-proven semiconductor process control solutions.


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