Applied Materials sets cobalt on path to future chips

15.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

When a global leader in providing equipment, services and software used for manufacturing semiconductors makes an announcement, industry players sit up and listen, as the technologies are going to impact market activity in devices such as smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels. Tuesday's announcement from Applied Materials was big. The Santa Clara, California based equipment supplier announced the launch of its Endura Volta CVD Cobalt chip making machine. This is the only tool capable of encapsulating copper interconnects in logic chips beyond the 28nm node by depositing precise, thin cobalt films, said the company. The news is in the word "cobalt." The company sees cobalt as a superior metal encapsulation film. "Applied Materials announced that the Endura Volta CVD Cobalt system represents the first material change in more than 15 years of copper barrier/seed (CuBS) development, "a new materials era" for extending copper interconnect technology. It is not only the first material change but an important change in materials for microchip wiring. Actually, the news is in the word "cobalt" and in the word "wiring."

Three-year battery life for wireless human interface devices with new ultra-low-power 2.4-GHz wirelessUSB NX transceiver

15.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. today introduced its fourth-generation 2.4-GHz WirelessUSB radio-on-a-chip. The new WirelessUSB NX transceiver delivers Cypress's hallmark robust performance along with ultra-low power consumption, aided by a fast 2 Mbps data rate to limit time spent transmitting and receiving. The solution enables three years of battery life for wireless mice, keyboards, trackpads, remote controls and other Human Interface Devices (HIDs). Cypress is the only supplier to offer a complete HID solution, supporting advanced features and streamlined designs with WirelessUSB NX, low-power microcontrollers and best-in-class capacitive touch sensing technology.

Toshiba, SanDisk to mass produce high-power ’3D’ memory

14.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

Japan's Toshiba is teaming up with US chip giant SanDisk to produce a "3D" memory chip they hope will allow users to save up to 50 hours of ultra-high definition video.

Higher dose sensitivity progress in novel photoresist platforms

13.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

SEMATECH announced today that researchers have reported progress which could significantly improve resist sensitivity by incorporating metal oxide nanoparticles for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, bringing the technology another step toward enabling the development of high performance resists required to enable EUV for high-volume manufacturing (HVM).

Research promises to lead to increased functionality for advanced mobile devices

08.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

University of California, Berkeley researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation, are pursuing a novel approach to 3D device integration that promises to lead to advanced mobile devices and wearable electronics featuring increased functionality in more low-profile packages.

Researchers achieve breakthrough defect reductions in EUV mask blanks

07.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

SEMATECH announced today that researchers have reached a significant milestone in reducing tool-generated defects from the multi-layer deposition of mask blanks used for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, pushing the technology another significant step toward readiness for high-volume manufacturing (HVM).

Device could boost image quality for phones, computers and TVs

01.05. 2014 Semiconductors News

( —A device created by UCLA researchers could lead to a significant leap in the quality of images on smartphones, computer displays, TVs and inkjet printers.

Toshiba starts mass production of world’s first 15nm NAND flash memories

24.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has developed the world's first 15-nanometer (nm) process technology, which will apply to 2-bit-per-cell 128-gigabit (16 gigabytes) NAND flash memories. Mass production with the new technology will start at the end of April at Fab 5 Yokkaichi Operations, Toshiba's NAND flash fabrication facility (fab), replacing second generation 19 nm process technology, Toshiba's previous flagship process. The second stage of Fab 5 is currently under construction, and the new technology will also be deployed there.

X-ray detector on plastic delivers medical imaging performance

16.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

Researchers from Holst Centre and imec have demonstrated the first ever X-ray detector produced on a plastic substrate that is capable of medical-grade performance. The proof-of-concept device delivers high-resolution, dynamic images at 25 frames per second (fps) and 200 pixels per inch (ppi) with high contrast using medical-level X-ray doses.

ASML sees lull in orders from computer chip makers

16.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

ASML Holding NV, the largest supplier of equipment to computer chip makers such as Intel and Samsung, says it sees only incremental sales gains in the coming two quarters.

New design for mobile phone masts could cut carbon emissions

14.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

A breakthrough in the design of signal amplifiers for mobile phone masts could deliver a massive 200MW cut in the load on UK power stations, reducing CO2 emissions by around 0.5 million tonnes a year.

Small, light health patch with enhanced accuracy

09.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

Holst Centre and IMEC have unveiled a prototype flexible health patch weighing just 10g – half the weight of current products. The patch uses real-time electrocardiogram (ECG), tissue-contact impedance and accelerometer information to accurately monitor physical activity. Thanks to advanced system in package (SiP) technology from ShinkoElectric Industries, the electronics module measures less than two by two centimeters. The high accuracy algorithms, low power consumption, and small size and weight make it ideal for consumer applications.

Chipmaker Marvell told to pay $1.5 bn in patent case

01.04. 2014 Semiconductors News

Semiconductor firm Marvell Technology Group has been ordered to pay $1.54 billion for patent violations in a case brought by Carnegie Mellon University.

Epson introduces new differential output crystal oscillator

26.03. 2014 Semiconductors News

Seiko Epson Corporation, the world leader in quartz crystal technology, today introduces availability of the SG7050EBN, a next-generation differential-output crystal oscillator that achieves extremely low phase jitter.

Tiny transistors for extreme environs: Engineers shrink plasma devices to resist radiation

20.03. 2014 Semiconductors News

University of Utah electrical engineers fabricated the smallest plasma transistors that can withstand high temperatures and ionizing radiation found in a nuclear reactor. Such transistors someday might enable smartphones that take and collect medical X-rays on a battlefield, and devices to measure air quality in real time.