Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Microchip industry strives to perfect its timing


Time is money, especially to the semiconductor industry. Electronics manufacturers use extremely sophisticated equipment to churn out the latest microchips, but they have a timing problem. It’s very difficult to get all the fabrication tools in a manufacturing line to agree on the time. Components within a single tool can disagree on the time by as much as two minutes, because of a lack of synchronization.

According to a new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and International SEMATECH,* the timing deficiencies will become important as device dimensions and tolerances continue to shrink. In particular, timing becomes critical as firms advance e-manufacturing concepts such as real-time automation and intelligent control.

Tools can be synchronized to about 100 millisecond (ms) accuracies today, but with significant variations. The problems are myriad, according to the report. For instance, subsystems made by suppliers may lack the interfaces needed to synchronize their clocks with host clocks made by original equipment manufacturers. Quality control software that relies on time stamps to diagnose processing errors may overload the computing resources of fabrication systems, therefore degrading the time stamp accuracy. There also is pressure to move forward: Methods are available to reach 1 ms accuracy in the near future, but sub-millisecond accuracies will be required eventually.

To help achieve that level of precision, NIST is leveraging its timekeeping expertise to support the industry’s development of time synchronization standards in collaboration with International SEMATECH’s e-Manufacturing initiatives. A next-generation time synchronization protocol under development by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers should improve the outlook, and NIST has developed educational presentations and white papers to summarize the key issues and potential solutions. In addition, NIST plans to facilitate future standards development, possibly under a new Time Synchronization Working Group, chartered by Semiconductor Equipment Materials International.

Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht 'Super yeast' has the power to improve economics of biofuels
18.10.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors
14.10.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>