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Primeur weekly 2013-07-08

Special

Exploiting parallelism on Titan to reach exascale performance, eventually ...

The Cloud

A virtual chef-nutritionist for old people ...

BRABUS draws on IBM to deliver stylish upgrades for automobiles, planes and yachts through the Cloud ...

New hardware design protects data in the cloud ...

Oracle enhances Cloud management with new third generation release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c ...

Oracle announces general availability of Oracle Database 12c, the first database designed for the Cloud ...

New Oracle Database 12c innovations engineered with Oracle Storage Systems deliver next level of database-to-storage performance and efficiency ...

Rackspace and CERN openlab collaborate to deliver "Big Bang" with Hybrid Cloud ...

EuroFlash

Megware supercomputer at the University of Bayreuth secures TOP500 place ...

High Performance Computing facility to receive Government funding of 8 million euro ...

RSC supercomputers continue to lead in energy efficiency among Russian HPC systems in Green500 ...

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Numascale AS to collaborate on improved memory systems for research ...

Bull launches the 2013 Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize, aimed at boosting the development of computer simulation ...

Kees Neggers honoured as an Internet Pioneer in the Internet Hall of Fame ...

World record in silicon integrated nanophotonics - More energy efficiency in the data communication ...

SURFnet and Russian Skoltech embark on joint e-Infrastructure project ...

USFlash

Parallella: an open source hardware project ...

Pleiades supercomputer to be augmented with next-generation SGI ICE-X systems ...

2014 Pennsylvania State Budget includes $500,000 for Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center ...

Senator Durbin leads dedication of new Mira supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory ...

Microscopy technique could help computer industry develop 3D components ...

Cyclica Inc. is awarded access to IBM's Blue Gene/Q supercomputer to repurpose FDA approved drugs ...

Texas Advanced Computing Center deploys 20PB Big Data hub using DataDirect Networks High-Performance Storage System ...

More of the world's TOP500 supercomputers trust DataDirect Networks for best analytics and simulation performance, scale and lowest TCO ...

Indiana University to take lead in Defense Department effort securing software-defined networks ...

Graphene-based system could lead to improved information processing ...

NSF and Mozilla announce breakthrough applications on a faster, smarter internet of the future ...

Titan completes acceptance testing ...

Microscopy technique could help computer industry develop 3D components


Intel Corp.
28 Jun 2013 Gaithersburg - A technique developed several years ago at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for improving optical microscopes now has been applied to monitoring the next generation of computer chip circuit components, potentially providing the semiconductor industry with a crucial tool for improving chips for the next decade or more.

The technique, called Through-Focus Scanning Optical Microscopy (TSOM), has now been shown able to detect tiny differences in the three-dimensional shapes of circuit components, which until very recently have been essentially two-dimensional objects. TSOM is sensitive to features that are as small as 10 nanometers (nm) across, perhaps smaller - addressing some important industry measurement challenges for the near future for manufacturing process control and helping maintain the viability of optical microscopy in electronics manufacturing.

For decades, computer chips have resembled city maps in which components are essentially flat. But as designers strive to pack more components onto chips, they have reached the same conclusion as city planners: The only direction left to build is upwards. New generations of chips feature 3D structures that stack components atop one another, but ensuring these components are all made to the right shapes and sizes requires a whole new dimension - literally - of measurement capability.

"Previously, all we needed to do was show we could accurately measure the width of a line a certain number of nanometers across", explained NIST's Ravikiran Attota. "Now, we will need to measure all sides of a three-dimensional structure that has more nooks and crannies than many modern buildings. And the nature of light makes that difficult."

Part of the trouble is that components now are growing so small that a light beam can't quite get at them. Optical microscopes are normally limited to features larger than about half the wavelength of the light used - about 250 nanometers for green light. So microscopists have worked around the issue by lining up a bunch of identical components at regular distances apart and observing how light scatters off the group and fitting the data with optical models to determine the dimensions. But these optical measurements, as currently used in manufacturing, have great difficulty measuring newer 3D structures.

Other non-optical methods of imaging such as scanning probe microscopy are expensive and slow, so the NIST team decided to test the abilities of TSOM, a technique that Ravikiran Attota played a major role in developing. The method uses a conventional optical microscope, but rather than taking a single image, it collects 2D images at different focal positions forming a 3D data space. A computer then extracts brightness profiles from these multiple out-of-focus images and uses the differences between them to construct the TSOM image. The TSOM images it provides are somewhat abstract, but the differences between them are still clear enough to infer minute shape differences in the measured structures - bypassing the use of optical models, which introduce complexities that industry must face.

"Our simulation studies show that TSOM might measure features as small as 10 nm or smaller, which would be enough for the semiconductor industry for another decade", Ravikiran Attota stated. "And we can look at anything with TSOM, not just circuits. It could become useful to any field where 3D shape analysis of tiny objects is needed."

R. Attota, B. Bunday and V. Vartanian are the authors of "Critical dimension metrology by through-focus scanning optical microscopy beyond the 22 nm node" which appears inApplied Physics Letters, DOI: 10.1063/1.4809512. The paper has been published on-line on June 6, 2013.

Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology - NIST

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2013-07-08

Special

Exploiting parallelism on Titan to reach exascale performance, eventually ...

The Cloud

A virtual chef-nutritionist for old people ...

BRABUS draws on IBM to deliver stylish upgrades for automobiles, planes and yachts through the Cloud ...

New hardware design protects data in the cloud ...

Oracle enhances Cloud management with new third generation release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c ...

Oracle announces general availability of Oracle Database 12c, the first database designed for the Cloud ...

New Oracle Database 12c innovations engineered with Oracle Storage Systems deliver next level of database-to-storage performance and efficiency ...

Rackspace and CERN openlab collaborate to deliver "Big Bang" with Hybrid Cloud ...

EuroFlash

Megware supercomputer at the University of Bayreuth secures TOP500 place ...

High Performance Computing facility to receive Government funding of 8 million euro ...

RSC supercomputers continue to lead in energy efficiency among Russian HPC systems in Green500 ...

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Numascale AS to collaborate on improved memory systems for research ...

Bull launches the 2013 Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize, aimed at boosting the development of computer simulation ...

Kees Neggers honoured as an Internet Pioneer in the Internet Hall of Fame ...

World record in silicon integrated nanophotonics - More energy efficiency in the data communication ...

SURFnet and Russian Skoltech embark on joint e-Infrastructure project ...

USFlash

Parallella: an open source hardware project ...

Pleiades supercomputer to be augmented with next-generation SGI ICE-X systems ...

2014 Pennsylvania State Budget includes $500,000 for Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center ...

Senator Durbin leads dedication of new Mira supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory ...

Microscopy technique could help computer industry develop 3D components ...

Cyclica Inc. is awarded access to IBM's Blue Gene/Q supercomputer to repurpose FDA approved drugs ...

Texas Advanced Computing Center deploys 20PB Big Data hub using DataDirect Networks High-Performance Storage System ...

More of the world's TOP500 supercomputers trust DataDirect Networks for best analytics and simulation performance, scale and lowest TCO ...

Indiana University to take lead in Defense Department effort securing software-defined networks ...

Graphene-based system could lead to improved information processing ...

NSF and Mozilla announce breakthrough applications on a faster, smarter internet of the future ...

Titan completes acceptance testing ...