FEI has launched the Verios XHR (extreme high resolution) SEM (scanning electron microscope), which provides subnanometer resolution and enhanced contrast for precise measurements on beam-sensitive materials in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and materials science applications. At low kV, where the performance of conventional SEMs degrades significantly, the Verios system’s advanced optics extends SEM capability to the 22-nm node and below.
Verios XHR allows users to quickly switch between various operating conditions, maintain sample cleanliness, and obtain subnanometer resolution at any accelerating voltage from 1 kV to 30 kV. The system also introduces new detection technologies. Optimized signal collection and filtering abilities not only provide higher and more flexible contrast generation, but also allow for a greater range of samples to be investigated. FEI reports that many beam-sensitive and nonconductive materials can be accurately observed at the nanoscale, without any preparation.
Accurate navigation is achieved with a five-axis, 100×100-mm piezoceramic stage complemented by multiple navigation packages, including fast bit-cell counting. A large analytical chamber and high-current mode enable samples up to 200 mm in diameter to be accommodated, cleaned, navigated, imaged, and analyzed with minimal preparation.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.