The industry's first extreme selectivity etch tool introduces new materials engineering capabilities for the next generation of self-aligned patterning schemes and future scaling of 3D logic and memory chips.
At the 2014 Flash Memory Summit, I participated in a panel discussion titled, “Is 3D NAND a disruptive technology for Flash storage?” The consensus is that 3D NAND will be the most viable storage technology in the years to come, although opinions were mixed on when that disruption would be evident.
Every year, media outlets publish year-end reviews and outlooks for the New Year. Solid State Technology, a leading magazine providing the latest electronics manufacturing news, analysis and product information related to semiconductor manufacturing features an annual outlook and invited Randhir Thakur, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Silicon Systems Group, Applied Materials to give his assessment of the major trends for 2014. He identified the shifts to 20 nanometer designs, FinFET transistors and 3D NAND as the game-changing innovations and discussed how Applied is focused on providing the precision materials engineering solutions to address the challenges involved in advancing these technologies.
2013 was a transformative and exciting year for Applied Materials. It was also a year filled with important achievements in the semiconductor and display industries.
In May, Applied Materials hosted one of the most powerful men in the world, U.S. President Barack Obama. In September we announced that Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron are combining to create a new global innovator for the semiconductor and display industries. It comes to no surprise that these topics are among the most widely read blog posts this past year.
One of the biggest developments taking place in the semiconductor industry is the emergence of 3D NAND memory technology. Products are available today that feature 3D NAND devices. It has taken years to become a reality — since Toshiba first discussed the concept of 3D NAND at the VLSI Symposium in 2007 – and now it is poised to replace planar NAND flash memory for storage.
The path that has led to this point is similar to what happened with the logic roadmap; despite innovative workarounds, the era of traditional planar "shrinks" for NAND is running out of steam. And, just as with logic, it has required significant technical advances to overcome the formidable challenges to successfully manufacture complex vertical 3D NAND designs.