U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Applied Materials in Austin, Texas today to tour one of our semiconductor manufacturing lines and deliver remarks on making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.
Given that today’s advanced chips can contain billions of transistors, 60 miles of copper wiring and 10 billion vertical connections between metal layers, the challenges and potential pitfalls this level of complexity presents are mind-boggling. One major problem on the horizon at 20nm and below is the threat of voids forming in the vertical interconnects commonly called vias.
Transistors are the fundamental building blocks out of which all modern electronic devices are built. Invented in the early 1950s, transistors are the semiconductor switches that control and amplify electronic signals. As demand has grown over the years for greater performance from these devices, chipmakers have responded by packing wafers with twice as many of the transistors that drive that performance every two years – a trend described by the iconic Moore’s Law. Today, an advanced microprocessor may use up to three billion transistors.
Pure silicon isn’t terribly thrilling. It’s neither a perfect insulator nor a perfect conductor. It’s somewhere in the middle.
Inserting a smattering of boron or phosphorus atoms into the silicon crystal lattice really spices things up. This process is called ion implantation and it’s one of the fundamental processes used to make microchips.
Since we launched new ion implantation technology today, in the form of the Applied Varian VIISta® Trident high current system, it seems a good time to take a closer look at the fundamentals of ion implantation.
The megatrends of mobility, connectivity and cloud computing are propelling our industry’s growth. Mobile electronics are driving significant changes in consumer behavior including faster adoption rates for new products combined with hunger for new features, longer battery life and brighter, higher resolution, touch sensitive displays. And nowhere will Applied Materials’ role in these trends be more apparent than our presence at SEMICON West this July!
I am excited to announce that Applied Materials will be on the show floor at the Moscone Center this year, where we will showcase the process capability required to build today’s transistors, interconnects and stacked IC packages, to fuel the next generation of computing technology for today’s mobile society.
We’re getting excited for this year’s SEMICON West, the flagship annual event for the global microelectronics industry. We have enjoyed building an online community through the discussion of innovation and the ideas that are shaping the world as we know it. As we’ve built this community, we’ve created several ways to connect, engage and interact with Applied Materials.
This blog post highlights the various Applied Materials Social Media Communities. Please take the time to check out the different channels and we’ll post up-to-date news and information about our activities around the show through the following methods.
Below is a short excerpt of an article I submitted to IEEE Spectrum that looks at the emerging memory technologies being considered to help smartphones and tablets meet the demand for more energy efficient data storage. To access the complete article, visit the IEEE Spectrum web site.
"Our smartphones and ultrathin laptops rely on a triumvirate of memory technologies—SRAM, DRAM, and flash—each customized for a specific purpose. They’ve all been fabulous workhorses, but now these memories are struggling to keep up with the steady demand for chips that are faster, cheaper, more reliable, and more energy efficient.
Below is the excellent video titled: “Enlightenment 2.0: A Revolution in Learning” that won 1st prize in a “Future of Electronics Innovations” video competition as part of the Young Talent Outreach Program, which aims to inspire students in Singapore to pursue a career in Engineering.
You can watch all the winning videos (which are seriously worth your time) here.
The May 2012 issue of WIRED Magazine features one of Applied Materials’ semiconductor manufacturing systems used to manufacture cutting-edge chips found in today’s electronics. The ‘How it Works’ article illustrates how we can sculpt transistors atom-by-atom.
Applied has been recognized for the second consecutive year with Intel’s Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award, for the company’s significant contributions providing Intel with semiconductor manufacturing equipment and support services, deemed essential to Intel’s success.