Chip makers and equipment suppliers are taking new steps forward in exploring revolutionary materials and techniques needed to continue enabling breakthroughs in microchip performance. The pace of innovation is ramping at a rate never-before experienced in the industry. We’re going to see more changes in the next five years than we’ve seen in last 15. Without these efforts, the innovation engine that has produced generation after generation of mobility and computing devices capable of astonishing capabilities will stall. One area where disruptive change is coming is the interconnect.
Following is a short explanation of this transition.
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.
A notable development in the renewable energy industry has been the swift ascendency of China in solar cell manufacturing. It took under five years for Chinese manufacturers to dominate production and the global market. Many of these manufacturers are Applied Materials customers. So, when MIT’s Technology Review started to research their February cover feature on “manufacturing breakthroughs” that includes a look at China’s leadership in solar, they reached out to Applied for perspective. Applied EVP and GM for the Energy and Environmental Solutions team, Mark Pinto discussed with Technology Review the evolution of China’s solar industry and how it is changing to being driven by not only scale but also technology advancements in conversion efficiency to reduce cost.
ExtremeTech’s Sebastian Anthony, details Applied Materials’ role in the semiconductor industry and describes the company as the unsung hero of Silicon Valley that has been guiding the leading edge of CMOS processing since before Intel released its 4004 CPU in 1971. Quoted in the story is Applied Materials’ chief technology officer for silicon, Klaus Scheugraf. Visit ExtremeTech’s web site to access the full story or read the following short excerpt.
Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design’s David Lammers recently covered Applied Materials’ analyst meeting and published an article on the growth and wider adoption of solid-state drives as well as what is driving wafer-level packaging and through-silicon vias.
Applied Materials and China are leaders in solar; Applied as a supplier and China as a manufacturer. This makes next week's SNEC PV Power Expo 2011 in Shanghai a significant event for the industry and for Applied. Not surprisingly, SNEC has grown into one of the most influential international PV shows in the world. More than 4,000 experts and scholars, 80,000 professionals, and 5000 companies, including buyers, suppliers, integrators, will gather in Shanghai for this occasion.
According to Stork, though significant challenges remain with vertical interconnects using through-silicon vias (TSVs), the semiconductor industry is on the verge of turning this into a manufacturing technology.
Christopher Bencher, member of the technical staff at Applied Materials, recently gave a presentation at the IEEE Bay Area Nanotechnology Council’s Half-day Symposium on process and integration-based scaling for 15nm nodes. In an interview with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor at Solid State Technology, Bencher discussed the company’s development work at 15nm. Listen to Bencher's talk on the realities driving the push to 15nm or for more details visit the...
Photovoltaics World just published a special issue called “Champions of Photovoltaics” to honor a select group of advocates, technologists, investors and companies that have helped to make PV a viable clean energy source and the world’s fastest growing energy technology. Applied Materials is recognized in 3 of the 4 categories – for technology, as investors and as a company.
Recognized as one of the PV technology champions is Dr. Charlie Gay, and President of Applied Solar. A 35-year industry veteran, Gay has been a stalwart proponent and innovator for PV starting in the 1970s when PV first became recognized as a commercial power source. Today, Gay is responsible for Applied’s solar efforts with important stakeholders in the industry, technical community and governments around the world.