Semiconductors

Applied Materials

Rapid Thermal Processing: Hot Stuff for Cool Chips

Our announcement that we’ve recently shipped our 500th Applied Vantage® rapid thermal processing (RTP) system started me thinking about the contribution RTP has made to chip technology over the years.From furnaces to lamps and now lasers, thermal processing has evolved along with the industry, allowing chipmakers to squeeze a billion transistors on a fingernail-sized fragment of silicon.
Realities Driving the Push to 15nm

Realities Driving the Push to 15nm

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 Solid State Technology web site.
Applied Materials

Applied Materials Receives IC Industry Award

I am very pleased to report that for the second time this year, Applied Materials was honored for our breakthrough iSYS subfab technology, receiving the EuroAsia IC Industry Subsystems & Components Award, presented last week at the SEMICON Europa show in Dresden. In July, iSYS was named Sustainable Technology of the Year by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).The awards come as customers demand energy reductions beyond roadmap deliverables for 2012 – typically 30%. Subfab energy accounts for about 40% of total factory energy consumption during device production.
Wired Goes Inside Applied

Wired Goes Inside Applied

Wired Magazine goes inside Applied Materials' Maydan Technology Center for a piece out today called "A Chip Is Born: Inside a State-of-the-Art Clean Room".  The bunny-suit packed piece gives a rare look inside our operations and is well worth the read.
Applied Materials

Photomasks - Seeking Projection Perfection

Photomasks, the quartz plates that hold microchip circuit patterns, must be as close to perfect as possible. Any imperfections will be reproduced on every chip on every wafer, potentially wasting a lot of time and expensive silicon.Applied is a vital part of the mask making ecosystem. Virtually every high-end mask is made using Applied’s Tetra etch systems, a new version of which has just been released.
Applied Materials

Is Automation Software Useful in LED Manufacturing?

In his blog, James Moyne talked about Applied Materials’ software footprint as it relates to crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar production. James highlighted a specific scenario where advanced process control plays an important role in addressing issues associated with solar cell printing. As this type of technology becomes widely adopted, the c-Si solar industry will collectively improve processes and drive the quality and conversion efficiency of the product to new highs.The LED manufacturing world has an interesting mix of semiconductor technology and c-Si manufacturing practices. This raises the question: can automation software be beneficial—and affordable—for LED production lines? The answer is YES, and I’ll begin to tell you why.
Fixing a Planar Problem

Fixing a Planar Problem

For the past several years, the industry has been transitioning to high k metal gate (HKMG) transistors in high-performance logic chips. It’s been a tough engineering challenge requiring extensive research into new materials and production processes. But today, HKMG transistors are successfully being produced in high volume manufacturing for advanced logic devices.