Semiconductors

Applied Materials

Opportunities in Through-Silicon Via Technology for 3D Packaging

The industry has reached a crucial inflection point on the adoption and commercialization of 3D packaging technology, and Applied Materials’ CTO Hans Stork gave attendees of the 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference held recently in Burlingame, Calif. his assessment on the current status of this emerging technology.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.
Vacuum Valves and Mercury Memory: Remembering Sir Maurice Wilkes

Vacuum Valves and Mercury Memory: Remembering Sir Maurice Wilkes

Maurice Wilkes inspecting a mercury delay line memory.Copyright Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Reproduced by permission.The semiconductor industry is constantly producing new innovations that enrich our lives. But, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Sir Maurice Wilkes, who passed away on November 29th this year, was one of the tallest.Sir Maurice is credited with several pioneering developments in computing, but is best known for leading the team at Cambridge University in England that developed EDSAC, the first truly modern computer, which ran its first program in 1949.
From Shy Student to Engaging Engineer

From Shy Student to Engaging Engineer

Applied Materials engineer Rozalia Beica guest-blogs for The Huffington Post's education section in a blog post published this week as part of non-profit organization Change The Equation 's campaign encouraging education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Rozalia's inspiring story speaks to how she stumbled into the engineering field as a shy student and eventually came to love engineering and the excitement and collaboration of working in the semiconductor industry.  She is now seen as an expert in the field helping to enable cutting edge technology of the future as part of Applied Materials' Silicon Systems Group .
Will Future Transistors Appear in Glorious 3D?

Will Future Transistors Appear in Glorious 3D?

Imagine two micrographs side-by-side, one of a transistor from an Intel 286 microprocessor from 1982 and one of a transistor from the brains of the latest smartphone. While they appear quite similar, the new one is 100 times smaller.But conventional transistor scaling is reaching its limits. Beyond the 22nm technology node – sometime in the middle of this decade – traditional two-dimensional, or planar, transistors may be a thing of the past. To continue the incredible advances in speed, battery life and cost, the technology must change. Two new approaches are being considered: three-dimensional transistors and enhancements to planar transistors.I recently attended a forum that Applied Materials hosted in San Francisco where a panel of experts debated the relative merits of these approaches. Speaking to an audience of over 200 technologists, the panel included experts from leading chip companies: GlobalFoundries, IBM, Qualcomm, Samsung and STMicroelectronics and was moderated by Professor Yuan Taur from U.C. San Diego.
Employee Reflects on Career in IT

Employee Reflects on Career in IT

Applied Materials' Christi Marrufo shares her career path in the high tech industry in a recent issue of Workforce Diversity for Engineering and IT Professionals magazine.In a feature on computer science as a top career field, Christi details her responsibilities as Director of Front End Services, Global Information Services, and speaks to what she enjoys most about working in the IT industry.  Below is an excerpt from the article:
New Chipmaking Technology Makes Smarter Smartphones

New Chipmaking Technology Makes Smarter Smartphones

Faster, smarter and greener than anything that’s gone before. There’s new technology that’s changing the way chips are made, enabling manufacturers to build processing powerhouses for the mobile devices of the future.It’s becoming incredibly challenging for the industry to shrink chip features to continually deliver higher levels of performance and battery life. Of course, we’ve been saying that for years, but the semiconductor industry always finds a way to extend Moore’s Law, bending the laws of physics in our favor. Today, our customers are working on chips with transistors less than 20nm across: A million of them would fit into the area of the period at the end of this sentence.
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.