Celebrating the Producer Platform’s 20 Years of Innovation

This month marks the 20th anniversary and 5000th shipment for one of the semiconductor industry’s most iconic and important manufacturing systems: the Producer® platform. 

Launched in July 1998 as a single process system focused on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to help enable the industry’s transition from aluminum to copper wiring, the Producer platform was designed from the ground up to provide customers the highest productivity and performance at the lowest possible operating cost.

The Producer platform was revolutionary in concept, introducing the industry’s first twin process chamber architecture with single-wafer processing capability. With its unique capacity to process six wafers in parallel, the platform increased throughput by as much as 2x over the nearest competitor's system, particularly for thick CVD films. As a result, the Producer platform became an industry workhorse that has since taken on more tasks to help drive Moore’s Law and enable mass adoption of electronic products including notebook PCs, smartphones and wearable electronics.

Over the years, the Producer platform’s modular design and highly flexible architecture allowed it to continue evolving with expanded capabilities including etch, selective removal and treatment technologies. The platform helped enable several critical industry inflections including copper, strain engineering, high-k metal gate, FinFETs and most recently 3D NAND.

Today, on the dawn of the AI era, the Producer platform remains as important as ever amidst an incredible time of transformation for the semiconductor industry. AI workloads require new computing architectures and at the foundation is materials engineering. As more materials reach the physical limits of classic Moore’s Law scaling, Applied is pioneering development of new materials beyond the periodic table that enable continued improvements in chip performance and power efficiency. The Producer platform is key to this effort as it can now be used as an integrated process platform, offering various combinations of deposition and treatment, deposition and etch, or deposition and selective removal, in the same system and under vacuum.

In the video below, Prabu Raja, senior vice president of the Semiconductor Products Group, celebrates this outstanding platform that helps make virtually every chip in the world. He highlights its industry stature and how it continues to deliver new solutions to enable the technologies shaping the future. 

To further appreciate what a truly landmark system the Producer platform is and the value it has provided over two decades, check out the recent VLSIresearch feature below.

The Producer platform’s place in the history of the semiconductor equipment industry is undisputed and its success will endure.

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