Manufacturing duo focuses on 3D devices

09 July 2014

Applied Materials announces two systems for customers manufacturing high-performance, power-efficient 3D devices.

The Applied Reflexion LK Prime CMP system is claimed to provide superior wafer polishing performance with nanometer-level precision for FinFET and 3D NAND applications.

The Applied Producer XP Precision CVD system solves the deposition challenges presented by vertical 3D NAND architectures, says the company.

These CMP (chemical mechanical planarisation)  and CVD (chemical vapour deposition) tools address precision, materials and defect issues, with the aim of enabling 3D designs to reach high-volume manufacturing.

CMP is a critical enabler for the FinFET gate and the staircase structure in 3D NAND. The Reflexion LK Prime CMP system is designed to address the exacting requirements of these device architectures which can require as many as 10 additional polishing steps. Featuring an unprecedented six polishing stations and eight integrated cleaning stations with advanced process control technologies, the LK Prime tool supports the added CMP steps with precision processing, enabling customers to improve on-wafer performance and throughput. The increase in processing modules doubles wafer throughput for many applications, providing up to a 100% boost in productivity.

The capability to independently use each polish and cleaning station gives chipmakers new levels of flexibility to customise polishing passes to precisely control feature dimensions and reduce defects. Real-time profile and endpoint control technologies included on the LK Prime system provide within-wafer uniformity and wafer-to-wafer repeatability that can meet future device node requirements.

Using all these attributes, the LK Prime system controls FinFET gate height with nanometer-level uniformity for every die. This is vital as the smallest variation in gate height impacts device performance and yield. For the thicker film layers and broad topography of 3D NAND that need long, steady polishes, the multiple process stations enable stable, predictable planarization.

The 3D NAND industry also requires deposition technology for the vertical gate formation and complex patterning applications. The Producer XP Precision CVD system supports the 3D NAND transition by delivering nanometer-level layer-to-layer film thickness control for critical dimension uniformity across the wafer. The proprietary design and capability to tune crucial parameters, including temperature, plasma, and gas flow, deliver the engineering flexibility for customers to support the alternate deposition of different, low-defect films with exceptional stress control and uniformity within-wafer, wafer-to-wafer and layer-to-layer to improve gate performance and reduce device variability.

A new modular mainframe architecture and high speed protocol further increase high-throughput density and low cost of ownership, says the company.

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