Product Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has unveiled its ‘Applied iSYS’ platform, the industry’s first fully-integrated abatement and vacuum pumping solution for controlling emissions in the semiconductor fab. Networked with an Applied process tool, the iSYS system can deliver typical annual savings in power, water and gas consumption equivalent to 200MWh of energy or 220,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, compared to currently available configurations. In addition to having environmental benefits, the iSYS system lowers the utility cost for abatement and vacuum pumping on a process tool by more than 20%.
Problem: Vacuum pumps and point-of-use abatement units account for a significant portion of fab utility expense for CVD, etch and epitaxial deposition wafer processing. Reducing the utility consumption of these subfab components is an obvious method to reduce overall wafer processing cost. Although these subfab units are required for process chambers to function well, they do not directly benefit wafer processing performance. However, these units must operate continuously with virtually no downtime and without affecting the on-wafer performance of the processing tools they support. Given these principal requirements, pump and abatement manufacturers have focused development attention on reliability, and in the case of abatement, destruction efficiency. Little effort has been directed at overall operational efficiency of these units. The subfab can account for an inordinately high share of utility costs, especially during periods of low fab wafer loading when many process tools are idle but their supporting equipment is still operational.
Solution: Key to the iSYS platform’s capability to conserve resources is its unique control system that is synchronized with the wafer processing tool, sensing real-time changes in each process chamber and directing subsystems into pre-defined standby states. Utility metering sensors and software are built into every iSYS platform to enable remote monitoring of cumulative energy savings and to track progress in reaching energy sustainability targets.
Applications: Initially launched for Applied Materials’ CVD systems, the flexible iSYS architecture can also support etch applications.
Platform: The Applied iSYS unit can be installed in less than one day and consumes 40% less floor space than non-integrated systems. Designed from the outset for maximum ease of servicing, the iSYS design consolidates major components and eliminates redundancy to greatly reduce the number of external connections while optimizing maintenance ergonomics. By stacking lighter components above heavier ones and optimizing duct routing, technicians can quickly complete all service tasks, including pump replacement, without special equipment.
Availability: December 2009 onwards.