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Edition 38: 300mm Activity Report - May to October 2008

09 February 2009 | Edition 38
Fabtech 38Worsening global economic conditions in the second half of 2008 has started to seriously impact the semiconductor industry. Weakening demand in all major device sectors is causing fab utilization to fall, while more 300mm fab expansions and new fab construction has been put on hold. The six-month review covered in this report highlights the rapidly changing dynamics with regard to fabs on hold and expected tool install schedules, and provides a review of the foundry sector. Read more >>

Edition 38: The permeation resistance of polymers

27 January 2009 | Edition 38, Materials and Gases
FT38By Chuck Extrand, Entegris, Chaska, Minnesota, USA - ABSTRACT - Polymers, commonly referred to as plastics, are widely used in the manufacturing of microelectronic devices. In addition to their many desirable properties, such as low cost, light weight, strength, ductility and ease of processing, polymers can be created free of metals and inorganic constituents that may interfere with sensitive clean room fabrication processes in multiple ways. For example, the loose molecular structure of polymers may allow the unwanted permeation of gases and simple liquids in fabrication facilities. This paper will provide a brief introduction to factors that influence permeation through polymers, discussing polymer structure background and its relation to permeation, and the influences of various polymer properties on permeation. Read more >>

Edition 38: 2008 Semiconductor manufacturing survey results and the fabs of 2013

26 January 2009 | Edition 38
FT38By David Jimenez & Daren Dance, Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc., Pleasanton, California, U.S. - ABSTRACT - In April of 2007, WWK conducted a survey of semiconductor industry professionals and asked several questions pertinent to the semiconductor manufacturing industry, including the respondents’ expected arrival date of 450mm wafers and the likelihood of direct write patterning being incorporated into more manufacturing processes. A follow-up survey was carried out in 2008, and these combined sets of data are portrayed in a projection of a typical manufacturing facility in 2013. Read more >>

Edition 38: Performance testing Manufacturing Execution System

26 January 2009 | Edition 38, Fab Management
FT38By Brandon Lee & Susanta Dash, CIMAC, San Jose, California, U.S. - ABSTRACT - Performance testing is carried out on an MES system to identify and eliminate bottlenecks that can potentially cause production outages and lost revenue in a semiconductor production fab. In a distributed system, bottlenecks can occur at the client site, within the server or in the  network. The MES system is the heart of the manufacturing operation and interacts with a number of other systems to support the manufacturing line in a fab. As production increases with ramping up of the production volume, the loads on the various systems that support the production also increase. This paper puts forward the potential benefits in applying the MES system for testing and validation of performance and scalability to measure the various key parameters, thus providing good ROI by early detection of potential problems. Read more >>

Edition 38: Chiller plant optimization

21 January 2009 | Edition 38, Cleanroom

FT38By Terrence Morris & Steve Blaine PE, CH2M HILL, Oregon, USA

Outside of the process tools themselves, the chilled water plant is typically the single largest consumer of electrical energy in a semiconductor facility. This load includes not just chillers but also cooling tower fans, primary pumps, secondary pumps and condenser pumps. In order to meet the cooling requirements for any particular heat load, many different combinations of this equipment can be run. However, electricity consumption varies considerably depending on the combination of equipment used and the operating levels of the individual components. Selecting the optimal mix of equipment and operating levels presents a substantial challenge for an automatic control system and plant operators. Typically, no method is available to predict the effect of interactions and variations in load demand and outside air. This makes it challenging, if not impossible, to find an equipment mix that achieves optimal energy use. In response to this challenge, we set out to create a model/tool that would allow operators to automatically determine the optimal equipment mix to satisfy cooling requirements and minimize energy use. This paper describes how this model was created and how it works.

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Edition 38: CMOS 32nm technology node: business as usual for interconnect damascene patterning?

15 January 2009 | Edition 38, Wafer Processing
FT38By Gerald Beyer et al, IMEC - ABSTRACT - Although immersion-based 193nm lithography has been able to provide significant improvements in resolution, a through-pitch solution for the critical dimensions of the CMOS 32nm technology node is not currently attainable. The commonly used lithography approach is to create all patterns per metal layer in a single exposure. Double patterning is the most likely choice to create damascene features of a half pitch of about 50nm, which will be a typical value for the 1X layers of the CMOS 32nm technology node. The consequences of this patterning choice on the other process steps in the damascene flow are under examination, while the potential of this patterning approach for the creation of structures for the CMOS 22nm node is being stressed. Read more >>

Edition 38: The holistic route to high yields at smallest feature sizes

08 January 2009 | Edition 38, Lithography

FT38By Bernardo Kastrup, ASML, Veldhoven, The Netherlands - ABSTRACT - Feature shrink is the force that drives the semiconductor industry forward. At each step along the technology roadmap, manufacturers need to be able to produce chips efficiently, cost effectively and with high yield. As feature sizes become ever smaller, the manufacturing challenges increase almost exponentially, putting extremely tight requirements on parameters such as overlay and critical dimension uniformity (CDU). Even the tiniest process variation can have a potentially disastrous effect. In order to remedy these challenges, this paper’s proposal for a holistic manufacturing approach claims to avoid these effects by looking at all of the essential steps and processes together as a whole.

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Edition 38: Metrology equipment for the 45-32nm nodes

11 December 2008 | Edition 38, Wafer Processing
FT38For a state-of-the-art fab to achieve profitable production yields, successful in-line metrology is essential. Full functionality and high circuit speed are achieved only through control of defectivity and tight distributions of feature sizes. In-line monitoring of applicable metrics is key to ensuring success. It is also used to fine-tune production processes for improved yield and circuit speed. Metrology has now become an inherent part of missioncritical production processes. This article gives a high-level overview of the findings of the ISMI metrology program to review some of the major manufacturing challenges at future ITRS technology nodes. Read more >>