By Jane Lanhee Lee
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Silicon Valley-based Applied Materials Inc, among the many most essential makers of instruments for chip manufacturing, mentioned on Tuesday it has began promoting a new tool that may lower the cost of a process involving lithography.
Lithography makes use of mild to print a sample on the wafer, the shiny spherical discs used for chip making. This process can occur dozens of occasions per wafer. Every time, the wafer goes by way of a fancy process of depositing materials, measuring to be certain that the sample was correctly printed, then etching off materials to create transistors and different objects, and cleansing off the wafer to begin over again.
Because the patterns develop into tiny, reaching the restrict of what mild can bodily print, extra tips are wanted to meet the calls for. That is very true with the most recent lithography tool by Dutch tool maker ASML, known as EUV, which stands for excessive ultraviolet, the wavelength of sunshine used.
One of many tips is to repeat a sample twice.
Applied Materials’ new tool, known as Centura Sculpta, is used to shine a lightweight solely as soon as for the primary sample and sculpt the ultimate sample from that.
“We truly create a plasma and we form it electro statically into what we name a ribbon beam,” Steven Sherman, who led the workforce that developed the product, defined to Reuters. “We direct it in an angled approach to the wafer the place we…very exactly take away materials at a precision to change the form of the sample on the wafer.”
Eliminating even one lithography cycle can lower your expenses, vitality and water, mentioned Sherman, estimating that for every time the Centura Sculpta is used in the process chip producers can save about $250 million in capital prices for a fabrication facility that may process 100,000 wafers per 30 days.
Applied Materials in a press release quoted chip maker Intel Corp as saying that it collaborated carefully in the “optimization of Sculpta” and can be utilizing the know-how. It declined to title different prospects.
(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Enhancing by Leslie Adler)