April 6, 2001 – Santa Clara, CA – Anticipating growth in the SiGe market, Applied Materials Inc. has rolled out new EpiClean technology for its Epi Centura systems.
The fully integrated preclean chamber allows a high throughput, low temperature epitaxial deposition process to create high-speed transistors for chips used in mobile computing and advanced telecommunications devices.
Many of the new communications chips are very sensitive to elevated temperatures during fabrication, and require reductions from the traditional 1,000-1,200 C range down to the 600-800 C. The EpiClean chamber performs a pre-deposition clean process, removing native oxide layers and other contaminants at temperatures below 780 C.
By using a low-temperature, low-pressure hydrogen bake process outside the deposition chamber, the EpiClean process eliminates the need for a high-temperature bake or stabilization step in the deposition chamber, reducing deposition chamber process time.
“We anticipate the market for SiGe-based ICs to grow more than 20 percent per year for the next several years as these devices move from development into production,” said Grant Imper, general manager of Applied’s Epi Substrate Division.