Semitool, Ashland take team approach to wet chemical processing
Dublin, OH-The combined efforts of Semitool and the Ashland-ACT business unit of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company's Electronic Chemicals Division will focus on cleaning processes associated with integration of low k and copper materials for advanced devices.

“Ashland is committed to meeting the industry's evolving needs with worldwide technical support and an aggressive research and development program, including our focus to provide the latest cleaning and stripping technology.

Dana Scranton, Semitool's vice president for surface preparation technology, agrees, saying in the rapidly changing semiconductor industry, it is critical that suppliers unite to develop value-added solutions in a timely manner.

“Our objective in this alliance with Ashland is to enhance our already strong position in post-etch cleaning by developing processes offering benefits in improved performance and lower cost of ownership,” he says. “Our capability to recommend advanced chemical formulations with our diverse multi-wafer batch and single-wafer product lines gives Semitool and Ashland the opportunity to offer solutions that address the leading-edge cleaning challenges of our industry.”-MAD

Integration provides sensor measurement, tool data management
FORT COLLINS, CO-Advanced Energy Industries Inc., a provider of components and sub-systems solutions for semiconductor, data storage and flat panel display processes, has integrated its Symphony EPM (equipment productivity manager) system with Pacific Scientific Instruments' (PSI) HYT PM-450, a sensor bus controller that is often used with its HYT vacuum particle sensors.

The integration of PSI's in-situ HYT sensors was facilitated by both the open architecture of the Symphony technology and by the use of HYT industry-standard PM-450 Ethernet connectivity.

“Our successful integration of the HYT sensor bolsters our strong belief that open architecture and industry standards for connectivity are key to building value-added e-Diagnostics and process control technology for our customers,” says Doug Schatz, Advanced Energy's chairman and CEO.

To-date, Advanced Energy has integrated three unique sensors into the Symphony EPM: the HYT vacuum particle sensor, a Peak Sensor Systems optical emission spectrometer (OES) and its Z-Scan(R) RF sensor.

“Because our Symphony products can easily accommodate sensors from any source, we can provide critical sensor and tool data management for real-time process control and e-Diagnostics,” says Joe Monkowski, Advanced Energy's senior vice president. “The inherent time resolution of in-situ sensors combined with tool context information provides critical insight into the process, thereby reducing our customers' time-to-yield, and enabling them to meet their customers' increasing time-to-market demands.”-MAD

Cree lands $26 million in government contracts
DURHAM, NC-Chipmaker Cree, Inc. has been awarded more than $26 million in government contracts from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) for silicon carbide (SiC) microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) process development.

The U.S. Navy, the Missile Defense Agency and the Department of Defense's Title III program jointly fund these contracts. Under Cree's existing Title III contract with AFRL, the project added $3.2 million through a contract modification for additional tasks focused on improving yields of the three-inch-diameter, high-purity semi-insulating SiC substrates to be used for these devices. The remaining $23.3 million will be provided through a new contract with ONR.

Cleanroom fabrication work will include the development of more automated wafer handling systems for the larger diameter wafers, as well as the implementation of statistical process control for these new processes. The program is incrementally funded, with funding in future government fiscal years subject to appropriation and allocation of the contracted amounts.

The program builds on Cree's past demonstrations of SiC MMIC performance with the goal of providing enhanced production of SiC materials, both substrates and epitaxy, and cleanroom processing, supporting high-power MMIC amplifiers useful in military radar applications. All of the work will be directed to yield enhancement and cost reduction for MMICs fabricated on three-inch-diameter wafers.

“We are excited to move this technology forward from the R&D stage into a manufacturing environment,” says John Palmour, Cree's director of advanced devices.-MAD


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