Novellus, SEMATECH ATDF forge ahead with ULK test wafers

July 10, 2006 – SEMATECH’s Advanced Technology Development Facility (ATDF) and Novellus Systems Inc. are collaborating to produce next-generation porous low-k wafers for equipment makers and materials suppliers to evaluate their products with leading-edge ultralow-k (ULK) materials, the companies said.

Under the deal, ATDF will produce test wafers utilizing Novellus’ Coral ultralow-k film (k=2.5), the level at which the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) states should be ready for semiconductor manufacturing by 2007. The ULK dielectric film will be applied with Novellus’ Vector plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) tool, and treated with Novellus’ ultraviolet thermal processor. ATDF, which purchased Novellus’ Vector and Sola systems last year, already ships roughly 100,000 test wafers annually to its customer base to facilitate development of next-generation tools and materials.

“More and more of our customers are asking for test wafers with porous low-k films,” stated Frank Tolic, manager of ATDF’s wafers services group. “These wafers will help them develop manufacturable processes and integration solutions for next-generation copper back-end-of-line technology, with a particular focus on achieving higher packing density while consuming less power.”

“ATDF test wafers will provide an open, common platform for suppliers to develop the infrastructure critical to the production implementation of porous low-k technology,” added Tim Archer, SVP and GM of Novellus’ dielectric business group.

Tolic added that anticipated customers will include suppliers of slurries, pads, and other polishing products, along with manufacturers of etch, photoresist strip, metals deposition, and CMP tools.


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