January 29, 2007 – So who are the tool supplier winners behind Intel’s big announcement that it’s using high-k/metal gate (HK+MG) technology in 45nm transistors slated for shipment later this year? One firm reportedly thinks it knows the answer at least for one of the hotly contested process areas: atomic-layer deposition (ALD).
“Notable Calls,” an anonymous blog covering Wall Street analysts’ notes, points to a comment by First Albany speculating that ASM International is the likely ALD tool supplier for Intel’s new HK+MG technology. The firm believes ASMI was the only supplier working on gates, while others were targeting DRAM capacitors or barrier/seed layers for intermetal dielectrics.
The firm notes that “there are literally hundreds of metal and high-k material choices,” and that it would take “years to find the right combination,” adding that Intel first announced a working HK+MG in late 2003 for what was hoped would be the 65nm node, but ended up needing another three years to tweak the technology.