IBM adds airgaps for faster chips

by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor

Airgap structures have long been considered to increase the speed of on-chip IC interconnects, but it’s a long way from proof-of-concept to a working process flow in a fab. In an exclusive interview with WaferNEWS, IBM strips away the hype to explain its new manufacturable variation on airgaps using a self-assembling polymer mask layer — revealing that airgaps in standard low-k dielectric structures add only ~1% to chip cost for each layer.


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