Novellus launches suite of dry strip and clean systems

May 19, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ SAN JOSE, CA — Novellus Systems today announced two new industry-leading dry strip and clean systems, each targeting different photoresist removal requirements at fabs and foundries worldwide.

The G400(TM) and GxT(TM) are built upon Novellus’ production-proven, market-leading GAMMA(R) platform. The new tools address high throughput and low defectivity requirements for flash, DRAM, and logic applications. Both systems have shipped to customers, with the first G400 going to a large Asian memory manufacturer and the GxT placed at multiple large foundries in Asia.

“With IC manufacturing becoming more complex, there is a clear need for specialized, dedicated tools like the G400 and GxT which have been optimized to meet diverging customer needs. Strip systems in cost-sensitive memory applications need to deliver the highest levels of productivity while providing the lowest cost of ownership. Logic applications, on the other hand, are driven by advanced technology requirements, with a need to deliver low silicon loss, ultra-low defectivity and critical clean applications,” says Kevin Jennings, vice president and general manager of Novellus’ Surface Integrity Group. “The introduction of these tools will further extend our leadership in the market for strip and clean systems.”

Targeting bulk strip and high-dose implant strip (HDIS) applications primarily used in large DRAM and flash memory fabs, the G400 is the industry’s highest throughput ashing system. Enhanced source technology combined with faster wafer heating for higher ash rates enables the system to simultaneously deliver over 400 wafers per hour for bulk strip applications and 300 wafers per hour for implant strip applications. The G400 combines a new high-rate ashing technology with an optimized system design to provide up to a 25 percent productivity gain compared to prevailing industry standards.

Targeting critical logic processes that require low silicon loss and ultra-low defectivity, the GxT provides advanced capabilities for both demanding strip applications (including both HDIS and super-HDIS) and BEOL clean applications.

The GxT takes advantage of Novellus’ production-proven multi-station sequential processing (MSSP) architecture, offering multiple process zones that provide the flexibility to handle complex recipes and chemistries. The system’s SmartFlow gas distribution technology supports individual station-by-station control of both oxidizing and reducing chemistries.

Key to the system’s success is its ability to support higher-temperature bulk applications, lower-temperature HDIS and advanced cleaning processes simultaneously on the same platform. These lower-temperature applications are integral to providing low silicon loss while ensuring high throughput with low cost of ownership.

Both the G400 and the GxT are built on the highly successful GAMMA platform, which is deployed at eight of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers, spans four technology nodes, and is in use today for 32-nm pilot production. The continuously evolving GAMMA platform enabled Novellus to achieve significant gains in market share in 2007, according to reports from both Dataquest and VLSI Research. Its most recent version, the GAMMA Express, is a market leader in 300mm photo resist removal at the 65-nm and 45-nm nodes, and it is qualified at multiple top DRAM, flash, logic, and foundry semiconductor manufacturers.

About Novellus
Novellus Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor industry. The company’s products deliver value to customers by providing innovative technology backed by trusted productivity. An S&P 500 company, Novellus is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with subsidiary offices across the globe.

Source: Novellus Systems, Inc.



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