NEW TRIPOLI, USA: Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. announced on April 14, 2011 a new 20-nm process technology for manufacturing NAND flash memory. Manufactured by IM Flash Technologies LLC (IMFT). The 20-nm, 8-GB device is sampling now and expected to enter mass production in the second half of 2011.
I recall an IEDM 2010 paper presented by Kirk Prall of Micron Technology and Krishna Parat of Intel that described the interconnect technology used for the companies’ 25nm multi-level-cell 64 Gbit NAND. The chip includes air-gaps in low-k dielectric materials.
Novellus in my opinion is gearing up for the low-k onslaught. The company unveiled a major redesign of its Vector plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) platform, Novellus developed new interface engineering technologies that minimize the damage to ULK materials in the VECTOR Excel modular architecture.
I noted in a recent Insight article that in 2009 and in 2010, the impact of this transition on processing equipment was most obvious in equipment used with traditional aluminum interconnects. For example, the high-density plasma CVD sector (HDPCVD), which is used for depositing undoped (USG) and doped (PSG and FSG) films saw revenues drop 72 percent in 2009. In 2010, HDPCVD grew only 19.4 percent!Source: The Information Network, USA.
In 2009 we saw the implementation of copper into memory devices. In 2010, growth in logic was more pronounced than memory. The key here is that in a logic device there are 10-12 layers of copper interconnects versus only one layer for memory. So, 2010 was an exceptional year for copper because it combined the robust growth of logic as well as the continued transition to copper for memory.
A key to the benefits of copper includes low-k inter-level dielectrics. The problem is that there have been too many technological problems to overcome, and the ITRS kept pushing out the introduction of low-k in its roadmap, as shown below:Source: The Information Network, USA.
A key to low-k films are the chemical precursors used for PECVD deposition, and the top ultra-low-k precursors, with a value approaching $100 million in the next few years are:
tetramethyl silane (4MS)
trimethyl silane (3MS),
porous diethoxymethylsilane (PDEMS)
It is my belief that Air Products is the key supplier of these low-k precursors for PECVD deposition, as it is a supplier of for all three major CVD processes: Black Diamond, Coral, and Aurora.