2018 CMC Conference highlights materials solutions

 The 2018 Critical Materials Council (CMC) Conference—held April 26-27 at the Hilton Chandler in Arizona— was a great gathering with presentations from Everspin, Intel, GlobalFoundries, and NXP discussing current fab challenges, and the relationships to near-term materials solutions. Held immediately following private CMC face-to-face meeting, this public event enabled targeted discussions on problems, opportunities, and issues in the present and future materials market.

Session 1 presentations from Keller&Heckman, KPMG, Semico, VLSI Research, and the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency reminded attendees of the many environmental, financial, and political factors impacting global fab supply-chains. Jeff Morris, the US EPA’s Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, reviewed the status of enforcement of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) with a focus on N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), per- and poly-fluorinated Substances (PFAS, PFOS, PFOA), and Photo-Acid Generators (PAG) used in semiconductor manufacturing.

Session 2 covering materials issues in fabs today explored the evolving specifications needed in silicon wafers, ion-implantation, noble gases, and metal depositions including atomic-layer (ALD) chemical-vapor (CVD) physical-vapor (PVD) and electro-chemical (ECD). The Figure shows 200mm-diameter silicon wafer global supply and manufacturing demand from 2015 to 2020, as modeled by TECHCET President and CEO Lita Shon-Roy in her presentation on materials markets. TECHCET expects that this year will see a balancing and then an excess of supply in this wafer size used for manufacturing Opto-electronics, Sensors, and Discretes (OSD) along with Radio Frequency (RF) communications chips.

The presentations on cobalt processing from Air Liquide, Applied Materials, Fraunhofer, and Fujimi—mostly in Session 3—provided fantastic perspectives on solutions to inherent integration challenges with this metal. Cobalt has been used as a barrier or a liner for on-chip copper interconnect lines for many years, but the material is now being integrated as the entire interconnect material for the smallest metal lines in the most aggressively scaled IC structures. Nicolas Blasco of Air Liquide discussed the complex path to discovering novel ALD precursors, while Michelle Garza of Fujimi discussed ways to manage the complexity of developing new Chemical-Mechanical Planarization (CMP) slurries for application-specific cobalt integration.

Senior Analyst with TECHCET Ed Korczynski presented an update on the latest lithography materials to enable patterning the smallest possible commercial IC devices, including recently disclosed Self-Aligned Multi-Patterning (SAMP) technology options to improve IC yields. Cost models for different multi-patterning process flows were recently presented at the 2018 SPIE Advanced Lithography conference showing how Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) lithography can be cost-effective despite double the tool costs. Key to cost-effective use of EUV will be control of stochastic yield losses which are colloquially termed “Black Swans”.

The Wednesday night reception and the Thursday night break-out roundtable discussions gave everyone time to make new connections and have discrete discussions on metrology, specifications, and technology integration. Block your calendar in 2019 for the 4th annual CMC Conference, tentatively scheduled for April 25-26 in the US. www.cmcfabs.org www.techcet.com

ABOUT CMC: The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of Semiconductor Fabricators (CMCFabs.org) is a membership-based organization that works to anticipate and solve critical materials issues in a pre-competitive environment. The CMC is a unit of TECHCET.

ABOUT TECHCET: TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory service firm focused on process materials supply chains, electronic materials technology, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the SEMATECH Critical Material Reports, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. For additional information about these reports or about CMC Fabs membership or associate-membership for suppliers please contact Diane Scott at info@cmcfabs.org  +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com or www.cmcfabs.org.

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