Lam's New Etch and Deposition Products Control Process Variability to Enable Advanced Multiple Patterning
Double and quadruple patterning schemes are being used by chipmakers to compensate for limitations in optical lithography. These techniques create smaller features than would be possible from single patterning by printing larger, less dense patterns and then shrinking both the size and the spacing by repeating some combination of lithography/etch/deposition steps to achieve the desired dimensions. With the increased number of process steps, variability challenges are exacerbated since each individual step contributes to overall non-uniformity. Because of this compounding effect, variability tolerances for etch and deposition need to be far more stringent in order for devices to function as intended. Process control is essential since variability can impact device performance, power consumption, and yield, which may lead to costly and time-consuming rework. In addition to variability control, high productivity is required to mitigate the increased manufacturing costs from additional process steps.
The latest generation of Lam's market-leading conductor etch products, the 2300 Kiyo F Series addresses patterning variability by using its Hydra technology to correct for critical dimension (CD) non-uniformities present on the incoming wafer. The system's symmetrical chamber design provides inherently uniform etch process results, while the Hydra technology further improves uniformity through localized corrections. Using proprietary hardware and software, this technology maps incoming CDs and adjusts etch process conditions in "micro" zones across the wafer to reduce variability, thereby compensating for variation from up-stream processes.
The VECTOR ALD Oxide system utilizes atomic-scale deposition to deliver highly conformal films with excellent thickness uniformity, high repeatability, and low defectivity. These capabilities are essential for spacer-based multiple patterning approaches, where the deposited film becomes the mask and defines critical pattern dimensions for the subsequent step. The VECTOR ALD Oxide system can deposit films at low temperatures, enabling spacer formation on a wide variety of materials. In addition, the hardware design allows fast gas-switching, providing a productivity advantage over competitive systems.
"Lam's advanced technologies for multiple patterning applications are helping our customers overcome one of their most fundamental challenges," said
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Statements made in this press release that are not of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, but are not limited to, statements concerning the performance of Lam's products, such as their ability to deliver the process control and productivity needed for advanced patterning, and the increasing importance of Lam's systems for extending optical lithography. Such forward looking statements are based on current beliefs and expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect, including those discussed in Lam's annual report on Form 10-K under the heading "Risk Factors" as well as in other documents filed by Lam with the
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