Thursday, September 20, 2018

Plessey Chooses AIX G5+ C MOCVD Tool for GaN-on-Silicon Monolithic MicroLEDs Display Innovation

AIXTRON SE (FSE: AIXA), a worldwide leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has received an order from Plessey Semiconductors for the company’s AIX G5+ C Planetary Reactor®. The metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system will boost Plessey’s manufacturing capability of gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) wafers targeting next-generation microLED applications.

With an automatic cassette-to-cassette (C2C) wafer transfer module, the new AIXTRON reactor will be installed and operational during Q1 of 2019 at Plessey’s 270,000 square feet fabrication facility located in Plymouth, UK. The AIX G5+ C MOCVD system has two separate chamber set-up options, which enables configurations of 8x6 inch or 5x8 inch GaN-on-Si wafers to be automatically loaded and removed from the system in an enclosed cassette environment. The system will be an addition to the company’s existing metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors, also supplied by AIXTRON, which provide configurations of 7x6 inch or 3x8 inch with manual loading.
Productivity is further enhanced by the new reactor’s automated self-cleaning technology, which helps to deliver a very low level of wafer defects by ensuring the reactor is clean on every run, significantly reducing downtime for maintenance. The new equipment also provides faster ramp and cool down along with a high susceptor unload temperature to reduce the recipe time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ampere Announces Availability of eMAG™ for Hyperscale Cloud Computing and Unveils Aggressive, Multi-Generation Roadmap

Partners with Lenovo to deliver Ampere eMAG server platform for high-performance memory-intensive compute systems for cloud workloads

Santa Clara, CA. (September 18, 2018) – Ampere™, which is developing an Arm®-based server platform for the future of hyperscale cloud and edge computing, today announced availability of its first generation Armv8-A 64-bit processors for data centers. Already selected by Lenovo and several ODMs, the Ampere eMAG™ processors deliver excellent total cost of ownership (TCO) value, high-performance compute, high memory capacity, and rich I/O to address cloud workloads including big data, web tier and in-memory databases. Ampere also unveiled its multi-generation roadmap, which includes building its next generation product on 7nm with multi-socket and single socket options, which will be available in 2019. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Swagelok selects Solon as site of new global headquarters and innovation center

Swagelok Company, a global developer and manufacturer of fluid system solutions, announced today that its Board of Directors has approved Solon as the location of its new $30 million - $50 million Global Headquarters and Innovation Center, following a three-month competitive site selection process.

The City of Solon and JobsOhio are both partnering with Swagelok to support the company’s growth and enable Swagelok to expand in Solon. Yesterday, Solon City Council approved its economic development package. Pending Ohio Tax Credit Authority and JobsOhio approvals, the new campus will be built at Swagelok’s present location at 29500 Solon Road in Solon, where the Company has been headquartered since 1965. 
“We are thrilled with the decision to remain in Solon and continue our partnership with the city that has been instrumental in our company’s growth,” stated Arthur F. Anton, chairman and chief executive officer, Swagelok Company. “We offer deep thanks to City of Solon officials, especially Mayor Edward Kraus, and the JobsOhio team for their support and commitment to Swagelok. Their offers enable us to leverage our manufacturing infrastructure and existing investments in the area, while creating a world-class, technologically advanced facility that will support our position as an industry leader and inspire the innovation, productivity, problem solving and collaboration essential for the next phase of our company’s success story.”

The new campus is expected to encompass up to 120,000 square feet of new space and feature a state-of-the-art innovation center, customer welcome center, and business operations center to house 300 to 350 associates, with room for future job growth.

Source: LINK

Amtech Systems: Amtech Announces New N-Type Solar Technology Order

Amtech Systems Inc. a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced thermal processing and polishing equipment and related consumables to the semiconductor / electronics, power IC businesses, solar, and advanced lighting markets, announced its solar subsidiary, Tempress Systems (Tempress) received an order for its current generation of high-throughput quantum diffusion systems, to be used for high efficiency N‑type technology solar cell production. The customer is well respected in the industry as a leader in mass production of high-efficiency N-type solar cells. The order includes our latest generation of diffusion systems and is for more than $6 million. 
 Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "In competitive markets, we continue to focus on advancing our technology solutions to meet the market's objective to enhance their manufacturing processes, upgrade their production lines, increase efficiencies, and lowering the total cost of ownership. Although the environment for new solar orders has been challenging, we are pleased to report this new order as we wrap up our fiscal year 2018. As selective investments are being made by the manufacturers of solar cells, the market is recognizing our technology solutions as one of the best opportunities for meeting their goal of upgrading and expanding their capacity for higher efficiency solar cells."

Source: LINK

Beneq introduces new TFS lifecycle services for ALD tools

[Beneq, LINK] Making the most of ALD equipment with reliable maintenance - Introducing new Beneq TFS lifecycle services

Buying equipment is only the first step on the ALD journey. What matters as much as the equipment is what comes after the initial purchase. With reliable, quality maintenance, your ALD equipment life cycle can be extended and you will get the most out of your investment with reduced downtime. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about our maintenance services.

Full article : LINK

Veeco GEN10 Automated MBE Cluster System Wins Max Planck Institute Tender, Supporting Research of Oxide-Nitride Layer Structures

Prestigious Research Institute Cited Veeco’s Expertise in MBE and the High Reliability and Customization of the GEN10™ as Key Factors in its Decision

[Veeco, LINK] PLAINVIEW, N.Y., August 14, 2018—Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) today announced that a dual chamber GEN10™ automated molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) cluster system won the tender offer by the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle (Saale), Germany (MPI-MSP) to support world-class research on complex oxides. Demand for oxide-nitride layer structures has increased due to their enormous potential in enabling next-generation energy-efficient nano-devices and advanced data storage. The department of Nano-systems from Ions, Spins and Electrons (NISE) at the MPI-MSP will leverage Veeco’s MBE technology to expand research and develop innovative applications. 

Veeco's GENxplor R&D MBE System (
“Our team is highly interested in exploring the properties of atomically engineered oxide-nitride layer structures especially because of their extraordinary properties but also for their potential in paving the way to novel energy-efficient nano-devices,” said Stuart Parkin, Director of the NISE Department at the MPI-MSP and Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle. “Veeco’s reputation and expertise in MBE combined with the GEN10’s high reliability, throughput, customization and automation capabilities will help support our research into novel materials.”

This win at MPI marks the first time Veeco has provided a fully integrated solution for a concentrated ozone source. The GEN10 allows for up to three configurable, material-specific growth modules, enabling high system utilization and allowing multiple researchers use the system at the same time to perform unattended growth. By expanding its reach in the R&D sector worldwide, Veeco is leading the way in helping grow complex oxide structures.

“As our MBE systems continue to expand their footprint in the global R&D space, we are honored that Veeco’s GEN10 MBE system was selected by the highly respected Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle,” noted Gerry Blumenstock, vice president and general manager of MBE and ALD products at Veeco. “We are pleased with the confidence Dr. Parkin and his team placed in our MBE expertise and we look forward to supporting the MPI-MSP as it continues to lead R&D exploration and applications for complex oxides.”

Monday, September 10, 2018

Intel to outsource 14nm production due to tight supply

[DIGITIMES, LINK] Intel is encountering tight 14nm process production capacity in-house, and is looking to outsource part of its 14nm chipset production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), according to industry sources.

Intel intends to give priority to its high-margin products mainly server-use processors and chipsets amid its tight 14nm process capacity, and therefore plans to outsource the production of its entry-level H310 and several other 300 series chipsets to TSMC, the sources indicated.

Intel has seen its overall 14nm chip supply fall short of demand by as much as 50%, the sources said. Outsourcing has become the only and appropriate choice for Intel since the company is unlikely to build additional 14nm process capacity, the sources noted.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Veeco Announces Changes to Executive Leadership Team

PLAINVIEW, N.Y., September 4, 2018 —Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) today announced that John Peeler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will transition to the role of Executive Chairman, effective October 1, 2018. William J. Miller, currently President, will become Chief Executive Officer and will join the Company’s board of directors bringing the size of the board to eight. Additionally, Shubham (Sam) Maheshwari will be named Chief Operating Officer and will continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer. 

Peeler joined Veeco in 2007 as Chief Executive Officer and became Chairman of the Board in 2012. As Executive Chairman, Peeler will work closely with Miller and the Board to ensure an effective transition of management.

“With his impressive background and track record of notable achievements across strategic, product development and operational assignments, there is no one better suited than Bill to take over the helm as Veeco looks forward to its next chapter,” stated Peeler. “Bill and the executive team have the industry experience to execute Veeco’s vision while remaining committed to enabling tomorrow’s technology breakthroughs.”

Friday, August 31, 2018

Announcing Kronos™ 1080 and ICOS™ F160 Inspection Systems: Expanding KLA-Tencor's IC Packaging Portfolio

KLA-Tencor has announced it is expanding its integrated circuit (IC) packaging portfolio with two new defect inspection products designed to address a wide variety of IC packaging challenges: KronosTM 1080 and ICOS™ F160. The two new inspection systems join KLA-Tencor’s portfolio of defect inspection, metrology and data analysis systems that help accelerate packaging yield and increase die sort accuracy. You may find the official release here;

  • Kronos 1080 – offers production-worthy, high sensitivity wafer inspection for advanced packaging, providing key information for process control and material disposition.
  • ICOS F160 – examines packages after wafers have been diced, delivering fast, accurate die sort based on detection of key defect types—including sidewall cracks, a new defect type affecting the yield of high-end packages. 
 Kronos™ 1080 and ICOS™ F160 (Image shared by KLA-Tencor)

Aixtron: HLJ Technology Adds MOCVD Technology from AIXTRON

New customer will use AIX 2800G4-TM system to increase manufacturing capacity and epitaxial wafer size. AAIXTRON SE announced that HLJ Technology Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese VCSEL epitaxy and chip manufacturer, has ordered multiple AIX 2800G4-TM MOCVD sets to increase its wafer capacity as well as its epitaxial wafer size production line from 4-inch to 6-inch for high-volume manufacturing of vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL). AIXTRON’s fully automated Planetary Reactor systems will be supplied in 8x6-inch configuration in the course of Q4/2018 and beyond.

Source: LINK

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Micron to invest $3 billion in memory chip factory in Manassas, Virginia

[Venture Beat] Manassas, Virginia is best known as the site of the Battle of Bull Run in the American Civil War. And now it's home to an expanding chip factory, as Micron Technology announced today it is investing $3 billion by 2030 to make memory chips. 
Picture credit
Boise, Idaho-based Micron makes dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the chips that provide the memory for applications in personal computers and many other devices. It will also make NAND flash memory chips for long-term storage in a wide variety of devices.

The investment breaks down to about $250 million per year over 12 years, and it will create about 1,100 new jobs. That’s not a huge amount, but it does represent a commitment to keeping manufacturing and high-wage jobs in the U.S. at a time when the rest of the world is increasingly competitive at making chips, or the basic building blocks of electronic devices. 
Source: Venture Beat [LINK]

Monday, August 27, 2018

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Reshapes Technology Portfolio to Intensify Focus on Growing Demand for Differentiated Offerings

Santa Clara, Calif., August 27, 2018 – GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced an important step in its transformation, continuing the trajectory launched with the appointment of Tom Caulfield as CEO earlier this year. In line with the strategic direction Caulfield has articulated, GF is reshaping its technology portfolio to intensify its focus on delivering truly differentiated offerings for clients in high-growth markets.

GF is realigning its leading-edge FinFET roadmap to serve the next wave of clients that will adopt the technology in the coming years. The company will shift development resources to make its 14/12nm FinFET platform more relevant to these clients, delivering a range of innovative IP and features including RF, embedded memory, low power and more. To support this transition, GF is putting its 7nm FinFET program on hold indefinitely and restructuring its research and development teams to support its enhanced portfolio initiatives. This will require a workforce reduction, however a significant number of top technologists will be redeployed on 14/12nm FinFET derivatives and other differentiated offerings.
Globalfoundries Fab 8 Malta, NY (picture credit
“Demand for semiconductors has never been higher, and clients are asking us to play an ever-increasing role in enabling tomorrow’s technology innovations,” Caulfield said. “The vast majority of today’s fabless customers are looking to get more value out of each technology generation to leverage the substantial investments required to design into each technology node. Essentially, these nodes are transitioning to design platforms serving multiple waves of applications, giving each node greater longevity. This industry dynamic has resulted in fewer fabless clients designing into the outer limits of Moore’s Law. We are shifting our resources and focus by doubling down on our investments in differentiated technologies across our entire portfolio that are most relevant to our clients in growing market segments.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

BOE to begin trial production of micro-OLED in early 2019 using ALD

[DigiTimes LINK] BOE Technology is making preparations for trial production of micro-OLED panels for AR/VR applications, according to a Korea-based ET News report. The report claims the follwoing:
  • production is planned for Kunming BOE Display Technology - a joint venture between BOE and the provincial government of Kunming in China.
  • BOE has begun purchasing production equipment needed for the plant, including sputters, CVD (chemical vapor deposition), AOI (automated optical inspection) and ALD (atomic layer deposition) equipment, to pave the way for the trial production set in early 2019.
  • Kunming BOE Display aims to roll out one millions units of OLED panels a year with panel sizes ranging from 0.5- to 0.8-inch. 

BOE Technology detailed a USD170 Million investment in China’s First Micro-OLED Plant in Kunming in 2017 [LINK]. According to the news release Chinese OLED tech firm Olightek Opto-Electronic Technology Co. will invest CNY200 million through OLED micro-display related intangible assets and Dianzhong Industry Development Group Co. will put up CNY95 million. Kopin Technology Shenzhen Co., the Chinese subsidiary of major American electronics manufacturer, Kopin Corp., will provide the remaining CNY35 million.

Kopin has entered the OLED microdisplay market for mobile VR and AR with new technology and business model as a fully Fabless company using foundries for manufacturing. Please check here for a review [LINK]

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Is the semiconductor industry preparing for ruthenium again?

As cobalt is being implemented for 10/7 nm logic interconnects, the next contender on roadmaps for the leading IDMs and foundries is ruthenium. This is not the first time that ruthenium comes into play, ruthenium has on regular basis been on the DRAM and Logic manufacturers roadmaps. Last year there was several indications that ruthenium is back again including that you could spot a rice in ruthenium metal pricing. However, since I started in the semiconductor world 2003 I think that I have managed to been part of six ALD/CVD ruthenium programs and I am happy that one of them is still running (this was my shortest participation, all in all 7 days).

So why do you want to use an expensive and rather fancy metal like ruthenium in interconnects? The lowest Ru resistivity reported for use in interconnects is 15 μΩ-cm, at a cross-sectional area of 300 nm2. Ru damascene metallization is extendible to features with critical dimension around 10 nm and Ru may match Cu line resistance for line dimensions below ~17 nm.

Therefore, as semiconductor devices become even smaller at sub 7 nm nodes, Ru is a strong candidate for replacing some of the back end and middle of the line Cu as the interconnect material or as a liner/barrier/seed for metallization.

At AVS ALD 2018 in Incheon South Korea there was a high number of presentations on ruthenium. Besides the oral presentations here below there were also a number of interesting posters. You can get the abstracts by searching "ruthenium" in the AVS ALD conference planer (LINK).

Low Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of Ru for Copper Metallization [Oral]
Anil Mane‚ Yan Zhang (Argonne National Laboratory); Amit Kumar‚ John Allgair (BRIDG); John Hryn‚ Jeffrey W. Elam (Argonne National Laboratory)

Insight in Surface Dependence and Diffusion-mediated Nucleation Mechanism of Ruthenium Atomic Layer Deposition on Dielectrics
Job Soethoudt (KU Leuven‚ Belgium); Yoann Tomczak (IMEC‚ Belgium); Fabio Grillo‚ Ruud Van Ommen (Delft University of Technology‚ Netherlands); Efrain Altamirano Sanchez (IMEC‚ Belgium); Annelies Delabie (KU Leuven‚ Belgium)

Inherent Substrate Selectivity and Nucleation Enhancement during Ru ALD using the RuO4-Precursor and H2-gas.
Matthias Minjauw‚ Hannes Rijckaert‚ Isabel Van Driessche‚ Christophe Detavernier‚ Jolien Dendooven (Ghent University‚ Belgium)
Conformal Growth of Low-resistivity Ru by Oxygen-free Thermal Atomic Layer Deposition [Oral]

Guo Liu‚ Jacob Woodruff‚ Daniel Moser (EMD Performance Materials)

Ruthenium: Advanced Nodes and Supply Chain Implications [Oral]
Oliver Briel‚ Don Zeng‚ Andreas Wilk (Umicore AG & Co. KG‚ Germany)
The last contribution by Umicore is especially interesting since it explain in great details the whole supply chain of ruthenium today including:
  • Ruthenium in electronic applications
  • Todays Ruthenium market - Platinum Group Metals market
  • Market drivers, Sources, uses, supply vs. demand,
  • Managing Ruthenium in your precursor portfolio
  • Sourcing strategies

Umicore Tweet: Oliver Briel's fascinating talk on ‘: Advanced Nodes and Supply Chain Implications’ (LINK).

Another event taking place this summer was the Imec US Technology Forum in San Fransisco, also here ruthenium was again on the agenda. According to a recent article in C&EA (LINK), reporting from the annual Imec Technology Forum, Imec experts made the case that the metal ruthenium has potential to replace copper in interconnect. Such a replacement could prevent the semiconductor industry from tripping over a wiring problem in coming years. The main information was given in a talk by Zsolt Tokei - Program Director Nano-interconnect, imec:

New Conductors - Reality or not? [LINK]
For several decades Cu, Al and W were used for interconnect wiring. Recently, due to resistance and reliability concerns alternatives to conventional conductors gained significant interest. Alternative metals are of interest to both memory and logic chips. In this talk imec’s conductor research activities will be showcased with a few implementation examples using damascene or subtractive processes. Benchmark to conventional conductors as well as future perspectives will be provided.

Before that there was also the IITC 2018 and there ruthenium was on the agenda as well. One interesting presentation was the Adelman et. al also from Imec, “Alternative Metals: from ab initio Screening to Calibrated Narrow Line Models” (LINK).
So as for now, ruthenium is on the roadmaps for 5 nm and below but not yet implemented in HVM by any Foundry. However there is a reverse engineering report claiming that ruthenium has been found in Intels 10 nm technology [LINK].

Further reading : Ruthenium Liners Give Way To Ruthenium Lines (LINK)

Much more detailed information on ALD/CVD metal precursors : TECHCET LLC Critical Materials Report(TM) on Metal & High-k  CVD and ALD precursors (LINK)

Meaglow Introduces its Hollow Cathode Plasma Sources to Four New Countries

While ALD2018 was going on in Incheon, South Korea, the first Meaglow hollow cathode plasma source in South Korea was being installed at Hanyang University in Ansan.

This is one of a number of firsts for Meaglow this year, we’ve also had our first sale to Israel (to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), our first sale to Gerrmany (to Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg) and our first sale to the United Kingdom (to the University of Liverpool). All of these sales have been for Meaglow’s popular Series 50 Plasma Source, which is used by many of our customers to upgrade from ICP to hollow cathode plasma operation.

Contact us at to learn more about the benefits of Meaglow’s plasma technology.

ALD/CVD Precursors Market Reaches $1.3B by 2023

SAN DIEGO, July 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- TECHCET—the advisory services firm providing electronic materials information— announced that strong growth in IC fabrication demand for atomic-layer deposition (ALD), chemical-vapor deposition (CVD), and spin-on dielectric (SOD) precursors should result in a combined global market size of US$1.3 billion by the year 2023. Specifically, metal precursors are expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2 percent through 2023 starting from $460 million in revenues for this year, as detailed in the latest TECHCET Critical Materials Report (CMR). The market for dielectric materials is forecasted to be $465 million this year with CAGR of 8.2 percent through 2023, as detailed in the latest CMR. 

"Plasma enhanced CVD and ALD processes drive increasing demand for silicon precursors, used in depositing the 32-72 layers of 3D-NAND chips and in self-aligned multiple patterning for advanced logic and memory chips," explained Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, TECHCET senior analyst and author of the report. "We see a need for more advanced ALD/CVD precursor production in China, to support more leading-edge logic and memory fabs ramping production there."

Cobalt (Co) metal is being used to encapsulate copper on-chip multi-level interconnects in the most advanced logic fabs for both foundries and IDMs. Intel is using full cobalt interconnects to replace some of the copper levels in it's newest logic chips. The conservative demand forecast for cobalt metal in the form of ALD/CVD precursors for logic IC fabs is $25 million in 2018, with considerable growth to $70 million by 2023.

Due to the competitive demand for cobalt needed for the lithium batteries used in EVs, and due to conflict issues in the supply-chain, cobalt metal pricing is volatile and reliable forecasting is correspondingly difficult. To anticipate supply:demand imbalances, TECHCET tracks ALD and CVD precursor demands in competing high volume manufacturing (HVM) industries such as flat-panel display, photovoltaics, MEMS, and LED.

Suppliers covered in this report include: Adeka, Air Liquide, Azmax part of Azuma group, BASF, DNF "Dream New Future", Dow Corning, Digital Specialty Chemicals (DSC), DowDuPont, Entegris, Epivalence, FujiFilm, Gelest, H.C. Starck, Kojundo Chemical Laboratory, Merck's EMD Performance Materials, Nanmat Technology, Norquay Technology, Nova-Kem, Nanogen Solutions, Pegasus Chemicals, Praxair, Soulbrain, STREM, TCI Chemicals, Tri Chemical Laboratories, Umicore, UP Chemical, Versum Materials.

Purchase Reports Here:

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 CMC Fabs membership please contact Diane Scott at +1-480-332-8336, or go to or

Media Contact: Lita Shon-Roy, TECHCET CA LLC, 1-480-382-8336,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ASM launch ALD Pulsar and PEALD Emerald on XP8 multi-chamber platform

New System Integrates Core Pulsar® and EmerALD® Capabilities with Higher Productivity, Enabled by Multi-Chamber 300mm XP8 Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, California - ASM International N.V. (Euronext Amsterdam: ASM) today announced the Synergis®atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool for advanced-node logic and memory high-volume production applications. The latest addition to ASM's industry-leading line of ALD tools, Synergis leverages ASM's core ALD hardware and process technology, optimized over more than a decade in volume manufacturing, to address a wide range of thermal ALD applications.

Demand for ALD solutions is growing, as it enables the use of new materials and designs for advanced chip manufacturing. The new Synergis system is designed to address a number of key ALD equipment challenges, by providing superior thermal control of the reactor environment, delivery of low-vapor-pressure precursors, purge efficiency and reduced preventive-maintenance cycles. As a result, Synergis delivers excellent conformality and film uniformity with high throughput and low per-wafer cost.

Veeco Firebird(TM) - Batch Thermal ALD for High Volume Production

Earlier this year Veeco launched their new platform for Batch ALD for high volume production and now you can find more details on the Veeco product offering pages: LINK

Firebird - Batch ALD for High Volume Production

The Firebird™ system is a fully automated batch production ALD platform delivering superb uniformity with best-in-class throughput at the lowest possible cost-per-wafer. Integrating proven Veeco automation solutions, it enables safe wafer handling via low-impact batch transfer. Its modular pre-heat & cool-down design enables a flexible thermal management solution tailored around your specifications. The Firebird™ system’s high capacity reactor(s), low consumables/maintenance costs and compact footprint deliver the most cost-effective solution while exceeding your throughput requirements.

Firebird™ - ALD System for Specialized Wafer Production 

Key features include:

  • Ideal for oxide films, including encapsulation & barrier layers, optical coating
  • Best-in-class throughput (up to 40,000 wafers per month)
  • Proven Veeco automation
  • Safe wafer handling for fragile / temperature sensitive substrates (e.g., LNO / LTO / glass)
  • Modular thermal management for optimal process flexibility and throughput
  • Worldwide sales, service and support

Configurability advantage

The modular system configuration can be effectively tailored to minimize process flow bottlenecks and offers outstanding processing flexibility.

 2 reactors, 1 heat-up module

1 reactor, 2 heat-up modules

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Beneq present how to minimize circuit board maintenance with ALD

ALD for moisture protection

Wherever we have electronics, we have circuit boards (CB). The ever-increasing demand for higher performance of electronics in more demanding environmental conditions is pushing the limits of current circuit board packaging technologies’ performance. If the circuit boards are designed and assembled well, they should endure in the environment they are intended to work in. However, in new challenging environments, CBs may need maintenance more often than would be desirable. Usually moisture and temperature are the greatest threats to circuit boards and they accelerate failure generation.

Electrochemical migration (ECM) is one nasty phenomenon in circuit assemblies. What it needs to be manifested is moisture, electrical current and conductive residues. When an electronic product is in use, there is obviously current available for the ECM to happen. To effectively prevent ECM, one needs to either eliminate moisture or the residues.

Full article: Beneq Blog (LINK)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Gelest Announced Diiodosilane Commercialization for PEALD Silicon Nitride

MORRISVILLE, Pa., July 27, 2018 — Semiconductor material Gelest Inc. has announced the commercializing of diiodosilane to meet the global demand of the semiconductor industry for next-generation semiconductor chips.

Diidosilane (LINK)

Gelest’s dedicated diiodosilane plant in Morrisville is fully operational and can produce commercial quantities of diiodosilane with purity in excess of 99.9 percent. Diiodosilane is a key chemical precursor used by semiconductor companies worldwide in the development and scale-up of next-generation semiconductor chips that require high-throughput, highly conformal silicon nitride thin films.

Diiodosilane is typically deposited by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition to create the silicon nitride thin film. Gelest sees a significant increase in demand for high purity diiodosilane driven by development and production of semiconductor chips requiring silicon nitride thin films at low thermal budgets.

Gelest is a manufacturer of specialty materials for the semiconductor industry.

Source : Photonics LINK

Gelest is sponsoring and exhibiting at the AVS ALD2018 conference currently taking place in South Korea (LINK)  

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ASM International N.V. 2018 Q2 - Results

ASM International N.V. (Euronext Amsterdam: ASM) today reports its second quarter 2018 operating results (unaudited) in accordance with IFRS. (LINK)
  • New orders received of €176 million.
  • Net sales for the second quarter 2018 were €209 million, an increase of 31% compared to the previous quarter.
  • Gross profit margin was 42.1% in Q2 2018 compared to 37.8% in the previous quarter.
  • Operating result increased to €38 million compared to the previous quarter. The increase is mainly the result of the higher sales level and higher gross margin.
  • Normalized net earnings for the second quarter 2018 increased by €44 million compared to Q1 2018.
Earnings Call slide deck (Seeking Alpha) : LINK

Commenting on the results, Chuck del Prado, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASM International said:

"In Q2 we realized sales of €209 million and an order intake of €176 million. Both sales and order intake were within our guidance, despite the uncertainty around the exact timing of individual tools as mentioned in the Q1 earnings release. The gross margin in Q2 at 42% returned back again in the range of low to mid 40's. This month at Semicon West, we introduced the Synergis, the latest addition to ASM's industry-leading line of ALD tools, which addresses a wide range of advanced applications and will drive expansion of our Served Available Market within single-wafer ALD."


For Q3, on a currency comparable level, we expect sales of €180-200 million and an order intake of € 200-230 million. Q3 reflects still some uncertainty around the exact timing of individual tools.

For 2018, general expectations for growth of the wafer fab equipment market are currently mid to high single digits. Based upon the current market developments we expect our sales in the second half to be stronger than in the first half. We expect to outgrow the wafer fab equipment market in 2018.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Changelight orders additional AIXTRON systems

Company expands MOCVD capacity for ROY fine pitch and mini LEDs with AIXTRON's flagship product AIX 2800G4-TM

AIXTRON SE (FSE: AIXA), a worldwide leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, is supplying additional leading-edge MOCVD technology to Xiamen Changelight Co, Ltd (Changelight). Thus, the Chinese company is expanding its production capacities for arsenide-phosphide-based red, orange and yellow LEDs (ROY LED) and solar cells by several AIX 2800G4-TM cluster systems. The tools will be delivered to the customer between Q3/2018 and Q1/2019. 

All production systems have a wafer configuration of 15x4 inches, which enables maximum yield at the highest quality level. Due to its unique production performance and the high manufacturing capacity of AIXTRON's automated Planetary Batch Reactor concept, the AIX 2800G4-TM has established itself as a reference system for the production of ROY LEDs in recent years.

Jin Zhangyu, president of Xiamen Changelight, said: "We have been using AIXTRON's equipment technology to manufacture advanced optoelectronic devices for years and therefore, have great confidence in the AIX 2800G4-TM. The outstanding performance of the system in terms of wafer homogeneity and efficiency in material consumption combined with maximum flexibility and versatility in production will help us to position Changelight as one of the world's leading suppliers of ROY LED for fine pitch, mini LED and micro LED applications."
Source: Aixtron (LINK)

Picosun - The ALD Company

While waiting for the ALD2018 in Korea starting you should have a look at the new Picosun promotional video. You can see a number of cool ALD reactors passing by in the background.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Leading memory chip manufacturer purchases multiple VEECO AP300 lithography systems for DRAM interconnect applications

Growing Demand for Advanced Packaging in the Memory Market Highlights Value of Veeco’s
High Volume Manufacturing Lithography Systems

PLAINVIEW, New York, July 9, 2018 – Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) today announced that one of the world’s leading memory chip manufacturers has ordered multiple AP300™ lithography systems to support the fast growing demand for DRAM with copper (Cu) pillars. The company selected the Veeco tools for their versatility in addressing advanced packaging applications, proven reliability in supporting high volume manufacturing and low total cost of ownership. 
This approach echoes a larger industry trend, with more and more memory manufacturers exploring the use of Cu pillars in DRAM interconnect applications due to their higher input/output (I/O) density, improved electrical performance and better thermal efficiency. “Within the DRAM market, the interconnect is shifting from wire bond to flip chip,” said Jan Vardaman, president of semiconductor packaging analyst firm TechSearch International, Inc. “We project that over the next three years, the annual number of flip chip interconnects in DRAM will grow 29 percent on a unit volume basis.”

The AP300 is part of a family of lithography systems built on Veeco’s customizable Unity Platform™, which delivers superior overlay, resolution and side wall profile performance, driving highly automated, cost-effective manufacturing for customers. The system is particularly well suited for Cu pillar, fan-out, through-silicon via (TSV) and silicon interposer applications. A low risk, low cost, high volume manufacturing solution, the AP300 is staged to support rapid market adoption of advanced packaging applications among memory manufacturers.

“The growing demand for innovative, alternative solutions to wire bonding in memory presents a strong opportunity for Veeco,” said Rezwan Lateef, vice president and general manager of lithography products at Veeco. “Furthermore, this significant customer adoption validates the AP300’s ability to address advanced packaging applications in a broader high-volume production market. To meet this demand, we are strengthening our regional technical staff to support numerous memory manufacturers looking to fast-track adoption.”

Veeco will be at Booth #6070 at SEMICON West in San Francisco, CA, July 10-12, 2018.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Aledia selects Veeco Propel GaN MOCVD platform for large wafer 3D LED production

Veeco Instruments Inc. today announced that Aledia, a developer and manufacturer of next-generation 3D LEDs for display applications based on its gallium-nitride-nanowires-on-silicon platform, has selected Veeco’s Propel® GaN MOCVD system to support advanced research and development. Aledia noted the tool’s large process window, single-wafer reactor technology and defect stability as key factors in its decision to adopt the Propel system.

“We believe that the opportunity for our breakthrough nanowire-LED display technology on large-area silicon is very large, and we need the best and most scalable technology available to support our continued R&D around 3D display applications—we believe Veeco is best positioned,” stated Giorgio Anania, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Aledia. “Veeco’s cutting-edge Propel system delivers unsurpassed results, and very good homogeneity throughout the entire wafer, making it the best choice and one we know will help us continue to push the limits of innovation.”
Source:  SolidState Technology (LINK)

Aleida 3D Microwire LED Technology

Aledia is the first company to grow high-density, coaxial gallium nitride (GaN) microwires directly onto large-diameter 200mm silicon wafers (extendable to 300mm wafers) using low-cost processes that are fully compatible with the back end of line of today's semiconductor foundries. When processed these nanowires become LEDs.
Aledia's 3D nanowire-on-Silicon LED technology enables the next generation of displays, that can be brighter, can give longer battery life, can have more stable colors, and can be mass manufactured on existing foundries at very competitive cost points. (
3D (Microwire) LEDs:
  • Large, economical substrate
  • Fast MOCVD growth process (low capital expenditure)
  • Low materials consumption
  • Existing high-volume silicon wafer fabs
  • Light emission area = up to 3X the 2D area = more light/mm2 or less current density, less efficiency droop
  • Multiple colors on one wafer or even on one chip

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Record Equipment Spending Continues in 2018 and 2019

[SEMI] The semiconductor industry is nearing a third consecutive year of record equipment spending with projected growth of 14 percent (YOY) in 2018 and 9 percent in 2019, a mark that would extend the streak to a historic fourth consecutive growth year, according to the latest update of the World Fab Forecast report published by SEMI. The industry last saw four consecutive years of equipment spending growth in the mid 1990s.

  • Korea and China are leading the growth, with Samsung dominating global spending and ascendant China on a fast, steep rise, surging ahead of all other markets.
  • The Europe and Mideastern region will boost investments by 12 percent in 2018, with Intel, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon and ST Microelectronics as the largest contributors.
  • Japan is beefing up equipment spending by 60 percent in 2018, with the largest increases by Toshiba, Sony, Renesas and Micron.
  • Southeast Asia will increase investments by more than 30 percent in 2018, although total spending is proportionately smaller than in other regions owing to its size. The main contributors are Micron, Infineon and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, though companies including OSRAM and ams are also increasing investments.
  • Americas, i.e., USA grows slightly back to previous level of USD 5 to 6 billion.   
Source : SEMI Blog (LINK)
 equipment spending by region (includes new and refurbished)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Oxford Instruments swings back into profit

Oxford Instruments swung back to a profit in the year to the end of March 2018, driven by a strong performance from its materials and characterisation business and favourable currency movements.
Pre-tax profit came in at £34.2m versus a loss of £26.2m in 2017, although revenue slipped 1.1% to £296.9m.

Meanwhile, reported orders were up 5% to £313m, or 5.8% higher at constant currency, while net debt fell to £19.7m from £109.3m thanks to good operating cash flow and proceeds from the sale of Industrial Analysis.

Adjusted basic earnings per share rose 35.7% to 56.3p and the full-year dividend was lifted 2.3% to 13.3p a share.

The company, which provides high-technology products and systems for industry and research, saw good growth in the early implementation of its Horizon Strategy and a strong financial performance across materials & characterisation, driven by leading product portfolio and customer applications focus in growing markets.

It also saw a good second half performance in research & discovery, which was offset by a weaker first half, while profit and margin growth in the service & healthcare division was driven by services relating to its own products.

Chief executive Ian Barkshire said: "We have made good progress in the year with the early implementation of the Horizon strategy, which was introduced in May 2017.

"We have positioned the group to become a leading provider of high technology products and services to the world's leading industrial companies and scientific research communities to image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level. Our chosen end markets remain robust and, combined with our customer applications focus and improved core capabilities, provide strong long-term drivers for future growth and margin improvement."

Saturday, June 9, 2018

TSMC Moving 7nm Chip Process To Mass Production Early

Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC has announced that it will be putting its 7nm process into mass production earlier than planned in order to meet demand from clients. Processor makers like MediaTek, Huawei’s HiSilicon, NVIDIA and Qualcomm are all moving into 7nm design and production, and TSMC wants to be able to continue providing them with the silicon they need to get their products up and running. In order to do this, TSMC will speed ahead of the likes of Samsung and Intel, and work to make its 7nm product available to clients as soon as possible.

Source: LINK

Entegris announces agreement to acquire SAES Pure Gas business

Entegris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTG), a distributor of specialty chemicals and advanced materials solutions, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the SAES Pure Gas business, from SAES Getters S.p.A. (“SAES Group”), an advanced functional materials company headquartered in Milan, Italy. The SAES Pure Gas business, a provider of high-capacity gas purification systems used in semiconductor manufacturing and adjacent markets is based in San Luis Obispo, California and will report into the Microcontamination Control division of Entegris. Under the agreement, Entegris will purchase the shares and assets which comprise the SAES Pure Gas business for approximately $355 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.
Source: LINK

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Applied Materials enables cobalt contact & interconnect for 7nm with pre-clean, PVD, ALD and CVD – on the Endura® platform

At IEDM 2017 in December both Intel and Globalfoundries presented cobalt encapsulation (liner and cap) for copper local interconnects as well as Co fill contacts for their 10nm resp 7nm technologies. Since then many have wondered about the unit process details behind the new cobalt integration and here we have it - The Applied Materials complete cobalt solution as announced yesterday. Especially interesting that TiN ALD also is used as a cobalt seed/adhesio/dufusion barrier for cobalt contacts. The most interesting stuff you will finde here: LINK
[SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 05, 2018]  Applied Materials, Inc. today announced a breakthrough in materials engineering that accelerates chip performance in the big data and AI era.

In the past, classic Moore’s Law scaling of a small number of easy-to-integrate materials simultaneously improved chip performance, power and area/cost (PPAC). Today, materials such as tungsten and copper are no longer scalable beyond the 10nm foundry node because their electrical performance has reached physical limits for transistor contacts and local interconnects. This has created a major bottleneck in achieving the full performance potential of FinFET transistors. Cobalt removes this bottleneck but also requires a change in process system strategy. As the industry scales structures to extreme dimensions, the materials behave differently and must be systematically engineered at the atomic scale, often under vacuum. 
To enable the use of cobalt as a new conducting material in the transistor contact and interconnect, Applied has combined several materials engineering steps – pre-clean, PVD, ALD and CVD – on the Endura® platform. Moreover, Applied has defined an integrated cobalt suite that includes anneal on the Producer® platform, planarization on the Reflexion® LK Prime CMP platform and e-beam inspection on the PROVision™ platform. Customers can use this proven, Integrated Materials Solution to speed time-to-market and increase chip performance at the 7nm foundry node and beyond. 

“Five years ago, Applied anticipated an inflection in the transistor contact and interconnect, and we began developing an alternative materials solution that could take us beyond the 10nm node,” said Dr. Prabu Raja, senior vice president of Applied’s Semiconductor Products Group. “Applied brought together its experts in chemistry, physics, engineering and data science to explore the broad portfolio of Applied’s technologies and create a breakthrough Integrated Materials Solution for the industry. As we enter the big data and AI era, there will be more of these inflections, and we are excited to be having earlier and deeper collaborations with our customers to accelerate their roadmaps and enable devices we never dreamed possible.”

While challenging to integrate, cobalt brings significant benefits to chips and chip making: lower resistance and variability at small dimensions; improved gapfill at very fine dimensions; and improved reliability. Applied’s integrated cobalt suite is now shipping to foundry/logic customers worldwide.

Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Our expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale enables customers to transform possibilities into reality. At Applied Materials, our innovations make possible the technology shaping the future. Learn more at

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Foundries are aiming at AI chip orders in China with 10/14nm advanced process technologies

[Cage Chao, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES] Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), and the China-based production subsidiaries of both Globalfoundries and United Microelectronics (UMC) are looking to expand their advanced node offerings for the China market to include 10/14nm as they vie for orders from the local AI chip supply chain, according to industry sources.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) newly-established Nanjing fab, which has entered directly 16nm FinFET chip production since April 2018, has enjoyed robust orders from China-based AI chip developers eager to accelerate the adoption of advanced process technologies, the sources indicated.

China-based foundries including SMIC, and Globalfoundries' and UMC's production subsidiaries locally have informed their customers they will be capable of providing 10/14nm node manufacturing starting the second half of 2018 or 2019, the sources disclosed.These foundries are looking to catch up with TSMC in China's market for advanced process technologies, the sources said.

Source: Digi Times LINK

Friday, June 1, 2018

Globalfoundries updates on 7 nm and may skip 5 nm

[AnandTech]High-ranking executives of GlobalFoundries this month gave several updates concerning future plans of the contract maker of semiconductors. As it appears, in a bid to provide more tangible advantages to its customers and not to invest in short-lasting nodes, the company is mulling skipping 5 nm manufacturing technology like it did with the 10 nm fabrication process. In addition, the company admits that its only leading-edge fab may not have enough capacity for all of its customers at 7 nm, and some of its clients may need to work with other foundries to meet their demand. 
7LP On Track for HVM, But Capacities Are Concern Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries, said in an interview with EETimes that the company’s first-generation 7LP process technology (7 nm leading performance), which relies exclusively on DUV step and scan systems, is on-track for high-volume manufacturing in the second half of this year. One of the first customers to use this tech will be AMD, which briefly announced its 7LP Vega GPU for a couple of times already. Not everything is rosy with 7LP though.

Full article : LINK

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

ASM International Investor Presentation - Slideshow

The following slide deck was published by ASM International N.V. in conjunction with the Investor Presentation event.
Seeking Alpha: LINK
ASM International : LINK (pdf)

Friday, May 25, 2018

The blog is down for GDPR alignment

The blog is down for GDPR alignment. Please enjoy the weekend.

TSMC: TSMC is reportedly making 7-nanometer Apple A12 chips for 2018 iPhones

Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC has officially started mass-producing 7-nanometer (nm) chips intended for Apple’s 2018 iPhones, Bloomberg reports, setting the stage for annual performance and power efficiency improvements. The new processors are expected to carry Apple’s A12 name this year and to continue at the 7nm size through at least 2019, with the debut of the A13 next year.

Previously considered difficult to manufacture, 7nm chips are expected to debut in new Apple devices ahead of their use in Samsung phones next year, as well as in products using Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Qualcomm has announced that its first 5G phones will use 7nm chips when they debut in early 2019.

Source: VentureBeat LINK

Veeco Instruments: Veeco's revenue grows 14% in Q1 to $158.6m, driven by MOCVD system shipments to China

For first-quarter 2018, epitaxial deposition and process equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview, NY, USA has reported a seventh consecutive quarter of revenue growth, to $158.6m (well above the midpoint of the $140-165m guidance). This is up 14% on $139.7m last quarter (adjusted from $143.4m after adopting the ASC 606 revenue recognition standard on 1 January) and up 68% on $94.5m a year ago.

“2018 is off to a great start with strong sequential and year-over-year revenue growth,” says chairman & CEO John R. Peeler. “Sales growth in the first quarter was driven primarily by shipments of our lithography systems into the advanced packaging market, and shipments of MOCVD systems for LED applications.”

Of total revenue, the LED Lighting, Display and Compound Semiconductor segment hence comprised 57%, growing to $90m, reflecting strong 2018 opening metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) backlog (delivering systems to five customers in China).

Source: Semiconductor Today LINK

Monday, May 21, 2018

ASML wins first order from China

TAIPEI -- Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co., China's top state-backed contract chipmaker, has placed an order for one set of extreme-ultraviolet lithography equipment, the costliest and most advanced chip production tool, to close technology gaps with market leaders and to secure the supply of critical gear amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company's move to purchase its first EUV lithography equipment from Dutch chip gear builder ASML, worth $120 million, highlights its growing ambition to help boost Chinese homegrown semiconductor manufacturing technology, even though it is still two to three generations behind market leaders. The move also secures the supply of the cutting-edge lithography tool that all top global chip giants, including Intel, Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., are buying to ensure the later production of more powerful and advanced chips.

Full story: Nikkei Asian Review LINK
Read more at LINK

Chipmachine marker ASML of Veldhoven has won its first-ever order from China, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday. The paper said Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturing International has ordered a $120m extreme ultraviolet lithography machine from ASML which never identifies its customers. Citing Nikkei Asian Review the FD said this is the latest in a series of orders for the EUV machines from ASML.

AMEC first Chinese firm to be ranked in VLSI Research’s Customer Satisfaction Survey

SHANGHAI, China, May 17, 2018 – Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) today announced that it has achieved high scores in the 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) conducted annually by leading US market research firm, VLSIresearch. The survey, which began in 1988, is the only one of its kind that lets customers in multiple regions provide anonymous feedback on their overall experience with worldwide suppliers of semiconductor equipment and subsystems. AMEC is the only China-based company to be recognized in the list of winners that includes companies from the US, Europe, Asia and Israel.

AMEC earned a second-place ranking in the 10 BEST Focused Suppliers of Chip Making Equipment category, with customers citing the company as a trusted and recommended supplier. AMEC was also ranked in two additional survey categories, achieving third place in THE BEST Suppliers of Fab Equipment and fourth place in THE BEST Suppliers of Fab Equipment to Specialty Chip Makers.

AMEC’s CEO, Dr. Gerald Z. Yin, remarked that providing an exemplary customer experience is a success imperative for a company offering advanced micro-fabrication equipment. “We are very pleased that customers recognize AMEC’s value and benefit from the performance, productivity, quality, and cost advantages of our Etch and MOCVD technology and products,” he said. “It is a special thrill when their satisfaction with our service and support is also recognized in a prestigious global survey.”

Dr. Yin continued: “AMEC is still a young and fast-growing company, however. As we journey to maturity, we must work harder and smarter to continuously innovate and improve so that we may become an even better supplier to our customers. We’re grateful to work with such innovative companies in several regions, and we appreciate their ongoing support.”

VLSIresearch’s President, Risto Puhakka, commended AMEC for the company’s strong showing in its first VLSIresearch CSS. “We are impressed by the quality feedback shared by customers on AMEC’s behalf, as well as their enthusiasm for the technology solutions and support they receive from their supplier. This is the first time that a China-based company has ranked in the CSS. It is an indication of China’s fast-growing semiconductor manufacturing industry which is being well served by leading indigenous process technology companies like AMEC, as well as other global players.”

AMEC’s COO, Dr. Zhiyou Du, noted that ensuring customer satisfaction would be impossible without the company’s talented employees. “At our headquarters and in the field, every AMEC employee is committed to supporting and helping our global customers innovate new products and achieve success in their respective markets. The CSS results reflect their dedication and accomplishments. Maintaining high satisfaction levels is a strategic imperative for AMEC and we will continue to invest in the people, technology and infrastructure to meet the imperative.”