9/1/2004 - ATDF, Inc. with assistance from HPL Technologies, Inc. (OTC:HPLA.PK) of San Jose, has successfully demonstrated process capability at the 45nm technology node for a multi-gate field effect transistor (MuGFET), an advanced semiconductor device that eventually could replace conventional CMOS transistors.
ATDF, which has been working at the 45nm node and below for more than a year, achieved the demonstration as part of a custom development program involving a device maker, a university, and equipment, substrate and materials suppliers. The semiconductor was produced in a record turn time with assistance from the TestChip division of HPL, which combined its flexible and efficient test chip creation infrastructure and project management techniques to help meet an aggressive reticle design delivery.
The demonstration completes the first phase of the ATDF's effort to identify manufacturing problems associated with MuGFET fabrication on silicon. Additional program phases will address manufacturing issues, such as threshold voltage (Vt) rolloff, that emerged in experiments leading to the demonstration.
"This achievement demonstrates the collaborative strength of ATDF development programs," said Juergen Woehl, ATDF general manager. "Each participant brought their unique strengths to the project, and each company was able to participate where they brought the most value to the program."
The test chip required an entirely new device topology and special analog device design considerations. "HPL met our challenge of a three-week delivery for a difficult new MuGFET test chip," said Michael Gostkowski, an ATDF senior project manager. The MuGFET development program is a collaboration between ATDF and select integrated device manufacturers (IDMs). With the successful completion of the first phase, the test chip is now available from ATDF for any company needing access to this process technology.
With nearly a decade of experience with leaders in the semiconductor industry, HPL's successes have included over 150 CMOS and 125 analog and mixed signal projects. "Customers have recognized that using HPL methodology, tools and IP for process technology development and manufacturing monitoring is both faster and more cost-effective than using existing methods," stated Cary Vandenberg, HPL's CEO. "We are pleased to be able to support ATDF with their advanced process development challenges."
Compared to classical CMOS devices, MuGFETs are viewed as alternatives necessary to keep pace with Moore's Law and the requirements of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). If proven manufacturable, MuGFETs could be introduced into manufacturing within several years, although integration schemes remain to be developed.
The MuGFET work is part of a set of custom development programs that the ATDF has established for stimulating development activities with industry customers. These new programs allow the ATDF to act as an independent broker to bring together interested parties to solve customer development issues. Each ATDF program is defined by the customer, who outlines the program's scope, deliverables, and intellectual property (IP) ownership. These custom programs allow the ATDF to ensure customer confidentiality for process development, device data, and other program details.
ATDF is a leading technology R&D center where semiconductor manufacturers, equipment and materials suppliers, and others outsource their R&D. ATDF customers can confidentially test new designs, integration methodologies, and prototype systems while protecting their own intellectual property, and development partners can work closely with one another in a custom manufacturing environment. ATDF also develops baseline processes, accepted industry-wide, that bring new tools and materials to manufacturing faster, at lower cost. More information can be found at www.atdf.com.
About HPL Technologies
HPL is a leading provider of design for manufacturability (DFM) and yield optimization solutions that enable the semiconductor and flat panel display (FPD) industries to enhance the efficiency of design, fabrication and test. The company's products include a robust, flexible software platform that allows customers to accelerate the process in which they identify, measure and correct sources of failure in production processes and designs. It combines these unique characterization capabilities with a variety of characterization circuits, and tailors solutions that gather and analyze key information to accelerate the yield learning process. In doing so, HPL enables its customers to recognize the higher levels of quality and efficiency that drive revenue and profitability. www.hpl.com
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