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Photochemicals are playing an increasingly important role in bringing next generation devices to reality. While semiconductor manufacturing has always needed a pure, contamination-free environment, the requirements are tightening even further.
DRAM architecture has remained virtually unchanged for the past decade, with the dimensions shrinking proportionally with each successive device node. This linear path, however, is reaching its limits for nodes below 20 nanometers (nm) including 1x, 1y, 1z, 1a, and 1b. A major change will be needed soon if DRAM is to keep up with advances in logic.
The rapid increase of semiconductors in cars enables significant safety, connectivity, mobility, and sustainability improvements. The standards to measure reliability under the tough conditions a car presents are based on how vehicles operate today. Conventional vehicles are generally idle 95% of the time. As a result, the expected lifetime of the electronics systems is well beyond the lifetime of the vehicle itself.
To meet increasing sensitivity to contaminants in integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing, semiconductor fabs have begun looking to their chemical suppliers to adopt new contamination control standards that improve quality and assist in reducing wafer defects. Each material has several touch points along the chemical manufacturing, storage, transport, and delivery journey that could add or generate contaminants. Semiconductor fabs seek assurance from their materials suppliers that they will minimize opportunities for contaminants to end up on a wafer (Figure 1).
The automotive supply chain is transforming with the development of autonomous vehicles. The rise of electronic systems leads designers and manufacturers to seek collaboration partnerships. Antoine Amade, senior director EMEA/NA sales, was recently interviewed by SEMI to discuss the zero-defect challenges facing semiconductor fabs and the expansion of the GAAC (Global Automotive Advisory Council).
Ensuring Purity and Safety Purity requirements continue to tighten as the semiconductor manufacturers continue to pursue advanced technology nodes. Of all the industries that rely on a consistent supply of both raw and specialty chemical, the semiconductor industry sets the highest bar.
During the semiconductor manufacturing process, contamination can be introduced from the air, equipment, cleanroom personnel, process water, process chemicals, and process gases.1 Careful identification of the contaminant source is required to best identify mitigation strategies that utilize filtration. Installing a filter can reduce defectivity, but this mitigation strategy will not indefinitely protect a gas stream from contamination.
The desire for ever more computing power in a smaller footprint requires transistors that perform faster while consuming less power. However, new materials and architectures developed with these goals in mind are not easy to transfer from research and development to full-scale, high-volume production.