Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK), a leading supplier of lithography, laser-processing and inspection systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), as well as atomic layer deposition (ALD) systems, today announced a follow-on order from a major foundry for its LSA101 laser spike anneal system.
The system is equipped with the dual beam option, providing a second low-power laser that adds flexibility for yield enhancement and enables low thermal budget processing required for advanced applications such as gate stack formation, silicide or post-silicide anneal. Ultratech's LSA101 system will be used for 28-nm production and is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2016.
The industry is experiencing a second wave of growth in the advanced planar node technologies, including 28-nm logic. This is due to the high cost and challenges to manufacture chips at leading-edge FinFET nodes; lithography alone represents close to 45 percent of the overall spending when considering triple patterning and other advanced lithography techniques used in manufacturing. As a result, many foundries, especially those in China, are expanding their 28-nm capacity as end customers are taking advantage of the optimal performance to cost ratio at this node. This trend may extend the 28-nm node longer and at larger volumes than previously expected.
Arthur W. Zafiropoulo, Ultratech Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "This LSA system order is an example of the growing manufacturing opportunities for cost-effective nodes, such as 28nm and above. When comparing the different nodes, 28nm was the last strong planar node and boasted the lowest cost-per-transistor. As a result, customers around the world are increasing their 28nm capacity. Ultratech continues to work with its global customer base to provide advanced annealing solutions that offer the best technical performance, while delivering low cost-of-ownership for their specific manufacturing needs whether at 40-nm, 28-nm or leading-edge nodes."
Ultratech LSA 101 Dual Beam Laser Spike Anneal System
Built on the customizable Unity Platform™, LSA101 with the dual beam option expands the process space by adding a second low-power laser beam that adds process flexibility and enables millisecond annealing with a low thermal budget process. Inserting a millisecond anneal step post-junction formation, such as gate stack formation, silicide or post-silicide anneal, has been shown to improve leakage and device reliability, while reducing contact resistance and improving both performance and yield. Compared to competing millisecond annealing technologies, LSA with dual beam offers the lowest thermal budget millisecond anneal process along with superior within-die uniformity for different layouts. This performance is provided at a significantly lower cost-of-ownership due to higher throughput and low cost-of-consumables. The LSA101 delivers high flexibility and extendibility for advanced annealing applications and is currently in high-volume production for 28-nm and below logic devices.