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Cobalt Metal Replaces Tungsten Copper Expects to Boost 15% AI Chip Performance

Views: 26     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-06-22      Origin: Site

A few days ago, Applied Materials, the world's largest semiconductor equipment manufacturer, said that it is expected to lift the main bottleneck of the wafer process at 7nm and below, and replace the tungsten and copper with cobalt metal. The future artificial intelligence (AI) chip performance may increase by 15%. It will be the major metal transformation of the first transistor junction and wire in 20 years.

It is understood that in the past Moore's Law (Moore's Law) used only a small number of materials that were easy to integrate, and at the same time improved the chip's performance, power, area, and cost (PPAC). Nowadays, some materials such as tungsten and copper metals can't be scaled down smoothly under 10nm, because their electrical properties are approaching the physical limit in the process of transistor contact and local midway metal wire processing, which makes it impossible for the FINFET to fail. Play a major bottleneck in full performance.

In response, Cobalt Metals can eliminate this bottleneck, but it also needs to make changes in the strategy of the process system. As the industry shrinks the structure down to its extreme dimensions, the performance of these materials will vary and must be systematically performed at the atomic level, usually under vacuum conditions.

Cobalt is used as a new conductive material for use on transistor contacts and copper conductors. The material has been combined with many material engineering steps - pre-cleaning, physical vapor deposition, atomic layer deposition, and chemical vapor deposition - on the Endura platform. In addition, the application materials also define an integrated portfolio of cobalt, including annealing on the Producer platform, planarization on the Reflexion LK Prime CMP platform, and electron beam inspection on the PROVision platform. Customers can use this proven integrated material solution to accelerate time-to-market and increase chip performance at 7nm and below.

Prabu Raj, Senior Vice President of the Semiconductor Products Group, said that five years ago, Applied Materials anticipates that the transistor contacts and copper wires will face a technical turnaround, and that other substitutive materials will be developed before they can be used at 10nm or below. Go longer. Applied Materials' expertise in chemistry, physics, engineering, and data science, and the breadth of its product lines, creates a breakthrough integrated materials solution for the semiconductor industry. In response to the advent of big data and AI, these technological transitions will also increase.

Although still challenging in terms of integration, cobalt offers significant benefits for chip performance and chip fabrication, lower resistance and variability at smaller sizes, improved trench filling at very fine dimensions, and Improve reliability. The integrated cobalt product portfolio of applied materials is currently sold to foundry and logic customers worldwide. The market expects leading players such as TSMC to continue to benefit.

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