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SEMATECH and CNSE's Albany NanoTech Working with SUSS MicroTec on Next-Generation Semiconductor Technologies

Published on April 14, 2009 at 9:34 AM

SUSS MicroTec Test Systems (FWB:SMH)(GER:SMH) today announced receipt of purchase orders for test equipment that will enable the development of next-generation integrated circuits (ICs), including CMOS transistor scaling to the 16-nm node and beyond and the investigation of the reliability characteristics of high-k dielectrics. The partnership with SEMATECH, a global consortium of chipmakers, Core Wafer Systems and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany includes advanced 300-mm wafer-level characterization systems with ProbeShield Technology and a cryogenic probe capability system to be installed at CNSE’s world-class Albany NanoTech Complex.

In the drive for commercialization of nanotechnology, new measurement challenges have arisen in characterizing the latest semiconductor devices for generating accurate transistor models, which are the building blocks of next-generation ICs. Traditional I-V and C-V measurements are insufficient to characterize and predict device performance and lifetime of devices and circuits in state-of-the-art technological nodes. Moving forward, advanced and complex measurement techniques are required, which engineers use to accurately extract important data such as S-parameters (high-frequency measurements) and flicker-noise (1/f noise) parameters. The choice of ProbeShield and ASUR Technologies, the most advanced 300-mm characterization system for device modeling and wafer-level reliability, ensures that the engineering staff will remain on the cutting-edge of semiconductor and nanotechnology.

“At SEMATECH, we are researching and developing practical solutions for continued scaling of next-generation semiconductor technologies,” said Dr. Gennadi Bersuker, Fellow of SEMATECH. “The test equipment from SUSS MicroTec, in conjunction with advanced test software capabilities from Core Wafer Systems, will enable us to characterize the new transistor processes and designs, which increases the reliability and lifetime of electronic products.”

Additionally, the miniaturization of semiconductor devices has driven research on the use of new materials in semiconductor devices. Much of this basic research is carried out at cryogenic temperatures. The cryogenic probe system will enable researchers to characterize new materials, such as high-k stacks and compound semiconductor on silicon, at temperatures down to 4 K in a vacuum of 10-6 mbar. The system’s unique design provides high throughput and accuracy for advanced I-V, C-V and RF measurements up to 67 GHz.

“As leading-edge research and development at the UAlbany NanoCollege seeks to extend CMOS transistor scaling to the 16nm node and beyond, it is increasingly important to understand new generations of high-k materials as they are introduced into real products,” said Richard Brilla, Vice President for Strategy, Alliances and Consortia at CNSE. “The SUSS Cryogenic Probe System provides a core competence within CNSE’s Albany NanoTech that will help researchers recognize how newly developed processes can improve the desired fundamental properties of advanced substrates, such as electron mobility. In addition, the low-frequency noise measurement is a critical capability, as it enables us to identify defects in advanced high-k dielectrics.”

“This is just another clear example of the SUSS MicroTec Test Division working strategically with leading industry partners to deliver solutions valued by those who face complex semiconductor probing and measurement challenges.” Said Rob Carter, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for SUSS MicroTec Test Systems. “Combined with the largest of IDM’s/Foundries who are also embracing SUSS MicroTec Test solutions, this project will create further technological advancements that will ensure dividends on improved processes and reliability for our valued customer base well into the future.”

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