First System Shipped to Leading European Research Center, Leti, for Spintronics and MRAM Development

Aviza Technology, Inc., a supplier of advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the introduction of StratIon™ fxP, the world's first 300-mm ready Ion Beam Deposition system. The first system was shipped to CEA-LETI-MINATEC in Grenoble, France, one of Europe's foremost applied research centers in electronics and Spintronics. The StratIon fxP will be used to develop next-generation magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ)-based devices for applications including Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM), hard disk drive read heads or RF components. The system will also be used for the deposition of metal gates for advanced CMOS processes. In addition to the system shipment, Aviza and CEA-LETI have signed a three year joint development program covering the development of MTJ deposition processes for future MRAM and Spintronics devices.

The StratIon fxP system uses ion beam processing for the deposition of metal and dielectric thin films, and is the world's first ion beam deposition system for 300mm wafer manufacturing. Designed for high volume manufacturing silicon fabs, the system is based on production-proven hardware and software platforms and can be configured with three standard chamber types: preclean, oxidation and deposition. Additional Aviza deposition chambers such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) and magnetron PVD can be seamlessly added for additional flexibility. StratIon fxP offers low cost of ownership, high throughput and a smaller fab footprint compared to currently available systems used for MTJ deposition.

“Aviza's StratIon fxP system is an integral component of our Spintronics development process,” said Dr. Laurent Malier, Chief Executive Officer of Leti. “By collaborating on Spintronics technology with equipment suppliers like Aviza, we believe we can deliver cost-effective and production-worthy solutions for future Spintronics devices as they make the transition to high volume manufacturing.”

Aviza's ion beam deposition delivers key advantages over traditional magnetron sputtering approaches. Use of Aviza's patented M0RI plasma source enables ultra-low pressure deposition producing films, which are twice as smooth as those produced by currently available MTJ sputter deposition tools. Smoothness is a critical parameter in MTJ stacks, where the thinnest films are less than 10 angstroms. The StratIon fxP produces films with less than 2 angstroms rms roughness and less than 0.5 percent thickness non-uniformity on 300mm wafers.

“We are pleased to be in partnership with such a distinguished research center, as Leti,” said Jerry Cutini, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aviza Technology, Inc. “We believe that combining both companies' technology expertise under this collaboration will help accelerate the adoption of MRAM and Spintronics technologies. Both Aviza and Leti will be well positioned to support IC makers in the MRAM and Spintronics arenas, as their focus shifts from research and development to volume production.”

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