By Cameron Chai
US-based Applied Materials has launched a new technology to reduce consumption of power in semiconductor chips named the Applied Producer Onyx film treatment system. In order to ensure that the chips have a longer battery life, it is important to separate the wirings and interconnects from each other and reduce the k value of the insulating material in the chip.
The technology helps customers to achieve greater speed and efficiency by the optimisation of low k films, which provide insulation to the interconnects and the wiring in a semiconductor chip. Under this technology, silicon and carbon are introduced to the dielectric film that is porous in nature, which enhances the insulation of the material at an atomic level. This process in turn reduces the k-value by 20% and leads to a lesser consumption of power. It also makes the dielectric wire more stiff, in order to withstand a large number of processing steps and processes that it may go through.
According to the VP of Applied Materials’ dielectric systems and Business Module unit, Bill McClintock, the company’s proprietary Onyx system will offer greater efficiency and mechanical strength to the chip so that it can be used for three-dimensional packaging applications. The company has already commenced the pilot production of the multiple Onyx systems for manufacturing advanced logic devices.