SEMICON West 2023: AE Advances the Angstrom Era with Transformational New Technologies
Posted August 23, 2023 by Skip Larson
Last month, the semiconductor industry converged on the “City by the Bay” to discuss a wide range of solutions for design, manufacture and test. Under the banner of “Building a Path Forward,” more than 570 exhibitors showcased solutions at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. This year’s discussions focused on the opportunity and challenges the industry will face as semiconductor sales approach the $1 trillion level by 2030, up from $600 million today. Key issues that will either support or hinder the industry include closing technology gaps and critical talent shortages, along with limiting supply chain disruptions and the impact on climate change. What was clear is that delivering high-performance chips with increasingly complex 3D structures at atomic-scale dimensions is demanding more sophisticated wafer process solutions based on real world-processing data to accelerate modeling for faster design turns than ever before.
As a leading supplier of highly engineered, precision power conversion, measurement and control systems for the semiconductor industry, AE is at the forefront of providing such solutions. We delivered on our theme of “Advancing the Angstrom Era” by launching transformational technologies for the fabrication of next-generation semiconductor architectures with dimensions measured on the angstrom scale.
Crowd Fills the Aisles at AE’s Launch Event
On July 12 at 10:45 a.m., an enthusiastic crowd surrounded AE’s booth for the launch of the eVerest™ RF power generator. Built on over 40 years of RF delivery system expertise and designed to solve critical power delivery issues facing customers and partners, this RF power platform fills the need for precision plasma control for the development and manufacturing of sub-2 nm, Angstrom Era etch and deposition processes. We also launched the eVoS™ ME asymmetric bias waveform generator, which enables direct control of substrate voltage to tailor the plasma ion energy distribution — optimization necessary to selectively control how bulk plasma ions are extracted in order to achieve angstrom feature wafer-level process results.
Juergen Braun, AE’s senior vice president of Plasma Power, described the significance of these launches for semiconductor manufacturing in an interview with Pete Singer, the editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Digest. In addition, Paul Maloney, senior product manager, later discussed these technologies with the Global SMT TV Channel.
And the announcement of new technologies didn’t stop there. AE also unveiled the Luxtron® M-1100 FluorOptic® Thermometry (FOT) platform, which provides high-accuracy sensing from extremely low to extremely high temperatures — making it ideal for plasma-enhanced semiconductor deposition and etch fabrication, including cryogenic enhance etch.
In AE’s booth, visitors also saw a variety of other mission-critical equipment including a TREK electrostatic chuck demo, Sekidenko 4100T non-contact temperature pyrometers and the high-power, high-accuracy TEGAM Gemini™ 5540 RF power meter.
Included in the showcase of products is the AE PowerInsight by Advanced Energy® data ecosystem. This IoT platform enables optimization of power delivery system performance by providing actionable intelligence derived from high-resolution, high-bandwidth data; customizable, browser-based dashboards; and algorithms based on AE’s decades of expertise.
The Path to $1 Trillion
This year’s SEMICON West illustrated what’s at stake for a sector. According to McKinsey and Company, the semiconductor industry is poised for a decade of growth that will see it become a $1 trillion industry by 2030, but to achieve this promise, continued innovation and new technologies are needed to enable semiconductor wafer processing to move into the Angstrom Era. As we enter a brave new world of semiconductor manufacturing, Advanced Energy leads with transformational plasma power technologies, continuous innovation and dedication to customer partnerships that support growth into a new era of semiconductor technology.