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Spotlight on Semiconductor Etching Solutions from Advanced Energy

Posted February 26, 2019 by Advanced Energy Editor

If there is one area of semiconductor manufacturing in which engineering meets art, it very well might be the etching process. Three-dimensional architectures and double, triple or quadruple patterning techniques require extremely precise power control and the imagination of Rembrandt. With the advent of Industry 4.0 and the IoT, generating, transmitting and processing big data in applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to medical devices will require next-gen semiconductor lithography, accompanied by fabrication process innovation.

The IoT also offers an opportunity to make the power supply part of a connected and intelligent system, so that a new degree of monitoring and control is established. In turn, more complex etching is possible. We discuss the advent of such capabilities in a recent blog by Shane Callanan. There’s much more in his post, but the crux of the discussion centers on the economic feasibility and technical advances supporting a “holistic systems” approach to design engineering and semiconductor manufacturing.

Forward Thinking Solutions for Future Design Requirements

We’re building the ability to handle and derive usable data into our power solutions, providing better control of the power supply that enables better plasma management, and positions our customers for future application requirements. Our power supplies designed for etching, backed by support to ensure maximum uptime and product performance, include:

  • Quanta RPS – Engineered VHF energy and CCP architecture enables sophisticated plasma generation and expansion into new thin-film processes not possible with traditional RPS or in-situ plasma generation.
  • PDX® Low-Power Series – Available in 1250 and 1400 W versions, these highly efficient, flexible power supplies Sinusoidal RF output with low harmonic distortion ( › 40 dB below the fundamental output frequency) and MTBF of over 200,000 hours.
  • PDX High-Power Series – Featuring a sweep frequency capability, the HP PDX series incorporates direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology for operating frequency control when the power system is mismatched.

Next-Gen Power for Next-Gen Advantages

Increased connectivity and intelligence are only of value if they can create tangible business benefits. Enhanced plasma stability and process repeatability increases yield, a critical measure of value. The connectivity we discussed above also creates visibility into system health, and in turn decreased potential for downtime, through advanced diagnostics and even self-healing capabilities enabled by device intelligence.

Precise RF delivery optimizes power usage, helping to control costs. And finally, and last only for sake of discussion, not importance, digital control facilitates faster response to plasma changes, facilitating better plasma management. That opens the door to more precise etching and multi-dimensional lithography, increased computing power and inventions with capabilities yet to be imagined.

You can learn more about Advanced Energy’s power solutions for etching on our web site. And, to get insight on the trends and challenges that our customers see in the semiconductor industry, check out this video, featuring Tom Karlicek.


Advanced Energy Editor

Advanced Energy

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