GENEVA, May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM)
today announced that ST, CEA-Leti and AIXTRON have developed an advanced
process technology for the creation of ultra-thin transistor-gate-insulation
layers for low-power applications at the 65nm and 45nm CMOS transistor
technology nodes. The new process significantly reduces transistor leakage
current by the deposition of 'high-k' gate-insulation material.
To meet the future requirements of highly integrated devices postulated by
Moore's law and described via the International Technology Roadmap for
Semiconductors (ITRS), it will eventually be necessary to introduce new
materials into the manufacture of advanced silicon devices. The three
companies are developing new process technology aimed at the 45nm or 65nm
technology nodes for low-power CMOS platforms optimized for portable
Based on AIXTRON's Tricent(R) reactor technology, CEA-Leti and ST have
created a joint development program for 'high-k' materials, fulfilling the
specifications of advanced nano-metric CMOS gate-stacks that require a thick
physical layer with a low leakage current equivalent to ultra-thin oxide.
The process, called AVD(R) (Atomic Vapor Deposition), has demonstrated
excellent Equivalent Oxide Thickness (EOT) values of 1.15nm or 11.5 Angstroms
based on hafnium dioxide / silicon dioxide / silicon (HfO(2)/SiO(2)/Si) stacks
offering leakage current densities as low as J(L)=6.8x10(-2)A/cm(2) at 1.5V.
The results were obtained by the Advanced Modules team of researchers from
ST and CEA-Leti at ST's Crolles facility using a Tricent AIXTRON 200/300 mm
bridge cluster tool. The HfO2 deposited layer process was developed in
conjunction with AIXTRON, and the wafer processing and the characterization
were performed at CEA-LETI facilities in Grenoble.
Metallic oxides of the hafnium family are believed to be excellent
candidates for the 'high-k' dielectric material that will eventually replace
silicon dioxide in the basic CMOS transistor structure.
In addition to the ability to precisely deposit thin dielectric 'high-k'
layers, the AVD technique also allows the deposition of metal gates necessary
for the 45nm-and-below CMOS technology nodes.
"These proof-of-concept results are a first for this process technology,"
said Daniel Bensahel, Project Leader and Front-End Program Director at
STMicroelectronics. "This joint development program between ST and CEA-Leti,
in conjunction with AIXTRON, is not only the first in the industry to
implement this advanced process in an industrial environment; but more
importantly, it is also achieving excellent results."
"The co-operation with STMicroelectronics and CEA-Leti is an integral part
of our strategic CMOS development effort strengthening AIXTRON's position in
emerging semiconductor applications. By working with one of the leading
semiconductor device manufacturers and one of the top research organizations
in the industry, AIXTRON will remain at the forefront of cutting edge enabling
MOCVD process technology development. We have been highly impressed by the
professionalism and the technical competencies of the STMicroelectronics and
CEA-Leti team, and look forward to combining our expertise to develop
solutions for advanced CMOS devices," said Tim McEntee, Executive Vice
President and COO Semiconductor Equipment/ AIXTRON AG.
AIXTRON (Aachen, Germany) is, as verified by an independent market
research institute, the world leading supplier of equipment for III-V
semiconductor epitaxy. Its equipment is used by a diverse range of customers
worldwide to manufacture critical, advanced components such as HBTs, PHEMTs,
MESFETs, Lasers, LEDs, Detectors and VCSELs used in fiber optic communications
systems, wireless and mobile telephony applications, optical storage devices,
illumination, signaling and lighting, as well as a range of other leading edge
technologies. Originally focusing on compound semiconductor applications over
the last years AIXTRON has broadened its product portfolio to enabling MOCVD
Technologies for advanced materials for next generations of mainstream
semiconductor devices and Organic LED applications. To date, AIXTRON's total
installed base of systems exceeds 800 tools worldwide. AIXTRON AG (FSE: AIX
ISIN DE0005066203) is listed in the Prime Standard and Tec DAX of the German
Stock Exchange (Deutsche Borse) and is included in the MSCI World Index.
CEA-Leti (Grenoble, France) is a CEA Grenoble laboratory at the leading
edge of European microelectronics and microtechnologies research. It employs
about 800 people and with its more than 120 patents filed per year and its 30
start-ups created or being created, it ranks among the major partners of the
industrial world. CEA is a polyvalent scientific and technological research
organization, specialized in the fields of nuclear power, both civil and
military, new energy technologies, information and communication systems and
biotechnologies. Its ability to combine fundamental research and valorization
in an industrial framework enables it to play a leading role in innovation.
Some 16,000 people are employed at CEA in 10 sites in France.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering
semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications.
An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing
strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners
positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and
its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The
Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris
and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2003, the Company net revenues were $7.24
billion and net earnings were $253 million. Further information on ST can be
found at http://www.st.com.