Texas Instruments Outlines Research Accomplishments That Will Further CMOS Scaling Efforts

VLSI Symposium Papers Demonstrate TI's Advanced R&D, Commitment to Delivering

Innovation to Customers

Jun 14, 2005, 01:00 ET from Texas Instruments Incorporated

    KYOTO, Japan, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Instruments Incorporated
 (NYSE:   TXN) (TI), with its research and development partners and peers, is
 presenting papers that describe key accomplishments on advanced materials and
 manufacturing process development at the 2005 Symposium on VLSI Technology.
 TI's contribution highlights a comprehensive R&D strategy designed to combine
 in-house initiatives with close collaboration among industry consortia and
 universities to deliver the semiconductor innovations critical to TI's
     "TI is among the leaders in overcoming the challenges of semiconductor
 scaling and plans to maintain this position in the advancement of future
 transistor technology," said Dr. Hans Stork, chief technology officer, Texas
 Instruments.  "The research presented at the VLSI Symposium will continue TI's
 development of high performance, low cost semiconductor products with highly
 integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) implementations."
     At the VLSI Symposium, TI and key development partners are presenting a
 number of key findings, including a demonstration for the first time the
 scalability of fully-silicided, nickel silicide (NiSi) gates to 30nm and
 below.  This approach promises to ease the transition from current polysilicon
 gate electrodes to full-silicidation-of-polysilicon (FuSi), resulting in cost
 effective integration of metal gates.  Leveraging current materials and
 providing the least amount of changes to today's process flow delivers a
 highly efficient, easy-to-integrate method to enhance performance.
     TI also participates in research efforts that focus on the advancement of
 non-planar triple-gate devices, and is discussing fabrication of the
 industry's smallest 6T-SRAM cell with multi-gate devices at the VLSI
 Symposium.  This accomplishment is based upon work done within the IMEC
 European nanoelectronics research center as part of a sub-45nm CMOS program.
 TI utilizes 6T SRAM cells as the primary embedded memory in its CMOS products
 today.  Migrating to tri-gate non-planar transistors may extend the use of 6T
 SRAM cells to the 32nm node or beyond.  This approach maintains design
 compatibility with conventional SRAM approaches and significantly shrinks
 previously designed triple-gate SRAM device cells, further improving
 performance and integration options.
     TI is also presenting research through work with SEMATECH on the
 compatibility of non-planar multi-gate transistor approaches with conventional
 CMOS approaches by introducing strain to improve the drive current of future
 transistors by as much as 25 percent.
     These advancements result from TI's overall external research strategy to
 evaluate the feasibility of materials, processes and device concepts in the
 pre-competitive stage.  TI's in-house R&D technology development teams then
 shift attention to development in its manufacturing facilities in close
 collaboration with customers to meet their key priorities.  TI's overall R&D
 addresses many topics and focuses on closing key gaps in:
      -- Transistor performance scaling, including gate materials
      -- Transistor structural scaling and modifications, and channel mobility
      -- Interconnect performance scaling, including materials changes, and new
         approaches for interconnect and packaging
      -- Lithography and resolution enhancement technology for feature scaling
     Transistor Performance Scaling
     To extend TI's work on nitrided silicon dioxide gate dielectrics beyond
 the 45nm node, new transistor materials and structural changes are also under
 evaluation.  These technologies promise to solve growing issues around
 leakage, power dissipation and heat as transistor dimensions continue to
 shrink.  For example, TI has led the industry in the development of Hafnium
 Silicon Oxynitride (HfSiON) high-k gate dielectric materials and process
 technology for addressing new dielectric materials and issues without
 sacrificing reliability or adding significant costs.  TI participates in a
 number of pre-competitive research programs that focus on advanced CMOS
 technology nodes including:
      -- Three custom programs through the ATDF, a wholly owned subsidiary of
         SEMATECH, on manufacturability and scalability of multi-gate Field
         Effect Transistors (FETs), enhanced strained silicon, and dual-work-
         function metal gates electrodes
      -- SEMATECH Front-End Processes (FEP) development
      -- Joint university funding with SEMATECH and SRC for the FEP Research
         Transition Center
      -- IMEC core membership FEP research focused on gate, junctions,
         silicides, strain/channel mobility, and multi-gate FETs
      -- Active participation in SRC and Microelectronic Advanced Research
         Corporation (MARCO, an SRC subsidiary) sponsored university research
         in advanced device technology
      -- Initiative for Nano-Materials and Processes program at Stanford
         University that includes a focus on high-k gate dielectrics and metal
         gate electrodes
      -- Silicon Wafer Engineering and Defect Science (SiWEDS) Center
      -- Collaboration with several FEP equipment and materials suppliers
     Interconnect Scaling
     Key aspects of TI's R&D include work to identify new interconnect
 materials, structures and designs that enhance performance but maintain high
 standards of interconnect reliability and low cost.  This includes the
 implementation of lower-k interconnect dielectrics, thinner and lower-k
 barriers and capping layers, design approaches to reduce interconnect lengths,
 and advanced packaging materials and methods.  Copper interconnect technology
 scaling research focuses on lowering interconnect RC delays that are becoming
 a larger fraction of overall transistor performance.  External interconnect
 research includes the following affiliations:
      -- SEMATECH interconnect development
      -- IMEC core membership interconnect and packaging research
      -- SRC and MARCO university research
      -- Collaborations with several interconnect equipment and materials
     TI has a history of cost-effective innovation in lithography, and
 currently leverages 193nm lithography with Resolution Enhancement Technology
 (RET) for 90nm device production and 65nm ramp to qualification.  TI believes
 that 193nm immersion lithography can take the industry through the 45nm and
 32nm nodes, and feasibility studies on taking immersion lithography beyond the
 32nm node are underway.
     Work with various research organizations like SEMATECH, IMEC and SRC
 includes active development of various approaches for future lithography
 scaling.  Research in areas such as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and
 alternative low-cost lithography approaches is geared toward continued
 decreases in printed on-wafer dimensions and maximum throughput in wafers per
     Other Initiatives
     TI is involved in many programs with a long-range view to maintain its
 process technology and manufacturing advantage well into the future.  This
 includes affiliation with MARCO to fund longer-range university research
 through five focus centers on Materials/Structures/Devices; Functional
 Nanostructures; Interconnect; Circuit Design; and Systems Design and Test.  TI
 also participates in the recently announced Nano-Electronics Research
 Corporation (NERC), a subsidiary of SRC, to research beyond-CMOS technology.
     "The market continues to require technology advancements that produce
 highly integrated, low power and low cost semiconductor solutions with rapid
 product ramp capabilities," said Dr. Stork.  "TI's R&D approach gives us the
 ability to efficiently evaluate and select the best materials and techniques
 to meet customer demands, and deliver those advancements in high-volume
     About Texas Instruments
     Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog
 technologies to meet our customers' real world signal processing requirements.
 In addition to Semiconductor, the company's businesses include Sensors &
 Controls, and Educational & Productivity Solutions.  TI is headquartered in
 Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than
 25 countries.
     Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
 symbol TXN.  More information is located on the World Wide Web at:
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