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Ultratech Receives Multiple Orders For Laser Spike Annealing Systems

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Ultratech a supplier of lithography, laser-processing and inspection systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), as well as atomic layer deposition (ALD) systems, has announced that two China foundries placed follow-on orders for laser spike anneal systems. Ultratech's LSA101 laser spike anneal systems will be used for 40-nm and 28-nm production. The LSA101 dual-beam tools were chosen over competing systems due to greater flexibility and capability for annealing with low overall thermal budgets. Ultratech plans to ship the LSA101 tools to the customers' foundries to China in Q1 2017.

The low cost of 28-nm planar technology continues to drive growth and numerous foundries are ramping capacity expansion to take advantage of the optimal performance-to-cost ratio at this geometry. Foundries in Asia are leveraging the value proposition offered at the 28-nm node to meet the strong demand for low-cost chips for mobile devices. The LSA101 dual-beam system is designed for advanced applications, such as gate stack formation, silicide or post-silicide anneal to deliver leading technology in a cost-effective solution. Cost-driven foundries value Ultratech's LSA101 systems due to the impressive flexibility to meet requirements for today's volume production at 40-nm, 28-nm, and extendibility to 14-nm, 10-nm and below nodes.

"These follow-on orders strengthen our dominant position for advanced millisecond anneal within the foundry market in China," said Jim McWhirter, Ph.D., vice president and senior scientist, laser technology at Ultratech. "While we are currently working with these customers to ramp capacity for 40- and 28-nms, the LSA101 system has demonstrated extendibility for advanced FinFET nodes. As a result, building on our long-term relationships, we can effectively work with our customers using our LSA systems to support their planer device applications today with extendibility for their future FinFET device roadmaps. Ultratech's product focus remains targeted at meeting customer requirements for their advanced millisecond annealing applications."

Built on the customizable Unity Platform, LSA101 with the dual-beam option expands the process space by adding a second low-power laser beam that adds process flexibility and enables millisecond annealing with a low thermal budget process. Inserting a millisecond anneal step post-junction formation, such as gate stack formation, silicide or post-silicide anneal, has been shown to improve leakage and device reliability, while reducing contact resistance and improving both performance and yield. Compared to competing millisecond annealing technologies, LSA with dual-beam offers the lowest thermal budget millisecond anneal process along with superior within-die uniformity for different layouts. The LSA101 delivers high flexibility and extendibility for advanced annealing applications and is currently in high-volume production for planer and FinFET logic devices.

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