Infineon Technologies has produced a new test chip designed to allow production processes of complex semiconductors to be tested and improved. The chip is based on a circuit developed at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
Carl Zeiss Microelectronic Systems has delivered its first Aerial Image Measurement System (AIMS) for 157nm optical lithography to International SEMATECH (ISMT) in Austin, Texas. The tool is to be used to develop cutting-edge 157nm photomask technology.
The US National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) presented the recommendations of its Tin Whisker Accelerated Test Project. The project team has submitted a test method document to JEDEC that recommends two storage conditions and one temperature cycling condition to evaluate the propensity of tin-based plating finishes to grow whiskers.
European infrared image sensor developer XenICs has signed a sales and marketing agreement concerning its high-performance near-infrared InGaAs camera with US company Electrophysics. The camera has a spectral response in the range 0.9-1.7microns.
Electrophysics develops of near infrared, night vision and thermal imaging systems. It will add the XenICs InGaAs camera to its product line.
UK company Filtronic reports that it has been selected by a new OEM customer to supply initial quantities of an integrated radio frequency head unit to be installed in 3G wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) base stations. Production quantities are not expected to commence until H2 2004.
Seiko Epson has developed a new material for use in non-volatile ferroelectric random-access memories (FeRAM). The company has named the material PZTN on a tentative basis. The new material adds niobium in place of some of the titanium in lead zirconate titanate (PZT). PZT has been extensively studied as a candidate for use in FeRAM.
Austriamicrosystems’ Full Service Foundry business has introduced a High Performance CMOS High Voltage process capable of operating at 50V. The initial device offering will have operation voltages of 20V and 50V, but the company believes that the process is capable of providing devices with operating voltages beyond 120V and breakdown voltages beyond 150V.
Bookham Technology has signed a definitive agreement to acquire New Focus, a provider of photonic and microwave solutions to non-telecom diversified markets, including the semiconductor, defence, research, industrial, biotech/medical and telecom test and measurement industries.
IBM plans to use chemical vapour deposition (CVD) low-k technology at the 90nm node. This is a blow to Dow Chemical, the producer of the spin-on SiLK dielectric. Dow and IBM have worked together for some time.
Light-emitting silicon technology has seen further significant advances, according to STMicroelectronics. An ST research team has not only increased the external quantum efficiency of its light-emitting devices by a factor 1.5 – a figure which already exceeds the quantum efficiency of traditional semiconductor materials - but it has also increased the maximum emitted power by a factor 50. As a result, ST is now able to produce more than 1mW of emitted light power for each square millimetre of silicon.
Semiconductor lithography experts have identified the top ten critical issues facing the industry with the use of extreme numerical apertures (hyper-NA), a critical factor for extending optical lithography, especially through immersion lithography. Hyper-NA refers to numerical apertures (NAs) greater than 0.90.
IBM reports that it has developed the first transistors using strained silicon directly on insulator (SSDOI) technology. The company says that the process provides high performance while eliminating manufacturing problems. IBM also claims to be the first to combine two different underlying silicon layers that simultaneously maximise the performance of the key transistors used in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Both technologies aim at improved currents and removing the need for such rapid shrinkage of devices.
Sir David King, the UK’s chief government scientist, opened the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre on September 11, 2003. The facility consists of cleanroom and workshop facilities. The centre will first be used to build sensitive detector components for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) under construction at the CERN particle physics research centre in Switzerland.
Virtual Silicon and IMEC EUROPRACTICE IC Services have extended their partnership to include 130nm semiconductor intellectual property (SIP). The SIP from Virtual Silicon is for use in Europractice's multi-project wafer and low-volume ASIC services. Products included in the agreement are standard cells, basic I/O, PLL, application specific I/O (LVDS, SSTL2, PCI-X, USB 1.1, HSTL and PCI 2.2) and memory.
Bookham Technology has completed execution of a major cost reduction initiative four months ahead of the original target. The initiative involved consolidation of its two main wafer fab facilities, following the acquisition of the Nortel Networks Optical Components businesses (NNOC).
Intel has increased the low-end of its Q3 revenue expectations even compared with an estimate issued on August 22 (Bulletin 496, August 27, 2003). Revenues are now forecast in the range $7.6-7.8bn, compared with August 22’s $7.3-7.8bn.
Labour representatives have walked out of a meeting where STMicroelectronics informed them of its plans to migrate at least half of its European and US 150mm wafer production either to finer geometry 200mm wafer fabs or to the company's 150mm fab in Singapore.