Scientists at Philips Research have developed an innovative phase-change memory that promises to match the speed, density, low voltage and low power consumption requirements of future deep sub-micron silicon chips. Unlike existing non-volatile memory technologies such as Flash, the performance of this new memory improves in virtually every respect the smaller you make it.
Scientists at US company TDA Research have developed a new conductive plastic. Oligotron polymers possess a conducting centre – polyethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT) - and two non-conducting ends. These ends are needed to enable solubility. This solubility would make conducting polymers easier to process, reducing production costs.
INFICON has been granted a US patent (No.6,700,950) for a method to control critical dimension (CD) error in a high part-count, foundry-style semiconductor fab. The method specifically addresses manufacturing of a large mixture of parts under one or more technologies using a common base of equipment - a configuration typical of foundry operations.
Theorists from Europe, the USA and China believe that organic light emitting materials can be made much more efficient by boosting the number of light-emitting channels, according to theoretical results presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting (March 30, 2004). The work will also be described in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
The growth in demand for clean and aseptic manufacturing processes, coupled with increasing regulatory pressures and ongoing advances in technology, has prompted the launch of a new cleanroom and contamination control event. Organised by Polygon Media, the publishers of Europe's only pan-European contamination and control journal, Cleanroom Technology, CTEC will be held in Brussels between October 12-14 2004 and consist of a high-level conference and comprehensive exhibition.
The UK House of Commons Science and Technology committee claims that a lack of foresight by both policy makers at the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the UK scientific community has led to the UK losing its leading position in the field of nanotechnology. The UK launched a nanotechnology research programme in the mid-1980s. The committee believes that few other countries had recognised the potential of this new technology at that time. But activity eased when enthusiasm dwindled.
FEI’s nanotechnology scientists have broken the 1Angstrom (0.1nm) image resolution barrier with a 200kV transmission electron microscope (TEM). FEI believes that this is the first time images can be directly viewed with a resolution of less than 1Angstrom using commercially available technologies. This resolution is approximately one-third the size of a carbon atom - a key dimension for atomic level research.
STMicroelectronics announced volume production of its 1Gbit and 512Mbit NAND Flash memory, the first in the company’s portfolio of NAND products. The NAND1G and NAND512 are available in both 1.8V and 3V versions. The new ST devices have a block erase time is just 2ms. Each block is specified for 100,000 program and erase cycles, and 10-year data retention.
German company ZMD has launched ZFOUNDRY as a wholly owned subsidiary to focus on analogue mixed-signal and power IC production. ZFOUNDRY inherits 8250m2 in production facilities in Dresden, Germany, from ZMD, with an extra 13,000m2 added in December 2003.
SEMICON Europa is recognised as the premier event in Europe for semiconductor equipment, materials and services providing a full range of technical and management conferences that address the needs of the industry.
New bonded door seals with Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts from DuPont Dow Elastomers make wafer processing more productive. Presented by DuPont Dow at Semicon Europa 2004 (stand B1.276) these seals are designed for etch, ash, HDPCVD, PECVD, SACVD and metal CVD wafer processing and outperform conventional O-rings in slit and gate valve door seal applications.
For more details: www.kalrez.com/bonded
DuPont Dow Elastomers S.A.
2, chemin du Pavillon
CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex
Tel: ++41 22 717 4000
Fax: ++41 22 717 4001
Kalrez® is a registered trademark of DuPont Dow Elastomers
SUSS MicroTec says that it has developed a system that can for the first time carry out analytical probing of test structures as small as 30x30microns. MicroAlign is designed to meet the needs of wafer-level reliability test structures. These structures are put in the "kerf" area between the chips that is destroyed during the wafer sawing process.
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Philips Electronics, Sony and E Ink claim the world's first consumer application of an electronic paper display module in Sony's new e-Book reader, LIBRIe, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late April 2004. The Philips' display uses E Ink's electronic ink technology to offer a paper-like display with a contrast level similar to newsprint.
Trikon Technologies announced successful completion of the Semiconductor Equipment Association (SEA) Advanced CVD Tool for Integration of Organosilicate Nanoporous Films (ACTION) project based at the Crolles II alliance development facility in France.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) organisation in Germany has set up a CMOS production line in Duisburg for the ZigBee wireless standard. Fraunhofer says that the bandwidth offered by alternative standards such as Bluetooth exceed what many devices need and that the power consumption is also more than necessary.
Scientists at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center have developed a high-mobility ultrathin semiconducting film prepared by spin coating (Nature, March 18, 2004). The technique promises simple, low-cost products. The researchers have boosted electron mobilities by about 10 times over that reported for all other similar approaches.
The European Commission approved aid for the Infineon’s DRAM packaging and final test facility in Vila do Conde, Grande Porto, Portugal. The Infineon Portugal plant is the only back-end unit in the DRAM production sector in Europe.
Scientists in Berlin are seeking to commercialise technology designed to improve the growth efficiency of epitaxially produced quantum dot (QD) semiconductor elements such as laser diodes. The new technology significantly reduces electrical losses and optical scattering losses of the resulting semiconductor devices, reducing energy consumption.
Infineon Technologies is to buy the 13% minority holding in the Infineon Technologies SC300 fab in Dresden, Germany, owned by Leipziger Messe and SC 300 Beteiligungs for approximately EUR278mn. The acquisition will be financed through increasing Infineon’s capital by approximately 27mn new shares through a capital increase in kind.
French company 40-30 has acquired Incam Solutions, a spin off from the LETI French microelectronics R&D centre based in Grenoble, France, founded in 1997. Incam’s front opening unified pod (FOUP) products are dedicated to single wafer applications with the FFO (FOUP For One). The technology is protected by international patents.
Hymite has closed a second financing round totalling EUR9.7mn (DKK72.3mn). The company is developing hermetic and non-hermetic assembly and encapsulation micro-housing technologies for semiconductors, optical and micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) devices.