Jul 16, 2001
TOKYO, JAPAN - Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL; Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; C.E.O., President: Tetsuro Higashi) and San Jose-based WaferMasters, Inc. today announced a new program to develop a 300mm Single Wafer Rapid Thermal Furnace (SRTF). The concept combines the excellent repeatability, high productivity and cost-effectiveness of hot-wall batch thermal processors, with the flexibility of single wafer Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) systems. A pilot version of this new system will begin evaluations within the next few months, and the new system will be released in 2002.
The new 300mm system will be based on the recently completed 200mm SRTF platform developed by WaferMasters for TEL. The highly versatile 200mm SRTF platform is designed to process Si wafers over a wide range of process conditions. The system is capable of low pressure and atmospheric pressure operation and can precisely maintain process temperatures from 200 to 1150oC. This energy-efficient system's power consumption is less than 3.5kW per chamber at 1150oC, less than one-tenth (1/10) of the power consumption of currently available single wafer RTP systems. The standard system has vertically stacked, dual process chambers for greater flexibility and productivity. Typical applications include: barrier metal anneal, silicidation, dry/wet oxidation, thin film formation, glass densification, glass reflow, dopant diffusion, and implant anneal.
The development project, begun in May 1999, successfully demonstrated the capabilities and potential of the SRTF. TEL and WaferMasters strongly believe the SRTF capabilities demonstrated on the 200mm system can be applied to rapid thermal processing of 300mm Si wafers with the same excellent results. WaferMasters will develop the SRTF and TEL will manufacture, sell and service the new product. Marketing of the product will be jointly conducted by the two companies.
"We're confident that our new system will have a major impact on the worldwide market for 300mm silicon wafer processing equipment," said WaferMasters President and CEO Taro Yamazaki. "Our unique design concepts, teamed with TEL's position as a leader in worldwide deployment and customer support, is an unbeatable combination. This project will impact not only our own particular customers, but the semiconductor manufacturing industry worldwide."
Ryuichi Komatsubara, General Manager Thin Film and Cleaning group at TEL added, "TEL has built our reputation on providing the semiconductor industry with reliable, cost-effective, manufacturable thermal processing solutions. The SRTF technology will be a reflection of this history."