Sunday, February 28, 2016

Veeco brings low temperature nitride Spatial FAST ALD to semiconductor manufacturing

Some years ago Veeco acquired a company founded by SI Lee, Synos Technology, who shipped a first Prototype System for FAST-ALD™ for OLED encapsulation to Samsung in 2013 (here). Since then Veeco has moved on from OLED taking this technology to the semiconductor wafer based manufacturing. Now Veeco report that they have demonstrated high-quality silicon nitride films at temperatures below 250 degrees using their FAST-ALD technology on customer wafers. They have garnered interest from multiple memory manufacturers and have started expanding their customer engagements for FAST-ALD technology.

“First of all, strong customer pull because they had an unmet need to put down silicon nitride at very low temperatures. And so we've seen strong customer pull from the customers and we've developed the deposition tools for that market and are generating very good film quality, so the things that our customers have told us they can't get with other approaches.” said John Peeler Veeco CEO in a recent Q4 2015 Results - Earnings Call (transcript by Seeking Alpha, see below).
Low temperature silicon nitride ALD is one of the fastest growing layer applications scaling down node by node for both Logic and Memory devices. Low temperature nitride can be employed for multi patterning techniques and growth is due to take over from LPCVD and PECVD as well as for new layer applications. According to John Peeler Veeco is also exploring partnerships with existing front-end semi equipment providers to commercialize this technology.

“We are looking to do it with a partner who is already established in that market. But that's what's caused us to keep investing, and I think you are right, ultimately it is a win-win, because we are either going to drive revenue and profit from a whole new application which I think will be a big benefit to us, or we'll say, we're going to get out of this because we can't make it successful.” Said John Peeler.

“In terms of how our R&D investments are distributed across various product lines, we generally do not provide a granular view on that. However, we are investing in ALD as John talked about and we are quite optimistic about that.” Said Shubham Maheshwari, CFO Veeco.

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