Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dave Hemker Lam - Predicting the end of Moore’s Law is like predicting a bear market

Here is a very nice and informative and forward looking interview of Dave Hemker CTO of Lam Research by Ed Sperling who is the editor in chief of Semiconductor Engineering. The interview covers key issues on for semiconductor process and manufacturing and the recent developments that will govern the semiconductor industry in the future like 3DNAND, Cross-Point Memory Technology and "Atomic-Level Engineering", which is yet another readout of ALE besides the beer classifications. Please do read the full interview at Semiconductor Engineering and below you will find some answers and statements that I found interesting from an atomic level point of view :

One-On-One: Dave Hemker, Semiconductor Engineering,
May 19th, 2016 - By: Ed Sperling

"Predicting the end of Moore’s Law is like predicting a bear market. Eventually you’re going to be right."

The terms "bull market" and "bear market" describe upward and downward market trends, respectively. Here these the statues of the two symbolic beasts of finance, the bear and the bull, in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. [Wikipedia]

David Hemker is senior vice president and chief technology officer at Lam Research, where he is responsible for long-range research and technology development.[]

Atomic-Level Engineering

Hemker: "All of the feature sizes now are on the order of nanometers. The variation is on the order of Angstroms because you have a 10 Angstrom window. Our critical feature control has to be under 0.5nm. That’s 5 Angstroms. A bond length is 2.5 Angstroms. We’re doing atomic-level engineering. That’s one of the new tools we’ll need. You need to peel off one layer in such a way that you have a perfect etch front, the same way you will need perfect conformality."
Sperling: "Isn’t that the tradeoff, namely how we get enough throughput and still manage to have that kind of control?"
 Hemker: "Yes. The good thing is that from an etch and dep perspective, as things are getting smaller they’re also getting thinner. There are lots of circumstances now where you can look at how much ALD is used in multi-patterning. Because you’re putting less material down, you don’t have to add half a micron. You can do 10nm in a very reasonable time frame, so ALD and ALE become very economical."