Saturday, March 6, 2021

ASM International confirms that ALD HKMG is in High Volume Manufacturing for DRAM - The 2nd Switch is on!

I get this question continuously and also use it for modeling the high-k precursor forecast as provided by TECHCET - has ALD High-k/Metal Gate stacks moved into DRAM peripheral transistors?

When at Qimonda (R.I.P) we developed a HfSiO process or the peripheral Logic and qualified a number of OEMs for this one including ASM Pulsar 3000, Jusung Cyclone+ Spatial ALD, and TEL Furnace ALD. ASM has since Intel 45 nm been the leader in the HKMG module. Later they also fended off the competition from Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron MOCVD option trying to enter the foundries that were just too hot for the integration moving to lower thermal budgets. 

So now finally I can give an answer with a public reference to the question - yes ALD is in HVM for DRAM HKMG peripheral transistors! The Switch is on also for DRAM - have a nice weekend!

Benjamin Loh (ASMI CEO), answers on financial analyst question about if ASM has ALD tools in the field for DRAM high-k/metal gate:

"Mark thanks. So, of course, first of all, maybe let's talk about the memory parts of, in DRAM we started quite some time ago, we have been qualified for the high-k/metal gate in the DRAM periphery transistor. So right now, what you see for example, and what is called in the industry as high-performance DRAM. I think they are using our ALD for the mass for the high-volume manufacturing." 

Please find the full Q4/2020 investor call transcript here provided by Seeking Alpha: LINK (you have to create a profile to get full access)

TEM images of (A) 30 nm and (B) 65 fin height, of 15nm fin width, as used in a recent Imec study of HKMG FinFETs for peripheral DRAM Logic. DOI: 10.1109/IIRW47491.2019.8989914 Conference: IEEE International Integrated Reliability Workshop, IIWR'19 At: Stanford Sierra Conference Center Fallen Leaf Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

ASM’s Pulsar uses ALD to deposit the high-k dielectric materials required for advanced CMOS transistor gates ​and other applications. Pulsar is the benchmark ALD high-k tool for the industry. It was the first ALD system to be used for high-volume production at advanced customers for high-k metal gate transistors. (

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