News Article

Riber Joins III-V/silicon Program At IMEC

The world's leading silicon chip manufacturers are getting their hands on a cluster MBE tool supplied by Riber to ensure the long-term continuation of Moore's Law through the use of III-V materials.

Leading semiconductor research center IMEC, which is based in Belgium, is to install a "unique" MBE machine from French equipment vendor Riber.

The cluster tool, which is compatible with 200 mm (8-inch) wafer technology, will be used for a research program whose aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of using germanium and compound semiconductors in future CMOS processing.

IMEC is working with a whole host of the leading semiconductor manufacturing companies on a sub-45 nm node CMOS research program in which the Riber cluster tool will now feature.

Industrial partners in this effort include Intel, which makes more semiconductor chips than anybody else, as well as Infineon, Intel, Matsushita, Philips, Samsung, ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments and the world's biggest foundry - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Riber s MBE machine will be used in the "germanium and III-V devices" element of that research effort, enabling deposition of compound materials on germanium or germanium-based wafers.

The machine will also be used to deposit high-k dielectric compounds to form the insulating layers of devices and metal contact layers, and IMEC says that these processes will be based on silicon wafers, ensuring compatibility with a standard silicon manufacturing line.

IMEC has already demonstrated the feasibility of sub-micron PMOS devices on a germanium wafer, but it says that other materials approaches and steps must now be developed to make very advanced CMOS devices.

It will now aim to show that germanium and III-V compounds could be used in devices beyond the 22 nm "node", which is currently expected to reach the volume production stage in about 2016.

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