Applied Materials Centura Avatar System Etching 3D NAND Flash Chips
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on Fri, July 6th, 2012
For "terabit era"
The staircase contact etch application
in 3D NAND demands tungsten selectivity
as well as stringent profile control
This system is designed to solve the challenges in creating the 3D memory architectures that deliver the high-density, terabit storage capability required for tomorrow's mobile devices.
"With the Avatar system, we've capitalized on our leadership in plasma technology to address the unmet challenges of fabricating three-dimensional memory structures that require the etching of deep features in complex multi-layer material stacks," said Dr. Prabu Raja, VP and GM of Applied's Etch business group. "Customers are very enthusiastic about the breakthrough capabilities of this new system. We have already shipped more than 30 chambers to multiple customers for critical applications including the pilot production of future chips."
Newly-designed from the ground up, the Avatar system etches the deep, narrow features that are a hallmark of 3D NAND memory arrays. These 3D arrays represent a new type of flash device in which as many as 64 layers of memory cells are built up vertically to create bit density in a small area.
The Avatar system can etch holes and trenches in complex film stacks with depth to width aspect ratios of up to 80:1. To illustrate this proportion, the aspect ratio of the Washington Monument is just 10:1.
In addition, the system enables the simultaneous and precise etching of features with varying depths - which is critical to fabricating the 'staircase' contact structures that connect each layer of memory cells to the outside world.
The Avatar system is one of several new chip making technologies that will be showcased by Applied at SEMICON West 2012 to be held July 10-12.
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