The semiconductor manufacturing industry needs precise power-delivery and control solutions to drive continuous growth and enable complex processes and continuous innovation. This has become even more evident given the latest trends in demand for advanced memory—especially 3DNAND and DRAM.
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (AE®), a key player in the semiconductor industry since 1981, has fulfilled customer needs through its precision power-delivery and control product offerings. In addition to traditional power-delivery solutions, AE has diversified its portfolio to include precision high-voltage and thermal process solutions.
Trends in the Industry
The semiconductor industry is renowned for having a rapid product development cycle. The main goals have always been manufacturing cost reduction, increasing chip speed and decreasing chip size. Today, for example, advanced nodes are moving toward geometries of 7 nm, 5 nm and 3 nm. In fact, the industry is projecting high-volume manufacturing of 5 nm by 2026.
Numerous companies are in the advanced stages of developing new computing technologies such as quantum computing and optical computing. These trends, however, may encounter substantial technological obstacles, so advanced technologies are needed to manufacture these devices. This recent trend for further scaling has accelerated changes in materials used for fabrication. As a result, the process has become more complex through the use of new materials, complex device structures, changes in operating conditions and other factors.
Therefore, the requirements for precise high-voltage and thermal-management sub-systems are becoming a necessity. AE’s advanced high-voltage and thermal process control solutions give OEMs a real advantage in manufacturing capabilities and improve their semiconductor manufacturing tool performance and process yield.
Advanced Energy’s Precision High-Voltage and Thermal Technologies
Advanced Energy’s family of high-voltage systems for electron beam, electrostatic chuck and ion-implantation processes are at the heart of chip manufacturing. The company’s optical pyrometers and SCR thyristor power controllers offer precise thermal process control solutions for rapid thermal processing (RTP), epitaxy (EPI), thin film deposition (ALD, PVD, PECVD) and other advanced processes.
- HV supplies for mission-critical tools. Precise and reliably accurate high voltage is necessary to form the transistor during ion implantation and to hold the wafer securely in place during deposition and etch processes. The HiTek Power® and UltraVolt® series range in voltage from 62 V to 100 kV, and power levels range from 100 mW to 100 kW. The standard modules, racks or custom systems are ideal for HV applications for the semiconductor industry, providing higher power density, flexibility and modularity.
- The rugged, highly reliable HiTek Power OL6000 series for ion implantation is designed to withstand high surges and excessive arcing to achieve high tool performance. As the high-voltage power accelerates ions, the wafer chemistry is altered—creating a charge in the source and drain wells that form the transistor.
- The accurate HiTek Power EG353 and G606 series for precision SEM e-beam applications maximize image quality and repeatability to ensure wafer-to-wafer uniformity.
- The bipolar, regulated UltraVolt FLHV series is ideal for e-chuck applications with advanced controls and monitoring. These units produce high-voltage power that holds the wafer securely in place and can provide up to 5 kV above or below the ground reference.
- Thermal control products. Advanced nodes with thinner materials are susceptible to high temperature variation and thermal damage. Tight measurement and control of the wafer’s temperature are imperative in RTP and EPI silicon growth of semiconductor wafers. Advanced Energy provides advanced solutions to meet each customer’s toughest and most challenging applications. The high accuracy and flexible Sekidenko optical pyrometers and Thyro family of SCR power controllers measure and control the temperature across the wafer to assure proper chemistry and grain structure of the film in deposition and etch steps in order to control reaction rates. They ensure high quality, reliability and reproducibility in critical process steps by providing precise thermal profiles and advanced thermal process controls.
- The rugged Thyro-S® (SCR) thyristor switches electric load for current, voltage and power at a high rate. Designed for simple mounting and easy operation, it can be integrated easily into a wide range of applications. With rated voltages of 230 V, 400 V and 500 V, and rated current from 16 A to 280 A, it can be interfaced to many industrial buses (PROFIBUS® DP, DeviceNet®, Ethernet/IP® and others).
- The digital Thyro-A® power controller with highly flexible interfacing for the load and power supply side controls power precisely and reliably for RTP, EPI, thin film deposition and other advanced applications. Rated at up to 600 V and 1500 A, it provides high resistance against short-circuit current and blocking voltage provided by the integrated semiconductor fuses. Precision control of the wafer assures high uniformity, improved yield and compliance with reduced thermal budgets required in advanced technology nodes.
- Other Advanced Energy products. AE has a longstanding reputation for providing precision power-delivery solutions necessary to create semiconductor devices.
- RF power delivery with advanced multi-level pulsing enables a wide variety of semiconductor applications and provides flexibility and adaptability for 3D logic and memory as well as the next-generation of device structures.
- DC power for physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes is utilized in semiconductor and display manufacturing for copper, aluminum, tantalum, titanium and newer exotic materials.
- Advanced Energy provides remote plasma source technologies uniquely suited to operate in semiconductor applications, targeted for critical plasma-based processes for lower device damage, higher throughput and higher yields.
The Future of Semiconductors
The need for more accurate and precise power delivery and thermal control is greater than ever as higher-performance devices with greater speed and lower power consumption are required to satisfy today’s IoT-driven market demands—enabling leading applications such as AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, smart devices and artificial intelligence. By all indications, the future of semiconductors is bright.