SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 24, 2000--
Applied Materials' xR200S Ion Implanters Used to Create
Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Wafers for High-Performance Devices
Applied Materials, Inc. has delivered a third xR200S ion implant system to SOITEC's manufacturing facility in Bernin, France, to enable increased production levels of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.
SOI technology is used to create an insulating film layer under a thin base layer of silicon for building the semiconductor device. This technology is considered strategic for the semiconductor industry because it can increase performance in many chip designs by up to 25 percent compared to devices made with traditional bulk silicon.
Andre Auberton-Herve, president of SOITEC, said, "Our long-term collaboration with Applied Materials has played a major role in helping SOITEC ramp up production to address the strong demand for SOI wafers. Using Applied Materials' ion implanters, we have been able to lower the production costs of our unique Smart Cut(R) process and thereby help accelerate the adoption of SOI technology by the semiconductor industry."
SOITEC's Smart Cut process includes the formation of a hydrogen layer using high current ion implantation. Applied Materials has collaborated with SOITEC since 1994 to improve the productivity, process capability and technical efficiency of its ion implant systems for this novel process application.
"By increasing the performance of our xR200S system, we have significantly improved the economics of this critical step used in SOITEC's wafer fabrication process," said Craig Lowrie, vice president of Applied Materials' Ion Implant Division. "Our collaborative work has resulted in a 10x improvement in ion source lifetime, which translates to a 5x reduction in system cost of consumables. We've also teamed with SOITEC since 1997 on 300mm wafers when the company began sampling its UNIBOND(R) technology using Applied Materials' 300mm ion implant system."
Applied Materials is the leading supplier of SOI-related process equipment, with systems for ion implantation, epitaxial deposition and chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), depending on the specific SOI fabrication method. The company's xR and Quantum series of ion implanters combine state-of-the-art ion beamline technology with high throughput using a wide range of implant elements, including SOI-favorable light ions. The systems' compact footprint also enables maximum utilization of valuable fab floorspace. Applied Materials' implant systems are the market leaders in high-current implantation.
SOITEC is the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of SOI wafers. SOITEC provides a broad range of advanced thin-film substrates for IC manufacturing, including bonded SOI (UNIBOND) and silicon-on-quartz/glass wafers. SOITEC uses its exclusive Smart Cut process, based on hydrogen ion implantation, to transfer a thin layer of material on the top of a support wafer. The Smart Cut process was highlighted through the European SEMI Award in April 1999. SOITEC is traded on the French "Nouveau Marche" at the Paris Stock Exchange under the SICOVAM number 7206. SOITEC's web site is www.soitec.com.
Applied Materials, Inc. is a Fortune 500 global growth company and the world's largest supplier of wafer fabrication systems and services to the global semiconductor industry. Applied Materials is traded on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol "AMAT." Applied Materials' web site is www.appliedmaterials.com.
CONTACT: Applied Materials, Inc.
Betty Newboe, 408/563-0647 (Media)
Carolyn Schwartz, 408/748-5227 (Financial Community)