Applied's revolutionary manufacturing technology is supporting customers' transition from 2D to 3D cell arrays for the next generations of NAND flash.
As further scaling of conventional flash memory cells becomes impractical, many leading manufacturers are developing a technology called "3D Stacked NAND." Multiple 2D memory arrays are fabricated on top of each other, thereby multiplying the capacity of the chip without reducing the size of each cell. Applied's innovative systems are helping flash memory manufacturers implement this exciting new technology.
Memory manufacturers are developing methods of building 3D cell arrays with as many as 16 layers. While offering much greater memory density than traditional planar layouts, this design results in the need to fabricate very tall structures – which creates new manufacturing challenges.
Applied has developed breakthrough manufacturing technology to help its memory customers to implement these remarkable structures in high-volume manufacturing. Applied's advanced etch systems can drive tiny vertical holes through multiple layers of different materials. This technology is key to forming the address lines that connect the memory cells to the external control circuitry. To electrically isolate the cell from each other, Applied's breakthrough flowable oxide technology can easily fill these 30:1 aspect ratio features.