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Compared with CMP for 300mm wafers, planarizing 200mm wafers with thick copper layers presented new challenges. Smaller polishing head zone sizes, much thicker bulk copper processes, and wafer edge issues added up to a demanding development process.
Factory automation increasingly depends on our ability to make complex decisions rapidly, but many semiconductor fabrication processes have exceeded the cognitive capabilities of humans to troubleshoot anomalies and assess all relevant variables. Thus, automation has become a key strategy used to address these challenges.
In an industry as demanding as semiconductor manufacturing, where globalization, capital investments, and technical complexity continue to accelerate, the availability of service parts inventory to ensure equipment availability is a critical success factor.
When the conversation turns to cooperative semiconductor R&D centers, Applied Materials’ Maydan Technology Center (MTC) in Silicon Valley may not immediately come to mind. But MTC is becoming a busy hub where semiconductor customers work cooperatively with Applied on an ever-widening variety of technical challenges, from logic and memory to emerging memories for AI, IoT and other areas.
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