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11/19/2008 11:32:03 PM
Intermolecular and AMD Develop Self-Assembly Technology for Next-Generation Logic Devices

Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that they have collaborated with AMD to develop advanced interconnect technology for next-generation, high-performance logic devices based on the process of molecular self-assembly.

Shrinking semiconductor device geometries and the reduction of copper interconnect feature sizes have increased certain types of reliability failures. For nearly a decade, the industry has tried to develop a breakthrough remedy by applying a copper-capping layer to improve electromigration reliability performance.

Working on a Collaborative Development Program (CDP) for the past year, Intermolecular and AMD have developed an innovative solution that enables the implementation of a copper-capping layer in manufacturing advanced logic devices with copper interconnects and low-k dielectrics. The CDP was custom-designed to apply Intermolecular’s High-Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology products and services to AMD’s specific device architecture.

“Through a methodical, hierarchical, HPC screening approach, we have been able to not only identify a unique formulation, but more important, a simple, aqueous, room temperature, manufacturing-friendly process and associated integration scheme to facilitate and expand the manufacturability of metal capping at finer geometries, and with more challenging dielectrics,” said Tony Chiang, CTO of Intermolecular.

The resulting material and processing technology, called the Molecular Masking LayerTM (MML), leverages molecular self-assembly to selectively alter the surface state of the dielectric regions of the incoming wafer to manage and facilitate integration of the metal capping process flow.

Dr. Chiang noted that Intermolecular’s MML technology is an example of how the company’s HPC systems and methods can help customers significantly improve R&D ROI by accelerating materials discovery, process development, and integration learning at reduced costs (including time, wafers and associated resources).

The MML has met AMD’s criteria for general use in its high-volume manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, and is being evaluated by AMD for insertion into specific process flows.

“Working with Intermolecular, we have made significant progress in overcoming the performance challenges of interconnects at successively tighter design nodes,” said Craig Sander, AMD’s corporate Vice President for Technology Development.

Intermolecular is the semiconductor industry’s only provider of fully integrated combinatorial R&D technology, powered by systems and methodologies that radically accelerate discovery and integration of new materials, new process technologies and new device structures. The company’s Tempus HPC platform enables customers to maximize their R&D return on investment through economical high-speed development, integration and electrical testing of a large number of alternative solution sets.

Intermolecular, Inc. delivers High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology products and services that enable customers to maximize semiconductor R&D ROI. The company’s Tempus HPC Platform offers chipmakers, materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers integrated processing, characterization and informatics systems that exponentially accelerate learning in materials discovery, process development and IC device integration.

Customers apply Intermolecular’s technologies in their R&D projects through Collaborative Development Programs (CDPs) with Intermolecular’s multidisciplinary team, or through purchase of Tempus systems, or by licensing of IP developed and qualified by Intermolecular. By leveraging HPC technologies to quickly develop, integrate and electrically test multiple alternative solutions, at minimum cost and risk, customers obtain unique IP and time-to-market advantage.

Founded in 2004, Intermolecular is based in San Jose, California. A more detailed description of the Tempus HPC platform and information about customer projects are available at

Other Headlines from Advanced Micro Devices ...
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