Samsung Electronics Develops World's First Next-Generation
Wafer Processing Technology
SEOUL, Korea - September, 14, 1998 - Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has completed
development of a multi-layer circuit production process that uses Fully-
-Depleted-Silicon-On-Insulator (FD-SOI) elements, which involve wafer processing
technology that can create next-generation, super-fast CPUs. FD-SOI production
technology is a core technology for reducing power consumption while improving
signal transmission speed. Little additional design modification is required
when designing devices using highly complex processing technology. A high degree
of integration is possible, circuit design is easy and FD-SOI can be applied to
existing products without having to make design changes. With SOI technology,
chips can operate with a power supply of one volt only, facilitating the
production of systems that are fast, energy-efficient and operable on low
voltage. Chip size can be reduced and production processes simplified, which
translate into lower production costs.
Moreover, Samsung Electronics has developed various cutting-edge processes to
enhance speed and reduce power consumption. These include microscopic
lithography, trench isolation, 4-nanometer-thick gate oxide film, low-resistance
transistors, 4-layer and higher circuitry, and low-dielectric thin film.
FD-SOI can be applied to existing products without new investments in
facilities. This means greater price competitiveness in the marketplace. Process
technology for 0.25-micron circuitry is used, and CPUs with operating speeds of
1-gigahertz and higher can be produced. Chips made with FD-SOI operate 25%
faster than other chips, so this technology can be applied to next-generation
FD-SOI technology will also be applied to copper chips, which are scheduled for
completion next year. This technological marriage is expected to result in chips
that have 0.18-micron circuits and that operate at 1.5 gigahertz or higher.
Copper Chip: Transistor connectors will be made of copper instead of aluminum,
increasing signal process speed while reducing production costs.
Microscopic Lithography: A 0.25-micron krypton fluoride (KrF) laser is used to
etch circuit patterns onto the wafer surface.
Trench Isolation: Implementing electric circuits involves connecting isolated
devices through specific conducting paths. Thus, to fabricate monolithic-silicon
IC's, devices isolated from one another must be created in the silicon
substrate. A variety of techniques have been developed to isolate devices in
IC's. However, during this FD-SOI project, new trench isolation technology was
developed for minimizing residual stress of SOI devices. Here, a trench
isolation is first etched in the thin film Si on SOI, and refilled with an
insulator material. Then the surface is planarized by a mechanical and chemical
Low-Resistance Transistors: A great deal of Samsung know-how has gone into
transistor technology, a core part of the FD-SOI project. Samsung Electronics
developed a super-thin cobalt silicide (conductor) film process to lower
resistance of the transistor gate, source and drain. The process maximizes
4-Layer (or more) Circuitry: Samsung Electronics has already secured the
capability to make 4-layer circuitry, and the company expects to have circuitry
of six layers or more by the time mass production begins. Currently, the company
is applying its 0.25-micron design rule.
Low-Dielectric Thin Film: The latest technology is applied to low-dielectric
thin film, used as insulation between circuit layers.
In Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, there are three main business units:
- Multimedia & Home Appliances
- Information & Telecommunications
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a US $13 billion (1997) flagship company of
Korean-based Samsung Group, is a world leader in electronics, with operations in
more than 60 countries and 85,000 employees worldwide.