Mark Fissel of Novellus expressed similar upbeat sentiments about the level of customer support.He
reports "great interest" in the company's Sabre xT copper electrofill system."The improvements we put in the Sabre xT platform are basically what we've learned over the last year and a half of copper integration with the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers," says Fissel, who is the general manager, metals group, PVD and electrofill products.
"So, they're looking at this developmental experience we've pulled together in our second-generation plating system."
CUTTING EDGE: Novellus
has created new chemistries for its next-generation Sabre xT tool.Novellus
has seen the greatest interest for the Sabre coming from chipmakers in the United States and Asia.With its first-generation tool launched in June 1998 already installed "at a lot of major manufacturers," Fissel
says, "we still see our market share greater than 50%."
On April 7 Novellus
unveiled the next-generation Sabre tool, followed a day later by Applied's official launch of the Millennia Electra electrochemical plating tool.Novellus
claims the Sabre can produce copper interconnects with aspect ratios up to 10:1 and linewidths down to 0.13 µm.Based on the original Sabre platform, the system has the same cell design and footprint of its predecessor but delivers a higher throughput of up to 75 wafers/hr.A special kit enables users to change wafer sizes to accommodate both 200- and 300-mm substrates.
Applied is selling the Millennia as one component in a copper interconnect toolset that also includes the company's Endura barrier and seed system and Mirra Electra CMP tool.
sees a "general confidence" in particle performance specs for the Novellus system, but he
notes parenthetically that commonly used defect detection tools have difficulty measuring copper contamination."They're just learning calibration curves for copper specifically," he
maintains, adding that there's a question of whether "the particle is in the film or on the surface."
Applied's Carl declines to quote a price for the Millennia
, although both that system and the Novellus tool are reported to cost in the range of $2.5 million each.Carl says Applied is the first to market a closed-loop system, while Fissel
believes the Sabre's
Smart Dose technology and Shipley-based electrofill chemistry give it an edge.
has even seen nibbles for the Novellus tool from some of the Asian foundries."A lot of the foundries are starting to get interested in copper earlier than anticipated.They see they're going to have to be competitive with logic, systems-on-a-chip, ASICs, and other processes that benefit from copper."
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