UMC breaks 45nm barrier for memory

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UMC breaks 45nm barrier for memory

Breakthrough uses advanced liquid coating to boost manufacturing speed and
quality.

Taiwan-based semiconductor company UMC has started production of 45nm SRam chips for the first time.

The new architecture has been made possible by an advanced etching process that uses immersion lithography to enhance the accuracy of the chip etching process.

Traditionally a layer of air has been left between the scanner optics and the wafer surface, but UMC is using a liquid to enhance resolution that can be etched onto a silicon wafer.

"The 45nm node is a challenging technology generation that simultaneously introduces new materials and process modules," said Dr Shih-Wei Sun, executive vice president of UMC's Central R&D Division and Fab 12A.

"We are excited to be among the first companies in the world to produce working 45nm silicon, and are encouraged by the successful results for the initial 45nm wafer lots.

"UMC will continue to build on its 45nm momentum to enhance yields and prepare the technology for adoption by our foundry customers."

The new chips need a strictly regulated power supply and UMC has spent a considerable period making sure that energy levels remain optimal.

Shifting to 45nm is important, as the reduced size allows more components to be put on each piece of memory. It also speeds up the working of the chip as electrons have less distance to travel, while reducing overall power consumption.

The new chips will go on sale early next year.
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