March 25, 1998 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Semiconductor Division Gives Birth to Dream Silicon Wafer

SEOUL, Korea - March 25, 1998 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (SEC), one of the world's leading semiconductor device makers, has achieved a breakthrough in wafer technology resulting from technical corroboration's with wafer manufacturers. Samsung Electronics announced today the development of high performance "Low-Defect Crystal Wafers" for producing high-density memory devices, including 64-megabit and 256-megabit dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, and other next generation devices.
Typically, the silicon wafer manufacturing technologies are in the prohibited domain of materials engineering. Breaking all conventional norm and rules of tradition, Samsung Electronics has delved into the world of silicon melt and hot zone furnaces and found themselves in a position to sharing a few ideas of their own to the masters.

Conventional silicon wafers supplied to a device manufacturer are cut from single crystal silicon ingots, which contained physical micro defects, including the Crystal Originated Pit (COP) defects. In the past, for producing relatively lower integration devices, such as 4M and 16M DRAM's, the COP defects presented no significant device issues.

However, as the processing requirements reach sub-micron level of 0.25 to 0.23 to 0.18 micron, as in the 64M and 128M DRAM devices, the presence of COP's has become a critical issue relative to device quality and production yields.

To improve wafer characteristics, the Japanese manufacturers have relied upon a chemical treatment technique (i.e., Epitaxial Growth Process) to fill COPs on wafers, particularly for producing 64M DRAMs.

In contrast, Samsung, joined later by the likes of Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. (SEH) and Mitsubishi Materials Silicon Co. (MSIL), sought more direct and cost-effective ways to dealing with the COP problem by embarking on a new crystal growing technology. The result is a Low-Defect Crystal Wafer, which is expected to bring over 200 million dollars of cost savings to Samsung by the year 2000. The technology has been thoroughly approved by SEH and MSIL both of who have now been granted the right to make and sell the Low-Defect Crystal Wafers to other device manufacturers.

The present breakthrough by the three companies is a resolution to a technical stall that mystified the industry for over 30 years. Furthermore, the expected unveiling of the Pure Silicon Wafers, within this year, is expected put Samsung on the forefront among the device manufacturers as the leading force in understanding the wafer manufacturing technology.

Samsung Electronics Co., a flagship company of US$93 billion Korean-based Samsung Group, is a world leader in the electronics sector, with operations in more than 60 countries. The company develops, manufactures, and markets audio and video products, household electronics goods, computers and peripheral products, display products, telecommunication and information systems, software tools and semiconductors. SEC is the largest consumer electronics company in Korea and one of the top ten in the world. Additionally, the company is the world's number one producer of DRAMs and computer monitors.

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