September 14, 1998 in Social Responsibility News

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 Alpha CPUs.

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.

Terminology

Copper Chip:
Transistor connectors will be madet 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 polishing process.

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 transistor performance.

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
- Semiconductors
- 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.

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CONTACT:
Jenny Chung
Overseas PR
Corporate Communications
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Seoul HQ, Korea
Tel. 82-2-727-7692 / 7823 / 7821
Fax. 82-2-727-782
Email:jhnee@samsung.co.kr


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