We create value through our technologies by enabling leading semiconductor and technology industry partners to deliver the world of tomorrow through our innovative processing solutions and equipment. We partner with our customers and stakeholders to develop new materials, processes, and technologies that support their technology roadmaps. Advancements that benefit society are increasingly dependent on capabilities derived from new semiconductor technologies. The process solutions delivered on our equipment enable more powerful microprocessors, higher density memory devices, all operating at lower power.
Our advanced deposition technologies support cost-effective products enabling the electronic devices of the future. This leads to electronic devices that deliver ever-greater performance while reducing their energy consumption. Higher performance translates into more processing power, while a lower energy requirement means smaller, longer-lasting, more efficient products. This enables electronics manufacturers to further integrate smart technology into a wider range of their products.
The result is value creation not only for our customers, but for all of our stakeholders. For example, our employees enjoy the challenge of developing cutting-edge technology solutions, and achieving successful results offers the opportunity for career advancement. Our suppliers, in addition to a higher activity level, also benefit from improved quality resulting from our supplier process control program.
The industry’s relentless push to follow Moore’s Law leads to the continuous demand for smaller, faster, and cheaper semiconductor components.
Today, our customers manufacture semiconductor devices as small as 7 nanometers (one nanometer, or nm, is one billionth of a meter), sometimes in a vertical 3D transistor or FinFET architecture. Our customers are already qualifying and testing new critical processes to generate devices with line widths at 5nm. Simultaneously, in our customers’ laboratories and several collaborative research environments, advanced 3nm design rule devices and related materials are being developed. These next-generation technology nodes are increasing the demand for new materials and more complex process integration methods.
In developing faster and smaller devices, our customers’ major technology requirements are:
In order to meet our customers’ needs, we are developing many new materials, along with the deposition equipment capable of achieving performance specifications in volume manufacturing. For example, ALD technology is used to create ultra-thin films of exceptional quality and flatness. ALD of high-k dielectrics and novel metal gate electrodes can improve the performance and reduce the power consumption of a device, thereby enhancing battery life. This same class of materials can also lead to larger charge storage in a smaller capacitor, critical for memories and RF circuits.
In addition to the development of the high-k dielectric, there is also a great deal of focus on new technologies and materials for the metal gate electrode, the gate sidewall passivation, and many other applications. Plasma enhanced ALD (PEALD) is an important technology that enables precise deposition at very low temperatures. One application of PEALD is spacer defined multi-patterning, whereby the deposition of a highly conformal oxide spacer enables the extension of existing optical lithography technology beyond its basic resolution limits.
Another example of new materials is from epitaxy deposition. Epitaxy is a process for depositing highly controlled silicon-based crystalline films. Many epitaxy steps are used to create the transistor channel and for channel engineering to improve transistor performance. Our silicon-germanium (SiGe) and silicon-carbon-phosphorous (SiCP) epitaxial materials can increase the switching speed of the transistors and the circuit in which they are embedded by so-called strain engineering. Strained silicon is a layer in which the atoms are stretched beyond their normal interatomic distance, allowing higher electron mobility. This results in faster transistor switching at lower power. In 2017, we introduced the Intrepid ES, for advanced-node CMOS logic and memory applications, which offers an innovative closed-loop reactor temperature control system enabling precise process control, high productivity, and low cost per wafer. Many Intrepid ES tools are now running in volume production for Si and SiGe transistor channel formation.
For interconnect processes, a continued demand to improve the speed at which signals travel through thin copper wires has led to the development of a full suite of low-k materials. These low-k materials can decrease the amount of delay in signal propagation, resulting in, for example, faster microprocessors. Simultaneously, these low-k materials can reduce the amount of power loss in the interconnections. We have been one of the leaders in successfully introducing these low-k materials in the market, and we are continuing to develop improvements to this low-k technology to enable faster interconnect circuits.
In addition to addressing the technology needs of our customers, the relentless drive of the industry to reduce cost corresponds to significant spending on development programs that further increase throughput, equipment reliability, and yield in our customers’ manufacturing line, and further lower the cost per wafer of the wafer processing systems.
An excellent example of high productivity is our XP8 platform, on which we offer ALD, PEALD and PECVD processes. The XP8 incorporates eight process chambers in a compact configuration around one central handling platform. Two wafers are moved simultaneously into dual chamber modules (DCM), which generally doubles the throughput compared to single wafer movements. Eagle XP8 PEALD tools and Dragon XP8 PECVD tools are in volume manufacturing at logic and memory fabs worldwide, and demonstrate reliable advanced performance with high productivity. In 2018 ASMI introduced the Synergis ALD tool, which also uses the proven XP8 platform, and leverages the core technologies from our Pulsar and EmerALD ALD products for high productivity thermal ALD applications. The new Synergis tool allows us to address more ALD applications and therefore increases our served market.
ALD is a leading edge technology capable of depositing ultra-thin films of exceptional flatness and uniformity. This technology was brought into ASMI in 1999 with the acquisition of Microchemistry, who first developed thermal ALD technology. Plasma Enhanced ALD (PEALD) is an extension of this original ALD technology that uses plasma, and which was brought into ASMI in 2001 through a partnership with Genitech, and a subsequent acquisition in 2004 and formation of ASM Korea.
The use of plasma enables us to deposit high-quality films at very low temperatures. ALD is a very versatile technology that can be used to deposit high-k insulating materials, conductors, silicon oxide, silicon nitride, and other materials. We expect the trends of continued scaling, and evolution towards 3D device structures for both logic and memory devices, to play into the strength of our ALD position. We offer ALD/PEALD processes on several of our product platforms, including single-wafer and batch systems, and for multiple wafer sizes. A key focus for our ALD product platforms is productivity, which includes designing our reactors to integrate with our XP8 platform architecture.
Our business model is to create value for the company and all of our stakeholders. Our technology enables precision deposition of thin films in various steps in the fabrication of semiconductor chips, helping our customers build the most advanced chips used in the electronics systems throughout society. For this we are working with our customers to develop innovative solutions, while constantly looking at what is best for our investors, our employees, society, and other stakeholders. Fundamental to our model is R&D investment, including basic chemical, materials, and feasibility research, followed by process and product developments. We aim to continuously recruit world class technologists in the semiconductor process and equipment technology fields. We cooperate with research institutes and our customers to understand the technology roadmap challenges and to develop the appropriate process and equipment solutions required. Our manufacturing facilities allow us to deliver high-quality systems on schedule so that our customers can ramp their fabrication plants. We support our customers globally with process and equipment services and spare parts.
Over the past 50 years we have grown to become a leading global supplier
of semiconductor wafer processing equipment. A company that develops
innovative process solutions for our customers, and manages itself in the best
interests of our investors, our employees, society, and other stakeholders.
Yet now is the time to enter a new era of innovation, to embark on the next
phase of growth. We understand that this requires commitment and strength
across many areas. From innovation in R&D, to advancing new technologies
and addressing new applications. From developing our people, to creating
even stronger relationships with key customers.
This is how we will take the next leap forward.
ROADMAP TO THE FUTURE
Our roadmap to the future will enable us to not only
achieve our next phase of growth, it will ensure we
can continue to help our customers achieve their
technology roadmaps for next-generation devices.
Our technology helps drive innovation, increasing the number of scientific breakthroughs, many of which are achieved from our advanced process equipment that deposits new materials with precision and productivity, positively benefiting society in sectors from healthcare and education, to transport and energy.
For semiconductor manufacturers, scaling chips
to smaller dimensions is an ongoing challenge.
Our innovations and equipment are vital in helping make many of these transitions happen.
Striving for efﬁciency ensures that our
customers get the products, services,
and results they expect. Intensifying
our focus on efﬁciency will make us a
stronger company, ready to take the
next leap forward.
We are a multinational company that
embraces diversity in every sense
of the word. With 29 different
nationalities working across the
company, we combine our talents
to drive innovation.
Achieving our ambitions takes intelligence, knowledge, skill,
determination, and dedication. And it is this combination of
qualities that we nurture in our people.
Our goal is to impact tomorrow’s generation
as positively as we’ve impacted today’s.
Making this happen takes the xtraordinary
talent of our people, who work together
to drive innovation and deliver excellence.
Collaboration is fundamental to our
continued success; from working
with our customers to optimize our
equipment and processes to enable
their technology roadmaps, to
creating partnerships on cutting-edge
research and development.
Operational excellence is one of the essential
pillars of our strategy, which enables us to provide
our customers with the high-quality, leading-edge
products and services they demand.
R&D is central to our development,
leading to new device architectures,
new materials, and new processes
that strengthen our competitive
positioning and enable our customers
to deliver the next-generation chips.
By extending our technological scope with a
more diverse product portfolio, we can help our
customers continue to advance their business
while growing our own in new market segments.
We create long-term value for our
stakeholders in a variety of ways.
From working with our customers
to develop innovative solutions, to
ensuring value creation growth
and positive investor returns.
We are committed to positively
contributing to society and
reducing our impact on the
environment. Only then can
we truly say we are helping
create more with less.
We believe sustainability takes many forms.
From developing sustainable technology
roadmaps for our customers, to creating
a sustainable living environment for all.
Safety is a front-line requirement,
which is why our ZERO HARM!
policy outlines our vision on product
safety, and our CR policy lays out
our commitment and expectations
towards health and safety.