SAN JOSE, Calif. -- At the 2009 Symposium on VLSI Technology in Kyoto, Japan, GlobalFoundries Inc. claims that it has found a technique that enables a high-k/metal-gate transistor to scale to the 22-nm node and beyond.
The foundry vendor reported the first demonstration of a technique that allows the equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) in a high-k/metal-gate transistor to scale. The results were demonstrated through the fabrication of an n-MOSFET device with EOT of 0.55-nm and a p-MOSFET with EOT of 0.7-nm.
GlobalFoundries (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is the silicon foundry venture created by the spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s manufacturing operations and backed by an investment from Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi.
The firm has a fab in Germany. It also plans a $4.5 billion, 300-mm fab in Malta in N.Y.'s Saratoga County that is expected to come online in 2012 with 35,000 wafer starts per month at full capacity.
The company is part of IBM Corp.'s ''fab club.'' The high-k/metal-gate research was performed in partnership with IBM's ''Technology Alliance.'' The ''fab club'' claims to be on track to introduce high-k/metal-gate technology ahead of all other foundries at the 32-nm node. As reported, it expects to be ready to accept 32-nm designs in the second half of 2009, with the ability to ramp production in first half of 2010.
Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) is reportedly shipping its CVD tools for the high-k process within IBM's ''fab club.'' Japan's Canon Anelva Corp. is reportedly providing the PVD tools for the metal gate portion of IBM's technology platform, sources said. Canon's Anelva's PVD I-7100GT tool is installed and working in IBM, AMD, Samsung, Toshiba and others.
EOT scaling is one of the main hurdles facing the continued use of high-k/metal-gate technology at advanced nodes. ''Others have succeeded in reducing EOT, but always at the expense of device performance,'' according to GlobalFoundries.
To maintain the switching precision of a high-k/metal-gate transistor, the EOT of the high-k oxide layer must be reduced. ''GlobalFoundries and IBM have developed a new technique that overcomes this barrier, demonstrating for the first time that EOT scaling to well beyond the 22-nm node can be achieved while maintaining the necessary combination of leakage, threshold voltages, and carrier mobility,'' according to the foundry startup.
''This development could eventually provide customers with another tool to enhance the performance of their products, particularly in the fast-growing market for ultra-portable notebooks and smartphones with extended battery life,'' said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of technology and research and development of the foundry vendor, in a statement.