Allen, Texas--June 25, 1998--Ball Semiconductor Inc. (Allen) announced that it has proven four initial processes necessary for producing spherical semiconductors: diffusion, deposition, ultra high-temperature processing, and floating.
Overall, several processes are necessary for the production of spherical semiconductors: diffusion; floating--the ability of the silicon sphere to travel within hermetically sealed tubes without touching the sides; processing at ultra-high temperatures; deposition; spherical lithography; 3D VLSI design; clustering; and etching. Ball Semiconductor conducted characterization testing of a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) diode and a P/N junction diode built on the surface of a sphere to prove its diffusion, deposition, high-temperature and floating processes.
The MOS diode was built using two basic processes: dry oxidation and thin film deposition. A dry oxidation process, during which the sphere was heated to 1300° C, was used to grow a layer of silicon dioxide on the surface of the sphere. A chemical vapor deposition process was then used to deposit a thin aluminum film on the surface of the sphere. The P/N junction diode was fabricated with a diffusion process of 1200° C. During these processes, the spheres floated without touching the sides of a quartz tube approximately two millimeters in diameter.
Nearing prototype production, the silicon spheres could reduce the cost of integrated circuit manufacturing by up to 90 percent through the use of hermetically sealed tubes in place of clean rooms, and processing cycle times of days instead of months.
The company will be unveiling additional technology at the Ball Semiconductor Technology Conference, July 11 -12, 1998 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Ball Semiconductor will feature scientific presentations describing the company's progress in five technology areas critical for producing spherical semiconductors: spherical single crystals, spherical lithography, non-contact processing, 3-dimensional VLSI design, and cubic VLSI by clustering. Also featured at the conference is technology visionary George Gilder who will deliver the keynote address on July 11 at 1:45 PM.
Admission to the Technology Conference is $100 for those who pre-register and $150 for those who purchase at the door. Due to response, seating is limited. On-line registration forms and a conference agenda are available.
Ball Semiconductor, Inc.
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