Keeping up with Moore’s Law has required continuous investment in materials, fabrication techniques, lithography and many other areas. While we see lots of newcomers in the EDA field, we see far fewer in the fabrication side due to the large investments required. This morning, I see that Surrey NanoSystems has raised third round funding of £4.5 million (about $7.1 million).
The funds will be used to commercialize innovations in materials that include an advanced dielectric thin film for insulation applications, and a process for growing carbon-based interconnections or 'vias'.
Surrey NanoSystems has developed a new class of high performance dielectric material for inter-layer or inter-metal insulation. With an effective dielectric constant of less than 2.4, it offers an advanced alternative to current 'low k' semiconductor insulation materials. It also has the advantages of having high Young’s modulus and hardness, being non porous, and offering excellent resistance to the liquid chemicals employed in semiconductor processing - making it a robust and reliable material for IC fabrication.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be structured to act as more efficient conductors, as compared to the copper currently used which is becoming more resistive as the geometry sizes of ICs shrink, but their adoption has been hindered by the fact that conventionally grown CNTs require temperatures of around 700 degrees C - too high for semiconductor processing. In contrast, Surrey NanoSystems’ fabrication system and process allows high density CNT structures to be grown at silicon-friendly processing temperatures of 350 degrees C or less.
The funding is being provided by New Wave Ventures in conjunction with Parkwalk Advisors, and further investments from Surrey NanoSystems' existing backers Octopus Ventures, IP Group PLC and the University of Surrey. Brian Bailey
– keeping you covered
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