Applied Materials, the world’s largest semiconductor equipment maker unveiled Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) equipment specialized for new memory production. The company said it is confident of selling $100 million worth this year, Applied Materials Korea said on July 17.
“The combined sales target for the two equipment is $100 million,” said Park Rae-hak, senior vice president of Applied Materials Korea. “We believe they can be applied to mass production lines.”
PVD is a critical part of the chip making process, and it involves metal going from a condensed phase to a vapor phase, and then back to a thin film condensed phase. Until now, the industry had faced hurdles in creating this material for next generation memory chips, such as MRAM, ReRAM and PRAM.
On this day, Applied Materials Korea showcased the Endura Clover MRAM PVD and the Endura Impulse PVD. The company said once these equipment make it into the market, it would become much easier to mass produce new chips.
The Clover is being jointly developed with five of its client companies, while the Impulse is being developed with eight others. Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are among them.
The Clover Endura MRAM PVD equipment produces specialized metallic thin film for producing MRAM. It’s embedded with a measuring system that guarantees thin film uniformity at 1Å or lower. It’s the industry’s first 300mm mass production type MRAM PVD system, according to Applied Materials.
“Endura boasts the highest level of precision among all the production equipment we have churned out,” said Prabu Raja, vice president and general manager of Applied's Metal Deposition.
The Impulse PVD will be used to produce PRAM and ReRAM.
The chip making industry has been looking to develop next generation chips for some time but has faced significant hurdles, especially in mass production.
MRAM is a type of non-volatile random-access memory which stores data in magnetic domains.. It’s as fast as DRAM and can even replace some SRAM, used as the cache memory. Samsung Electronics has already begun mass production in the form of embedding MRAM on the SoC in its foundry procedure.
PRAM is slower than DRAM, but it’s faster than NAND flash and is also non-volatile. The 3D cross point technology commercialized by Intel appears to be based on PRAM.
ReRAM is a non-volatile random-access computer memory that works by changing the resistance across a dielectric solid-state material. But due to its limited benefits, it needs more time to be commercialized.
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