Next-Generation Semiconductor Wires: Cobalt
The invention of chip/integrated circuit/semiconductor is the premise for human to enter the information society. As the largest manufacturing sector in the modern era, the chip industry — the semiconductor industry — is at the forefront of technological innovation and represents human industrial manufacturing capabilities. The third industrial revolution, a result of both policy and market, has been ongoing in recent years. It was fueled by artificial intelligence and big-data. China’s semiconductor sector has provided the greatest development opportunities since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The pace of innovation for new materials will increase as Moore’s Law approaches its end. Today, twenty years after IBM introduced “copper”, the “era” of “cobalt in the semiconductor industry will officially begin.
Recent years have seen many key moments in the semiconductor industry, most notably in transistor architectures and device technology. There is a new turning point coming in the semiconductor industry. Innovation of new materials is being followed by “cobalt”, which will slowly end “tungsten” or “copper”.
Enter the Age of Cobalt Wires
As the semiconductor manufacturing process was developed below 10 nanometers the shortcomings of the “copper”, the conductor metal, began to show. The process technology reached the bottleneck between 10 nanometers (10 nanometers) and 7 nanometers (7 nanometers). The semiconductor industry’s major equipment and semiconductor producers began investing in new materials research to solve the problems of their semiconductor manufacturing process technology.
Applied Materials has a reputation for being a leader in the field of semiconductor equipment. It’s the pioneer semiconductor manufacturer to employ “cobalt” instead of the traditional conductor materials “copper”, “tungsten” and so on. It is poised to implement such an industrial revolution in commercial chips. This has historic significance.
With advanced technology between 10 and 7, “cobalt”, as a conductor, can be achieved stronger conductivity and lower power consumption. The future may see it drop to as low as 5 or 3 nanometer process points.
Like transistors, wires and contacts coated with metal are less efficient when smaller than they are. When the wire is compared with a straw it will be more susceptible to blocking. There are three main criteria for selecting the right wire materials: filling ability, resistance, and reliability.
Aluminium is less reliable for processes exceeding 30 nanometers. However, copper is still a valuable material because of its high quality and qualification. Unfortunately, performance for tungsten (aluminum) and copper drops to below 20 nanometers in high-end processing. However, cobalt is the new king of new wire materials. It is known for its filling power, reliability and resistance.
Cobalt would be widely used in the Semiconductor Field
The advantages cobalt has as a small-scale semiconductor make it possible for the industry to expect that “cobalt”, metal materials, will begin at 7/10 nanometers in order to enter the manufacturing of semiconductor wires. Expect “cobalt” materials to expand beyond the 5-nanometer process.
Intel is believed to have revealed that the IEEE will include 10 parts interconnection layers on nanometer technology technology nodes. Details of imported cobalt metal, which can be found in the 10 nm bottom node interconnection, of two layer imported Cobalt material. It’s this first public discussion that shares details about the cobalt used in manufacturing technology.
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