New Applied Materials tools for chip miniaturization

Applied Materials Inc. said Monday it has developed equipment that allows chip makers to cut the size of chip circuitry in half while increasing chip speed five-fold.

The Santa Clara, California, supplier of products to semiconductor makers, claims an industry first with the Endura iCuB/S, a machine that can deposit barriers and seed layers as thin as a single atom in 65 nanometer semiconductor manufacturing processes, Applied Materials said in a statement.

The Endura iCuB/S should allow semiconductor makers to place up to 20 times more transistors on a chip, which increases performance, Applied Materials said.

Most of today's semiconductor makers, for example PC processor companies Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., have just adopted 130 nanometer, or .13 micron, production and will move to 90 nanometer before 65 nanometer.

Applied Materials announced the Endura iCuB/S at Semicon West 2002, an industry trade show in San Francisco.

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