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New SAFC Hitech(R) Product Roadmap Plots Route for Future Generation Semiconductor Materials
Date:7/14/2009

ST. LOUIS and SAN FRANCISCO, July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SEMICON West -- SAFC Hitech(R), a business segment within SAFC(R), a member of the Sigma-Aldrich(R) Group, today announced details of its new materials roadmap for Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) processes on silicon semiconductor substrates. The roadmap outlines the development paths across current and future advanced memory and logic devices, which includes barrier layers, interconnects, dielectrics and metals, that the company expects to see play out between now and 2014.

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SAFC Hitech last reviewed its semiconductor materials roadmap in mid-2007. However, regular monitoring is required in order to ascertain whether the market for semiconductor materials has evolved as expected. "There are numerous variables that can affect the selection, timing of insertion point and volume demand for electronic materials," commented Dr. Geoff Irvine, SAFC Hitech's Vice-President of Business Development. "SAFC Hitech routinely analyzes external guidelines such as the ITRS roadmap, trends in device development and economic conditions, and performs evaluations of our own research and development programs, allied to what we are seeing in our partnerships with customers. Through assessment, for example, if there are certain materials that have been adopted more rapidly than anticipated or adapted for an alternative application and, conversely, if there are some that may have seen a delay or reconsideration in use, our review process enables us to recast the materials requirements of the semiconductor industry and revise our roadmap accordingly."

While so-called 'traditional' semiconductor materials, such as the commonly used dielectric silicon dioxide, are still found in high volume applications, the pace and breadth of new materials exploration and adoption beyond these traditional materials is occurring at a rate not seen before in the industry: "Historically, the lifecycle of materials for semiconductors on a per unit process basis extended across multiple technology nodes," continued Irvine. "What we are experiencing now is a shortening of the lifespan of materials used across node generations as progress in the development of next generation devices demands integration of new materials to meet performance criteria. The rapid adoption of materials such as aluminum, hafnium and zirconium oxides, and mixed silicates, in production processes for both memory and logic applications, is one such example."

"This rapid adoption and developmental trend is perfectly illustrated by deposition materials and, the rate of adoption and subsequent change of materials employed for dielectric materials for metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitors in the manufacture of DRAM devices," expanded Ravi Kanjolia, SAFC Hitech's Chief Technology Officer. "Precursor chemistries have transitioned rapidly from providing solutions for growing high quality conformal amorphous films of Al2O3 to HfO2 followed by ZrO2. Similar trends regarding timescales for the adoption and integration of new materials in other functional layers of the devices are now also being seen."

Looking ahead, SAFC Hitech is continuing its focus on next generation high-K for gate applications, high-K and ultra high-K dielectrics for capacitor applications, the further development of metal gates, new electrode materials for DRAM and materials for copper barrier and copper seed, amongst areas of interest. The company has also made significant progress in developing germanium antimony telluride (GST) precursors for use in high volume phase change memory (PCM) applications. PCM, a non-volatile computer memory that allows for the scaling of ultimate feature size further than is possible with conventional Flash memories, offers greater storage capacity and superior performance for memory devices and is a technology widely viewed as a strong replacement candidate for NAND Flash.

For further information, visit SAFC Hitech during Semicon West at booth 5465 in the North Hall, or go to www.safchitech.com.

About SAFC: SAFC(R) is the custom manufacturing and services business unit within Sigma-Aldrich that focuses on high-purity inorganics for high technology applications, cell culture products and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, biochemical production and the manufacturing of complex, multi-step organic synthesis of APIs and key intermediates. SAFC has manufacturing facilities around the world dedicated to providing manufacturing services for companies requiring a reliable partner to produce their custom manufactured materials. SAFC has four business segments - SAFC Pharma(R), SAFC Supply Solutions(R), SAFC Biosciences(R), and SAFC Hitech(R) - and had annual sales of over $620 million in 2008. SAFC is considered a top 10 fine chemical company. For more information about SAFC, visit www.safcglobal.com.

About SAFC Hitech: SAFC Hitech provides a unique chemistry service translating application understanding into performance materials worldwide. Through collaborative partnerships and an integrated approach from research and development, process development and scale up to commercial manufacturing, SAFC Hitech invests in innovation and manufacturing enabling current and future technology needs. Further information can be found at http://www.safchitech.com.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 38 countries and has 7,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Company's expectations, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Company's operations and conditions in the markets the Company serves. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Sigma-Aldrich(R), SAFC(R), SAFC Supply Solutions(R) SAFC Pharma(R), SAFC Biosciences(R) and SAFC Hitech(R) are registered trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.


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