Nanoplas Announces Important New 14nm Order and Joint Development Agreement with CEA-Leti

High-selectivity dry-etch for 14nm OEM pilot line will replace wet etch; CEA-Leti to qualify the system for additional applications

ST-ÉGRÈVE, France – November 13, 2013 – Nanoplas, a global supplier of plasma processing equipment to the semiconductor industry, today announced a second purchase order for an ALDE® (Atomic Layer Downstream Etching) process module for extreme selectivity dielectric dry-etching. As the company foresees many different applications at 14nm and beyond, Nanoplas also announced a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CEA-Leti, extending the technology to additional applications in 14nm dry-etching, stripping and cleaning.

The new ALDE® order will enable the replacement of H3PO4 wet etch with extremely selective isotropic Si3N4 dry etch in a 14nm pilot line. This first beta site in Asia will also enable significant cost-of-ownership reductions.

“We are very encouraged by this sale, in which Nanoplas offers an OEM customer a unique dry process solution to replace wet processing,” explains the company's CEO, Gilles Baujon. “At the 14nm node, Nanoplas expects a massive shift from wet to dry. The drivers will be costs (chemicals, high purity water consumption and infrastructure), process performance and safety. By addressing all these challenges and targeting a range of applications, we expect ALDE® to play a significant role in this shift.”

To ensure that the ALDE® system for extreme selectivity etching and cleaning is fully characterized and qualified in 14nm manufacturing processes, Nanoplas has signed a JDA with CEA-Leti. As part of this JDA, an ALDE® tool delivery to the CEA-Leti Silicon Technology Division is scheduled for Q2 2014.

“The ALDE® system offers unique performance in etching the many critical silicon-nitride spacer films in advanced transistor-formation technologies,” notes CEA-Leti CEO Laurent Malier. “In this decisive final phase of development for the 14nm node, the CEA-Leti Plasma Etching & Stripping Laboratory will join forces with Nanoplas to ensure full qualification of their tool. Our experts will also help to expand the range of applications in which the ALDE® technology can be used, including etching, stripping and cleaning at the 14nm node and well beyond.”

About Nanoplas
Nanoplas is an equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry specialized in novel plasma process solutions for nanoelectronics. The company’s High Density Radical Flux (HDRF®) technology delivers sophisticated cleaning techniques for MEMS, 3D TSVs, power ICs, LEDs and III-V compounds. Its new ALDE® proprietary technology provides virtually unlimited etch-rate selectivity for sub-20nm node applications in CMOS fabrication. Both technologies offer high-efficiency, lower-cost, green alternatives for treating silicon wafer surfaces in next-generation IC devices. The company’s plasma-processing tools are used by leading microelectronics companies in North America, Europe and Asia. The company is based near Grenoble, in St-Égrève, France.

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About CEA-Leti
By creating innovation and transferring it to industry, Leti is the bridge between basic research and production of micro- and nanotechnologies that improve the lives of people around the world. Backed by its portfolio of 2,200 patents, Leti partners with large industrials, SMEs and startups to tailor advanced solutions that strengthen their competitive positions. It has launched more than 50 startups. Its 8,000m² of new-generation cleanroom space feature 200mm and 300mm wafer processing of micro and nano solutions for applications ranging from space to smart devices. Leti’s staff of more than 1,700 includes 200 assignees from partner companies. Leti is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Tokyo.

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