ACM Research, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACMR), a leading supplier of wafer cleaning technologies for advanced semiconductor devices, today unveiled the Ultra Furnace, its first system developed for multiple dry processing applications. Initially optimized to deliver high performance for low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD), the Ultra Furnace also leverages the same platform to be used for oxidation and annealing processes, as well as foratomic layer deposition (ALD). This achievement represents a two-year collaboration between ACM’s R&D teams located in China and Korea.
“Advanced technology nodes present ongoing challenges that require innovation from the capital equipment suppliers. This demanding environment provides significant opportunities for ACM,” explained Dr. David Wang, CEO of ACM Research. “Continuous innovation is in our DNA. We saw a market need that could benefit from our technology, and expanded our reach into a new market segment. The addition of the Ultra Furnace to ACM’s established portfolio of wet processing tools, expands our opportunity by providing an integrated solution for our customers’ advanced products.”
“The Ultra Furnace product is the result of collaboration between our talented experts in China and Korea to develop differentiated technology,” stated YY Kim, CEO of ACM Research Korea. “ACM’s team in Korea was established to complement the talents of our world-class Shanghai team, accelerate our time to market, and provide outstanding technical support to our local customers.”
Deposition processes utilize process gases at a high temperature to react with each other on a silicon wafer, forming a silicon oxide or nitride layer on the wafers.The Ultra Furnace system is intended for batch processing of up to 100 12-inch (300mm) wafers. The innovative system design combines newly developed hardware that improves durability, with the company’s proven software technology and a proprietary control system and algorithm. This enables the tool to provide stable control of pressure, gas flow rate and temperature.
While the Ultra Furnace system targets LPCVD processes, with a few changes to the components and layout, each tool can address other target applications. About 85 percent of the hardware configuration remains unchanged, so the alterations for the new application can be achieved efficiently.
ACM Research intends to target customers in China initially, before expanding the offering of the Ultra Furnace into Korea and Taiwan later. ACM delivered the first Ultra Furnace tool to a key logic customer’s manufacturing facility in China in early 2020. This tool targets LPCVD, and has been installed in a production environment to begin qualification.