Expert's Panel

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    What is the next growth area in equipment after CMP and Cu Electroplating?

  1. These are the things that are going to take us through probably the next 6 years. The next crunch is likely some type of deep sub-micron. I don't know what it is, but it sure seems we're testing some limits for either pattern, placement on the wafer, or registration or some fill quality issue that allows you to have a dn junction or whatever junction you're going to have. I just can't believe we're going to do a .05 micron device the same way we're doing a .25 micron device. It will have to do with the shrinking.
  2. It will be 300 mm. The end of that six year time frame is about right.
  3. If you keep doing shrinks on 200mm and suddenly insert 300mm, the industry gets a pop by about a factor of 10 in 3 generations and that isn't good for the equipment business. That might happen and if it happens in conjunction with a lack of something new, it's a problem. Right now on the horizon, the only drivers are HDTV and portable computers and people are saying "who cares" about HDTV. We better hope that every school kid wants to have 2-gigabites in their pocket and every family wants to have 2 HDTVs.
  4. 300mm has a dark side to it. You will need 60% less tools for an equivalent line width. If there is a sharp transition it is bad news for the equipment industry. However, most likely it will be a gradual acceptance.
  5. Everything has been focused on technology. You might want to back off and give a thought to the paradigm of the business. 5 or 6 years ago the top guy at Intel told me and several others at a meeting what Intel really wanted to do at some point is have all of us folks who build wafer processing equipment and materials line all that stuff up in a building that they own. They would then pay each of us for the wafers that go through their processor. They don't want to do anything with equipment or materials. They want to pay for the service and they want the wafer out at the end to their spec. They'll pay for each step. That would certainly shake our industry good. The public statements from Applied and some others indicate that perhaps they see that paradigm on the horizon.