October 26, 2006 11:00 ET

Consumables Supplier SemiQuest Uses ATDF to Develop Innovative CMP System

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 26, 2006 -- A novel chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) pad system that helps preserve fragile, ultra-low-k materials on semiconductor wafers has emerged from a joint project involving R&D foundry ATDF and consumables supplier SemiQuest of Fremont, Calif.

The CMP product, eSQ Planarizer, was proven with ATDF's advanced 300 mm CMP toolset to eliminate edge die variation effects and to significantly improve the ability to apply uniform low pressure to a wafer, reducing erosion and dielectric loss. These results pave the way to better yields for materials with k-values as low as 2.2.

SemiQuest CEO Rajeev Bajaj credits ATDF's state-of-the-art CMP process and tool set for the product's performance. "The ATDF tool set, along with its 45 nm-capable test mask sets and low-k and ultra low-k dielectric stacks, has enabled SemiQuest to develop the eSQ Planarizer for advanced technology generations," he said.

Dave Anderson, ATDF General Manager, added: "ATDF is an ideal location for innovative materials suppliers such as SemiQuest to perform leading-edge R&D. Our customers can leverage our technology development staff and utilize the ATDF processes, characterization data and equipment they need to bring their products to market quickly."

According to Bajaj, eSQ allows planarizing contact at the die level, enabling precise control that meets interconnect design tolerance for dishing and erosion for the 45 nm generation. The system's 3D design also enables higher yield by eliminating the "edge effect" caused by pressure discontinuity, allowing near-perfect compliance across the wafer surface to obtain uniform polishing to within 2 mm of the wafer edge.

"The design of the eSQ Planarizer also offers a longer life and potentially lower slurry usage, thus reducing the cost of consumables by more than 50 percent, while enabling superior process performance," Bajaj noted. He said the system is available for both 200 mm and 300 mm wafer polishers.

Providing custom development solutions in partnership with industry suppliers worldwide is a core service of ATDF, which has over 18 years experience as an R&D fab. ATDF's innovative intellectual-property protection, confidentiality models and fast cycles of learning also allow its customers to gain competitive advantage.

About ATDF:

ATDF, a wholly owned subsidiary of SEMATECH, is a leading technology R&D center where research meets manufacturing for semiconductor manufacturers, equipment and materials suppliers, and others. ATDF customers can confidentially test new designs, integration methodologies, and prototype systems while protecting their own intellectual property, and development partners can work closely with one another in a custom-manufacturing environment. ATDF also develops baseline processes, accepted industry-wide, that bring new tools and materials to manufacturing faster, at lower cost. More information can be found at

About SemiQuest:

Semiquest was started in January 2005 to develop yield-enhancing CMP consumables. The company is preparing to close its first round of financing, which it will use to build a strong development team and pilot plant for the eSQ Planarizer. Several leading IC manufacturers and R&D consortia are currently evaluating the eSQ Planarizer for shallow trench isolation and Cu applications. More information is available from Rajeev Bajaj, CEO, at 510-449-1522.

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