distributor; joint agreement with Nippon Steel opens North American
Business Editors & Hi-Tech Writers
DANBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 13, 1995--Advanced
Technology Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATMI), a leading developer of
semiconductor materials and devices, today announced it is the
North American distributor of SIMOX (Separation by IMplanted OXygen)
wafers from Nippon Steel Corp.'s (NSC) Advanced Technology Research
The NSC Laboratories began development of the SIMOX wafers over
6 years ago, benefiting strongly from years of close collaboration
with Nippon Telephone & Telegraph (NTT), one of the earliest
practitioners of the SIMOX process. NTT, who continues to be a
technology leader in upgrading and improving SIMOX wafer quality,
has licensed their technology to NSC.
The quality of the new SIMOX wafers, currently produced in NSC's
R&D section, has been verified by LSI beta-site testing. Transition
to manufacturing volume will see further improvements in wafer
quality and an increase in wafer diameter from six to eight inches.
Devices and circuits built on conventional silicon wafers are
rapidly reaching their technical performance limits. New materials
such as SIMOX wafers are mandatory to continue the rapid evolution
in power and size in the semiconductor and computer industries.
SIMOX-based integrated circuits offer significant advantages over
standard silicon integrated circuits: they operate at faster speeds,
consume less power, allow more circuitry in a given area, and can be
manufactured at lower cost.
"The semiconductor industry wants the characteristics offered by
the new version of SIMOX wafers," said Dr. Duncan Brown, ATMI
Vice-President, Semiconductor Products. "It is eager to use these
wafers to develop products in high performance circuits ranging from
consumer electronics and communication systems -- including cellular
phones and portable computers -- to satellite, radar, and microwave
applications. The new SIMOX wafers could become a dominant product
in ULSI, high-temperature, and even smart sensor applications. For
example, the new SIMOX wafers are now being used for advanced logic
and DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip development. Their
performance advantages may be key factors in shortening power logic
and DRAM chip commercialization time lines."
Gene Banucci, ATMI president said, "Acting as Nippon Steel's
representative for the new SIMOX wafers expands our commercial
market in advanced semiconductor materials, while we continue our
own device development efforts. As the market expands, we may also
consider manufacturing SIMOX wafers and SIMOX-based products in the
SIMOX wafers' characteristics stem from an insulating layer of
silicon oxide atop a common bulk silicon substrate, created by
oxygen implantation into silicon. This layer is covered by a final,
high quality silicon layer where integrated circuits are fabricated.
This "Silicon On Insulator" structure isolates the critical silicon
circuits and virtually eliminates performance degradation associated
with the bulk substrate.
"SIMOX" was invented in 1978 by Dr. Izumi of NTT who continues
to pioneer the implementation of SIMOX technology. Early
researchers were limited to relatively simple circuits by the
density of defects in the wafers, but advances in equipment and
process cleanliness and control by NTT, IBIS, AT&T, LETI (SOITEC),
and Nippon Steel Corp., now allow fabrication of sophisticated
ATMI, with headquarters in Danbury, is developing
diamond-based semiconductors. It develops, manufactures, and sells
materials and environmental equipment to the worldwide semiconductor
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