distributor; joint agreement with Nippon Steel opens North American market 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 Laboratories. 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 United States." 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 integrated circuits. ATMI, with headquarters in Danbury, is developing diamond-based semiconductors. It develops, manufactures, and sells materials and environmental equipment to the worldwide semiconductor industry.
ATMI BECOMES SIMOX WAFER
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