Introduction to Processing

Semiconductor and integrated circuit developments continue to proceed at an incredible pace. The industry as a whole has gotten to this point of incredible complexity through the process of countless breakthroughs and developments in wafer fab processing. Today’s wafer fab contains some of the most complex and intricate procedures ever developed by mankind. Introduction to Processing is a 2-day course that offers an overview look into the semiconductor manufacturing process, and the individual processing technologies required to make them. We place special emphasis on the basics surrounding each technique, and we summarize the current issues related to manufacturing the next generation devices. This course is a must for every manager, engineer and technician working in the semiconductor industry, using semiconductor components or supplying tools to the industry.

By focusing on the basics of each processing step and the issues surrounding them, participants will learn why certain techniques are preferred over others. Our instructors work hard to explain how semiconductor processing works without delving heavily into the complex physics and mathematical expressions that normally accompany this discipline.

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What Will I Learn By Taking This Class?

Participants learn basic but powerful aspects about the semiconductor industry. This skill-building series is divided into four segments:

  1. Basic Processing Steps. Each processing step addresses a specific need in IC creation. Participants learn the fundamentals of each processing step and why they are used in the industry today.
  2. The Evolution of Each Processing Step. It is important to understand how wafer fab processing came to the point where it is today. Participants learn how each technique has evolved for use in previous and current generation ICs.
  3. Current Issues in Wafer Fab Processing. Participants learn how many processing steps are increasingly constrained by physics and materials science. They also learn about the impact of using new materials in the fabrication process and how those materials may create problems for the manufacturers in the future.
  4. Current Issues in Assembly and Packaging. Participants learn how packaging is a key enabler for semiconductor components. They also learn why we are seeing an explosion of different packaging types.

Course Objectives

  1. The seminar will provide participants with an overview of the semiconductor industry and its technical issues.
  2. Participants will understand the basic concepts behind the fundamental wafer fab processing steps.
  3. The seminar will identify the key issues related to each of the processing techniques and their impact on the continued scaling of the semiconductor industry.
  4. Participants will be able to identify the basic features and principles associated with each major processing step. These include processes like chemical vapor deposition, ion implantation, lithography, and etching.
  5. Participants will understand how processing, reliability, power consumption and device performance are interrelated.
  6. Participants will be able to make decisions about how to construct and evaluate processing steps for CMOS, BiCMOS, and bipolar technologies.
  7. The seminar will provide an introduction to the packaging process and discuss the fundamental drivers behind the current developments in packaging.

Course Outline

Day 1

  1. Raw Silicon Wafers
  2. Ion Implantation
  3. Thermal Processing
  4. Contamination Monitoring and Control
  5. Wafer Cleaning and Surface Preparation
  6. Chemical Vapor Deposition
  7. Physical Vapor Deposition
  8. Lithography
  9. Etch
  10. Chemical Mechanical Polishing
  11. Cu Interconnect and low-k Dielectrics

Day 2

  1. Leading Edge Technologies and Techniques
    1. ALD
    2. High-k gate and capacitor dielectrics
    3. Metal gates
    4. SOI
    5. Strained silicon
    6. Plasma doping
  2. Overview of Semiconductor Packaging
    1. Purpose of the package
    2. Drivers
    3. Types of Packages
    4. Packaging Processes

Instructional Strategy

By using a combination of instruction by lecture, classroom exercises, and question/answer sessions, participants will learn practical information on semiconductor processing and the operation of this industry. From the very first moments of the seminar until the last sentence of the training, the driving instructional factor is application. We use instructors who are internationally recognized experts in their fields that have years of experience (both current and relevant) in this field. The accompanying textbook offers hundreds of pages of additional reference material participants can use back at their daily activities.

Instructor Profile

Christopher Henderson, President of Semitracks

Christopher Henderson

Christopher Henderson received his B.S. in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his M.S.E.E. from the University of New Mexico. Chris is the President and one of the founders of Semitracks Inc., a United States-based company that provides education and semiconductor training to the electronics industry.

From 1988 to 2004, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Failure Analysis Department and Microsystems Partnerships Department. His job responsibilities have included failure and yield analysis of components fabricated at Sandia's Microelectronics Development Laboratory, research into the electrical behavior of defects, and consulting on microelectronics issues for the DoD. He has published over 20 papers at various conferences in semiconductor processing, reliability, failure analysis, and test. He has received two R&D 100 awards and two best paper awards. Prior to working at Sandia, Chris worked for Honeywell, BF Goodrich Aerospace, and Intel. Chris is a member of IEEE and EDFAS (the Electron Device Failure Analysis Society).

At Semitracks, Chris teaches courses on failure and yield analysis, semiconductor reliability, and other aspects of semiconductor technology.