The move to low-k dielectric materials set to grow

The move to low-k dielectric materials set to grow
Tom Foremski
The market for low-k dielectric materials is set to grow to $750m by 2003 as chip makers move to build higher performance chips using copper interconnects says US market research company The Information Network.
But the transition to low-k dielectric materials will not fully take hold until 2001 because of uncertainties in the copper interconnect process.
“It appears as if the first generation of copper interconnects that goes into production will be integrated with standard SiO2. While in part this is because a clear winner has yet to emerge from a variety of low-k candidates under evaluation, it is mainly because there are enough risks in trying to implement copper, let alone copper and low k,” said Robert Castellano, President of The Information Network.
Leading chip equipment maker Applied Materials is leading the push to using copper-interconnects, says Castellano, which will in turn encourage chip makers to move to the new process technology.

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