UPDATED. 2024-06-17 07:51 (월)
SK Hynix testing Tokyo Electron’s cryo etching equipment
SK Hynix testing Tokyo Electron’s cryo etching equipment
  • Noh Tae Min 기자
  • 승인 2024.05.03 07:17
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Korean memory maker expected to apply it to 400-layer NAND
Image: Tokyo Electron
Image: Tokyo Electron

SK Hynix is testing the performance of Tokyo Electron’s cryogenic etching equipment, TheElec has learned.

The South Korean memory chipmaker has sent test wafers to the fab equipment maker for the tests instead of installing them in its own fab, sources said.

Tokyo Electron’s new kit etches at high speed in ultra-low temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius, unlike existing etchers that operate at 0 to 30 degrees.

The Japanese company said in June of last year that its equipment can etch 10 micrometers within 33 minutes __ triple that of existing equipment. The equipment is used in oxide etch.

SK Hynix will use a triple-stack structure for its 321-layer NAND, sources said.

Using Tokyo Electron’s equipment will allow it to use fewer stacks for future NAND.

SK Hynix is aiming to apply the equipment for 400-layer and up NANDs, and, depending on their performance, will go for single or double-stack structures in these NANDs, they added.

Using fewer number of stacks to pack in more layers allows memory makers to drive costs down as they become simpler to make.

SK Hynix as well as Samsung are also looking to apply cryogenic etching equipment to reduce their carbon emission rates.

Tokyo Electron’s equipment uses hydrogen fluoride instead of carbon fluoride, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.

Meanwhile, Samsung is testing a demo version of Tokyo Electron’s kit in its own fab.

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