In recent years, the increased usage of mobile devices and Artificial Intelligence has driven the demand for high-performance processors, increased memory (both volatile DRAM and non-volatile FLASH/NAND), high-speed communications (5G) and more efficient and higher power devices.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for these faster networks and larger data handling capabilities to support everything from increased telemedicine capabilities and work-from-home requirements to better statistical data management and faster trend analysis. At Bruker, we help enable manufacturers in these and other emerging areas to develop and manufacture the semiconductor chips necessary to process data faster and communicate more quickly and securely, to organize information more efficiently, and to analyze data more reliably.
High-performance processors are used in large-scale server farms utilized by all cloud-based companies, such as web-based email and social media, but also web-conferencing and on-line education companies. Key Bruker technologies, such as automated X-ray and AFM metrology and EUV mask repair and cleaning are part of the improved development and production of these chips, verifying the structure and shape of the individual device features (as small as 5nm across), as well as ensuring production yield is high.
In the memory segment, Bruker is working with key customers to develop X-ray Critical Dimension (XCD) shape metrology for these challenging, high aspect ratio structures in addition to providing uXRF X-ray tools for the production monitoring of thin film thicknesses and compositions.
In the power device and communications sectors, Bruker products (such as the QCVelox X-ray metrology system) are widely used by all major manufacturers of communication chips, high-power devices and LEDs that are essential in the roll-out of 5G networks to enable faster communications. These products precisely measure the thickness and strain within the key epi-layers that enable the devices to work properly. Alongside the production monitoring, Bruker is developing next-generation defect detection systems for SiC substrates, the substrate of choice for high-power devices, to enable increased yield and production efficiency for large, high-value, devices.