Copper Interconnect – How Marketing Helped Make It Happen

Summary : The transition from aluminum to copper wiring in semiconductor process technology is discussed in this interview with Anantha Sethuraman, with particular emphasis on the inspection technology and the role marketing played in making it happen.
Annexure :

In 1998, IBM and Novellus caught the world off-guard when they announced they were ready for copper. While most of the industry was chiming in to not look behind, behind the scenes they were scrambling to make the move. Few engineers knew about electroplating and CMP with copper. Up until this point the entire industry used aluminum. It was a major inflection and engineers everywhere had to bring it to production fast. In this interview, Anantha Sethuraman describes how KLA-Tencor changed the game by changing their entire marketing approach. Instead of selling tools, they hired process engineers like Anantha and had them show chip makers how to bring the technology to production faster with higher yields. It was win-win for everyone.

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