Vacuum Pump suits new semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Press Release Summary:

Featuring modular design, iXH series of vacuum pumps meets increasing demands of emerging processes required for semiconductor manufacturing at 60 nm and smaller design rules. Gas Buster(TM) inlet purge helps deal with process byproducts and minimize system maintenance and Active Utility Control (AUC) includes idle mode for periods when pump is not in use. Pump mechanism can handle hydrogen and also withstands corrosive effects of ammonia.

Original Press Release:

Edwards Announces iXH Next-Generation Vacuum Pump

CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX, UK (20 February 2008)-Edwards, a leading global supplier of vacuum and abatement equipment and services, today introduced the new iXH series of vacuum pumps, the next-generation in its industry-leading family of harsh process vacuum pump products for the semiconductor industry. Designed to meet the increasing demands of the emerging processes required for semiconductor manufacturing at 60 nm and smaller design rules, the iXH also helps reduce tool cost-of-ownership (CoO), offers a smaller footprint than previous generations and features a modular design that enables a quicker response to emerging process requirements.

"Along with the drive for higher productivity, new semiconductor manufacturing processes, such as atomic layer deposition (ALD), and compound semiconductor processes, such as gallium nitride, are creating new challenges for vacuum pump technology in terms of powder handling, hydrogen flow, fluorine plasma cleans, ammonia flows and pre cursor reactions," said Nigel Hunton, Chief Executive Officer, Edwards. "The iXH has been specifically designed to meet these challenges with enhanced purge flow, temperature-controlled operating range, light gas performance and corrosive gas resistance. Its extended capabilities also offer improved CoO by lengthening pump life and helping to deliver lower utility costs."

Unlike earlier process technologies that deposited up to 90 percent of the pre curser on the wafer, ALD processes, such as high K dielectrics, generally deposit less than 10 percent, dramatically increasing the potential for deposition in the pumps. To manage these challenging conditions, the iXH features improved thermal control and increased torque. It is also ideal for extreme powder processes with TEOS flows above 5 g/min, featuring larger exhaust stages and the innovative Gas Buster(TM) inlet purge to deal with the process byproducts and minimize system maintenance.

Other advanced processes, such as gallium nitride compound semiconductor production, require large flows of hydrogen and ammonia. Because of the small size of the hydrogen molecule it is difficult to pump, while ammonia is highly corrosive. The iXH pump mechanism has been optimized to handle hydrogen and to better withstand the corrosive effects of ammonia by using patented technology.

The improved powder handling and corrosion resistance of the new iXH pump also helps to reduce pump CoO by extending the maintenance interval. At the same time, the pump's Active Utility Control (AUC), which includes an idle mode for periods when the pump is not in use, can reduce utility costs by more than 10 percent compared to the previous generation of Edwards harsh process pumps.

For further information about the iXH or other Edwards products please visit

About Edwards
Edwards (formerly BOC Edwards) is a leading supplier of integrated solutions for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells. It is also a world leader in vacuum technology for industrial, scientific, process and R&D applications. Edwards employs around 4,000 people globally in the design, manufacture and support of high technology vacuum and abatement equipment. Edwards invented the concept of the low-maintenance, cost-effective commercial oil-free 'dry' vacuum pump, and now supplements this with a wide range of other pumping technologies as well as related products and services.

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