Robert Patti of Tezzaron Semiconductor and the Ultratech Laser Annealing Development Team Win SEMI 2009 North America Awards

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Awards Presented for Individual Contribution to 3D Integrated Circuit Development and Team Development of Leading Edge Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – January 12, 2010 – SEMI today announced the recipients of the 2009 SEMI Awards for North America, which are the association’s highest honors for technical contribution to the semiconductor industry.

The first SEMI Award for 2009 will be presented to Robert Patti, the chief technology officer of Tezzaron, Inc., for his pioneering work in the emerging technical area of 3D IC integration.

Robert Patti is recognized in the industry as one of the most knowledgeable and hands-on practitioners of 3D IC development. He is a leader in the current global discussions charting the direction of 3D ICs. Patti was among the first to identify some of the limitations associated with certain copper through-silicon via (TSV) structures and potential solutions.

Patti has been the main driver for the 3D-IC Alliance, which has produced the first published standard for three-dimensional chip designs: a specification for integrating memory and logic in a 3D stack. This standard lays the cornerstone for memory-to-logic 3D integration and establishes a basis for future collaborative efforts in the industry.

The second SEMI Award will be presented to the Ultratech Laser Annealing Development Team for their development of a wafer fabrication millisecond-timescale annealing process using grazing-angle IR laser beams.

The recipients are:

  • Andrew Hawryluk, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Ultratech, Inc.
  • James McWhirter, vice president of Engineering for Laser Programs, Ultratech, Inc.
  • Michael Thompson, professor, Cornell University
  • Yun Wang, senior vice president and chief technologist for Laser Processing, Ultratech, Inc.

Building on a 15-year corporate learning curve, the laser processing group at Ultratech has evolved a process technology capable of activating dopants in CMOS junctions and gate electrodes on sub-millisecond timescales to enable increased transistor performance in sub-30 nm gate length devices. The key technological development was to switch from the use of visible wavelength lasers at near normal incidence to the use of IR (≈10 um) lasers at grazing incidence to avoid variations in absorbed power levels (and annealing temperatures) for differing CMOS device structures. The use of Brewster-angle coupling of IR laser light is a significant and non-obvious departure from the use of normal incidence, visible light pulses with flash lamps and laser sources. This innovation, and the incorporation of direct feedback controls on laser intensity, allows the use of laser annealing for key dopant activation with no additional wafer process steps and control of dopant diffusion to sub-nm levels while minimizing problems from damage to high-k gate dielectrics and stress-related wafer distortion.

The industry honors will be presented during a banquet at the 2010 SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium in Half Moon Bay, California on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

The SEMI emerging technology award is presented to the individual or team for recognition of early stage development of a concept that has been shown by a reduction to practice a system, process or material which has the promise of significant value to the future development of the semiconductor industry.

The SEMI Award was established in 1979 to recognize outstanding technical achievement and meritorious contribution in the areas of Semiconductor Materials, Wafer Fabrication, Assembly and Packaging, Process Control, Test and Inspection, Robotics and Automation, Quality Enhancement, and Process Integration.

The award is the highest honor conferred by SEMI. It is open to individuals or teams from industry or academia whose specific accomplishments have proven to have broad commercial impact and widespread technical significance for the entire semiconductor industry.

Nominations are accepted from individuals of North American-based member companies of SEMI. Past award recipients include Walter Benzing and Mike McNealy, Ken Levy, Jean Hoerni, Dan Maydan, Robert Akins and Igor Khandros, among others.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Bangalore, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit


Steve Buehler/SEMI
Tel.: 408.943.7049

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