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5 Phase I Selections from the 07.2 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
INTERMOLECULAR, INC.
2865 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 416-2218
Mr. Kenneth R. Howell
DMEA 07-001      Awarded: 11/14/2007
Title:High-Throughput Experimentation Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Chamber for Accelerated Microelectronics Materials Research and Development
Abstract:The cost to maintain Moore’s law is growing exponentially with every generation of semiconductor device. To support the ever-increasing demand for smaller, faster, lower- power, and lower-cost microelectronic semiconductor devices, tools enabling faster and lower-cost research and development are required. Current development tools are only capable of achieving one data point per wafer. The goal of this effort is to determine the feasibility of developing a PVD chamber capable of achieving 100 or more data points on a single wafer. This will enable incremental variations in semiconductor process parameters across a wafer. If successful, this will result in orders of magnitude reduction in both time and cost for the microelectronic research and development efforts.

PVD PRODUCTS, INC.
231 Andover Street
Wilmington, MA 01887
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 694-9455
Dr. James Greer
DMEA 07-001      Awarded: 12/6/2007
Title:High-Throughput Experimentation Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Chamber for Accelerated Microelectronics Materials Research and Development
Abstract:Techniques for producing combinatorial materials are highly valued for their ability to produce compositional arrays that can be rapidly evaluated. A significant aspect that is still lacking in combinatorial film deposition is the ability to efficiently deposit multiple material conditions in specified isolated areas on a large silicon wafer while varying local composition and deposition conditions. Providing combinatorial magnetron sputtering control capability for both material composition and thermal processing of multiple individual test pads on a single substrate is a primary goal of this proposal. Phase I incorporates tasks for the mechanical design of a precise substrate rotation system and variable power and/or shutter control for magnetron sputtering on Si substrates. The work includes the design for localized in-situ diode laser heating to provide enhanced grain growth during the multilayer or co-deposition process. Particular attention will be paid to incremental composition changes for each pad. In Phase II, a prototype machine will be built and tested for precision control of selected pad site incremental compositions. A high probability for successful commercialization is anticipated, as PVD Products is singularly focused and committed to provide the best possible deposition instruments to the military and commercial markets.

INTERMOLECULAR, INC.
2865 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 416-2218
Mr. Kenneth R. Howell
DMEA 07-002      Awarded: 11/14/2007
Title:In-Line Characterization System for Advanced High K Dielectric / Metal Gate CMOS Transistor Stack for the Development of High Speed, Low Power Microelectronics
Abstract:Throughout the history of integrated circuit fabrication, gate stack engineering has been employed to meet the aggressive device scaling necessary to stay on the Moore’s Law curve. However, as device dimensions continue to progress into the sub-100-nm regime, scaling of the traditional SiO2 gate dielectric led to issues with reliability, dopant penetration and excessive gate leakage current. Overall, these issues have culminated with the abandonment of SiO2/polysilicon-based systems altogether starting as early as the 45-nm generation of process technologies. At this node, several companies intend to introduce high-k/metal-gate systems. In order to search this complex space effectively, a new type of PVD deposition tool is required. Although this tool is ideal for depositing the comprehensive arrays of materials necessary to address the work function engineering problem, the productivity of the tool in this application is limited by the lack of in-situ, non- contact diagnostics that enable the characterization of each material immediately following the material deposition in a throughput-matched manner. We seek to develop and integrate these sensors in this SBIR program.

CROSSFIELD TECHNOLOGY LLC
4505 Spicewood Springs Road Suite 360
Austin, TX 78759
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 795-0220
Mr. Dennis Ferguson
DMEA 07-003      Awarded: 1/31/2008
Title:Ultra Low-Power Miniaturized Flexible Radio Optimized for Long-Term Battery Operation
Abstract:Crossfield intends to develop a single chip software radio that is battery operated and can support high data rate wireless applications not currently addressed by off-the-shelf wireless standards such as IEEE802.15.4. By implementing a software radio, a single chip transceiver can interface to multiple transceiver “over the air” standards and can exploit new schemes as needed. The program will take maximum advantage of off-the- shelf CMOS RF designs implemented by Crossfield in 0.35 µm and 0.18 µm technologies. Certain mixed mode functions may be purchased or subcontracted to accelerate the schedule or to reduce overall program risk. All digital designs will be custom developed using a standard cell approach for the targeted process technology. Crossfield intends to complete the systems engineering and a significant part of the receiver RF design in Phase I. In Phase II, Crossfield will complete the transceiver design, fabricate and test a functioning device. The test device will be fabricated in the process technology defined at the beginning of Phase I.

WILLIAMS-PYRO, INC.
200 Greenleaf St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(817) 872-1500
Ms. Nithya Ramaswami
DMEA 07-003      Awarded: 2/5/2008
Title:Ultra Low-Power Miniaturized Flexible Radio Optimized for Long-Term Battery Operation
Abstract:The DMEA needs a flexible, miniature, reconfigurable radio suitable for long-term operation (one year or more) on battery power and capable of being embedded in data collector nodes for deployed sensor arrays, sensors, and other applications where very low power consumption combined with flexibility is desired. To address flexibility in radios, Williams-Pyro has designed a highly innovative software-defined radio system. We propose to optimize our existing software-defined radio architecture and develop an Embeddable, Power Efficient, Robust, and Reconfigurable (Emperor) Radio, a battery- operated radio that can be deployed in wireless sensor network applications. Our solution includes implementing innovative power management, developing ultra-low-power software defined radios, and integrating the elements of the sensing, communication, and networking subsystems in a single System-on-a-Chip (SOC) package. The wireless nodes can also be networked using mesh routing protocols to increase the area of surveillance and further reduce power consumption and communication failures. Emperor Radio consists of an ultra-low-power transceiver with software-reconfigurable modem and reconfigurable radio frequency (RF) front-end as well as a low-power processor that interfaces with the transceiver and input/output (I/O) and controls I/O subsystem. The resulting miniature, lightweight, low-power radios will reduce communication failures while maintaining a robust, flexible system for reliable communication.