The company said Thursday that the Process Module Technology Center would be the most advanced facility yet for semiconductor development, allowing its customers to make copper-based chips that are smaller than 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or about a hundred-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., facility will also make use of a new business model for chip development. Applied Materials said it would integrate multiple systems in the development process so they function as single units. The move, necessitated by the complexity of chips that are 100 nanometers and smaller, should also reduce costs for customers.
The 166,000-square-foot center is Applied Materials' second in Silicon Valley, and the company said the new site would offer more advanced measuring and testing capabilities than its Equipment Process Integration Center, which has been in operation since 1998. Applied Materials said together, both sites would help "customers as they make the critical transitions to the nanochip era and beyond." --Tiffany Kary, Special to ZDNet News