Etching describes the process of removing layers (films) from the surface of the semiconductor wafer during fabrication. Wafers go through multiple etch steps before fabrication is complete, which makes etch the most frequent step in the semiconductor manufacturing process.
AMEC specializes in dry etch (plasma) systems that are used to build and define the microscopic circuits on the wafer. Dry etch removes material from the wafer by hitting the surface with ions (usually a plasma of reactive gasses). Depending on the material to be removed or the type of structures to be built, the process can call for dielectric etch, conductor etch or TSV etch.
The integration of new electronic materials and relentless feature-size shrinks are creating new technical challenges for etch equipment, while the performance imperatives -- uniformity, stability and reliability -- are exceedingly high. AMEC is at the forefront of etch innovation with a portfolio of etch technology and tools that enable chipmakers to manufacture at geometries as low as 5nm with competitive cost-of-ownership advantages.
AMEC etchers are used by leading manufacturers to produce semiconductors that are powering advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. Such semiconductor devices are also providing the logic and memory for exciting new consumer electronics products, as well as 5G networks, powerful servers, autonomous cars, smart grids, and much more.

AMEC has developed a single CCP machine and two ICP machines, which can cover 90% of etching applications