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Mahendra Pakala

Mass Production Tools for Emerging Memory

Mahendra Pakala, Managing Director Memory Group, Applied Materials

With explosive amount of data being generated by humans and machines, machine learning (ML) algorithms are applied increasingly to extract intelligence. This is driving significant investment in hardware development, including semiconductor chips, optimized for ML. Many of the emerging memories such as MRAM, RERAM and PCRAM are attractive for these applications because these can offer path to low power and higher density compared to incumbent memories. Applied Materials has developed high volume manufacturing equipment that enable deposition and post fabrication of these emerging memories, which are quite often made up of exotic elements not previously found in semiconductor processing. Features such as low vacuum multi-target PVD, multi-element target PVD, in-situ heat treatment are disucssed. In addition to repeatably manufacture multi-layer stacks, metrology built in system is introduced in Applied PVD system.

Mahendra Pakala is Managing Director of the Memory Group at Applied Materials, a leading supplier of semiconductor equipment.  A technologist with over 20 years experience, he is responsible for Applied Materials’ memory and materials technology roadmap and fabrication processes.  Before joining Applied Materials, he had device process technology development experience at Western Digital, Grandis, Wavesplitter and Read-Rite.  His specialties include wafer fab process and equipment, thin film deposition, product development, and managing technology development.  He holds or has applied for 60 patents with over 30 actually granted. He also has 41 technical publications including presentations at major conferences and articles in such well-known journals as Applied Physics Letters, IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, and IEEE Transactions on Magnetics.  He earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

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