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Platinum Metals Rev., 1978, 22, (4), 137

Platinum Silicide Fuses Provide Rapid Response

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The electronics industry has produced another significant advance in the technology of semiconductor devices. Recently reported work by Advanced Micro Devices, Sunningdale, California, has produced programmable read only memory (PROM) fuses which utilise platinum silicide fuse links on low power Schottky chips (Electronic Design, 1978, 26, (7), 23).

Nickel-chrome fuses are most commonly used, together with titanium-tungsten or phosphorus-doped polysilicon materials, but the advantages of platinum silicide have been shown by life tests extending to two billion fuse hours without a single fuse oriented failure. Such fuses are, of course, blown when the surface tension of the molten fuse material divides the fuse link and draws the material back. In the case of platinum silicide the gap formed may be 1 to 3 microns, some ten times longer than that formed by nickel-chrome materials.

The physical properties of platinum silicide—it is considerably harder, less ductile and has greater chemical inertness than the other metal systems—together with the width of the gap formed, retard the regrowth of the fuse link.

With a recommended programming time of only 50 microseconds, compared to 2 milliseconds for typical nickel-chrome PROMs, the fuses have obvious advantages.

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