Wafer-Processing

Topic Index

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9


U.S. Computer Maker to Use Dow Corning Compound at China Facility

Fri, 3 Mar 2008
(March 14, 2008) Midland, MI — A U.S.-based personal computer maker has qualified Dow Corning's TC-5121 thermally conductive compound for use in its manufacturing operations in China. TC-5121, introduced in December, is designed for mid-range electronic systems such as desktop computers and graphic processing units.

Tessera Introduces its MVP

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
(March 19, 2008) SAN JOSE, CA — Whether the acronym stands for micro via package or most valuable package, it looks like Shellcase MVP, introduced yesterday by Tessera Technologies, will answer to both. This recent addition to the SHELLCASE family is reportedly one of the industry's first applications of through silicon via (TSV) technologies and supports 3D die-stacking of the image sensor with other ICs.

SMTA Announces "Best of Conference" Award for Pan Pacific 2008 Symposium

Fri, 3 Mar 2008
(March 7, 2008) Minneapolis, MN — The SMTA has announced "Best of Conference Awards" to two presenters from this year's Annual Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium and Tabletop Exhibition, held in late January in Hawaii. These awards are chosen by attendee ratings.

Datacon, Ablestik Partner on Research and Evaluation for Advanced Epoxy Processes

Thu, 3 Mar 2008
(March 6, 2008) Radfeld, Austria & Rancho Dominguez, CA — Datacon and Ablestik have joined forces to provide joint technological development and shared product evaluations and demonstrations to the marketplace. The aim of this partnership is to strengthen technological leadership, especially in processes such as thin die and/or stacked die handling as well as other advanced epoxy processes, and to advise customers of both companies on the best solutions for their production needs.

March Events Preview

Mon, 3 Mar 2008
(March 5, 2008) — March is a busy travel month for the Advanced Packaging editors. In the next few weeks, we'll be reporting from Arizona, where both the BITS Workshop (March 9–12, 2008) and IMAPS' International Device Packaging Symposium, in conjunction with the Global Business Council (March 17–20, 2008), will be taking place; as well as Shanghai, where Gail Flower, editor-in-chief, will attend SEMICON China (March 18–20, 2008).

First Bond Failures in Leaded Packages

Mon, 12 Dec 2003
A fabless semiconductor company using an outsourcing model relies on a foundry for wafer fabrication, a testing house for wafer sort and an assembly house for chip assembly. The multiple manufacturing processes involved make it difficult for the fabless company to isolate the cause of an assembly failure.

New Methods for 3-D Chip Integration

Mon, 12 Dec 2003
When a new technology emerges, talk typically centers on more gigahertz, fewer micrometers or higher integration densities. In the background, however, a quiet revolution is taking place in the form of process technologies, manufacturing structures and new forms of collaboration between industry partners.

Progress on thin wafer handling

Mon, 4 Apr 2002
There has been much progress in the past year on wafer thinning, with portable electronics providing the driving force for thin die

Packaging industry leading the way

Mon, 4 Apr 2002
A common topic of discussion on these pages and in the industry as a whole is the convergence of wafer processing and packaging technology

Packaging defines products

Mon, 7 Jul 2002
Last month I had the good fortune to have a lengthy chat with the leadership of the IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Society during ECTC

New system for testing chips after dicing and thinning

Sat, 6 Jun 2002
Electroglas Inc. has developed test/handling equipment that allows for fully automated testing of ultra-thin chips, including the ability to test integrated circuits (ICs) after dicing or in wafer format

Packaging of Cu/low-k Addressed at IITC

Thu, 8 Aug 2002
The annual International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) added advanced packaging as one of its focus topics this year

Strip Testing: Uniformity in Final Package Test

Sat, 11 Nov 2003
The goal of saving time and money by conducting final test in strip or matrix format can be achieved by applying prober-based sort floor technologies and methods to final test handling. While today's sort floors can process multiple types of devices in the same physical format, a wafer, final test has a proliferation of multiple handler types for each package family.

Smaller Die Size Means Capacity Gains

Fri, 8 Aug 2003
The continuous push for cost reduction, increased functionality and performance, system compactness, and enhanced quality remain unabated in consumer, communications, defense and medical electronics.

Wafer Bump Reflow

Tue, 7 Jul 2003
Wafer-level packaging has grown in popularity in recent years because manufacturers can now maintain the cost of the IC packaging as a constant percentage of the total wafer cost.

Die Traceability

Tue, 1 Jan 2002
Strip packaging and wafer-level packaging (WLP) are now making packaging and final test more like fab processing

10thAnniversary
Anniversary Insights

Tue, 1 Jan 2002
Today's artificially intelligent systems are fabricated using sub-micron scale devices in micro- and meso-scale packages, primarily using electronic signals and the logic of programming to interface to the macroscopic world

Wafer-level burn-in with test

Wed, 5 May 2002
A key enabler for low-cost SoC and SiP

Op-amp Performance

Wed, 10 Oct 2003
To understand the impact of package stress, what key parameter of an operational amplifier (op-amp) the stress affects most must be considered. A general-purpose op-amp specifies an input offset voltage (VIO). This parameter is the DC voltage that must be applied to the input terminals to cancel the DC offset within the op-amp to force the quiescent DC output voltage to a specified level (Figure 1).

Cost Benefit of Strip Test

Sat, 11 Nov 2003
A major challenge facing the semiconductor manufacturing industry is increasing the efficiency of final manufacturing processes. The migration of cost structure from wafer fab toward final manufacturing has placed it in the crosshairs of fiscal scrutiny and revealed economic and technical issues that could conceivably impair some manufacturers' economic viability.

Product Preview

Sat, 11 Nov 2003

Another Perspective on Outsourcing

Sat, 11 Nov 2003
Recent columns published in Advanced Packaging reported on the moves of IC makers to outsource assembly and test operations based on the argument that if a capability is not something that you put in your sales literature, then maybe that capability should be outsourced.

News

Mon, 9 Sep 2003

Micro inspection for wafer bumping

Fri, 2 Feb 2002
Inspection requirements for wafer-level packaging processes

New Products

Fri, 3 Mar 2002
System A45 is an automatic pick-and-place system designed to handle wafers up to 8-inches with low pick-up force and features an improved ink dot and wafer mapping capability

SEMICON West: Technology Advances During a Slow Recovery

Sun, 9 Sep 2002
SAN JOSE, CALIF. In spite of continuing uncertainty in the semiconductor industry, there was a healthy level of excitement on the show floor at the back-end portion of SEMICON West in San Jose this year

Wafer handling partnership for Adept and DEK

Mon, 7 Jul 2002
Adept Technology and DEK have announced a partnership to develop a fully automated wafer handling system for DEK's screen printer wafer bumping and ball placement system

RVSI Expands in Singapore

Fri, 3 Mar 2007
(March 30, 2007) HAUPPAUGE, NY — RVSI Inspection LLC is relocating and expanding its Singapore offices for package and wafer inspection. The site will include a demonstration, applications, and training facility.

TSMC and NEXX Collaborate

Thu, 3 Mar 2007
(March 22, 2007) BILLERICA, MA — NEXX Systems (Billerica) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC) of Hsinchu, Taiwan, will co-develop processes for cost-effective use of through-silicon vias (TSVs), wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSPs), and redistribution layers.

SEMICON China to Host Advanced Technologies

Mon, 3 Mar 2007
(March 12, 2007) SHANGHAI, China — SEMICON China 2007, March 21–23 in Shanghai, will include CEO forums on wafer processing and test-and-assembly, a discussion of MEMS opportunities, various talks on the logistics of operating in China and in cooperation with China RoHS, and an IC-design suppliers pavilion, in conjunction with the FSA and SICA. Various exhibitors will also highlight cleanroom technologies, advanced automation, and multi-metal compatibilities.

Test Handler System

Tue, 5 May 2007
The MT9928 semiconductor test handler system, with up to eight parallel test sites, supports 28,000 units-per-hour throughput and fast changeover between various package types. It reportedly offers temperature control and test accuracy.

DRAM Probe Card

Tue, 5 May 2007
For testing smaller-sized, smaller-density DRAM devices (512 Mb and below), the PH150XP wafer probe card incorporates a MicroSpring contact design that accommodates more than 25,000 contacts. It suits testing of consumer and mobile DRAM packages with high pin counts.

IBM and Partners Continue JDA into 32-nm Node

Thu, 5 May 2007
(May 24, 2007) EAST FISHKILL, NY — IBM, its Common Platform partners Charted Semiconductor Manufacturing (Singapore) and Samsung Electronics (Seoul, South Korea), and joint development alliance (JDA) partners Infineon Technologies (Munich, Germany) and Freescale Semiconductor (Austin, TX) signed a series of JDAs for 32-nm semiconductor process development and manufacturing. This is the fourth development node on which the partners have collaborated.

SEMI Reports Q'01 Shipments Rising

Tue, 5 May 2007
(May 22, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA — SEMI reported that Q'01 bookings worldwide for semiconductor manufacturing equipment rose about 6% in 2007 over 2006; billings rose approximately 12% over the same quarter last year. Billings increased significantly in Korea, China, and Taiwan.

KLA-Tencor Cleared to Buy Therma-Wave

Mon, 5 May 2007
(May 14, 2007) FREMONT and SAN JOSE, CA — The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) approved KLA-Tencor's bid to purchase Therma-Wave shares, completing the regulatory approval process for the metrology equipment company's acquisition.

SUSS Apps Center Opens in Singapore

Fri, 5 May 2007
(May 11, 2007) SINGAPORE — SUSS MicroTec AC opened its Applications & Measurement Center for the Asia-Pacific region. The Singapore center hosts test equipment for wafer test and semiconductor characterization.

IITC Celebrates 10 Years

Fri, 5 May 2007
(May 4, 2007) SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) began 10 years ago in 1997 in response to IBM's copper interconnection technology ramp. The forum, June 4–6 in San Francisco, presents R&D work on semiconductor processing, advanced materials, equipment development, and interconnect systems for scientific, engineering, and related industries.

SEMI Q'02 Figures Show Sustainable Market

Wed, 8 Aug 2007
(August 15, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — SEMI reported global semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings at $11.06B in Q'02 2007, and bookings at $10.22B. Strong memory investments in the first half of 2007 led to an increase in billings, according to Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, adding that bookings declined, but remained at "sustainable levels."

No Reprieve in Raw Metals Costs

Tue, 8 Aug 2007
(August 15, 2007) LONDON, NEW YORK and TOKYO — Data from the London Mercantile Exchange (LME) confirms that — at mid-year 2007 — copper, lead, and tin raw metal prices remain above 2006 levels. Leadframe materials, including copper and nickel, are hitting record prices, asserts The Nikkei Business Daily, which suggests that component manufacturers are resistant to absorbing the higher raw metals costs.

IC Foundries Face Shortages

Tue, 8 Aug 2007
(August 7, 2007) SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The major IC foundries — including TSMC, UMC, SMIC, and Chartered — will move from 78.5% capacity utilization in Q'01 2007 to 97.5% by Q'04 2007, according to the "August Update to the McClean Report," from IC Insights. This shift signals IC foundry customers to secure Q'04 2007 and early 2008 capacity needs, as space may run out.

MEMS Roadshow Highlights 300-mm Technologies

Fri, 4 Apr 2007
By Françoise von Trapp, managing editor

MEMS technology spans the entire semiconductor industry, with wafer processes through test, assembly, and packaging. As these micro-sized devices involve delicate structures, processes continue to evolve to address the complexities of MEMS manufacturing. SUSS and STS joined forces to present a U.S.-based roadshow "MEMS Technology: Embracing the Future," to share developments that are bringing manufacturing processes into the 300-mm range.

Probe Card Boasts 26,000 Pins

Thu, 4 Apr 2007
(April 26, 2007) LIVERMORE, CA — FormFactor, Inc., shipped a 26,000 pin-count wafer probe card, based on its PH150XP platform, to packaging and wafer-test house Tera Probe, Inc., for testing advanced DRAM wafers.

Skip Fehr Joins Mirror's Board

Wed, 4 Apr 2007
(April 25, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA — Gerald K. "Skip" Fehr, Ph.D., joined Mirror Semiconductor's technical advisory board (TAB), to develop the company's wire-bonding designs, named Mirrored Pinout. Fehr, an industry consultant in San Jose, has served at Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, LSI Logic, and Texas Instruments (TI).

Die Sorter Platform

Tue, 5 May 2007
A high-speed system for tape-reel processing, the CS1250 sorter packages wafer-level chip-scale packages, flip chips, and other devices from wafer to tape reel. Four inspection points — pre-pick, post-flip, in-pocket, and post-seal — examine bump size, shape, and array; edge chip; laser mark; position and flatness in pocket; and other parameters.

Next-generation Wafer Bonder

Tue, 5 May 2007
With a new design platform and attention to uniformity, the ELAN CB8 wafer bonder suits emerging technologies such as MEMS and 3D interconnects, as well as high-volume wafer-bonding applications.

WLP Photoresist Descuming with Plasma Treatment

Mon, 2 Feb 2007

By Scott D. Szymanski, March Plasma Systems

Commercially available plasma treatment systems can be used for a variety of wafer-level packaging (WLP) process steps including removal of photoresist residue after development (i.e. descum); organic, metal, and oxide contamination removal; wafer surface cleaning; and other processes. Through various alterations to the plasma chemistry or chamber configurations, these systems meet demanding WLP processing requirements.


Fraunhofer to Use STS's DRIE in Packaging Research

Wed, 1 Jan 2007
(January 24, 2007) NEWPORT, Wales, U.K. — Surface Technology Systems plc (STS) won a European Union (EU) tender from the Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM (Munich, Germany) for an MPX Pegasus system. The advanced silicon etch (ASE) system has a single process chamber with manually loaded vacuum loadlock and a carousel wafer handler for 2-4 wafers. Fraunhofer IZM will use the system in industrial R&D for packaging applications.

U.S. IDM Installs Olympus Wafer Inspection System

Thu, 9 Sep 2007
(September 6, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA — Olympus Integrated Technologies America (Olympus-ITA), a subsidiary of Olympus Corporation of Japan, completed sale of its Model AL3300 wafer inspection and defect review system to a U.S.-based integrated device manufacturer (IDM). The company will use the AL3300 to inspect tops, edges, and back-sides of 300-mm wafers for bad coats, hot spots, scratches, and contamination.

Plasma, Thermal Partnership Yields Combined Equipment

Tue, 9 Sep 2007
(September 5, 2007) PFAFFENHOFEN, Germany — UniTemp GmbH, in partnership with plasma-finish GmbH, developed a semiconductor processing and packaging system that combines plasma and thermal applications. The resulting plasma-temperature processing oven, Model PTP, features a compact chamber and fast ramp rates.

Alcatel Supplies Next-gen DRIE for STMicro

Tue, 9 Sep 2007
(September 5, 2007) ANNECY, France — STMicroelectronics SAS (Tours, France), a division of STMicroelectronics NV Group, ordered the AMS 4200 DRIE production tool from Alcatel Micro Machining Systems. STMicro will use the tool for deeper advanced etching to realize 3D semiconductors and integrated MEMS packages.

Gartner Predicts Tempered Expansion

Wed, 7 Jul 2007
(July 25, 2007) STAMFORD, CT — Three semiconductor manufacturing facilities, all in China, began production in the second quarter of 2007; however, generally slow growth in semiconductors will keep the packaging-and-test sector from meeting growth levels set in 2006, according to Gartner Inc.'s report "Semiconductor Packaging, Assembly, and Test Facilities: Worldwide, Q'03 2007."

CEA Installs Alcatel Systems for TSVs

Mon, 7 Jul 2007
(July 23, 2007) GRENOBLE and ANNECY, France — Alcatel Micro Machining Systems will provide two 200-mm DRIE and LTPE CVD systems at CEO/Léti-Minatec R&D institute under a joint development agreement. The parties will collaborate to develop and demonstrate a suite of turnkey silicon microvia technologies for 3D integration at wafer and die levels.

Thermoplastic Molding
Victrex

Tue, 9 Sep 2007
T-series TF-60C compound, a proprietary blend of PEEK polymer, Celazole polybenzimidazole (PBI), and carbon-fiber reinforcement, can replace polyimides and metals in semiconductor and electronics assembly. TF-60C is a melt-processable thermoplastic that tolerates harsh environments up to 300°C.

FlipChip International Names VP Sales and Marketing for WLP and Bumping Business

Tue, 9 Sep 2007
(September 25, 2007) PHEONIX, AZ—FlipChip International (FCI) announced the appointment of David McComb as global vice president, sales and marketing for its wafer level packaging (WLP) and bumping business. McComb, who joined FCI in 2005 as the director of European business and sales, will assume responsibilities for sales, marketing, and licensing for FCI's activities for international customers.

Gartner Reports 23% Growth in Equipment

Thu, 4 Apr 2007
(April 5, 2007) STAMFORD, CT — Capacity needs, competitive investment in memory, 65-nm ramping, and 45-nm introductions all contributed to a 23% revenue increase in 2006, said Gartner, Inc.'s "Dataquest Insight: Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Sales Expanded in 2006."

Equipment Sales Climb 23% in 2006

Mon, 4 Apr 2007
(April 4, 2007) SAN JOSE, CA — Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $40.47 billion in 2006, up 23.1% over 2005. Assembly and packaging sectors grew a total of 14%; test equipment sales increased by 21% over the prior year, according to SEMI's "Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (SEMS) Report."

Wafer Bump Providers Partner

Mon, 4 Apr 2007
(April 2, 2007) COLORADO SPRINGS, CO and JANGYIN, China — Wafer-bumping service provider IC Interconnect (ICI) and Jiangyin Changdian Advanced Packaging (JCAP), which produces solder, gold, and pillar bumps, formed an international alliance to transfer ICI technologies to Asia and JCAP bumping services to North America.

AOI for MEMS

Tue, 2 Feb 2007
The Falcon 600 automated optical inspection (AOI) system targets MEMS and other special applications for the semiconductor manufacturing and packaging industries. The model targets applications that require special handling and inspection capabilities, such as optoelectronic devices, MEMS, wafer-level packaging (WLP), and glass substrates.

SATS Industry Grows 26%

Tue, 2 Feb 2007
(February 27, 2007) STAMFORD, CT — The global semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS) market grew 25.7% in 2006, the fifth consecutive year this sector has exhibited double-digit growth, according to preliminary reports from Gartner, Inc. The SATS industry, the outsourcing portion of back-end packaging, assembly, and test, is propelled by major transitions to advanced packaging, including wafer-level, chip-scale, flip chip, and system-in-package (SiP) methods, said Jim Walker.

Back-end Process — Wafer Bumping

Tue, 2 Feb 2007
Advanced Packaging Techniques
By Terence Q. Collier, CVInc.

Traditionally, die are electrically connected to the outside world using fine gold or aluminum wires that attach from the die's bond pad to the land of a substrate or PCB. Wafer bumping involves taking those traditional aluminum pads and converting into a format that provides a desirable structure for solder adhesion (bumping). There are a number of new, old, and relatively untested techniques for bumping wafers.

People in the News

Mon, 10 Oct 2007
Companies spanning the spectrum of the back-end semiconductor manufacturing industry announced strategic promotions, appointments and new hires in the past week. Among them are STATS ChipPAC, Henkel Corporation, J.P. Sercel Associates, Cobar Europe BV, and Hesse & Knipps, Inc.

Austrian Semiconductor Manufacturer Installs Fouth EVG Aligner

Thu, 10 Oct 2007
(October 9, 2007) ST. FLORIAN, AUSTRIA — EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology, and semiconductor markets, announced the installation of its fourth IQ Aligner System for packaging applications at a major semiconductor manufacturing facility in Austria. This purchase reportedly strengthens the customer's capacity for wafer-level packaging of MEMS and display devices.

EVGroup Announces Bonder Install

Mon, 10 Oct 2007
(October 8, 2007) ST. FLORIAN, AUSTRIA — EV Group (EVG) announced the selection and installation of its EVG850TB fully automated temporary wafer bonding system by an Austrian semiconductor manufacturer. They system, designed for high-volume processing of thin- and ultra-thin device wafers, reportedly allows secure and reliable handling of high-value wafers while contributing to higher yield.

Rohm and Haas Receives SMIC Excellent Supplier Award

Tue, 8 Aug 2007
(August 28, 2007) PHEONIX, AZ — Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation honored Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, CMP Technologies with the company's 2007 Excellent Supplier Award, recognizing the efforts of the four Rohm and Haas business units that support SMIC: CMP Technologies, Microelectronic Technologies, Packaging and Finishing Technologies and Ion Exchange Resins.

Viscom Buys IR Inspection Line

Fri, 8 Aug 2007
(August 24, 2007) HANOVER, Germany and HILLSBORO, OR — Viscom AG will acquire the MX family of infrared (IR) inspection systems for semiconductor, MEMS, and package inspection from Phoseon Technology. The deal includes intellectual property (IP), product development, licensing, customer base, and employees attached to the inspection line. It will broaden Viscom's offering beyond AOI and X-ray inspection tools, said Volker Pape, co-founder and board member, Viscom.

Surfect Launches Wafer-bumping Service

Wed, 8 Aug 2007
(August 24, 2007) TEMPE, AZ

Enthone Appoints Process Integration Manager

Wed, 8 Aug 2007
(August 22, 2007) WEST HAVEN, CT — Enthone, Inc., a business of Cookson Electronics, named Bioh Kim as process integration manager of electronic materials. Kim has a metallurgical and semiconductor packaging background.

ICI Adds AAA to Electronic Materials Group

Mon, 8 Aug 2007
(August 20, 2007) RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, CA — ICI acquired Advanced Applied Adhesives (AAA — San Diego, CA) to expand its electronic materials (EM) group. AAA and sister company Designer Molecules, Inc. (DMI), offer die-attach adhesives for power applications and other packaging materials. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Process integration of electroplated solder bumps for WLP

Thu, 11 Nov 2001
Providing high density and performance for chip-to-system interconnection

The back-end process: Step 11 - Scribe and break

Thu, 11 Nov 2001
Die separation of thin silicon wafers and delicate III-V substrates creates challenges for traditional saw dicing

News

Fri, 6 Jun 2001
eople have talked about 3-D packaging for years, and there have been many demonstrations of stacked chip configurations, including high-volume production of SRAM/Flash memory stacks for mobile phones starting around 1999

Bumping technology

Sun, 4 Apr 2001
Addressing industrial issues is key

In the news

Sun, 4 Apr 2001
Unitive announces venture in Taiwan

From dicing to packing: Examining the packaging process

Thu, 3 Mar 2001
Despite the many advances in assembly manufacturing since the IC was invented, the basic process has not changed significantly

C4 makes way for electroplated bumps

Thu, 3 Mar 2001
Until recently, controlled collapse chip connection bump technology, developed in the late 1960s, provided a reliable interconnect for high-performance, leading-edge microprocessors

Solder bump inspection

Sun, 9 Sep 2002
Evaluating new flip chip designs

Back-end assembly: Closing the traceability gap

Mon, 10 Oct 2001
In semiconductor manufacturing, the high value of semiconductor wafers has traditionally placed a heightened emphasis on wafer traceability - the ability to automatically track a wafer through the fabrication process

Lithography for advanced packaging

Sat, 12 Dec 2001
Solutions for wafer edge processing

Progress!

Fri, 11 Nov 2002
Editors and other people with the luxury of observing and commenting have been exhorting the packaging part of the semiconductor industry to work more closely with the front-end portion of it.

Advanpack Announces Fine-Pitch Lead-free Bumping

Tue, 10 Oct 2002
SINGAPORE — Advanpack Solutions PTE Ltd. (APS), a packaging developer and contract wafer bumper, announced a new capability to meet the legislative restrictions imposed by the European Commission that require lead-free electronics packaging by January 1, 2006.

TSV fab tool combines stress-free CMP with thermal flow etch

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

ACM Research Shanghai, Ltd., introduced the integrated Ultra iSFP stress-free polishing (SFP) semiconductor manufacturing tool for 65-45nm copper (Cu) interconnects, improving through silicon vias (TSV) with better heat dissipation.


Brewer Science, EVG commercialize temporary wafer bonding with zoning laws

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

Brewer Science Inc. and EV Group (EVG) will both commercialize ZoneBOND technology for temporary wafer bonding, thin wafer processing, and debonding applications.


TSV electroplating dev team unites SVTC, Amerimade Technology, Shanghai Sinyang Semiconductor Materials

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Nanotech accelerator SVTC Technologies, wet chem equipment maker Amerimade Technology, and chemicals company Shanghai Sinyang Semiconductor Materials will collaborate on electroplating processes for TSV that are production-ready for advanced packages and MEMS.


Air-cooled wafer probe chuck debuts in modular format

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

ERS uncrated the ERS AirCool 3 wafer thermal test system with modular options and easy integration into all major wafer prober systems.


Rudolph wins TSV inspection systems order

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Rudolph Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:RTEC) shipped its Wafer Scanner 3880 3D Inspection System, multiple NSX Macro Defect Inspection Systems and its Discover Yield Management Software Suite to a leading semiconductor manufacturer for use in developing through silicon via (TSV) structures.


Toshiba selling Amkor its Malaysian SATS ops

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Amkor will acquire Toshiba Electronics Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Toshiba

Ziptronix low-temp direct oxide bonding scales pixels to 0.7

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

In a podcast interview with ElectroIQ.com, Ziptronix president & CEO, Daniel Donabedian, and company CTO, Paul Enquist, discussed both the Ziptronix wafer bonding technology and their partnership with Sony.


STATS ChipPAC Expands QFN Portfolio

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
(November 24, 2008) SINGAPORE — STATS ChipPAC Ltd. has expanded its quad flat no-lead (QFN) packaging portfolio with a strip-etch version for applications requiring increased design flexibility and higher input/output (I/O) performance in a small, thin package profile. The new QFN package family, referred to as QFNs-se, reportedly features a higher number of very thin I/O terminal pads than conventional single or dual-row QFN or leadframe-based quad flat packages (QFPs).

EV Group Reports Continued Growth

Thu, 11 Nov 2008
(November 20, 2008) ST. FLORIAN, Austria,— Crediting the continued demand in the 3D interconnect interconnect/through-silicon via (TSV) an nanoimprint lithography markets, EV Group reports an increase in revenue for 2008 of more than 15%. Despite the current global economic slowdown, the company says it remains cautiously optimistic about its outlook for 2009 given the expected growth opportunities to ensue as these novel technologies gain market acceptance/penetration.

MEPTEC Symposium: Density and Cost is Driving Innovation

Tue, 11 Nov 2008
by Julia Goldstein, Ph.D. contributing editor
Speakers at MEPTEC's Packaging Developments and Innovations Symposium, November 13, 2008 in San Jose, CA, presented various new technologies to enable package miniaturization while keeping costs in check. Much of the focus was on materials innovations that optimize the existing infrastructure. One departure from that was discussions surrounding through silicon via (TSV) advancements.

Dual-purpose 300mm dicing frame prober

Mon, 11 Nov 2008
The WDF 12DP is designed to address increased demand for probing ultrathin and diced wafers, and wafer-level testing of chip-scale and wafer-level packaging, stacked, and 3D technologies, as well as KGD testing of ultra-hin wafers, singulated wafers, and strips on a dicing frame.

Multi Flip Chip Assembly for the Mass Market

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
By Christian Pichler, Datacon Technology GmbH
Originally targeted to high-end applications, flip chip assembly technology is rapidly finding its way into low-end applications for high-volume products with multiple chips, due to cheaper substrates and cost-effective bumping. This requires high speed and precision, which can be achieved cost-effectively by processing directly from the wafer using tried-and-tested, high-throughput flip-chip bonder platforms.

Packaging Requirements Key to Advancing Wafer Bonding Technology

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
By Paul Lindner, EV Group, St. Florian, Austria
Well-established as a process for forming silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates, wafer bonding is broadening its horizons to encompass bonding wafers for a variety of fast-growing applications. Regardless of the materials involved, packaging has emerged as the primary underlying driver. As wafer bonding technology evolves, key market, application, and industry trends can be linked to emerging advanced packaging requirements.

Stan Myers, SEMI, Provides Perspectives on R&D and Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
(July 14, 2008) SAN FRANCISCO — Setting the tone for the week's events, Stan Myers lead off SEMICON West's opening press conference, presenting the latest trends worldwide, midyear equipment forecast by market segment, and reporting the findings of the SEMI equipment productivity working group's (EPWG).

Countdown to SEMICON West: Exhibitor Preview

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
(July 7, 2008) SAN FRANCISCO, CA — With SEMICON West 2008 just one week away, July 15-17,at the Moscone Center, San Francisco CA, exhibitors are getting the word out to make sure attendees don't miss a thing. While SEMI has a full-line up of conferences, keynotes, and workshops planned, many exhibitors will be leveraging the venue to announce new processes, technologies, products, and more.

Wafer Scanner for Bump Metrology

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
The WS 3840, Rudolph Technologies' latest addition to the Wafer Scanner product family for inspection and metrology, integrates the company's laser triangulation technology for 3D bump metrology and sensitive 2D image-based macro defect inspection on the same wafer handler platform that is used by all of its advanced inspection and metrology tools. Laser triangulation reportedly allows for fast and accurate measurement of bump height and coplanarity.

MEPTEC Symposium Highlights MEMS Evolution

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
By Julia Goldstein, Ph.D., contributing editor
(June 3, 2008) SAN JOSE, CA — When Advanced Packaging magazine covered MEPTEC's first MEMS Symposium in 2003, MEMS was a technology with potential that needed to move from a technology-driven to a market-driven approach to succeed commercially. This year's symposium on May 22, 2008 was subtitled "MEMS Market Evolution — From Technology Push to Market Pull," suggesting that the potential has been realized.

Unisem Licenses FlipChip International's WLP Technologies

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
(June 16, 2008) KUALA LAMPUR, Malaysia — Unisem Berhad and its subsidiary, Unisem-Advantpack Technologies (UAT) have entered into an agreement with FlipChip International (FCI) to license FCI's wafer bumping and wafer-level packaging (WLP) technologies. The agreement will reportedly include FCI's core technologies. In return, FCI will become a shareholder in UAT.

SMT/Hybrid/Packaging 2008: Exhibitor Offerings Span Electronics Supply Chain

Fri, 6 Jun 2008
Nuremberg, Germany — Bigger and more international than ever, exhibitors at SMT/Hybrid Packaging, June 2-4, Nuremberg, Germany, focused their product showcases around the theme of automotive electronics, or used the venue for the European launch of new products.

Replisaurus Unveils "Middle-end-of-Line" Metallization Technology

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
(June 10, 2008) KISTA, Sweden and ST. JEOIRE, France — Just because Replisaurus, Inc. has maintained a low profile since announcing their first round of funding in August 2006, it doesn't mean there hasn't been a lot going on for the start-up company. In fact, just the opposite is true. With last week's announcement of the company's acquisition of Smart Equipment Technologies (SET), the company is ready show the world what it's been up to.

Macro-inspection Software Option

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
Systems combining multiple inspection tasks in one tool such as frontside, backside and edge inspection traditionally can run only one wafer lot at a time. With Vistec's software package option, Parallel Job Control for LDS3300 C, it is possible to run multiple control jobs at the same time, rather than have single modules sitting idle without measuring a wafer, while other modules are continuously scanning wafers.

STATS ChipPAC and Infineon Sign Second Agreement on eWLB Technology

Sun, 8 Aug 2008
(August 31, 2008) SINGAPORE— STATS ChipPAC Ltd. and Infineon Technologies have signed a second agreement in which STATS ChipPAC will provide manufacturing services for products based on Infineon's first generation embedded wafer-level ball grid array (eWLB) technology. This agreement between the two companies comes closely follows the Aug. 7 release announcing an agreement between Infineon, STMicroelectronics and STATS ChipPAC on joint development of next generation eWLB technology.

Advanced Probe Card Analysis Improves Yields, Speeds Product Development and Reduces Test Costs

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
By Darren James, Rudolph Technologies, Inc.
With the cost of some advanced packages reaching several times the cost of the die they contain, the value contributed by functional testing, which allows manufacturers to avoid the cost of packaging defective die, has grown dramatically. Of course, testing has its own costs in both money and time.

Wafer Loader Series

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
Designed for ultra-thin wafer handling, especially for back-end inspection, the NWL200 Series of wafer loaders from Nikon Instruments is said to be capable of loading wafers as thin as 100 µm. A chuck system to transfer wafers, an optimized arrangement of sensor beams that allow for accurate detection of wafer shape, and an optional edge-chipping detection function that automatically detects wafer cracking reportedly allows macro inspections of all areas.

Mask Aligner for 3D Packaging

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
The second-generation SUSS MA300, from SUSS MicroTec is a highly automated mask aligner platform for 300-mm and 200-mm wafers. Specifically designed for 3D packaging, it features a dedicated alignment kit for creating 3D interconnects for applications like chip stacking and 3D image sensor packaging. It also targets wafer bumping and wafer level packaging (WLP) applications, but can be used for other technologies where geometries in the range of 5 and 100 µm must be exposed.

Rudolph Receives Order from Micronas

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
(June 30, 2008) FLANDERS, NJ — Rudolph Technologies, Inc. has received a follow-on order from Micronas for both NSX Inspection System and Discover in-line defect analysis and data management software. The purchase will reportedly allow Micronas — supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) and sensor system solutions for consumer and automotive electronics — to provide additional inspection capacity demanded by the 100% inspection requirements customers in the automotive market.

Wafer-level CSP Interposers

Mon, 11 Nov 2008
Synergetix test socket interposers for wafer-level chip scale package (WLCSP) testing are used for vertical probing applications. The interposers have a plastic assembly containing IDI's semiconductor probe technology built in. Combined with an easy-to-design-and-fabricate load board, interposers require minimal attention throughout their life cycle.

Automatic Wafer Inspection

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
Viscom AG has broadened its platform into the semiconductor market with the introduction of the MX20000IR fully automatic wafer inspection system. The application scope of the system includes MEMS, wafer bonds, flip chip and photovoltaics. Wafers can be composed of various materials including silicon, gallium arsenide, aluminum oxide or III-IV composites, and others.

Mentor Graphics Chairman and CEO to Keynote at GSA Semiconductor Leaders Forum

Thu, 10 Oct 2008
(October 30, 2008) WILSONVILLE, OR— Walden C. Rhines, Chairman and CEO, Mentor Graphics, Corp. will be giving the keynote address at the GSA Semiconductor Leaders Forum on November 5, 2008 in Hsinchu, Taiwan, addressing the belief that the electronics industry is maturing, and its glory days are over.

SUSS MicroTec and STS Take the Show on the Road

Wed, 10 Oct 2008
(October 29, 2008) NEWPORT, UK and GARCHING, Germany— SUSS MicroTec and Surface Technology Systems (STS) are once again hosting a technology roadshow in five major Asian locations from October 29 to November 7. Similar to the US roadshow last spring, the series of one-day events is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest developments 3D Integration and advanced packaging.

Online Interview: Ziptronix Joins Low-cost Quest for True 3D-IC

Tue, 10 Oct 2008
By Fran

STMicroelectronics, STATSChip PAC, and Infineon Join Forces in Next-gen WLP Development

Thu, 8 Aug 2008
(August 7, 2008), GENEVA, SINGAPORE, and NEUBIBERG, Germany — STMicroelectronics, STATS ChipPAC, and Infineon Technologies AG have signed an agreement to jointly develop the next-generation of embedded wafer-level ball grid array (eWLB) technology, based on Infineon's first-generation technology, for use in manufacturing future-generation semiconductor packages.

Wafer Backside Coating

Mon, 8 Aug 2008
Using stencil, screen printing, and spin coating techniques, Henkel's Ablestik 8000 series, wafer backside coating (WBC) reportedly enables the deposition of die-attach materials to the wafer backside down to a thickness of 20 µm on wafers as thin as 100 20 µm and up to 300 mm in diameter. Unlike conventional dispensing methods, printing or spin coating materials onto the wafer is said to deliver a tightly controlled, high UPH for high-volume die attach adhesive deposition.

High-power UV Laser for Micromachining

Mon, 8 Aug 2008
The AVIA 355-28, from Coherent extends the company's family of micromachining lasers to deliver] 28 Watts of output at 355 nm (at 110 kHz). This high power and repetition rate is said to increase throughput for micromachining applications in semiconductor fabrication and packaging. Target applications include dicing and scribing of silicon wafers and low-k semiconductors, and via-hole drilling in PCBs and flip chips.

High Resolution SEM

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
With the Magellan XHR SEM, FEI Company has launched a class of instruments called extreme high-resolution scanning electron microscopes that allow scientists and engineers to view 3D surface images at different angles and at resolutions below one nanometer. The Magellan XHR SEM images samples at very low beam energies, avoiding distortions otherwise caused by the beam penetrating into the material below.

JPSA Partners with DynTest for Wafer Scriber/Breaker Development

Thu, 7 Jul 2008
(July 24, 2008) MANCHESTER, NH — J P Sercel Associates (JPSA) and DynTest Technologies of Grassau, Germany, have entered into a collaborative partnership reportedly to develop and manufacture high-precision scriber / breaker solutions for wafer singulation. DynTest specializes in precise, accurate, and efficient breaking systems, while JPSA specializes in high-speed, high-accuracy laser workstations for wafer scribing.

Advanced Packaging and Solid State Technology Applaud 2008 ACA Winners

Tue, 7 Jul 2008
(July 22, 2008) NASHUA, NH — On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, the editors and publisher of Solid State Technology (SST) and Advanced Packaging Magazine presented the 2008 ACA Awards, in usual impromptu style on the floor at SEMICON West. This was the sixth straight year attendees of SEMICON West were invited to vote on products they saw at the annual trade show.

Hermes European Embedded Dies Consortia Partners with Flip Chip International

Mon, 7 Jul 2008
(July 8, 2008) PHOENIX, AZ — Hermes, the Eurpoean consortia for the development and industrialization of embedded die technology, has partnered with Flip Chip International (FCI) to leverage the company's proprietary embeddable die customization (EDC) technology to enable the consortium's pursuit of heterogeneous systems integration.

C4NP Process Update

Mon, 10 Oct 2008
Proven for high-volume 300mm manufacturing
By Emmet Hughlett, SUSS MicroTec, Inc.
In July 2007, IBM announced the qualification of C4NP for 200µm pitch lead-free solder bumping for shipped product. Since then, IBM has qualified 150µm pitch C4NP lead-free bumped wafers on a fully populated high-volume production line. SUSS MicroTec is completing build of additional C4NP equipment to meet ramping demand at IBM's Hopewell Junction bumping facility.

Semiconductor Materials Post Record Revenues

Tue, 4 Apr 2008
(April 1, 2008) SAN JOSE, CA — The global semiconductor materials market grew 14% in 2007 and is forecasted to grow over 11% in 2008 according to the latest materials forecast from SEMI. While the semiconductor industry grew 3% in 2007 to reach the $256B published by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the global semiconductor materials market grew 14% in 2007 to reach a record $42 billion.

Microlithographic Polymer Films

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
DuPont PerMx Series 3000 is a new version of permanent microlithographic polymer films designed for applications such as redistribution, bonding, and structuring. This multi-purpose film features high resolution, low-temperature cure and reportedly outstanding mechanical properties. These films are available in 10, 15 and 20&3181; thicknesses. It is said to achieve high yield and quality through uniform resist thickness across the entire wafer.

Wafer Bonder for CMOS Image Sensors

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
In response to market needs for 300mm process equipment capabilities to demonstrate 3D processes, SUSS MicroTec has introduced The XBC300. The XBC300 is designed for 3D integration and 3D packaging with through silicon vias (TSVs) and is ideal for the CMOS image sensor (CIS) early adopter market.

Combating Component Obsolescence — A Visit to Rochester Electronics

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
By Meredith Courtemanche, managing editor, SMT Magazine
"In a perfect world." This is a phrase uttered by many a project leader or product designer compiling a bill of materials (BOM) for a new product, new run of an existing assembly, or modified design. In a perfect world, market trends, materials changes, and technology advances would have no effect on the availability of components. No component would ever be obsolesced.

Pac Tech Announces Grand Opening and Technical Symposium

Mon, 9 Sep 2008
(August 31, 2008)SANTA CLARA, CA— In celebration of its new 55,000 sq.ft. wafer bumping and back-end processing facility in Penang, Malasia, Pac Tech Packaging Technologies is planning a grand opening ceremony and technical symposium on September 18 and 19, 2008, respectively. The festivities are intended to bring attendees up to date on all facility's capabilities, and inform them on new developments in packaging technology.

Wafer Bond Cluster Tool

Mon, 9 Sep 2008
Designed for advanced MEMS manufacturing and 3D wafer bonding, the CBC200 from SUSS MicroTec is a fully-automated, wafer bond cluster with up to 90 kN bond force and 600°C thermal capacity. These features are said to enable die size and cost reduction for MEMS devices. Additional features include post-bond alignment accuracy for metallic bonds to 1.25µm and cluster design concept and software for 24/7 production.

3D Technology and Beyond: 3D All Silicon System Module

Tue, 9 Sep 2008
By Ritwik Chatterjee, Ph.D., and Rao R. Tummala, Ph.D, Packaging Research Center—Georgia Institute of Technology
There is a need for miniaturization at the IC, module, and system levels. There is stil research and development required to bring this hetero-integration technology to cost-effective implementation with required reliability and performance needs. In addition to the module level, we must focus on performance, form factor, cost, and reliability of the entire system.

EV Group and Brewer Science Establish Ultra-thin Wafer Bonding Lab

Wed, 1 Jan 2009
(January 7, 2009) ST. FLORIAN, Austria and ROLLA, MO— In response to a call for localized support and increased demand of 3D IC process development in Asia Pacific, EV Group (EVG) and Brewer Science, Inc. have set out to outfit an ultra-thin wafer bonding lab in Taiwan. To this end, the companies announced the installation of an EVG 500 series wafer-bonding system at Brewer Science's Taiwan applications lab in Hsinchu Science Park.

TSV First and Last: Through-Si Via Technologies for 3D SIC and 3D WLP

Wed, 1 Jan 2009
Part 2
By Jan Provoost and Eric Beyne, IMEC
3D SIC uses a via first approach to connect circuits at the global IC level. 3D WLP uses a via last approach to connect circuits at the bond pad level. Both these approaches occupy a separate space on the 3D roadmap. This article, presented in two parts, offers both options and describes the process to realize them.

EVG, AMAT pair for 3D thin-wafer bonding

Fri, 7 Jul 2009
EV Group and Applied Materials say they will jointly develop wafer bonding processes for making through-silicon vias (TSV) in 3D IC packaging applications, working as members within the Semiconductor 3D Equipment and Materials Consortium (EMC-3D).

Stepping up to the 3D challenge

Wed, 7 Jul 2009
Soitec's president and CEO, André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, discusses the three pillars of 3D integration at the wafer level, as well as bonding at room temperature. Also noted is Soitec's partnership with IBM, announced during SEMICON West.

AMAT Joins EMC-3D Consortium

Tue, 2 Feb 2009
Applied Materials, Inc. has joined the international EMC-3D semiconductor equipment and materials consortium, which focuses on 3D chip stacking and MEMS integration.

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Mon, 2 Feb 2009
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GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Amkor co-develop semiconductor assembly and test methods

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

GLOBALFOUNDRIES entered into a strategic partnership with Amkor (NASDAQ:AMKR) to develop integrated semiconductor assembly and test processes for advanced silicon nodes. The aim is integrated fab-bump-probe-assembly-test steps that can be commercialized across multiple customers and end-market applications.


Unisem adds LTX-Credence tester to US test dev center

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

SATS provider Unisem purchased a LTX-Credence PAx RF Test System for its Sunnyvale, CA, test development center, joining other recent test/wafer equipment purchases at the site.


EVG expands HQ, hiring 100

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

EV Group (EVG), wafer bonding and lithography equipment supplier, began a manufacturing capacity expansion at its Austrian headquarters, adding floorspace, equipment, worker comforts, and a state-of-the-art visitor area. EVG will hire about 100 new staff members as part of the expansion.


TSV zen comes down to wafer processing balance

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

3D semiconductor packaging processes involve various groups, and standards are important in the hand-offs between them, explains Mark Berry, sales director at Metryx. He covers how to use metrology to protect wafer yields in 3D packaging.


Suss MicroTec 3D IC workshop addresses thin wafer handling and testing

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

At SEMICON West, 100+ attendees gathered at the Suss MicroTec workshop "3D Integration: Are we there yet?" to hear technical experts from around the globe to present updates on the status of 3D technology.


Hermetic wafer level packaging lowers cost with IMT Au Au bond

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

IMT introduced its hermetic gold-to-gold (Au-Au) thermo compression bonding for wafer-level packaging (WLP). In development for nearly a year, this bond is being actively used in production.


Camtek logs CMOS image sensor inspection unit orders

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Camtek Ltd. (Nasdaq:CAMT; TASE:CAMT) received an order for multiple wafer inspection systems from one of the world's largest manufacturers of CMOS image sensors (CIS).


MHI room-temp wafer bonder line grows with 300mm tool

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched a fully automated 12" (300mm) wafer bonding tool, Bond Meister MWB-12-ST, capable of producing 3D LSI circuits at room temperature. The 300mm bonder targets production of memory chips and MPUs.


@ The ConFab: Supply chain or supply web for 3D packaging?

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

With many advanced packaging processes taking place on the semiconductor wafer, the traditional supply chain of front-end fab at the foundry and back-end fab at the packaging and test house is falling apart. The ConFab session,

Indium expands electronics materials manufacturing with new facility in NY

Wed, 5 May 2012

Indium Corporation acquired a manufacturing facility in Rome, NY, to expand its production capacities of indium-, gallium-, germanium-, and tin-based materials, as well as other compounds.


Keithley Avoid wafer test probe set up cabling errors

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

Dave Rose, Keithley Instruments, addresses specific cabling techniques for DC, multi-frequency capacitance, and ultra-fast I-V and pulse testing, as well as the importance of proper grounding and shielding, choosing the proper interconnect for a specific measurement, and troubleshooting common interconnect problems.


Clarkson U tallies 1.4M support from Intel

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

During the past ten years, Clarkson University has received more than $1.4 million of direct and indirect (through Semiconductor Research Corporation) funding from Intel Corporation.


RF MEMS packaging collab DelfMEMS KFM

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

DelfMEMS and KFM Technology signed a common agreement to combine their expertise in RF micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and thin film packaging (TFP) technology. DelfMEMS will use the collaboration to provide packaged MEMS switches, fixed capacitors, and high-Q inductors on the same chip.


Packaging, assembly changes coming in next ITRS Update

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

Dr. Phil Garrou looks ahead to a laundry list of changes coming in the next ITRS Update with respect to assembly and advanced packaging, including 3D integration, interposers, and applications from medical to automotive and embedded applications.

 


STATS ChipPAC expands wafer level packaging WLP with 300mm line

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

STATS ChipPAC Ltd. (SGX-ST:STATSChP), semiconductor test and advanced packaging service provider, expanded its wafer level package (WLP) offering with new 300mm manufacturing capabilities in Taiwan.


Chipscale packaging tech garners SEMI award

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

SEMI named Thomas DiStefano, John W. Smith Jr., and Michael Warner as recipients of the 2010 SEMI Award for North America for contributions to the development and commercialization of Micro Ball Grid Array (μBGA) technology.


China WLCSP established R and D subsidiary in CA

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

China WLCSP Co. Ltd., provider of wafer level (WLP) miniaturization technologies for the electronics industry, confirmed its commitment to the US market with the opening of a new R&D center in Sunnyvale, CA.


22nm: The era of wafer bonding

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

The migration to the 22nm node is about more than just scaling down, it's also about scaling up with thinner devices stacked into a single package -- and these require new manufacturing considerations with wafer bonding playing a central role, writes Bioh Kim from EV Group.


Advanced packaging collab Rudolph Technologies process tool supplier IC device manufacturer for defect inspection wafer debonding

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

The development effort involves the integration of defect inspection with a debonding tool. Manufacturing efficiencies, along with the ability to handle ultra-thin wafers, necessitates the integration of inspection in de-bonding applications. Rudolph is bringing its inspection technologies to this three-way collaboration to provide this integrated process control solution.


Wafer probe parameters for current carrying capability in semiconductor test Microprobe

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Typical plot resulting from the SEMI methodology; a 20% contact force reduction marks the CCC spec. CCC improvement achieved through probe material conductivity (electrical and thermal) and high temperature strength increase. 75µm probe deflection.The trend toward complex semiconductor devices is fueling demand for more advanced wafer probe cards capable of accurately and cost-effectively testing these ICs, says January Kister, Microprobe. Kister examines the variables that impact current carrying capability (CCC) during semiconductor wafer test, and describe an optimal probe design with a composite metal structure.


Unisem adds Accretech wafer prober for 12 in wafers in Sunnyvale

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Accretech’s next generation prober, the UF3000EX, offers high-speed wafer handling, a low-noise XY stage, and high accuracy with its OTS (Optical Target Scope) positioning technology. 


SEMATECH reports die to wafer bonding progress for 3D integration

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

SEMATECH experts reported new breakthroughs in wafer bonding at the 7th Annual Device Packaging Conference (DPC), March 7-10 in Scottsdale, AZ. Low-temp die tacking has yielded faster die-to-wafer integration.


Wafer level packaging of image sensors

Sat, 1 Jan 2011
Wafer-level packages that use a glass cover over the package cavity and through-silicon vias to interconnect the die bond pads satisfy the packaging requirements for CMOS image sensors: compact, reliable, low cost, and accommodate both front- and back-illuminated image sensors with no external changes. Giles Humpston, Tessera Inc., San Jose, California, USA

Tooling and process technology vital for thin packages

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Getting thinner appears to be the goal driving the market in both the wafer-level and substrate-level sectors, and innovative tooling and process technology will become paramount in addressing thinned packaging and ramping up to volume reliably, writes Dave Foggie from DEK.


Lifting the veil on silicon interposer pricing

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Are we closer than we think to our needed mass production costs for silicon interposers? Phil Garrou gleans some insights from the year-ending RTI Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference.


Singapore IME launches 2.5D silicon interposer MPW

Wed, 12 Dec 2012

Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has launched a new multiproject wafer service for 2.5D through-silicon interposers, to provide a cost-effective platform for R&D prototyping and proof-of-concept in the technology.


Tezzaron licenses Ziptronix's bonding tech for 3D memory

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Tezzaron Semiconductor has licensed patents regarding Ziptronix's direct bonding technologies, "direct bond interconnect" (DBI) and "direct oxide bonding (ZiBond), for use in 3D memory.


Will the $2 interposer be silicon or glass?

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Dr. Phil Garrou reports from the 2nd annual Georgia Tech 2.5D Interposer Conference: what's the market projection for silicon and glass interposers, what's preventing high-volume manufacturing, and is there a crossover with flat-panel display glass manufacturing?


Alchimer pursuing partners with new CEO, CTO

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Alchimer SA says it is seeking partnerships with various semiconductor equipment and materials companies as it welcomes two top execs: Bruno Morel is the company's CEO since May of this year, and product development director Fr

Deca tips new M-Series chip-scale packaging offering

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

Deca Technologies has introduced a new chip-scale packaging (CSP) product line for applications where its existing wafer-level CSP option isn't a good fit. Details and analysis to come.


TEL acquires advanced packaging tool supplier NEXX

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

TEL will acquire semiconductor packaging equipment supplier NEXX Systems. NEXX makes advanced deposition equipment, including ECD and PVD tools, for wafer-level packaging (WLP).


Lockheed Martin develops new Cu solder

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Lockheed Martin scientists have developed a new "nanotechnology" copper-based solder that it says will produce joints with up to 10

SPTS Technologies, Fraunhofer IZM researching lower-temp films for TSVs

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Fraunhofer IZM's All Silicon System Integration Dresden (ASSID) center will add SPTS' etch and PECVD process capabilities to investigate low-temperature dielectric films for through-silicon vias (TSV) in 3D IC packaging.


Why SATS consolidation needs to happen

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

The advent of leading-edge semiconductor packaging technologies dictates efficient use of capital, and only the top-tier semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS) companies will have the financial wherewithal to develop required expertise and capacity, says one analyst.


KIT develops "photonic wire bond" for optical chip connections

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) say they have developed a novel optical connection process for semiconductors using "photonic wire bonding" that achieves data transmission rates of several Tbit/sec.


EVG updates modular coater/developer with OmniSpray, NanoSpray coating options

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

EV Group's updated modular EVG150 high-volume coater/developer adds new modules for conformal coating of high topography surfaces, and coating surfaces with vertical sidewall angles, such as through-silicon vias (TSV).


Packaging Roadmaps at MEPTEC

Fri, 4 Apr 2011
Phil Garrou, Contributing Editor

EVG enhances fusion wafer bonder throughput, accuracy

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

EV Group (EVG) launched a new flagship model in the GEMINI FB fusion wafer bonding family. The GEMINI FB increases system throughput 26% to 18-20WPH with enhanced automation capabilities and low-temperature processing.


Unisem installs Verigy tester for wireless products

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

Unisem installed a V93000 Port Scale RF tester from Verigy, an Advantest Group company, at its European test development center in Wales. Unisem will test and develop wireless RF and complex mixed-signal semiconductors.


Sony licenses Ziptronix oxide wafer bonding patents

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Ziptronix Inc. has licensed use of its oxide bonding technology for backside illumination imaging sensors patents to Sony Corporation. ZiBond technology enables more die per wafer, improving costs and quality for consumer, automotive, and other end-use applications.


Backside-illuminated image sensors: Optimizing manufacturing for a sensitivity payoff

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Backside-illuminated image sensors require more precise wafer processing -- uniform extreme wafer thinning, dopant control, epitaxy growth, trench manipulation, etc. -- but the payoff in image quality is significant. Researchers at imec experimented with different wafer fab technologies to make a record BSI sensor. They also consider new architectures/packaging techniques for this technology.


WLP start-up combines SunPower solar silicon fab with Cypress semiconductor interconnect

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Deca Technologies, a new company backed by Cypress Semiconductor and SunPower, will combine solar wafer manufacturing methods with semiconductor manufacturing support to create wafer-level chipscale packaging (WLCSP) derivatives.


Asian semiconductor packaging specialist orders SPTS etch, PVD and CVD technologies for TSV

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS) won a multi-system order for its Sigma PVD, Omega Etch and Delta CVD wafer processing systems from a leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) provider in the Asia-Pacific region.


STATS ChipPAC expands TSV service with mid end flow

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

STATS ChipPAC Ltd. (SGX-ST: STATSChP), semiconductor test and advanced packaging service provider, is expanding its 300mm through silicon via (TSV) offering with the addition of mid-end manufacturing capabilities.


3D IC is only solution for scaling "up," says MonolithIC 3D exec

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Transfer on top of processed wafer and replace gates (<400°C)Zvi Or-Bach, MonolithIC 3D, describes the TSV-beating monolithic IC fab process, and argues for scaling "up" rather than down. Or-Bach compares the costs of further semiconductor scaling to advanced packaging.


Stacked semiconductor die inspection debuts from Sonix

Fri, 3 Mar 2011

Sonix SDI stacked die inspection imageSonix Inc., scanning acoustic microscope designer and manufacturer, introduced its Stacked Die Imaging (SDI) enhancement, which effectively inspects for defects in semiconductor stacked die and wafer level packages (WLP) by selectively increasing the ultrasonic signal gain for deeper interfaces of interest.


TEL power chip dynamicing occurs at the wafer level

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) has successfully demonstrated dynamicing -- device switching/dynamic characteristic (AC) -- of a power device at the wafer level.


SUSS Microtec launches high-volume temporary wafer bonder with 1st install

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

SUSS MicroTec launched the XBS300 temporary bonder for high-volume wafer manufacturing. The Bond Cluster is configured to temporarily bond 200mm and 300mm wafers for 3D integration applications as well as other processes that require thin wafer handling.


3D IC prototyping process result of MENT, Tezzaron, MOSIS collaboration

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ:MENT), in a cooperative effort with Tezzaron Semiconductor and MOSIS, created a process for economically developing and manufacturing 3D-IC prototypes on multi-project wafers (MPWs).


Temporary wafer bonding market: More than 10 approaches today

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Figure. Temporary bonding tools used during a temporary bonding step. The figures in red show the order of the steps. Source: Yole, Thin Wafer Manufacturing Equipment & Materials Markets Report, June 2011. Yole Développement forecasts the temporary wafer bonding process growth and worth through 2016, and explains why there are so many process options, and who is working on them.


FormFactor next-gen DRAM tester contacts 850+ die in parallel

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

FormFactor (NASDAQ:FORM) introduced its new generation of the SmartMatrix 300mm full wafer contact probe cards for DRAM device test. The SmartMatrix 100XP probe card uses FORM's MicroSpring 3D MEMS contact technology and increases probe card parallelism to over 850 die, enabling single touchdown DRAM wafer test.


More Moore & More than Moore require fabless, foundry, and packaging houses on board

Tue, 5 May 2011

Complex supply chain. SOURCE: Yu, The ConFabToday at The ConFab, John Chen (Nvidia), Jeong-ki Min (Samsung Electronics), and Abraham Yee (Nvidia) gathered foundry, OSAT, and chip maker leaders to discuss what happens beyond Moore's Law. The following are key points from "Collaboration to Strengthen the IC Supply Chain."


Wafer bonding: Many options for many devices

Tue, 5 May 2011

Wafer bonding. SOURCE: Yole May 2011. Wafer bonding is a complex process, used on 2" to 12" wafers for MEMS, image sensors, advanced packaging, LEDs, and other chips. Yole Développement published a technology study and market research report, "Permanent wafer bonding," to derive trends in the market and technology through 2016.


Chip Supply changing its name to Micross Components, consolidating several facilities in Orlando

Wed, 5 May 2011

Semiconductor die and packaging specialist Chip Supply Inc. is changing its name to Micross Components, which reflects the acquisition of Chip Supply last November by Micross Components. Micross provides specialist products and services for high-reliability and state-of-the-art electronics for high-reliability, industrial, and commercial applications.


Alchimer wet deposition debut targets RDL, other 3D IC processes

Wed, 5 May 2011

Alchimer's wet-deposition process, AquiVantage, grows interconnect layers for interposer redistribution layers (RDLs) and significantly enhances via-last backside wafer interconnects. The process eliminates 2 costly photolithography steps.


Benchmark "mid-end" tools and materials for 3DIC and wafer-level packaging (WLP)

Fri, 5 May 2011

Yole Développement released "Equipment & Materials for 3DIC and Wafer-Level-Packaging," a database and complete report analyzing in detail the equipment and materials tool-box for wafer-level packaging (WLP). This semiconductor packaging technology falls into the "mid-end," where frontend semiconductor wafer fabs and backend packaging facilities both operate.


3D packaging disrupts the IC supply chain -- ConFab session dedicated to the OSAT/foundry/fabless relationship

Fri, 5 May 2011

The ConFab gathers semiconductor industry leaders to discuss the biggest trends in the chip manufacturing sector. One of these major trends is 3D packaging, and Session 2 on Monday (May 16) will combine packaging house, fabless, and foundry approaches to the new supply chain, with speakers from Amkor, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, STATS ChipPAC, and Qualcomm.


Rudolph's 3D package inspection system meets TSV, RDL, bump inspection needs

Thu, 5 May 2011

Rudolph Technologies' Wafer Scanner 3880 inspection and measurement systemRudolph Technologies (NASDAQ: RTEC) released the Wafer Scanner 3880 to inspect micro and standard bumps, through silicon via (TSV) post-via-fill copper protrusions (nails) and re-distribution layers (RDL) used in 3D IC packaging.


RDL: an integral part of today's advanced packaging technologies

Sun, 5 May 2011
RDL technology has been instrumental in the development of many advanced packaging technologies such as fan-in and fan-out WLP, and TSV applications. Philip Garrou, MCNC, Research Triangle Park, NC; Alan Huffman, RTI Int., Research Triangle Park, NC

Flooding in the Philippines threatens microelectronics facilities

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Heavy monsoons moving through the Philippines are causing floods in and around Manila, the capital. The Philippines is a small but growing area for microelectronics manufacturing and packaging facilities.


SemiProbe patent for modular test system approved

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

SemiProbe has developed proprietary technologies awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Probe System for Life allows the company and users to configure test and inspection systems that meet unique requirements usually served by custom products.


Docking and Mounting Interface Workgroup releases main goals

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

The group will work on standard terminology and reference points for the mechanical interfaces of probers, handlers, testers, dockings, contactors and load boards. All companies that use or supply test equipment are invited to actively contribute.


New report on embedded and fan-out WLP from Research and Markets

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Research and Markets released "Embedded Wafer-Level-Packages: Fan-out WLP/Chip Embedding in Substrate - 2010 Report," which covers embedded IC packaging markets, technology innovations, the manufacturing processes for fan-out and embedded wafer-level packaging, cost targets, and more.


Video: Readiness of 3D technologies from a materials perspective

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

Mark Privett, Brewer Science, says that new technologies allow use of higher temperatures as well as room-temperature processes, such as wafer de-bonding. The 3D industry is nearly ready for high-volume, yet still without industry standards.


Insights from SEMICON: Video interview with blogger Phil Garrou

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

In this video interview, Philip Garrou, microelectronics consultant and Advanced Packaging blogger, offers information on his blog, Insights from the leading edge, and summarizes reasonable roadmaps for 3D technology and TSV in particular. 2012 mainstream adoption seems too aggressive to Garrou.


Semiconductor fab and packaging in the US: Marcy Nano Center

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

In this video, Timothy Dunn, Marcy Nano Center, discusses building an eco system for advanced semiconductor manufacturing in the US. Marcy Nano Center is pre-permitted and site-ready to build a semiconductor site with a packaging focus, with its academic and industry partners.


AMEC targets advanced packaging TSV etc apps

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) is fielding interest from packaging companies in the Primo D-RIE tool, which can be used to etch wafers for through-silicon via (TSV) interconnects.


UAT tripling wafer bumping at Ipoh, Malaysia

Mon, 7 Jul 2010

Unisem Advanced Technologies (UAT) is expanding wafer bumping capacity in its factory in Ipoh, Malaysia. The bumping facility’s floor space will be increased by 100% and the increased capacity will be three times that of UAT’s current bumping capacity.


RoodMicrotec-adds-almost-EUR2m-capital

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

RoodMicrotec N.V. has successfully secured mezzanine capital of € 1.994 million without repayment obligation, providing a long-term strengthening of the company’s equity position.


Why 3D-IC conversion resembles the bipolar-CMOS shift

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

3D IC technology will require significant changes across the design, tool, and manufacturing spectrum -- that sounds a lot like how the industry transitioned from bipolar to CMOS, writes Dr. Phil Garrou, reporting from themes at an IEEE 3D event in Munich.


DCG-sends-wafer-test-systems-to-CIMPACA

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

The Centre Intégré de Microélectronique Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur (CIMPACA) selected DCG Systems products for its characterization and failure analysis platform: the ELITE lock-in thermography system and the Meridian WaferScan emission microscopy wafer prober with LVx option.


SEMATECH, SIA, SRC pursuing 3D standards

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

SEMATECH, the SIA, and SRC have established a new 3D Enablement program targeting standards in inspection, metrology, microbumping, bonding, and thin wafer and die handling.


FormFactor-FORM-makes-Board-of-Director-changes

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

FormFactor Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM) announced that Executive Chairman Carl Everett was elected to serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. Current lead independent director Jim Prestridge will remain on the Board. FORM also announced the resignations of Board members Homa Bahrami, Chenming Hu and Harvey Wagner.


EVG discusses the latest wafer bonding system study results

Thu, 7 Jul 2010

In this video from SEMICON West 2010, Marcus Wimplinger, EV Group, summarizes the results of SEMATECH work using EVG's 300mm bonding systems that enables submicron alignment. Highly accruate wafer bonding is used for Cu-to-Cu bonding and other packaging applications.


MicroProbe debuts MEMS-based, multi-DUT, ultra-fine-pitch probe card for IC wafer test

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

MicroProbe Inc., supplier of wafer test technology to the global semiconductor industry, released the MEMS-based Mx-FinePitch (Mx-FP) probe card. The test card series targets ultra-fine-pitch testing of leading-edge SoC and logic devices found in applications like digital cameras, set-top boxes and digital TVs.


Video: Wafer level packaging data from Texas Instruments

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

In this video interview, Dave Stepniak, Texas Instruments, talks about a wafer-level packaging (WLP) trends paper he presented at SEMICON West. He summarizes the paper for senior technical editor Debra Vogler.


Probe cards for combo wireless package test get boost from Cascade Microtech S-Technology

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

Cascade Microtech Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD), supplier of production probe cards with signal integrity for multi-site die testing, released S-Technology for improved contact physics. S-Technology provides a unique mechanical architecture for Pyramid probe cards designed to consistently deliver evenly distributed contact force for solder bump technologies.Cascade Microtech (NASDAQ: CSCD), supplier of production probe cards with signal integrity for multi-site die testing, released S-Technology, which provides a unique mechanical architecture for Pyramid probe cards to consistently deliver evenly distributed contact force for solder bump technologies in die tests.


GaAs test services debut from WIN Semiconductors, Presto Engineering

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

Users of WIN's GaAs foundry services can engage in wafer-level and package test in Silicon Valley, CA, and Grenoble, France.


Packaging-providers-growing-faster-than-semiconductor-market-Gartner-forecast

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

Packaging providers outgrowing semiconductor fab market: Gartner forecastJim Walker, research VP at Gartner, told attendees at the Gartner Semiconductor Briefing (11/4/10, San Jose, CA) that, after declining 14.7% in 2009, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test services (OSATS) market will expand by 37% this year, and by 6.2% in 2011.


Bond-align-mask-align-SUSS-MicroTec-Fraunhofer-collab

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

SUSS MicroTec and Fraunhofer for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST launched SELECT, a technology for bond aligners and mask aligners that selectively activates parts of wafer surfaces through plasma.


UNISEM records 40% jump in Q2 revenue from 2009

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Semiconductor packaging and test provider Unisem (M) Berhad announced results for the second quarter, ended 30 June 2010 (2Q10).


Interfacial properties of Cu-Cu direct bonds for TSV integration

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
With varying process conditions, the quantitative analysis of the interfacial adhesion energy of Cu-Cu thermo-compression bonds was performed. Bioh Kim, et al, EV Group, Inc., Tempe, AZ USA; Eun-Jung Jang, et al, Andong National University, Andong, Korea

Dielectric materials evolve to meet the challenges of wafer-level packaging

Mon, 11 Nov 2010
New polymers that are capable of buffering die structures from the package stresses will be required of advanced packaging; and materials will continue to evolve to meet the new requirements. Toshiaki Itabashi, DuPont Semiconductor Fabrication Materials, Kanagawa, Japan

IWLPC speaker Mackie will cover low-alpha assembly materials for wafer-level packaging

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

Indium Corporation’s global product manager, Andy C. Mackie, Ph. D., MSc, is presenting at the International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) October 11-14, 2010 in Santa Clara, CA.


Proteus Biomed chooses IC test house Integra for new designs

Mon, 9 Sep 2010

Integra Technologies, IC test and evaluation services provider, was selected by Proteus Biomedical for development and production test of their new integrated circuit (IC) designs for future medical electronics products.


TSV wafer measurement tool selected by 2 semiconductor equipment makers

Thu, 9 Sep 2010

Tamar Technology received orders from major semiconductor equipment manufacturers for its TSV measurement technology. Tamar’s proprietary Wafer Thickness Sensor can measure etch depth for TSVs as well as wafer thickness for single or bonded wafers.


STATS ChipPAC opens 300mm embedded WLP BGA (eWLB) manufacturing fab

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

STATS ChipPAC Ltd. opened a new 300mm embedded Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array (eWLB) manufacturing facility, switching over from 200mm technology. The official inauguration was held at STATS ChipPAC's Yishun facility in Singapore with more than 150 local dignitaries, customer representatives, business partners and management participating.


FormFactor drops Singapore manufacturing, keeps Japan and CA

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

FormFactor Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM) is ceasing its transition of manufacturing operations to Singapore. The wafer probe company's decision will result in a reduction of approximately 70 employees at its Singapore facility. Manufacturing that was planned for Singapore will stay in Livermore, CA.


Ultrathin chip fab process ready to ramp: IEDM presentation

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

ieee iedm chipfilm techJoachim Burghartz, IMS CHIPS, presented an improved version of the group's Chipfilm technology introduced at IEDM 4 years ago. The researchers now have a manufacturable process technology.


MicroProbe direct-dock extended to ADvantest T2000 SoC test

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

MicroProbe, wafer test technology supplier, is extending its direct-dock offering to support Advantest's T2000 SoC test platform. The T2000 platform-compatible option enables test coverage at wafer sort. More than 100 direct-dock probe cards are already in the field.


Flip-chip-wafer-level-packaging-see-double-digit-CAGR-says-TechSearch-International

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

TechSearch International’s new study, "2010 Flip Chip and WLP: Market Projections and New Developments," projects a CAGR of more than 15% for flip chip units. In unit volumes, WLPs are expected to see a 12.48% CAGR from 2009 to 2014. The report profiles drivers for the demand for gold and solder bumping, as well as WLP.


Mattson-wins-etch-order-for-WLP-facility

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSN) received a repeat order for the Alpine etch system from a leading semiconductor manufacturer. The system will be used in the customer's leading-edge 300mm packaging facility in Asia for advanced wafer-level packaging processes.


ESI appoints David Nierenber to board

Fri, 2 Feb 2010

Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: ESIO), a provider of photonic and laser systems for micro-engineering applications, appointed a new member, David Nierenberg, to its Board of Directors. Nierenberg, with professional experience in investing and management consulting, comes to ESI with significant expertise in strategic planning and corporate governance matters.


Reverse costing analysis of the Infineon X-GOLD 213-eWLB fan-out wafer-level package

Wed, 2 Feb 2010

System Plus Consulting released its new reverse costing analysis of the enhanced Wafer Level BGA (eWLB) packaging used in the X-GOLD 213 circuit from Infineon. eWLB is a ball grid array (BGA) package based on the emerging fan-out wafer-level package (FO-WLP) concept. All the packaging operations are done at the wafer level, and a fan-out area is provided to extend the package size beyond the IC surface area to allow for higher ball counts. The ball pitch is 0.5mm and only one redistribution layer is used for this 217 balls, 8 × 8mm package.


Burn-in and Test Socket (BiTS) Workshop Preview

Fri, 2 Feb 2010

The Burn-in & Test Socket (BiTS) Workshop will take place March 7–10, 2010 at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa Hotel in Mesa, AZ. More than 30 papers and posters will be presented; participants include end users and suppliers of sockets, boards, burn-in systems, handlers, and packages; and other related equipment, materials, and services. The TechTalk session on PCB design, fabrication and assembly is booked full, as is the tutorial on RF socket characterization by Gert Hohenwarter, Ph.D. of Gatewave Northern Inc. Here are some of the show highlights.


Process equipment readiness for through-silicon via technologies

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
Unit processes, integration schemes, and equipment are in place to enable development and pilot production of TSV technologies and all parts of the value chain do exist today at 300mm to enable integration technology qualification, end-product samples, and limited pilot production. Sesh Ramaswami, Applied Materials, Santa Clara, CA USA

ULIS invests EUR20M in advanced IR imaging sensor fab and packaging

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

ULIS invested EUR20 million in a new state-of-the-art facility to meet increasing market demands for IR technology, with a move to 200mm wafers and pixel/wafer-level packaging techniques.


Replisaurus advanced Cu metallization process nears commercialization at Leti

Fri, 7 Jul 2011

CEA-Leti and Replisaurus Technologies will begin applying Replisaurus' ElectroChemical Pattern Replication (ECPR) metallization process to customer target products, following a near-100% yield master.


SEMATECH survey on 2.5D, 3D IC; gaps in the via-mid ecosystem

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

Sitaram Arkalgud, director of interconnect at SEMATECH, discusses the high-volume manufacturability issues and gaps in both 2.5D and 3D semiconductor technologies with respect to backside processing and wafer bonding, thinning, and handling. Standards are also covered.


MHI 8" wafer bonder produces 3D LSI ICs at room temp with FAB gun

Wed, 7 Jul 2011
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) developed a fully automated 8" wafer bonding machine that bonds large-scale integration (LSI) circuits at room temperature, creating 3D ICs.

TSV moves to "real engineering," but reliability data needed

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

Jan Vardaman, president and founder of TechSearch International, summarizes highlights from her SEMICON West presentation on TSVs, speaking to RDL development, LED packaging, and TSV-alternative PoP.


Olympus inspects bonded wafers with IR microscopy

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Greg Baker, Olympus Integrated Technologies America, discusses why the company chose to focus its efforts on IR metrology for defect inspection of bonded wafers. Olympus-ITA launched the latest 3DIR Metrology and Defect Review System at SEMICON West 2011, booth 1524.


3M opens temporary wafer bonding lab in Taiwan

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

The 3M Semiconductor Innovation Center will serve the Asia region with 3M's Wafer Support System (WSS) materials and processes for temporary bonding for ultra-thin wafer handling applications.


300-450mm manual wafer test probe configuration out from SemiProbe

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

SemiProbe released a 300mm manual test probe configuration of its Probe System for Life, M-12. The M-12 is field-upgradable to 450mm.


Thin-wafer bond/debond metrology from EVG opens process control, supply chain possibilities

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

EV Group (EVG) added an in-line metrology module for its EVG850TB/DB automated temporary bonding and debonding systems.


Advanced IC packaging report covers key techs, markets

Thu, 10 Oct 2010

New Venture Research, a technology market research company, released "Advanced IC Packaging Technologies and Markets, 2010 Edition," a strategic report on the latest technologies in IC packaging, with forecasts of key markets.


OSAT places $3m order for Camtek wafer inspection systems

Wed, 10 Oct 2010

Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: CAMT) received an order for multiple wafer inspection systems from a major outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company in southeast Asia.


Paste print tool uses embedded electronics for finer pitches

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

DEK has launched ProActiv process technology to enable electronics manufacturers to print pastes with high-density heterogeneous PCBs and ultra fine pitch assemblies such as advanced package assembly. DEK has launched ProActiv process technology to enable electronics manufacturers to print pastes with high-density heterogeneous PCBs and ultra fine pitch assemblies such as advanced package assembly.


PVD System for 3D Packaging

Mon, 6 Jun 2009
The Applied Materials' Charger UBM PVD system was designed for under-bump metallization (UBM), redistribution layer and CMOS image sensor applications. Its linear architecture is said to more than double the wafer output of other systems. In addition, its proprietary Isani wafer treatment technology allows the UBM system to process ten times more wafers between servicing.

Chip backend consolidation looms after decline in 2008

Mon, 5 May 2009
Semiconductor packaging/assembly/test companies are gently ratcheting up their manufacturing capacity, but it won't be enough to prevent a culling of the herd, with nearly 20 (mostly older) facilities likely to be shuttered within a span of two years, according to new analyses from Gartner. And an improving outlook won't be enough to salvage what will likely be "one of the worst years in the SATS industry's modern era."

Angled Top-down Grind Method for Improved Via Filling Analysis

Fri, 5 May 2009
By Johannes Chiu, Ph.D., NEXX Systems, Inc.
Via filling analysis methods are mostly based on obtaining vertical cross-section images of the via. While these pictures provide a clear and easy way of visualizing the filling profile, sample preparation is generally tedious and can often lead to unexposed voids, unless the cross-section is taken straight through the centerline. A less intuitive — but more effective — method is to perform a horizontal cross-section.

3D IC Technology: Interconnect for the 21st Century

Mon, 4 Apr 2009
By Paul Enquist and Chris Sanders, Ziptronix, Inc.
In 3D IC technology, thinned, planar circuits are stacked and interconnected using through silicon vias (TSVs). 3D ICs have the potential to alleviate scaling limitations, increase performance by reducing signal delays, and reduce cost. Enabling technologies for 3D IC include TSV formation, thinning, and alignment and bonding. Realizing the full potential of this technology requires a scaleable approach to 3D IC fabrication.

The Riley Report

Tue, 4 Apr 2009
Non-traditional Applications of Jet Dispensing
by George A. Riley, Contributing Editor
While jetting is common in semiconductor packaging, it is finding new applications in emerging fields. At the recent SMTA Pan Pacific Symposium, Alec Barbiarz of Asymtek described jetting opportunities in medical analytics, high-intensity lighting, active-matrix displays, green energy, and 3D assemblies.

Galaxy Thin Wafer System from DEK

Wed, 8 Aug 2009
Building on its Galaxy imaging platform, DEK has used the foundation of the technology's supreme accuracy and precision to develop a system specifically for processing thinned silicon wafers.

Behind Brewer Science's wafer bonding work

Mon, 8 Aug 2009
(August 10, 2009) SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Karen Twillmann, executive director of corporate marketing at Brewer Science, and Dan Wallace, the company's director of 3D packaging, discusses the advances made by the company's temporary bond adhesive for wafer bond applications.

Wafer-to-wafer Bonding: Using Pressure-indicating Film for Eutectic/Thermocompression Bonds

Fri, 8 Aug 2009

Kwan-yu Lai, Micralyne, and Jeffrey G. Stark, Sensor Products, describe the use of color-coded pressure-indicating film to ensure uniform, correct pressure during wafer bonding. Wafers are bonded by applying precise combinations of physical pressure, temperature, and/or voltage. Pressure is measured as an average, assuming perfectly flat pressure plates.


DirEKt Microsphere Ball Placement

Fri, 8 Aug 2009

Extending its capabilities for placing solder spheres at high speed, DEK's DirEKt Ball Placement process now enables accurate solder sphere deposition for spheres as small as 200µm in diameter with pitches as tight as 300µm.


SEMICON West Exhibitor's Products

Mon, 6 Jun 2009
(July 15, 2009) — Following are some of the booth highlights from companies exhibiting at SEMICON West, July 14–16, 2009 in San Francisco, CA. Booth demonstrations include cleaning products for flip chips, bonded wafer inspection systems, airborne particle sensor/monitors, die-attach systems, and more for semiconductor manufacturing, packaging, and test.

Asys plucks DynTest for LED singulation tech

Mon, 5 May 2010

The Asys Group say it has acquired the IP and patents of fellow German firm DynTest Technologies, seeking to apply the company's wafer singulation technology to high-brightness LEDs.


Gartner: Worldwide semiconductor capital equipment spending to grow 76% in 2010

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

Worldwide semiconductor capital equipment spending is projected to surpass $29.4 billion in 2010, a 76.1% increase from 2009 spending of $16.7 billion, according to Gartner Inc. Gartner cites a dramatic recovery in semiconductor orders for the equipment order surge.


Die attach equipment and ESD

Wed, 3 Mar 2010

Substantial amounts of electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage are not only possible, but probable in semiconductor die attach operations, leading to substantial yield losses. Roger Peirce and Brad Williford from Simco illustrate seven distinct mechanisms in typical die attach operations that cause electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage to chips being handled.


Lithography and wafer bonding solutions for 3D integration

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

Given the advantages and technical feasibility of through-silicon vias (TSV), the major focus now is on the manufacturability and integration of all the different building blocks for TSVs and 3D interconnects. EV Group's Thorsten Matthias et al. review advances in lithography, thin wafer processing, and wafer bonding, and the integration of all these process steps.


Parallel Universes Draw Closer

Thu, 2 Feb 2009
By Fred Taber, General Chairman, BiTS For the most part, the universe of wafer probes and the one for sockets have customarily been separate and distinct. Yet they parallel each other in so many ways: they provide temporary electrical contact to a device under test, and have many common technical challenges, such as contact resistance, signal integrity, tight pitch and cleaning, among many others.

Burn-in Test Socket Challenges

Thu, 2 Feb 2009
By Gail Flower, Editor-at-Large This article provides a broad review of the issues affecting socket usage: lead-free challenges, finer pitch adjustments, cost control, standardization, practical customer concerns, and improvements needed for 3D packages and other innovations on the horizon. Through conversations with industry experts, we explore a few common themes from this year's Burn-in and Test Socket Workshop (March 8 -11, 2009) in Mesa, AZ.

Thermal Test Chip

Mon, 2 Feb 2009
By Bernie Siegal, Thermal Engineering Associates, Inc.
A thermal test chip is usually designed to help thermal engineers answer critical thermal packaging or material questions. These chips either target general purpose applications, or thermal simulation of a very specific application chip. General-purpose chips must meet some key requirements. This article outlines these requirements, and describes a chip that meets them in the simplest manner possible.

Allvia shows off its Si interposer data

Tue, 12 Dec 2009

Nagesh Vodrahalli, VP of technology & manufacturing at Allvia, discussed some of the issues in developing through-silicon via (TSV) technologies with Solid State Technology/Advanced Packaging in conjunction with his presentation at the recent 3-D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference.


Alchimer: Higher-AR TSV saves $700/wafer

Wed, 11 Nov 2009

A new study suggests that through-silicon vias (TSV) with higher aspect ratios (20:1 or 10:1, vs. 5:1) offer a significant payback by saving space on a die, up to $700 per wafer.


AMAT buys Semitool, deepens inroads into AP, Cu for memory

Tue, 11 Nov 2009

Execs from Applied Materials and Semitool discuss the motivations behind AMAT's $364M acquisition, to solidify and widen a presence in two key growth segments: advanced packaging and copper interconnects for memory.


Hitachi unit improves microhole-drilling processes for PCBs

Thu, 11 Nov 2009

Hitachi Via Mechanics says it has developed new processes for microhole drilling cast polyimide wafers and multilayered materials used in high density electronics packaging, that can produce ≤100μm-dia. holes in high-volume manufacturing.


IMAPS 2009: Fusion bonding for 3D/TSV, wafer-level/multichip packaging for MEMS

Mon, 11 Nov 2009

Presentations at this year's International Symposium on Microelectronics (IMAPS, San Jose, Nov. 1-5) included discussion of TSV/3D integration challenges and temporary bonding steps qualified for different process flows, and a wafer-level packaging (WLP) encapsulation process and stacked multi-chip package (MCP) for a MEMS variable capacitor and control IC chip.


IMAPS GBC and Device Packaging Conference in Review

Tue, 3 Mar 2009
by Fran

Thin Wafer Processing

Tue, 3 Mar 2009
By Hans Hirsher, Ph.D. and Hans Auer, Oerlikon Systems The demand for thin and ultrathin semiconductor devices grows continuously. Discrete and bipolar IC's as well as devices for stacking or thin packages require thinner and thinner wafers. The challenge is to find a reliable processing method.

Revisiting the Path to Burn-in

Tue, 3 Mar 2009
by James A. Forster, Ph.D., Antares Advanced Test Technologies
As IC manufacturers rely more on the burn-in process to bring the latest devices from fabs to consumers, it is important to understand burn-in test. As feature size is reduced into the nanometer range, designers can place more circuits on a square of silicon. As the number of transistors and the total amount of circuitry on a chip increases, the potential for a defect increases, leading to immediate or future failures.

Innovative Advanced Packaging Technologies Enable Leading-edge Wireless Products

Mon, 3 Mar 2009
By Manish Ranjan, Ultratech Inc.
Leading-edge consumer electronic products demand innovative silicon and packaging solutions. While front-end silicon technologies have progressed at a pace defined by Moore's Law, the back-end infrastructure has lagged in similar advancements. This has created an interconnect gap whereby the signal speed achieved on the silicon side is significantly higher than the speed achieved on the printed circuit boards.

Back-end Semiconductor Manufacturing Heating Up

Wed, 9 Sep 2009

Rudolph Technologies, Inc., announced that is has received orders for 20 tools from the world’s four largest outsourced assembly and test (OSAT) companies and major foundry companies. The orders are for Rudolph’s automated macro defect inspection equipment, which typically sell within a range of $600k to $1.2m. 


Suss MicroTec banks on ATM in its new 3D probe station

Mon, 9 Sep 2009

Süss MicroTec's Stojan Kanev tells SST/AP about the company's new addition to its toolset for 3D integration: a probe station targeting 300mm wafer-level 3D stacked structures.


Highlights from the 2010 ECTC

Tue, 6 Jun 2010

At the Electronic Components & Technology  Conference (ECTC)  this month in Las Vegas the CPMT (Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology) Society of IEEE bought out their long time partners ECA (formerly EIA). Other news: STATSChipPAC expanded its presence in eWLB, copper-copper bonding in 3D was reviewed, and Doublecheck Semiconductors, working with Disco and the Fraunhoffer IZM claims to have developed technology that enables standard silicon wafers to be thinned down to less than 100µm.


Getting costs out, standards in for high-volume TSS

Thu, 5 May 2010

High-density through-silicon stacking (TSS) shows promise for very high-volume applications, but work still needs to be done to "tame" key issues in manufacturing, improve costs, and smooth out the supply-chain, said Matt Nowak, director of engineering in Qualcomm's VLSI technology group, in a presentation at The ConFab in Las Vegas.


SATS Update: Riding the Packaging Wave

Thu, 11 Nov 2007
Semiconductor assembly and test service (SATS) providers have been all over the news this year, with mergers and acquisitions, R&D collaborations, and technology innovations.

Through-wafer Inspection for MEMS Devices — a Comparison

Thu, 1 Jan 2009
Defect detection within MEMS devices is vital to ensure their operation, but many mechanical properties cannot be determined through electrical or functional test.

Behind the Scenes

Thu, 1 Jan 2009
On a picture-perfect day in October, the Advanced Packaging roadshow crew took to the autobahn from Stuttgart, Germany to Hanau, to tour Umicore Electronic Materials.

Chips-first Approach to System-on-chip

Thu, 3 Mar 2007
System-on-chip (SoC) is a concept that has been proposed and, to some extent, introduced into the electronics marketplace.

Semi packaging... a good investment?

Wed, 11 Nov 2000
I can't help but be amazed by the investment community's growing interest in semiconductor packaging. I would have thought that the packaging industry as a whole significantly lacks in glamour when compared to the high-flying (and fast-crashing) dot coms, and software, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies

Honors for copper design and IC innovation

Wed, 11 Nov 2000
PHOENIX - In SRC's Copper IC Design Challenge, a national technology contest for university students that encourages exploration of the possibilities of copper in leading-edge IC manufacturing

Back-end Processes Take Center Stage at SEMICON West

Wed, 8 Aug 2007
Whether the topic of discussion was yield management, reducing cost of production and test, the next area of industry expansion, or where a company is realizing the greatest revenue, back-end assembly and test was the focus at SEMICON West 2007.

Your Vote Matters

Sun, 7 Jul 2007
Advanced packaging is a dynamic sector of the semiconductor device manufacturing realm, as evidenced in the breadth of back-end and final assembly-and-test products on display at this year’s SEMICON West exhibition, held July 16-19 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

Fluxless Wafer Bumping by Electron Attachment

Mon, 1 Jan 2007
One of the keys to successful wafer bumping is the removal of surface oxides on the deposited solder during reflow, usually done by using organic fluxes.

Outsourcing packaging engineering: The key to the ticking clock

Tue, 8 Aug 2000
Time-to-market is indisputably the key issue facing the semiconductor industry. In the midst of the Internet revolution, opportunities abound for those semiconductor companies that can provide rapid solutions to these new-world demands

Electroplating Technology

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
Through the use of patented electroplating technology, Unitive Electronics has announced the ability to produce a wide array of bump sizes and pitches for wafer bumping. Bumps ranging from 20 to 800 µms reportedly can be generated, with densities as high as 20 µm bumps on a 50 µm pitch. The process is based on patented Intermetallic Compound Patterning wafer bumping technology, which uses certain metals in the under-bump metallurgy to form intermetallic compounds with liquid solde

Stacked multi-chip CSP standards

Thu, 6 Jun 2000
JEDEC has propelled stacked chip-scale package standardization efforts in the form of a common agreement on SRAM and flash chips in a single package.

New Products

Mon, 5 May 2000
Suspension Profile System

Enhancing yield with flux and solder paste process control

Wed, 8 Aug 2001
A key element for successful Chip scale and ball grid array packaging

ECTC wrap-up

Wed, 8 Aug 2001
In late May, engineers, researchers, analysts and, yes, even editors, descended upon Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., for the 51st Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC)

Good news/bad news: Packaging and wafer fabs converge

Sun, 7 Jul 2001
When we look back on 2001, we will likely remember it as the year that the long-heralded convergence of packaging and wafer fab processes really turned the corner, with convincing advances on many fronts

Process and handling challenges for known good die

Mon, 5 May 2000
As the use of unpackaged semiconductor devices becomes more widespread, the need for the reliable availability of KGD becomes increasingly important.

Wafer Dicing

Sat, 1 Jan 2000
To achieve maximum wafer dicing process yield and productivity, there is an integral need for greater accuracy and new control capabilities.

Partners in Manufacturing: Increasing performance and speed with wafer bumping

Thu, 6 Jun 2000
Wafer-level processing provides effective solutions to demanding requirements.

What you see is what you get

Thu, 6 Jun 2000
Finding patterns and reporting their location quickly and accurately is essential in today's high-precision electronics and semiconductor manufacturing environments.

Machine Vision Engine

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
Based on the Windows CE operating system for embedded control applications, NetSight provides users with a fully programmable, mmx scaleable, high-performance and deterministic extension (or alternative) to host-based vision procession. Configurable with self-boot or remote-boot capability, the product can be used as a stand alone or network-ready device. In its self-contained, small footprint, OEM-style enclosure with 16-bit digital I/O for monitoring and controlling discrete processes, the pro

Wastewater recycling system addresses environmental concerns

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
NEWBURY, OHIO -The STMicroelectronics (Phoenix, Ariz.) wafer fab has begun operation of an integrated wastewater recycling system designed and built by Kinetico Inc. (Newbury, Ohio). The system uses propritary recycling technology and is believed to be the first integrated water recycling system installed in the U.S. semiconductor industry for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP), metal, oxide and backgrinding process wastewater.

Tru-Si tackles problems of chip-to-chip vertical interconnection

Tue, 2 Feb 2000
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. - Tru-Si Technologies Inc., a leader in atmospheric downstream plas- ma (ADP) processing for vertical miniaturization solutions, has announced a breakthrough overcoming the challenges that threaten Moore`s Law. Using its ADP etching process, the company has discovered a method of successfully stacking multiple chips by stacking wafers containing dif- ferent circuit functions, such as memory, logic, analog and digital. This technology, which maintains the economies of scale inhe

Motorola Acquires Japanese Company

Sat, 1 Jan 2000
Tohoku Semiconductor Corp. (TSC), a unit of Toshiba, has been purchased by Motorola Inc. TSC is a wafer manufacturer based in Sendai, Japan, that has had a 12-year relationship with its new owner but is also credited with expanding Toshiba`s logic and microcomputer LSI business (flash-embedded microcontroller units and digital signal processors). Motorola will now run TSC as a part of its manufacturing network, which includes other semiconductor operations in the Sendai area.

3-D stacked wafer-level packaging

Wed, 3 Mar 2000
As electronics applications shrink in size, integrated circuit (IC) packaged devices must be reduced both in footprint and in thickness. The main motivation for the development of smaller packages is the demand for portable communications devices, such as memory cards, smart cards, cellular telephones, and portable computing and gaming devices. End-users of such electronic devices are interested in greater functionality per unit volume, not relatively simplistic metrics, such as transistors per

Wafer/Die Defect Inspection

Wed, 3 Mar 2000
The NSX-100 is a new addition to the NSX series of automated micro defect inspection systems for wafer and die. It is said to offer an improvement in inspection time of up to 100 percent compared with previous industry standards. With high resolution image capturing technology and enhanced illumination techniques and optics, inspection time in a typical 8-inch wafer application reportedly can be cut from 120 to 60 sec.

3D: Is the Best Yet to Come?

Sat, 9 Sep 2007

Wafer Coating Advancements for Packaging Applications

Wed, 8 Aug 2007
Demand for continuous reductions in semiconductor package height are coming from several directions, most notably memory chip vendors seeking increased density to meet aggressive price-performance roadmaps.

Semiconductor makers spend record amount on materials for second straight year

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

The global semiconductor materials -- wafer fabrication and packaging materials -- market increased 7% in 2011 compared to 2010, with record revenues of $47.86 billion, said SEMI.


Top 10 semiconductor foundries in 2011

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

The worldwide semiconductor foundry market totaled $29.8 billion in 2011, a 5.1% increase from 2010, according to Gartner. Given aggressive foundry spending in 2010 and 2011, oversupply was "inevitable," Gartner says.


Semiconductor wafer fab utilization rates bucked expectations in late 2011

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) released its GSA Q1 Wafer Fabrication & Back-End Pricing Reports, tracking fab utilization rates, wafer and mask costs, and package pricing.


Applied Materials analyst day preview

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

Applied Materials will host its annual Analyst meeting this week (March 28). Barclays Capital shares its expectations for AMAT's update and the wafer fab equipment (WFE) outlook in general.


ARM’s Segars sees changing requirements for electronics driven by mobile

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

At the recent Common Platform Technology Forum -- produced by Global Foundries, Samsung and IBM -- Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager of the physical IP division at ARM, spoke about the impact of the internet of things and mobile computing on the way electronics are designed and used.


2011 ITRS: DRAM, 3D Flash, MEMS, nano scaling steal the show

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

The 2011 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has been publicly released. Several areas of advancement are highlighted in the 2011 ITRS: DRAM and Flash memory, and MEMS.


JPSA expands Ultrafast laser machining technology

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

JP Sercel Associates, Inc. (JPSA) expanded its Ultrafast processing capabilities, using Pico-second lasers with innovative laser beam delivery techniques.


Novellus film deposition tool suits 3D Flash device fab

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Novellus debuted the VECTOR Strata dielectric deposition tool for high-volume VIM Flash manufacturing. VECTOR Strata aims for ultra-smooth films with exceptional defect performance, enabling in-situ deposition of the alternating silicon-based layers used in the formation of the VIM structure.


Semiconductors to use most ultrapure water in 2012

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

The electronics industry will edge out coal-fired boilers as the biggest purchaser of ultrapure water systems and consumables in 2012, according to the McIlvaine report: Ultrapure Water World Markets.


Silicon wafer revenues increased, shipments tapered in 2011

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Worldwide silicon wafer revenues improved 2% YOY, shows the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group. Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments, however, decreased 3%, indicating a loss of momentum in H2 2011, said Kazuyo Heinink, SEMI SMG.


SemiLEDs, LG Siltron, Epistar install Veeco MOCVD tools

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq:VECO) reported 3 wins for its TurboDisc K465i GaN MOCVD tool : the same systems will be used for high-volume LED fab, GaN-on-Si research, and Si-based LED development.


Tokyo Electron (TEL) establishes organic EL and FPD departments, eliminates MEMS dev

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) restructured its organization, with a new "Organic EL Division" established under GM Takeshi Okubo, as well as other new and consolidating subsidiaries in the semiconductor and liquid crystal production segments.


Wafer-scale graphene grown at lower temp with Cu film

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

University of Texas at Austin researchers demonstrated high-quality, wafer-scale graphene deposition on evaporated copper films, using an AIXTRON cold-wall vertical BM (Black Magic) Pro reactor.


SUSS combines resist coat and develop platforms

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

SUSS MicroTec launched the RCD8 manual resist coat and develop platform for R&D and low-volume use in MEMS, semiconductor packaging, LEDs, and other applications.


CVD Equipment doubles manufacturing space with new NY facility

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

CVD Equipment Corporation (Nasdaq:CVV) purchased a new facility in Central Islip, NY, doubling the space for its CVD and gas control equipment assembly, and unifying its nano-materials lab.


AIXTRON opens MOCVD training center in China

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

AIXTRON's training and demonstration center in Suzhou, China, will focus on improving MOCVD in advanced semiconductor and LED manufacturing operations around China, as well as on employee and environmental safety in electronics production environments.


TEL silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy tool ordered by Infineon

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Infineon Technologies ordered the Probus-SiC epitaxy film growth tool from TEL for mass production of advanced SiC power devices.


AMAT loses top spot in VLSIresearch semiconductor equipment supplier rankings

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

VLSIresearch released its 2011 Top Semiconductor Equipment suppliers rankings, noting important acquisitions and strong spending in lithography tools in 2011. Semiconductor equipment spending was driven by aggressive capacity expansion in the foundry and logic sectors.


Samsung, IBM and GlobalFoundries look to the future: A report from the Common Platform Technology Forum

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Execs from Samsung, IBM, GlobalFoundries and ARM looked to the future at The Common Technology Platform Forum in Santa Clara. They focused on the innovation pipeline for 20nm and 14nm technology nodes, and the role that EUV, FinFETs, TSVs, CNTs and DSA will play.


SAFC Hitech expands LED precursor production in Taiwan

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

SAFC Hitech opened a multi-million dollar 270000sq.ft. expansion at its facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, increasing capacity for high-quality LED precursor production.


MATHESON incorporates RFID, pressure monitoring in compressed gas control system

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

MATHESON debuted the Lasso System, a customer-centric supply chain and inventory management system that can monitor the location and operating status of gas products and other assets in the REAL-Time Gas and Asset Management System.


Silicon wafers sliced to 10% conventional bulk with Hyperion 3

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Twin Creeks Technologies, semiconductor and solar cell manufacturing equipment supplier, debuted its first commercial silicon wafer production system that reduces solar module and semiconductor device wafers by up to 90%.


imec studies molecular beam epitaxy for advanced CMOS on high-mobility compound semiconductors

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Riber, MBE tool supplier will work with imec on epitaxy process technologies for next-generation III-V semiconductor CMOS devices.


RASIRC wet thermal oxidation cuts oxide film fab time

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

RASIRC determined that a new wet thermal oxidation process on a RASIRC Steamer enables 87% better wafer throughput than dry oxidation of uniform thin oxides.


Semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales rose 9% in 2011

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $43.53 billion in 2011, representing a year-over-year increase of 9%, shows SEMI. North America surpassed Taiwan as the region with the highest amount of spending.


2012 semiconductor spending forecast nearly doubled at Gartner

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to total $316 billion in 2012, a 4% increase from 2011, according to Gartner Inc. This outlook is up from Gartner's previous forecast, made in Q4 2011, for 2.2% growth.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO joins Global Semiconductor Alliance board

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), global semiconductor industry association, appointed Ajit Manocha, CEO of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, to its board of directors. 


Japan 1 year after the earthquake: Supply chain lessons from the disaster

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

Conference report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 2

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the second day: OLED TFT displays, single transistor DRAMs, silicon photonic wires, CNTs, 3D optical interconnects, graphene for RF and sensing, transparent ZnO, epidermal electronic systems, stretchable electronics, ultra-low-k dielectrics, patterning of electroceramics, PRAM (an alternative to NRAM), and inkjet printing of superconducting films.


Vacuum pumps improve throughput by 90% with new rotary design

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Edwards Limited uncrated the STP-iXR1606 series magnetically-levitated turbo-molecular pumps (TMP) with fully integrated onboard controllers. Its new rotary design improves throughput by about 40% at high gas flow rates; nearly 90% percent in maximum gas flow.


Attend joint sessions at VLSI Technology and Circuits

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

The 2012 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, this June in Honolulu, HI, will foster joint interactions among device technologists and circuit/system designers with overlapping technical programs of both symposia, and joint focus sessions on important topics.


SEMATECH, centrotherm’s semiconductor-fab subsidiary partner on low-temp processes

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

centrotherm thermal solutions, a semiconductor-manufacturing-focused subsidiary of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, joined the SEMATECH Front End Processes (FEP) program, and will work with SEMATECH to develop low-temperature processing techniques for next-generation logic and memory devices.


Semiconductor wafer fab equipment trends

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of semiconductor wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step.


Semiconductor wafer fab equipment trends: Deposition

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step. CJ Muse separates the rising and declining styles of deposition.


Semiconductor wafer fab equipment trends: Wafer clean

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step. CJ Muse looks at trends in wafer cleaning, such as single wafer and bevel clean.


Semiconductor wafer fab equipment trends: Etch

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by process step. CJ Muse explains changes at the etch step.


Semiconductor wafer fab equipment trends: Ion implant

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital compiled its 2011 analysis of wafer fab equipment spending, with a look at the top players and underlying trends by step. Barclays looks at the possibilities for ion implant.


Wafer fab equipment leaders in 2011 and expectations for 2012

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Barclays Capital looks at wafer fab equipment trends in 2011, based on Gartner data. Top 5 takeaways? The top 5 vendors continue to gain market share, Intel is a key customer, segment-leading vendors strengthened their holds, intensity edged higher, and changes are in store in 2012.


Tanaka Precious Metals platinum electrode enables ozone-based semiconductor cleaning

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. developed a platinum electrode that produces ozone solution at 40x the efficiency of existing technology.


North American semiconductor equipment ends 2011 with another book-to-bill climb

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.16 billion in orders in December 2011, $1.32 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.88, according to SEMI. The book-to-bill ratio has been climbing since September 2011. In December, bookings climbed back above the $1 billion mark.


Intel, Samsung, TSMC semiconductor capex in 2012 signal market dominance

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Intel plans $12.5 billion semiconductor capital expeditures in 2012; Samsung plans $12.2 billion. Watch for wide and growing separation between these two companies and their competition, says IC Insights.


Tanaka's ruthenium precursor enables 20nm DRAM semiconductors

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. developed a ruthenium material able to form a film up to 6x the normal depth for capacitor electrodes used in DRAM, working with Professor Seiji Ogo of Kyushu University.


AIXTRON sells SiC CVD tool to United Silicon Carbide

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

USCi will develop next-generation silicon carbide (SiC) devices with AIXTRON SE's VP2400 hot-wall CVD tool. USCi plans to install the CVD system in Q3 2012.


Semiconductor foundry adds 200mm compact thermal reactor from Expertech

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Expertech's Compact Thermal Reactor was ordered by a US semiconductor foundry to bolster 200mm wafer capacity. The CTR offers processes for atmospheric and LPCVD, including hydrogen and high-temperature wafer processing.


Air Liquide doubles semiconductor fab precursor production

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Air Liquide Electronics completed a series of expansions at its ALOHA manufacturing sites in the US, France and Japan, doubling its advanced precursor production capacity for semiconductor manufacturing applications.


Annealsys MOCVD tool integrates Hine Automation vacuum wafer transfer system

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Hine Automation shipped its Star SL-300 single-substrate vacuum transfer system to Annealsys, which will integrate the wafer transfer system onto its MC-200 MOCVD tool for R&D and pilot environments.


Supramolecular researchers install NanoInk lithography system

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Researchers at INCDTIM in Romania will use NanoInk's NanoFabrication Systems Division's DPN 5000 system for supramolecular structure fabrication, molecular recognition and self-assembling process applications.


ISS draws to a close with innovation on the mind

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., Techcet Group, reports from SEMI’s International Semiconductor Strategy meeting, with a closing day focused on innovation and new applications.


Fabs in high-risk zones, 450mm, 3D IC themes of Semico's Semiconductor Fab Database

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

36% of semiconductor fabs are in high-risk zones, finds Semico, noting the industry disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake and tsunami and Thai flooding and the challenges these presented to chip makers in the regions. 


ISS day 2: Cloud computing to drive 450mm, closer collaboration

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Day 2 of SEMI’s Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2012 included talks by Mike Splinter of Applied Materials, Mark Thirsk of Linx Consulting, Tim Hendry of Intel, David Lazovsky of Intermolecular, a panel session on could computing run by Harvey Frye of TEL, Handel Jones of IBS and another panel session focused on 450mm, moderated by G. Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research. Michael A. Fury of Techcet reports.


Techcet reveals CMP metrology, supply, and process trends

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

Lita Shon-Roy and Michael Fury, PhD, Techcet will present "CMP Market Outlook & New Technology - Dynamic Slurry Metrology," a free webinar at 2 times on February 22.


ISS: Top Ten Economic Trends in 2012

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The economic outlook for the world is dismal, the semiconductor industry has consolidated and matured to the point where it’s looking for tips from the automotive industry, and unprecedented challenges must be overcome to stay on the path defined by Moore’s Law. Duncan Meldrum of IHS provides a top ten list of economic trends to watch in 2012.


ISS kicks off with IC industry reality talks

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) kicked off today in Half Moon Bay, CA under blustery skies with choppy seas, an apt metaphor for the information about to be shared inside, says blogger Michael A. Fury, Techcet.


New installed wafer capacity leader: Taiwan took over in 2011

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Taiwan became the region with the largest share of installed wafer capacity in 2011, according to IC Insights' Global Wafer Capacity 2011-12 report. This is the first time Taiwan has led the global wafer capacity rankings, with 21% of total in mid-2011.


Semiconductor inventory correction balancing out early in 2012

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Semiconductor sales were weaker than expected in Q3 2011, and Q4 shows weak guidance, prompting chip makers to reduce production. Gartner expects this inventory correction to work out in early 2012.


SEMI names Stanley Myers a director emeritus

Wed, 1 Jan 2012

Former SEMI president and CEO Stanley T. Myers was named a director emeritus of the association by itsl Board of Directors. Myers led SEMI for 15 years, was a board member for 24, and has been part of the semiconductor industry for more than 50.


Semiconductor fab capex forecast for 2012

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Key points from SEMI's 2012 semiconductor fab equipment spending forecast include a predicted decline of 11% to $35 billion, steady growth in 300mm installs, and an H1 dip/H2 surge format.


Materion expands PVD shield cleaning facility in NY

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Materion Microelectronics & Services added 50% more space in its PVD parts cleaning and surface treatment facility, with an automated robotic twin wire arc spray, increased precious metal refining capacity, new cleaning processes, and a Class 10,000-certified cleanroom.


GaAs trends: Foundry outsourcing, rapid market upswing

Sun, 1 Jan 2012

The GaAs device market recovered sharply in 2010, driven mobile handsets. Increased use of pure-play foundries met the surge in demand and was in-line with a trend toward outsourcing, says Strategy Analytics.


Nocilis Materials launches SiGe foundry

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Nocilis Materials opened its silicon foundry service globally. Nocilis Materials AB provides epitaxy service of advanced Si-Ge-Sn-C alloys for electronic and photonic applications.


Startups pave the way to CMP at 22nm

Mon, 1 Jan 2012

Defect control at 22nm is a critical focus for chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, discusses the current companies and trends on the leading edge of CMP for 22nm.


22nm node semiconductors: Technical forecasts

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Solid State Technology asked top analysts and technologists to provide insights on the transition to 22nm semiconductor devices. Read through the whole 10-forecast series, or check out the individual articles as you have time to see perspectives on lithography, device architecture, and more.


Soitec advances LED strategy with Altatech Semiconductor buy

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Soitec (Euronext Paris) completed its acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Altatech Semiconductor S.A. The final purchase price was EUR15 million.


Gore debuts high-purity 20nm PTFE filter for semiconductor, FPD fab

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Gore introduced a 20nm-rated PTFE filter, available in a HDPE cartridge. The filter is optimized for bulk processing high-purity chemicals used in semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing.


Cambrios takes ITO-alternative to strategic phase with Samsung investment, new leader

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

Cambrios Technologies Corporation appointed John LeMoncheck as president and CEO, and announced a $5 million Series D-3 financing round from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation.


Semiconductor industry revenue targets $323.2B in 2012

Tue, 1 Jan 2012

The global semiconductor market will see a slow 2012, reports IHS, with economic uncertainty and semiconductor inventory not moving enough to stimulate new production. Expect negative growth in Q1 2012, a nascent rebound in Q2, and strong growth in Q3 2012, IHS reports.


TI closes semiconductor fabs in TX and Japan

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

Texas Instruments (TI, NASDAQ:TXN) will close 2 older semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Hiji, Japan and Houston, TX over the course of the next 18 months. Production from these analog chip sites will be moved to more advanced TI facilities.


President Obama's Intel visit: Fab 42 update, American manufacturing themes

Fri, 1 Jan 2012

President Barack Obama visited the Intel Ocotillo campus in Chandler, AZ. The President spoke about Intel's technological innovation, and manufacturing jobs in America.


ABB intros Cleanroom ISO 5 version of multipurpose 6-axis robot

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

ABB Robotics introduced an ISO 5 (Class 100) Cleanroom version of the IRB 120, its smallest multipurpose 6-axis robot. Any source materials in the IRB 120 prone to particle generation were modified to eliminate contamination potential in the manufacturing area.


BSE Group achieves milestones in semiconductor equipment financing biz

Thu, 1 Jan 2012

Test Advantage Capital Group, a business of BSE Group, surpassed $150M in its portfolio of semiconductor manufacturing equipment under management. Boston Semi Equipment's fab equipment leasing business also received a $100M annual commitment from its financial backer, Wafra Capital Partners.


TSMC raises capex more than expected

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Due to stronger demand for TSMC’s 28nm technology and the pull-in of a 20nm R&D process line, the foundry raised its estimate for 2012 capital expenditures from $6 billion to $8-8.5 billion.


Semiconductor makers spend most on cleanroom hardware in 2012

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

As semiconductor nodes shrink, filter manufacturers and cleanroom designers must offer products that remove the smallest possible particles. While hardware can accomplish much of this, the cleanliness of a room is a function of the motion of the employees in the room.


Semiconductor subsystems see record revenues thanks to 32nm and below

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Strong lithography spending, as well as several acquisitions and divestures in the space, brought changes to the critical subsystems of semiconductor/related markets sector, says VLSIresearch. 


MOCVD and MBE epitaxy trends for compound semiconductors

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

The corresponding combined revenue opportunity for MBE and MOCVD is estimated to be around US $6.1 billion for the 2012-2020 periods, shows Yole Développement.


North American semiconductor fab tool makers see March book-to-bill hike

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

With a book-to-bill ratio of 1.13, North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment saw a sixth climb in the ratio, which has steadily improved since it hit 0.71 in September 2011, shows SEMI.


ASMC will focus on productivity and technology challenges

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

The 23rd Annual SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC 2012) will be held May 15-17 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The conference will feature presentations of more than 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts covering critical process technologies and fab productivity. This year’s event features a panel discussion on “Competing for R&D Dollars,” moderated by Solid State Technology Editor-in-Chief Pete Singer.


Thinned compound semiconductor wafer handling enabled by 3 Brewer Science tools

Tue, 4 Apr 2012

Brewer Science released new wafer processing equipment for thin wafer separation and post-debond cleaning during compound semiconductor device processing: a thermal debonder, separation tool, and megasonic cleaning system.


Veeco ion beam deposition tool matches PVD speed

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Veeco Instruments Inc. debuted the SPECTOR-HT ion beam deposition tool for thin-film deposition in optical products, such as lasers, telecommunications chips, and more.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 5

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the fourth day: electronic skin, energy storage with nanowires, printable inks, gas sensing, inkjet printing, semiconductor polymers for organic devices, CNTs, OFETs, touch screen fabrics, and the coffee breaks.


Intel awards 9 elite suppliers in 2011

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

Intel Corporation announced 9 winners of the company's Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) award for outstanding commitment to quality and performance excellence.


Entegris builds advanced filtration and contamination control R&D center for 2X, 1X semiconductor fab

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Entegris (NASDAQ:ENTG), contamination control and handling system supplier to the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, will build the Entegris i2M Center for Advanced Materials Science in Bedford, MA, near its headquarters in Billerica. i2M denotes ideas to market.


Graphene grown on 300mm wafers with AIXTRON tool in Japan

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan is using its AIXTRON SE BM 300 system to grow monolayer graphene on 300mm wafers.


Conference Report: MRS Spring 2012, Day 3

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Blogger Mike Fury reports from the MRS Spring 2012 meeting in San Francisco. Highlights from the third day: leakage and TDDB in low- κ dielectrics, flexible energy storage and conversion, Mn capping layers and diffusion barriers, hard masks for Cu interconnects, nanogenerators, Cu in RF, flexible temperature sensors, NEMS and MEMS in HDD, ZnO nanostructures, and various aspects of CMP.


Intel’s top suppliers in 2011

Thu, 4 Apr 2012

Intel Corporation announced its 2011 Intel Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) awards, selecting 19 of its thousands of suppliers. Two suppliers received Intel’s Achievement Award.


SEMI educates policymakers on 450mm transition

Wed, 4 Apr 2012

This SEMI News and Views blog, written by Jonathan Davis, president, SEMI Semiconductor Business, covers SEMI's efforts with government and policy-shapers in the US and Europe.


Semiconductor industry expectations for 2012: Take the WWK survey

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. (WWK) opened its 2012 semiconductor industry survey on equipment and process timing. Only participants will receive the full results, free of charge.


Applied Materials selects Praxair gas system for Varian VIIsta ion implant tools

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

The UpTime sub-atmospheric dopant gas delivery system from Praxair Electronics will be Applied Materials' (AMAT's) factory default standard for the Varian VIISta ion implant platform.


49 semiconductor wafer fabs close 2009-2011

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

IC manufacturers closed 49 wafer fabs between 2009 and 2011, according to IC Insights. Smaller wafer fabs (≤200mm) suffered the most closures, and Japan and North America led the way.


ISMI convenes 200mm semiconductor fab tool obsolescence forum

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

Tool obsolescence is increasingly important to semiconductor manufacturers running 200mm wafer fab lines, reports ISMI, which has chartered an Equipment Obsolescence Forum for alternative sourcing.


Astro Pak expands precision cleaning cleanrooms in CA

Thu, 5 May 2012

Astro Pak Corporation opened its Class 100 and Class 1000 cleanrooms, recently renovated and expanded, in Downey, CA. The cleanrooms host contract precision cleaning for the semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace, and other industries.


Dow Corning orders AIXTRON epitaxy reactors for power electronics fab

Thu, 5 May 2012

Dow Corning will add 2 AIXTRON AIX 2800G4 WW planetary reactor platforms to its silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy capacity for next-generation power electronics.


SEMI adds Brewer, Mitchell to North American Advisory Board

Wed, 5 May 2012

EMI added two members its North American Advisory Board: Terry Brewer of Brewer Science and Wayne Mitchell of Air Products.


Coherent achieves ISO/IEC 17025 certification at laser calibration lab

Wed, 5 May 2012

Coherent Inc., supplier of laser power and energy management instruments, achieved a certificate of accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 at its Wilsonville, OR calibration laboratory.


AIXTRON MOCVD tool installed for GaN research at U of Warsaw

Tue, 5 May 2012

University of Warsaw, Poland, researchers will grow GaN materials on a new AIXTRON SE Close Coupled Showerhead MOCVD reactor in a 3 x 2” wafer configuration.


Silicon wafer shipments up sequentially, down 11% Y/Y in Q1 2012

Tue, 5 May 2012

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased slightly during Q1 2012 when compared to Q4 2011 area shipments, according to SEMI. Wafer shipments fell 11% from Q1 2011.


President Obama speaks at Albany Nano-Tech Complex today

Tue, 5 May 2012

President Barack Obama toured the SUNY - Albany Nano-Tech Complex today, speaking about the economy and education in the CNSE NanoFab Extension Building.


Bridging the fabless-foundry gap: Highlighted ConFab presentation

Fri, 5 May 2012

At The ConFab in Las Vegas, TSMC’s BJ Woo, senior director, Graphic/PLD/CPU Business Development Division, will present “Bridging the Fabless-Foundry Gap.”


Capex expectations update for TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, SMIC, UMC, more

Fri, 5 May 2012

Barclays Capital updates its wafer fab/semiconductor production equipment (WFE/SPE) capital expenditures expectations for TSMC, Samsung, Intel, UMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, SMIC, and Huali.


Buhler approved to acquire Leybold Optics

Tue, 5 May 2012

Bühler’s acquisition of Leybold Optics from EQT III, for an undisclosed sum, was approved without any restrictions by anti-trust authorities.


Chinese GaAs foundry installs SPTS PVD tool

Tue, 5 May 2012

SPTS Technologies installed a Sigma fxP physical vapor deposition (PVD) system at a Chinese foundry producing RF devices on gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrates.


Semiconductor-grade flow sensor measures photoresist, solvent supply

Mon, 5 May 2012

SENSIRION introduced the SLQ-QT105 semiconductor-grade flow sensor for flow rates below 2cc/sec (120ml/min) of hydrocarbon-based liquids, such as photoresists and solvents.


Precision spray coater builds coatings through layer-by-layer self assembly

Fri, 5 May 2012

Nanotrons Corporation launched the SPray Assisted Layer-by-layer Assembly System (SPALAS) for nano-enabled optical coatings on semiconductor, plastic, and glass substrates using layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly.


North American chip fab tool makers report 4th month of orders growth in January

Fri, 2 Feb 2012

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.18 billion in orders, $1.24 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill of 0.95 in January 2012, according to SEMI.


SEMICON China: Challenges and opportunities for semiconductors, emerging techs

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

SEMICON China takes place March 20-22 in Shanghai. Check out the special pavillions and events, and keynote speakers scheduled.


450mm wafers at SEMI ISS Europe

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

SEMI’s International Strategy Symposium (ISS) meets for its Europe session February 26-28 in Munich, Germany. Following are some of the 450mm wafer presentations scheduled to take place.


AIXTRON deposition tools installed at graphene research lab in Italy

Thu, 2 Feb 2012

AIXTRON SE sold 2 BM Pro 4"-wafer deposition tools to the Italian Institute of Technology for the development and production of graphene used in novel hydrogen storage systems.


Chip substrate factory begins producing thermal-control substrates in Russia

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

MCLR's factory in Vladimir, Russia, will manufacture substrates and panels for LEDs requiring thermal management, as well as other electronic devices such as 3D ICs and MEMS. It began operation at 10,000 panels/month.


EVG wafer clean tool installed at Tokyo Institute of Technology

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

EV Group (EVG) shipped an EVG301 semi-automated single-wafer cleaning system to Tokyo Institute of Technology, for research on advanced optical communication ICs.


DuPont sells CMP JV interests to Air Products

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

Air Products will acquire all of DuPont's interest in DuPont Air Products NanoMaterials LLC (DA NanoMaterials), a 50-50 JV that the companies set up for the semiconductor and wafer polishing industries.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES hires procurement exec to manage capex expansions

Wed, 2 Feb 2012

GLOBALFOUNDRIES appointed Magnus Matthiasson, formerly of Philips Lumileds, as chief procurement officer (CPO), reporting to CFO Dan Durn.


PVD handbook updated with cost and performance focus

Tue, 2 Feb 2012

The Handbook of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Processing, Edition No. 2 has been released, covering all aspects of PVD process technology, from characterization and preparation of the substrate material, through deposition and film characterization, to post-deposition processing.


ISS Europe: Bridging the valley of death

Mon, 2 Feb 2012

A common theme among the presenters at SEMI's ISS Europe was how Europe might bridge the so-called “valley of death” between basic research and volume manufacturing.


EpiGaN opens GaN-on-Si wafer production at new site

Wed, 5 May 2012

EpiGaN NV opened its GaN epitaxial material production site, on the Research Campus Hasselt in Belgium. EpiGaN’s GaN-on-Si material is used in next-generation power electronics.


CMP carrier upgrades legacy fab tools

Wed, 5 May 2012

Axus Technology introduced the Titan Carrier Upgrade for IPEC and Strasbaugh legacy CMP chemical mechanical polishing/planarization (CMP) tools for semiconductor and related manufacturing.


North American semiconductor tool makers see higher bookings in April

Wed, 5 May 2012

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor fab equipment posted $1.60 billion in orders and $1.45 billion in billings in April 2012 for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.10, according to SEMI.


Researchers model ion bombardment for better nanofabrication

Wed, 5 May 2012

Brown University is using supercomputer simulations to better understand the ion bombardment of metal surfaces used in manufacturing nanoelectronics.


IRSC brings NanoProfessor nano-science education to southeastern US

Tue, 5 May 2012

Indian River State College in FL will be the first college in the southeastern US to offer students access to the instrumentation and curriculum provided by the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program from NanoInk.


SEMICON Europa 2012 seeks presenters

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

SEMI is seeking papers for technical sessions and presentations at the upcoming SEMICON Europa 2012, October 9-11 in Dresden, Germany. Technical presentation abstracts are due April 30.


North American semiconductor fab equipment sales above parity in February

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

North America-based makers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.33 billion in orders in February 2012, $1.32 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.01, according to SEMI.


DOW opens semiconductor/display R&D center in Seoul with OLED focus

Thu, 3 Mar 2012

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) inaugurated its Dow Seoul Technology Center, a global R&D center with focus on technological advances in display and semiconductor applications.


DOW CMP slurry boasts lower defects and better removal rates

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Dow Electronic Materials released KLEBOSOL II 1730 colloidal silica slurry for CMP of inter-layer dielectrics and post-metal buff.


Taiwan allows higher Chinese investments in LCDs, semiconductors, fab equipment, more

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Taiwan raised investment ceilings for Chinese investors in LCDs, semiconductors, IC assembly and test, microelectronics production equipment, and metal tool manufacturing.


Semiconductor capex to fall 11.6% in 2012, says Gartner

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending is projected to total $38.9 billion in 2012, an 11.6% decline from 2011 spending of $44 billion, according to Gartner Inc.


Fraunhofer delivers 300mm wafer processing to North America with Axus Technology

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Fraunhofer IZM and Fraunhofer CNT will use CMP supplier Axus Technology exclusively to provide advanced 300mm wafer process development and foundry services to North American customers.


AMEC installs dielectric etch tool in China for 28nm fab

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

AMEC installed a second-generation dielectric etch tool, the Primo AD-RIE, at Chinese foundry SMIC. It is the first time AMEC has installed the Primo AD-RIE in China.


CEA-Leti unveils wide-reaching silicon research scope

Wed, 5 May 2012

CEA-Leti has introduced the “LETI-3S” concept, for “Silicon Specialty Solutions.” The research is oriented to start-ups, component integrators, fabless or fablite chip companies, and equipment/consumable suppliers.


Become the Best of West at SEMICON West

Tue, 5 May 2012

Solid State Technology and SEMI will present the 2012 Best of West product awards at SEMICON West 2012, July 10-12 in San Francisco. Best of West recognizes important product and technology developments in the microelectronics industries.


Arkema enters microelectronics manufacturing research area with CEA

Tue, 5 May 2012

CEA will extend its collaboration with Arkema beyond photovoltaics into microelectronics and organic electronics, setting up two joint public-private research projects in CEA-Leti and CEA-Liten.


450mm wafer handling business unit established by Crossing Automation

Tue, 5 May 2012

Crossing Automation Inc. formed a business unit around 450mm semiconductor wafer automation platforms. The company has a comprehensive line of 450mm wafer handling products currently shipping to fabs and tool makers.


CVD Equipment sells Ronkonkoma building in move to Central Islip location

Tue, 5 May 2012

CVD Equipment completed the sale of its Ronkonkoma, NY, facility, where its Application Laboratory was located. This is part of CVD Equipment’s move to its recently purchased building in Central Islip, NY.


Fujitsu Semiconductor transfers Iwate wafer fab to DENSO

Tue, 5 May 2012

Fujitsu Semiconductor will transfer ownership of its Iwate Plant, a semiconductor wafer fab in Iwate, Japan producing system LSI, microcontrollers, etc., to DENSO.


Logic fab orders MTSN rapid thermal anneal for volume ramp

Mon, 4 Apr 2012

A leading semiconductor manufacturer placed a follow-on order with Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSN), wafer fab equipment supplier, for a Millios millisecond annealing system (MSA).


MEI semiconductor wet process tools built to prevent contamination

Fri, 4 Apr 2012

MEI uses Vycom Flametec PVC-C for chemical rinse tanks and other wafer-contacting elements of its process tools, reducing tool-based contamination and protecting fab workers. Bill McGinty, MEI operations manager, discusses the benefits the new-generation plastic for semiconductor fab tools.


Fraunhofer partners for eco-friendly semiconductor clean chemistries

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Fraunhofer Center Nanoelectronic Technologies is collaborating with bubbles & beyond to jointly develop novel cleaning solutions for the microelectronics industry, specifically, removing lithographic materials from semiconductor wafers.


Siltronic scales down 150mm silicon wafer production in US and Germany

Fri, 3 Mar 2012

Siltronic, subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG, will stop producing 150mm silicon wafers at its Portland, OR, facility in Fall 2012, and will consolidate 150mm production at its Burghausen, Germany, site.


SINGULUS sells vacuum deposition tools to semiconductor sector

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Singulus Technologies Aktiengesellschaft (SINGULUS) received 2 orders for its TIMARIS vacuum deposition system from the semiconductor industry.


Nitrogen-rich indium nitride wafers debut from Meaglow

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Meaglow Ltd., MOCVD and epitaxy supplier, launched a range of nitrogen-rich indium nitride (InN) wafers for research and industry development around the compound semiconductor material.


NCSU researchers create functional oxide films

Wed, 3 Mar 2012

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed the first functional oxide thin films that can be used efficiently in electronics, opening the door to an array of new high-power devices and smart sensors.


Automated film frame handlers increase LED and semiconductor production

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Owens Design Inc. released multiple customized film frame automated handlers to customers in the semiconductor and LED manufacturing tool industries.


Semiconductor fab equipment spending to hit a record in 2013

Tue, 3 Mar 2012

Semiconductor fab equipment spending will remain flat in 2012, says SEMI. But look for a record spend from semiconductor makers in 2013, jumping from $38.85 billion spent in 2012 to $45 billion in 2013.


TSMC, Samsung foundries reconsidering 2012 capex on stronger 28nm demand

Mon, 3 Mar 2012

After only 2 months, semiconductor foundries are already considering raising their 2012 capex budgets, says Terence Whalen, Semiconductor Equipment analyst for North America at Citi.


SMC 2012: Supply chain opportunities in OLEDs, energy storage, and power semiconductors

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Materials experts from across the supply chain gathered at the 2012 Strategic Materials Conference 2012 in San Jose in October, discussing key materials needs for micromanufacturing outside the CMOS mainstream: OLEDs and GaN-on-silicon power semiconductors, graphene, CNTs, and self-assembling polymers.


Applied unveils new PVD, PECVD tools for display manufacturing

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Applied Materials has announced two new tools for display manufacturing: one with a new design for depositing IGZO films for TFTs, the other handling bigger LTPS-deposited substrates to help lower manufacturing costs.


Brooks Automation buying Crossing Automation

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Brooks Automation says it has agreed to acquire privately-held Crossing Automation for $63 million, combining two firms in semiconductor automation technology and services.


Why node shrinks are no longer offsetting equipment costs

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Semiconductor manufacturers can expect equipment costs to increase about 15% for each new process node, but previously enjoyed advantages of moving to smaller feature sizes are no longer offsetting those costs -- even with a 450mm wafer transition.


Wafer shipments back on track: Inside the numbers

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Wafer demand is slowly turning back toward growth, and a closer look at the numbers from SEMI and Semico Research shows what's behind the trends -- and why they give purchasing managers headaches.


Semi equipment demand still sinking

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

In case anyone needed a reminder or a wake-up, new data from SEMI reiterates chip tool sales are slumping badly in the latter part of this year.


European consortia, ASML, supplier network plan for 450mm transition

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

At SEMICON Europa, European government representatives, consortia, and suppliers discussed programs to support and participate in the 450mm wafer-size transition -- including a comprehensive presentation from ASML about its roadmap for 450mm EUV platforms.


Intel offers muted optimism in 3Q12 results, but cutting capex

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Intel spoke of caution in end markets when discussing its 3Q12 results, but a big dip in capex and lack of 2013 visibility will likely cause concern in the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.


SEMI adds session, extends abstract deadline for China chip conference

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

SEMI has extended the deadline to submit proposed papers to next spring's China Semiconductor Technology International Conference 2013, and added a new symposium on circuit design, system integration, and application.


GSA forms technology steering committee to guide working groups

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) says it has formed a Technology Steering Committee to help address key business and technology areas of interest to its members, and "encourage the advancement and adoption of leading technology and practices."


Process Watch: Cycle time’s paradoxical relationship to inspection

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

In the seventh installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss cycle time and the impact of inspection. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.


IEDM 2012: Late papers on silicon photonics, large TFTs, III-V devices

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

With this week's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012) now underway, here are four of the papers that were accepted late: on 90nm integrated silicon photonics, ZnNO for next-gen displays, and III-V TFETs for the 7nm node.


IEDM: Nanoelectronics provide a path beyond CMOS

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

At the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, An Chen of GLOBALFOUNDRIES presented a survey of emerging nanoelectronic devices, which he divided into two categories: Charge-based and non-charge based.


IEDM keynote: It tastes like chicken

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

Attendees at this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) were delighted and perhaps somewhat horrified when the plenary speaker popped some electronics gear in his mouth and proclaimed, “It tastes like chicken!”


ST exiting mobile chip JV with Ericsson, but still committed to FD-SOI

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

STMicroelectronics has a new strategic plan that will focus on five product areas (MEMS/sensors, smart power, automotive products, microcontrollers, and application processors), and also exit its mobile chip JV with communications giant Ericsson.


SEMI: Chip equipment slump extending into 2013, across-the-board rebound in 2014

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Semiconductor equipment demand is persistently sluggish as the industry takes a break from a "multiyear expansion period" to digest recent investments and wrestle with a broader economic slowdown, acknowledges SEMI in its updated year-end forecast. But make no mistake: leading-edge technology investments are still happening, and growth will return in the typical cyclical pattern.


Axcelis and Lam enter strategic collaboration agreement

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLS) and Lam Research Corp., (NASDAQ: LRCX) announced a strategic collaboration agreement focusing on the interrelationship between ion implantation, etch processes, and photoresist strip applications.


KLA-Tencor's updated LED wafer inspection tool boosts throughput, efficiency

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

KLA-Tencor says its new fourth-generation LED wafer inspection system achieves greater flexibility, increased throughput, and improved efficiency for inspecting defects and performing 2D metrology in LED applications, as well as MEMS and semiconductor wafers.


CMP consumables demand rebounding in 2012

Wed, 12 Dec 2012

The global market for consumables used in chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) operations continues to rebound, as "magic triangle" combinations of slurry, pad, and conditioner are emerging to improve performance for &le;45nm requirements, reports TechCet Group.


Wafer shipments screech to halt in 3Q, still tracking to 1% growth in 2012

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

After a nice spurt in 2Q12, worldwide silicon wafer area shipments fell back to a -slight decline in 3Q12, according to updated data from SEMI, and remain on track for cautious projections of flat growth for the full year.


Pureplay, foundry firms still shine in IC sales rankings

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Updating its "top 20" semiconductor supplier rankings from earlier this year, IC Insights finds most of the same trends holding true: a tough year overall for chipmakers, but fabless and foundry firms still showing very good growth.


Process Watch: Breaking parametric correlation

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

In the sixth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss the ins and outs of parametric correlation when using measurements based on reflectometry, ellipsometry, or a combination of the two. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.


Smartphone demand pushes Soitec to expand bonded SoS wafer output

Tue, 11 Nov 2012

Soitec says it has more than doubled production of bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSoS) substrates to meet increased demand from partner Peregrine Semiconductor, which has surged its own production capacity for RF switches used in cellular handsets, including the newest iPhone 5.


FEI introduces Helios NanoLab 450 F1 DualBeam for failure analysis

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

FEI, Hillsboro, OR, has introduced its new Helios NanoLab 450 F1 DualBeam system designed to provide faster, better images of their most advanced device architectures.


Imec to collaborate with Canon Anelva and TEL on STT-MRAM

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

imec announced two research collaboration efforts to advance STT-MRAM technology, an alternative high-density memory technology. The developments include working with Canon Anelva Corp. on its deposition tool and working with Tokyo Electron (TEL) on its Tactras etch tool, both installed in imec’s 300mm cleanroom.


When will bulk GaN be price-competitive with silicon?

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

Wide bandgap semiconductor materials can significantly outperform traditional silicon-based devices in power electronics and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), but they're vastly more expensive. So where's the midpoint where GaN's capabilities and extra costs align to make it the preferred technology for each application?


ICPT 2012: Five themes summarizing CMP work and progress

Mon, 11 Nov 2012

This year's International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) encompassed five themes describing use of CMP: new device structures, equipment and methods, Cu interconnects, consumables, and new CMP methods and processes.


EV Group completes cleanroom expansion, opens new R&D labs

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

EV Group has completed its expanded cleanroom IV facility at its corporate headquarters in Austria, which doubled its cleanroom space for process development and pilot production services.


GSA, IC Insights team on 5th edition of IC Foundry Almanac

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

A reference book from the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) and IC Insights puts foundry information at the fingertips of those who need it the most.


Electronic gases slowing to modest growth in 2012, 2013

Wed, 11 Nov 2012

Sales of electronic gases are seen growing a modest 3.2% growth overall in 2012, following a 15% increase in 2011 to $3.1B, according to an updated report from Techcet Group.


Semiconductor equipment demand: Shades of 2009?

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

The latest monthly numbers for semiconductor manufacturing equipment demand aren't pretty: lows in both orders and sales not seen since the last major downcycle three years ago, and the short-term comparisons continue to widen.


TELEFUNKEN expands Roseville facility

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

TELEFUNKEN Semiconductors is expanding its manufacturing capacity at the Roseville, California facility, to 220,000+ 8 inch wafers.


Brewer Science introduces CNT inks for printed electronics

Thu, 11 Nov 2012

Rolla, MO-based Brewer Science introduced a line of conductive CNT ink materials that are surfactant free, require no additional rinse steps, and are compatible with a broad range of printed electronic substrates.


IEDM 2012 slideshow 14

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IEDM 2012 slideshow: Sneak preview of 14 conference papers

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

We've scanned the entire conference program for next week's 58th annual IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), to present a quick sampling of some of the more intriguing papers.


"Cloning" could make structurally pure nanotubes for nanoelectronics

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Researchers have demonstrated a technique for growing virtually pure samples of single-wall carbon nanotubes (CNT) with identical structures, a process likened to "cloning" them -- and possibly an important step toward controlling their manufacture for future electronic devices.


Applied consolidates solar and displays units, two execs leaving

Fri, 11 Nov 2012

Applied Materials is combining its Display and Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) under one roof led by former KLA-Tencor exec Ali Salehpour, which also means the departure of those two units' current leaders, Mark Pinto and Tom Edman.


Semi execs see a bright 2013, says survey

Fri, 12 Dec 2012

Industry watchers have been lowering their outlooks for 2013 over the past few weeks, but there's one set of opinions that still see optimism for an industry rebound in 2013 -- chip industry executives themselves.


Singapore IME, Nikon building R&D lab for sub-20nm semiconductor litho

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Nikon and the Singapore A*STAR IME are jointly setting up a R&D lab to develop optical ArF lithography technology for semiconductor manufacturing to and below the 20nm device node.


Gartner: Fab equipment still getting softer, next upcycle starts in 2014

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Global spending on wafer fab equipment (WFE) is now on pace to finish 2012 with a -17% annual decline, and 2013 now looks like it'll only be slightly better at a -10% dropoff, before the next cyclical spending upturn begins in 2014, according to an updated forecast from Gartner.


Ultratech buys Cambridge Nanotech assets, adds ALD tech

Thu, 12 Dec 2012

Ultratech has acquired the assets of Cambridge Nanotech, a developer and supplier of atomic-layer deposition (ALD) technology, which had quietly been put on the auction block after ceasing operations in November.


Canon stepper targets LED, MEMS, power device manufacturing

Tue, 12 Dec 2012

Canon U.S.A., Inc. recently launched the FPA-3030i5+ i-line stepper, designed for the manufacturing of LEDs, MEMS and power semiconductors.


Samsung reaffirms plans for $4B investment in Austin fab: What it means

Mon, 12 Dec 2012

Samsung's reaffirmation of its planned $4B investments in its Austin, TX facilities don't offer much extra info, but do serve as a message to the market about its future plans -- with or without Apple.


Process Watch: Bigger and better wafers

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

In the third installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss some of the challenges of 450mm wafers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.


Foundries take win, place, and show in H1 semiconductor company growth race

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

IC Insights released a Q2 update to its top-20 ranking of semiconductor companies. Three pure-play foundries are in the top 20 ranking, with a cumulative increase of 20% from Q1 2012 to Q2 2012.


The ConFab 2012: A retrospective

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

The ConFab, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only event for the semiconductor industry, took place in June, with presenters from top companies and analyst firms. If you couldn’t be there, check out all the coverage from the event -- reports, presentations, video interviews and more.


UMC’s “green” semiconductor fab in Taiwan certified LEED Gold

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC; TWSE:2303) gained LEED-NC Gold recognition for its 300mm Fab 12A P3 & P4 in Tainan, Taiwan, from the U.S. Green Building Council.


Crossing Automation intros Spartan sorter options

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Crossing Automation, Inc. announced three new options for the Spartan 300 that deliver an end-to-end contamination-free sorter environment. The new options target high volume manufacturing at 32nm and below.


CGI Americas brings C Sun ovens to North American fabs

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

CGI Americas is introducing the QMO Series inert gas and vacuum ovens and MOL Series Class 100 cleanroom ovens, based on the SMO Series precision ovens from C Sun, to the North American market.


Pfeiffer Vacuum intros gas analysis systems for 50 mbar and lower pressure processes

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Pfeiffer Vacuum introduced the Sputter Process Monitor SPM 220 and High Pressure Analyzer HPA 220 gas analysis systems to monitor and document vacuum processes.


New cleaning system maintains contact cleaning rollers better than IPA

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

Teknek debuted an elastomer roller care system for all contact cleaning rollers. Unlike IPA cleaning, the elastomer Roller Doctor rejuvenation pad exfoliates the roller surface with a precise quantity of proprietary cleaning solution.


EMCORE switches fab management and process control to Camstar system

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

EMCORE, compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems supplier, will replace multiple legacy manufacturing systems in its compound semiconductor fab and back-end packaging operations with the Camstar Enterprise Platform.


2012 “Best of West” award finalists announced

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Solid State Technology and SEMI today announced the finalists for the 2012 “Best of West” awards, recognizing important product and technology developments in the microelectronics supply chain.


CEA-Leti installs Soitec CVD tool for HKMG and PCM research

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

CEA-Leti installed a CVD tool from Altatech, a subsidiary of Soitec, to research sub-20nm phase-change memory (PCM) and high-k metal gate (HKMG) semiconductor devices.


Edwards tailors vacuum pump for LED, compound semiconductor manufacturing

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Edwards (NASDAQ:EVAC) introduced the new iXH645H dry pump, optimized for metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, a key step in LED and compound semiconductor manufacturing.


JPSA picosecond laser micromachining platform reduces debris and thermal damage

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

JP Sercel Associates Inc. released the IX-6168-PS picosecond-laser-based micromachining platform, using lasers with 5-500 picosecond pulse lengths.


Wafer fabs to spend 8.9% less on equipment in 2012; utilization rates improve

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

Worldwide wafer fab equipment spending will total $33 billion in 2012, down 8.9% from 2011’s $36.2 billion spending level, say Gartner analysts. Chipmakers will spend more than $35.4 billion on WFE in 2013, ramping 7.4% over this year.


Linde supports semiconductor manufacturer with expansion in OR

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Linde North America is expanding its capacity to supply ultra-high purity (UHP) gases to a major global semiconductor manufacturer’s Pacific Northwest location.


Semiconductor makers focus on flow control and treatment at leading edge; H20 reuse rises

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor manufacturers will spend $2.3 billion in 2012 for flow control and treatment products, shows McIlvaine Company. Even more pure water is required as the line sizes on chips are decreasing. This aspect, coupled with the opportunity for water reuse, is creating new opportunities.


North American semiconductor fab tool makers see 4th month of positive book-to-bill ratio

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

North-America-based manufacturers of semiconductor fab equipment posted $1.61 billion in orders worldwide in May 2012, $1.54 billion in billings, and a 1.05 book-to-bill ratio, shows SEMI.


SIA recognizes semiconductor researchers, policy supporters

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) presented its 2012 University Researcher Awards to Stanford University professors Krishna Saraswat and Bruce Wooley as well as its 2012 Congressional Leadership Awards to Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Wally Herger.


UMC licenses IBM’s 20nm, FinFET semiconductor technology

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC; TWSE:2303) has licensed IBM technology to expedite the development of its 20nm CMOS process with FinFET 3D transistors.


Maxim plans major upgrades to US semiconductor fabs

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Maxim is spending $200 million to upgrade and expand its US semiconductor manufacturing facilities in San Antonio and Dallas, TX; Beaverton, OR; and San Jose, CA. Maxim manufactures about 50% of its products in the US.


ALD partnership enables surface functionalization of powders

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

Cambridge NanoTech entered a licensing agreement with Ghent University in Belgium to commercialize an ALD particle coating technology that uses thermal and plasma processes.


Productivity challenges identified during ISMI Manufacturing Week

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor manufacturers identified key factory productivity challenges that need to be addressed and shared effective solutions they will need to stay leading-edge and competitive amid turbulent industry transitions during the recent ISMI Manufacturing Week.


Applied Materials targets 3D memory with new Avatar dielectric etch system

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Applied Materials introduced a new dielectric etch system called the Centura Avatar, which can etch holes and trenches in complex film stacks with depth to width aspect ratios of up to 80:1. It is designed to meet new requirements in creating 3D memory architectures.


Major semiconductor players increase capex in 2012, total capex falls 3%

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

IC Insights’ latest survey and ranking of the major semiconductor capital spenders shows that only 6 of the 35 major semiconductor suppliers -- Intel, Samsung, Hynix, TSMC, UMC, and Rohm -- with significant capital expenditure budgets are expected to spend more in 2012 than they did in 2011.


Microchip Technology orders diffusion tools for microcontroller fab from BSE Tech

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

BSE Tech, a BSE Group company, sold diffusion equipment for front-end semiconductor production to Microchip Technology Inc. The equipment will be used in the production of PIC microcontrollers in Microchip’s Tempe, AZ, fab.


SEMICON West takeaways: Seasonality over cyclicality, lithography and test trends

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

SEMICON West kicked off with a surprise announcement regarding Intel's investment in ASML, but generally the event highlighted trends “as expected” in the fab supply chain, say Barclays analysts.


Terry Brewer chats about SEMI and semiconductors at SEMICON West

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

Terry Brewer, one of the newest members of SEMI's North American advisory board, talks about semiconductor industry consolidation, as well as new technologies and materials in the industry. He shares how SEMI is reacting to this evolution.


2012 ITRS stabilized for front-end, but changes loom for 2013

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

The overriding message for 2012 is that the roadmap has been largely stabilized with the significant changes that were input last year in the 2012 publication,” said Intel’s Alan Allan, speaking at Semicon West.


Newport introduces 450mm air bearing stages

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Newport Corporation introduced a line of high-performance air bearing stages specifically designed for the 450mm semiconductor wafer initiative.


Microelectronics standards leaders honored by SEMI

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

At SEMICON West, SEMI honored six industry leaders for their outstanding accomplishments in developing standards for the microelectronics and related industries.


Interviews with CEA-Leti researchers at SEMICON West

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

CEA-Leti presented research updates alongside SEMICON West this week. After the talks on device architecture, 3D and 2.5 packaging interconnects, large-scale computing and power consumption, and more, CEA-Leti’s researchers joined Solid State Technology to talk about their fields of interest.


Q3 semiconductor tool capex pull-back: Seasonal, expect Q4 uptick

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Barclays Capital is seeing various reasons for a Q3 2012 semiconductor fab order/shipment pull-back, following meetings around SEMICON West 2012. The analysts expect strong orders in Q4.


Semiconductor fab tool capex trends gleaned @ SEMICON West

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

After meeting with various semiconductor manufacturing tool suppliers -- Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor, Lam Research, Tokyo Electron, Teradyne and Cymer -- at SEMICON West, Citi analysts share impressions on foundry spending plans and tool choices.


Picosecond laser enables new high-tech devices

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Industrially proven and robust, picosecond lasers are proving their worth in cutting and patterning of delicate materials for a wide variety of industrial applications.


How to cope with semiconductor fab tool obsolescence: ConFab preview

Thu, 5 May 2012

Sanjay Rajguru, director of ISMI, will present “Tool Obsolescence and the Impact on 200mm Manufacturing” at The ConFab 2012’s final session, Maximizing the Longevity of Investments.


Uppsala U installs second Picosun ALD tool for advanced materials research

Thu, 5 May 2012

Picosun Oy delivered a second PICOSUN ALD tool to Uppsala University’s Ångström Laboratory in Sweden for work on surface treatment of carbon nanostructures, transition metal and compound semiconductor thin film manufacturing, and ultrathin polymer layer deposition on various substrates.


Element Six opens synthetic diamond fab in Silicon Valley to serve US customers

Wed, 5 May 2012

Element Six, maker of synthetic diamond supermaterials, opened its first US manufacturing facility in Silicon Valley, housing production, technical, and customer service.


Process Watch: The dangerous disappearing defect

Tue, 5 May 2012

In this first installment of a series called "Process Watch,” experts from KLA-Tencor explain why a defect might be classified as “Not Found” or “SEM Non-visual (SNV),” and how a SNV count can disguise or hide real problems.


Conference Report: IITC, Day 2

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Mike Fury reports on Day 2 of the 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference), from San Jose, CA.


The ConFab: Chasing Price, Power and Performance

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

At The ConFab 2012, fabless companies and foundries have a common goal: reduce power, increase performance and reduce price (not necessarily in that order).


The ConFab: Turning the technology knobs for system scaling

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Chip scaling will go on for the foreseeable future, enabling new product with more compute power, more memory, faster on-chip communication. That was one of the conclusions put forth by imec’s An Steegen, speaking on technology trends at The ConFab 2012.


Conference Report: International Interconnect Technology Conference, IITC

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

The 15th IITC (International Interconnect Technology Conference) opened Monday, June 4 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, CA. Recurring themes this year were variations on 3D and TSV, novel systems and packaging, and back end memory. Mike Fury reports.


Semiconductor fabs use significantly less energy today, but work remains

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities dramatically decreased their normalized fab energy consumption from 1997 to 2011, shows ISMI's Worldwide Fab Energy Study.


ConFab interview: Nvidia's John Chen on semiconductor industry success

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

John Chen of Nvidia gave the opening keynote address of The ConFab 2012, presenting the concept of a “virtual IDM” comprising fabless companies, semiconductor foundries, and packaging houses working seamlessly together. After his speech, Chen caught up with Pete Singer.


ConFab interview: VLSI Research's Dan Hutcheson on silicon cycles

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

Dan Hutcheson, VLSI Research Inc. spoke with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer at The ConFab 2012. Hutcheson presented on the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry.


@ The ConFab: How to prevail over silicon cycles

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

At The ConFab’s opening session, “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” capex was a major point of interest. Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico all touched on it, with Hutcheson expanding on the idea of capex trends to present an entire ecosystem of semiconductor business management.


A virtual IDM concept can unite semiconductor foundries, fabless companies, and packaging houses

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

The ConFab 2012, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only meeting of the semiconductor industry, opened today in Las Vegas with a keynote address from John Chen, PhD, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia Corporation.


NXP develops GaN-on-Si for power semiconductors with Singapore’s A*STAR

Fri, 6 Jun 2012

A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) will collaborate on 200mm GaN-on-Si process and technology development for high-voltage power devices.


Field report: CMP users group

Fri, 5 May 2012

Michael A. Fury reports on the NCCAVS CMP Users Group meeting, held on May 16th.


ITF: The technology knobs for system scaling

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, An Steegen, Senior Vice President Process Technology at imec, discusses the three technology knobs that are key for a further system scaling.


ITF: Life has changed

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, the research consortium's CEO, Lec van den Hove, draws attention to the need for the industry to solve the world's health problems.


ITF: Winning together with strategic collaboration

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, Greg Bartlett, CTO of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, said the key to survival in the semiconductor industry is adaptability and collaboration.


Top suppliers of wafer processing equipment: VLSIresearch survey

Fri, 5 May 2012

THE BEST rankings from VLSIresearch identify the highest-rated suppliers of wafer processing, assembly, and test equipment. Check out the top-rated suppliers of wafer processing equipment, by company size and customer ranking.


ITF: The collaboration engine that drives our industry

Fri, 5 May 2012

At imec's International Technology Forum, SEMI's Denny McGuirck describes how Moore's Law has been the major driver in the semiconducotr industry.


Best semiconductor fab tool suppliers: VLSIresearch survey results

Fri, 5 May 2012

VLSIresearch polled semiconductor manufacturers about their tool suppliers, asking chipmakers to rank equipment providers on customer satisfaction. This year’s results show renewed focus on fab needs.


SEMICON West Day 2: DSA lithography and CMP meetings

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

Blogger Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., Techcet Group, reports on Day 2 of SEMICON West with insights from the Sokudo Lithography Forum and NCCAVS CMPUG meeting, and -- sadly -- none on SEMICON West’s Happy Hour.


Pall joins SEMATECH’s ISMI to address semiconductor fab contamination control

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

Pall Corporation, filtration, separation and purification technology provider, joined the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) program on equipment productivity and factory automation projects to address equipment stability and sustainability challenges as well as next-generation processing issues.


IBM partners with ATMI to address 14nm semiconductor process challenges

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

ATMI Inc. (NASDAQ-GS:ATMI) entered into a joint development agreement with IBM to address critical wet process challenges at the14nm semiconductor node and smaller.


ASM debuts 300mm epitaxy and PEALD/PECVD tools for HV transistor fab

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

ASM International (ASMI) launched advanced deposition systems for epitaxy, PEALD and PECVD. The 2 tools enable high-volume 300mm wafer processing for 20nm and smaller nodes and 3D transistors.


Imec at SEMICON West: Interview with Luc Van den hove

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Luc Van den hove, president and CEO, imec, spoke with Solid State Technology, covering imec’s major announcements and research presentations to take place during SEMICON West 2012.


Semiconductor equipment spending to contract 2.6% in 2012, grow in 2013

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Semiconductor equipment sales will reach $42.4 billion in 2012, according to the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at SEMICON West 2012.


Semicon West 2012 opens with semiconductor revenue forecasts, high-level perspectives

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

Michael A. Fury, Ph.D., reports from the pre-opening day (July 9) of SEMICON West at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. The first day hosts SEMI’s press conference on semiconductor revenues and the SEMI/Gartner Market Symposium.


SEMI Board of Directors election brings new and familiar faces

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

SEMI’s annual Board of Directors election results are in, with new directors Jifan Gao, Trina Solar; Nobu Koshiba, JSR Corp.; Sue Lin, Hermes-Epitek; and Natsunosuke Yago, Ebara Corp., joining.


imec chat: Inside a new 450mm cleanroom investment

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

imec will build a 450mm wafer fab cleanroom at the research organization’s site in Belgium, with a new EUR100 million Belgian investment. We caught up with Luc Van den hove of imec to discuss the implications for semiconductor manufacturing at 450mm, how to build a 450mm-capable cleanroom, and more.


More SEMICON West exhibit previews

Sun, 7 Jul 2012

Following are some of the new and flagship products that will appear this week at SEMICON West, July 10-12 in the Moscone Center of San Francisco, CA.


Top conference reports from H1 2012

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

We at Solid State Technology have compiled the best conference reports so far this year, in the lead up to SEMICON West 2012, next week in San Francisco.


SlurryScope CMP metrology tool qualified at major semiconductor fabs

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

Vantage Technology formally qualified its SlurryScope System for analysis of undiluted slurry used during CMP at major IC production fabs.


SK Hynix expands environmentally friendly fab gas implementation with Linde Group

Tue, 6 Jun 2012

Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, will deliver on-site fluorine (F2) for SK Hynix Inc., under a new long-term supply contract for multiple volume semiconductor production sites in Korea.


Process Watch: Skewing the defect pareto

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

In the second installment in a series called Process Watch, the author provides tips on how to make sure you’re reviewing the yield killing defects and not wasting time reviewing nuisance events. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions for chip manufacturing at the leading edge.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES to produce ST’s 28nm and 20nm FD-SOI

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

STMicroelectronics announced that GLOBALFOUNDRIES has agreed to manufacture devices for ST using ST’s proprietary Fully Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator (FD-SOI) technology in both the 28nm and 20nm nodes.


ISMI addresses tool obsolescence

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Speaking at The ConFab 2012, Sanjay Rajguru, director of ISMI, pointed out that more than half the current fab capacity today comes from facilities that are more than ten years old, which is creating a problem with equipment obsolescence.


ConFab interview: G450 Consortium's Tom Jefferson on 450mm timeline

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Tom Jefferson, G450 Consortium, shares an update on 450mm wafers for semiconductor manufacturing. The consortium is adding staff and ramping its silicon supply, and getting ready for equipment selection.


AMAT debuts ion implant tool for high-yield 20nm semiconductor fab

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Applied Materials introduced the Applied Varian VIISta Trident single-wafer, high-current ion implant system, which embeds dopant atoms on 20nm semiconductor wafers at high yields.


ConFab interview: ISMI’s Bill Ross on managing legacy fabs and supply obsolescence

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Bill Ross, ISMI, is moderating a session today at The ConFab 2012 on managing legacy semiconductor fabs and dealing with tool and materials obsolescence at 200mm and smaller. He speaks with Pete Singer about coping with these changes.


Record semiconductor fab spending on tap for 2013

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Fab equipment spending has improved in 2012, breaking the barrier into positive growth for the year, shows SEMI. Semiconductor makers will invest $39.5 billion in fabs, up 2% from 2011 spending. Fab capex will hit a record in 2013, $46.3 billion or 17% above 2012.


Printed electronics researchers in Europe install Optomec jet deposition tools

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

Optomec’s Aerosol Jet deposition tools are being used for printed sensor, display, solar cell, CMOS and passive devices, and other development areas, with new installations at CEA Liten (France), Innovation Lab (Germany) and the University of Sheffield (UK).


Analog IC manufacturing moves to 300mm; new growth applications arise

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

While communications make up the bulk of analog IC sales, growth is coming from automotive, energy, mobility, and medical/healthcare apps, according to Semico. This semiconductor sector is also moving to 300mm wafer production at smaller device nodes, which offers cost advantages.


AIXTRON debuts GaN-on-Si MOCVD reactor technology

Thu, 7 Jul 2012

AIXTRON SE introduced a 5 x 200mm gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) reactor design for its G5 Planetary Reactor MOCVD platform. AIX G5+ comprises special reactor hardware and process design, developed with customers in AIXTRON’s R&D lab.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES green-lights Fab 8 expansion

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will add 90,000 more square feet of semiconductor manufacturing space to Module 1 of Fab 8 in NY. The completed semiconductor manufacturing area will total 300,000sq.ft.


Semiconductor foundry installs Mattson etch tool

Wed, 7 Jul 2012

Mattson Technology installed its paradigmE etch system at a major foundry, expanding the tool's customer base.


Majority of semiconductor manufacturing suppliers experience IP challenges

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

SEMI recently conducted a survey of semiconductor fab equipment and materials suppliers, finding that 60+% of respondents say that IP challenges have had an adverse impact on their companies.


SiC manufacturing: Patents don’t equal revenue/market share, and watch for challengers to PVT growth

Tue, 7 Jul 2012

SiC is a niche material for semiconductor, power electronics, and LED manufacturing. Yole analyzed patents related to SiC growth and wafer manufacturing to glean trends in production, R&D, top companies, barriers to entry, and more.


Secondary semiconductor equipment: Turnkey services offer a fab-centric approach

Mon, 7 Jul 2012

RED Equipment’s Carl McMahon suggests a different model for handling secondary semiconductor equipment for greater efficiency, cost reduction and quality control: full turnkey services engineered to the fab’s needs without the expense of customization.


Printed electronics standards initiative starts with substrate materials

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

IPC and JPCA released their first operational-level standard for the printed electronics industry, defining terms and establishes basic requirements for substrate materials used in printed electronics: ceramic, organic, metal, glass and other.


North American semiconductor fab tool book-to-bill drops below parity in June

Fri, 7 Jul 2012

"Following seven months of increases, the three-month average bookings declined in June and likely reflects some slowing in investment plans attributed to weaknesses in the broader economy," said Denny McGuirk, SEMI.  "While order activity may slow, equipment spending this year will continue to be directed towards advanced technologies in wafer processing and packaging assembly."


Asian semiconductor foundry orders Ultratech laser spike anneal system

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

Ultratech Inc. (UTEK) shipped its 50th laser spike anneal (LSA) system, with an order from a major Asian foundry.


Conference Report: TechConnect 2012, Day 1

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

The 2012 TechConnect World Summit, Expo & Showcase opened Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The event serves as host to the National Innovation Showcase, whose mission is to accelerate the commercialization of “the world’s top innovations.”


AMAT’s Varian integration continues with Dickerson named president

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

In mid-2011, semiconductor manufacturing and assembly equipment supplier Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) acquired Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. Now, the company is adding Varian’s former CEO Gary Dickerson as president.


SEMICON West 2012 exhibits preview: Wafer processing and handling

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

Some of the new and flagship wafer fab products and supporting facility products, like vacuum valves, that will be on the show floor at SEMICON West, from ion implant to MOCVD traps and gas blenders.


Easier manual 450mm wafer carrier handling with H-Square Ergolift

Mon, 6 Jun 2012

H-Square Corp introduced its 450mm Ergolift for handling new 450mm semiconductor wafer FOSB/MACs, which can weigh more than 60lbs.


Panasonic re-ups imec research partnership on CMOS, flexible electronics, more

Thu, 6 Jun 2012

imec and Panasonic Inc. have entered into the next phase of a comprehensive and broadened collaboration agreement for joint R&D on healthcare, wireless communication, flexible electronics and advanced CMOS process technologies.


Legacy semiconductor fab issues @ The ConFab 2012

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Older production facilities face equipment obsolescence; skills obsolescence; scarce availability of parts, software, and support; and equipment capability extension and tool re-use. At the ConFab 2012 Executive Roundtable, representatives from Sematech/ISMI, IDMs, OEMs, equipment dealers, and industry consultants gathered to have an open discussion on concerns, roadblocks, and possible solutions.


Semiconductor fab tool makers see sequential increase in Q1

Wed, 6 Jun 2012

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings and bookings were virtually tied in Q1 2012, reports SEMI, with $10.61 billion in billings and $10.07 in bookings. This is a 13-14% improvement sequentially, and 9% below the same quarter last year.


Using waste silicon to make Li-ion batteries

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers at Rice U. and the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium have devised a method for converting discarded silicon into a key material for lithium-ion batteries.


iPhone 5: Which semiconductor suppliers are the big winners?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

As the dust settles after the launch of the iPhone 5, analysts tally which suppliers in the semiconductor ecosphere are most likely to gain the most.


Dow launches CMP polishing pad platform

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Dow Electronic Materials introduced its new IKONIC polishing pad platform for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP).


Samsung breaks ground for memory manufacturing in China

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., held a groundbreaking ceremony for a major new memory fabrication line in Xi'an, China. Once completed, the new facility will make use of advanced 10-19nm technology to produce NAND flash memory chips, according to the company.


Chip tool demand slumps in 2Q12, though Taiwan shines

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Global demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment slipped -4% in 2Q12 with softness in just about every region -- except Taiwan which stepped on the pedal during the quarter, according to updated data from SEMI and SEAJ.


GaAs nanowires on graphene focus of NTNU research

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU)  have patented and are commercializing GaAs nanowires grown on graphene.


Scotch tape induces high-temp superconductivity

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

A team led by University of Toronto physicists has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconducto.


SRC honors professors from UC Berkeley and MIT

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) recognized two outstanding professors in SRC-supported, chip-related research and education for 2012.


Intel lowers 3Q outlook: What's the real driving factor?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Analysts weigh the reasons behind Intel's downwardly-revised 3Q12 results, from macroeconomic sluggishness to tablet-PC cannibalization -- and whether its pullback in 2012 capex plans spells trouble for the market overall.


Intel lowers 3Q outlook: What's the real driving factor?

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Analysts weigh the reasons behind Intel's downwardly-revised 3Q12 results, from macroeconomic sluggishness to tablet-PC cannibalization -- and whether its pullback in 2012 capex plans spells trouble for the market overall.


Waiting for the next "golden year"

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

While various industry segments appear to be tapping the brakes, others are revving their engines, observes SEMI's Christian Gregor Dieseldorff -- and a 2012 stall could pave the way for a record-breaking 2013.


Semiconductor R&D spending rising 10% in 2012 to meet design, process challenges

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Spending on R&D by semiconductor companies worldwide is expected to grow 10% in 2012 to a record $53.4 billion, as companies all across the ecosystem try to keep up with more complex IC designs and new process technologies, according to data from IC Insights.


Technology alliance formed for glass and brittle materials processing

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Three leaders in their respective fields have formed a technology alliance to bring a new glass cutting technology to market. InnoLas Systems GmbH licensed process technology developed by FiLaser LLC and will use ultra-short pulse lasers produced exclusively for InnoLas by LUMERA LASER GmbH.


Laser nanofabrication for mass production at the nanoscale

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

Laser nanofabrication can now meet the needs of submicron and nanoscale feature size manufacturing, and can operate in air, vacuum, or liquid processes. Sister publication Industrial Laser Solutions recently published Laser nanofabrication: A route toward next-generation mass production.


Supply chain readiness in an era of accelerated change

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

In this SEMI News and Views blog, Karen Savala covers EUV lithography, 450mm wafers, and 3D IC developments, based on her recent presentation at SEMICON West, “Supply Chain Readiness in an Era of Accelerated Change.”


AIXTRON tool supports OTFT, OLED, other organic electronics manufacturing

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

AIXTRON launched the PRODOS-200 PVPD system for deposition of organic thin film materials, used to make OTFT displays and OLEDs, and in other manufacturing applications.


Semico downgrades 2012 semiconductor industry forecast to 6-8%

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Citing continued financial struggles in Europe, an inventory buildup at TSMC, and lower US GDP, Semico revised its 2012 semiconductor industry forecast from 8-10% to 6-8%.


From fuzzy to focused: Phase I in project development

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

Many early-stage tool development projects lack focus in what is needed for tool functionality and performance. Nevertheless, a disciplined phased approach to can resolve many open issues (technical, commercial and market-related) in the first phase of any project.


Soitec, SEH extend Smart Cut licensing deal to "silicon-on-anything"

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Soitec and Shin-Etsu Handotai (SEH) have extended their cooperation in Soitec's Smart Cut technology with an extended 10-year licensing agreement, including a new level of joint technology cooperation, to facilitate development and wafer supply of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.


Azzurro, Epistar achieve GaN-on-Si on 150mm

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Azzurro and Epistar say they have achieved GaN-on-Si based high-brightness LEDs on 150mm GaN-on-Si substrates, billed as "one step further towards implementation in mass production."


Europe to unite research efforts in Silicon Europe cluster alliance

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Four of the leading micro- and nanoelectronics regions in Europe are joining forces to form a cluster alliance called “Silicon Europe.”


imec to begin 450mm cleanroom construction in 2013

Sun, 10 Oct 2012

Imec, the research consortium in Leuven, Belgium, plans to start construction of a 450mm pilot line next year, with early production focused on sub-10nm devices starting at the end of 2016. 


Q2 semiconductor revenue may be “troubling” indicator of market health

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Global semiconductor market revenue in Q2 2012 fell by 3% Y/Y to $75.2 billion, and grew sequentially <3%, resulting in widespread revenue declines for chip suppliers, particularly those headquartered in Japan and Europe, according to IHS.


GaAs faces slowing demand from 2011 on

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

H2 2011 saw slow growth for gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrates in semiconductor and related devices, as well as a shift away from GaAs as a handset switch technology. However, the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted the supply chain, driving up substrate pricing and overall revenue to nearly $230 million.


UMC to close semiconductor foundry in Japan, dissolve subsidiary

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE:UMC; TWSE:2303) will close its fab operation in Japan through the dissolution and liquidation of its wholly-owned subsidiary, UMC Japan.


Dynamic changes impacting advanced electronic materials industry

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Learn about the changes in semiconductor manufacturing as well as related markets -- photovoltaics, displays, LEDs, etc -- at the 2012 Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), to be held on October 23-24 in San Jose, CA. SEMI reports.


Present on semiconductor metrology and more at ASMC 2013

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

ASMC 2013, the leading international technical conference for exploring solutions to improve collective microelectronics manufacturing expertise, has issued a call for papers.


Aixtron ships Prodos polymer PVD tool to Asian flexible electronics maker

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

An unnamed "major Asian customer" will use Aixtron's Prodos polymer PVD tool to deposit organic polymer thin films for production of flexible electronic devices.


Samsung spending $4B to update Austin semiconductor factory

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC says it will spend "about $4 billion" to renovate and retrofit its existing facility for "full system LSI production," mainly to produce mobile SoCs on 300mm wafers using 28nm process technologies.


DoD mandates DNA-based component counterfeiting protection measures

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting and security solutions, was named by the DoD Defense Logistics Agency as the provider of authentication services for microcircuits supplied by defense contractors.


North American semiconductor fab tool orders tracked flat Y/Y in July

Fri, 8 Aug 2012

"Bookings and billings for North American semiconductor equipment in July are close to values reported exactly one year ago," said Denny McGuirk, SEMI, noting seasonally slow investment activity.


Gas systems firms unite: Matheson takes majority stake in RASIRC

Thu, 8 Aug 2012

Matheson has acquired a majority stake in RASIRC, supplementing its gas purification and material businesses with RASIRC's water vapor systems.


SRC to host TECHCON conference in September

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, is poised to celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual TECHCON conference Sept. 10-11.


Brooks Automation updates vacuum monitoring equipment

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Two extensions to Brooks Automation's vacuum quality monitoring (VQM) components make it easier to measure gases and conditions inside a vacuum chamber.


SEMI builds portal for 450mm info

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

SEMI's new "450 Central" information portal offers news and perspectives about the 450mm wafer-size transition.


AKHAN characterizes diamond semiconductor material with Argonne Labs

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

AKHAN Technologies is sharing characterization data relating to its Miraj Diamond materials, gleaned in collaborative work with the CNM at Argonne National Laboratory.


TSMC approves capex spending at board meeting

Wed, 8 Aug 2012

At a meeting of its Board, TSMC approved capital appropriations to expand and upgrade advanced technology capacity, and to construct a semiconductor fab building.


Printing methodologies for various electronic devices

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Printing is emerging as a technology that can replace traditional photolithography processes for electronics manufacturing, reducing costly material use, very complex processes, and expensive equipment.


Researchers install AIXTRON MOCVD for GaN-on-Si power device R&D

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

National Central University (NCU) in Taiwan will use an AIXTRON MOCVD system to research GaN-on-Si power semiconductors.


Semiconductor silicon demand grew in Q2, expect flat 2012

Tue, 8 Aug 2012

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during Q2 2012, compared to Q1 and to Q2 2011, reports SEMI’s Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG).


Tokyo Electron to acquire FSI International

Mon, 8 Aug 2012

Tokyo Electron Limited and FSI International entered into a definitive agreement under which TEL will acquire FSI for approximately $252.5 million.


ON Semiconductor joins imec’s GaN-on-Si research program

Fri, 10 Oct 2012

ON Semiconductor has joined imec to collaborate on the development of next-generation GaN-on-Si power devices. ON Semiconductor is presently building a GaN processing line in its Oudenaarde facility in Belgium Oudenaarde, and it is expected to employ GaN-on-Si technology.


Applied Materials cutting 1300 jobs, reallocating funds to "key growth initiatives"

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Applied Materials says it will reduce its work force by between 6% and 9% (900-1300 positions) amid a global realignment deemed necessary to achieve certain strategic objectives, freeing up to $190M annually "to fund key growth initiatives."


Analyst: Fab spending softness 2012 extending into 2013

Thu, 10 Oct 2012

Fab equipment spending continues to soften in 2012, and hopes for a reprieve in 2013 are waning, warns one analyst.


Japan's semiconductor industry: Fabs, equipment, and materials

Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Even though semiconductor manufacturers in Japan are consolidating and transitioning to a "fab-lite" strategy,  the region still represents a large installed fab capacity and a major market for equipment and materials suppliers.


Intermolecular, GlobalFoundries, IBM stepping to 10nm node

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Intermolecular says that it is working with both GlobalFoundries and IBM to speed development of manufacturing technologies down to the 10nm node, using its High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology.


New method monitors, catalyzes semiconductor etch in real time

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Researchers at the U. of Illinois have devised a method to monitor a semiconductor surface as it is etched, in real time, with nanometer precision.


Axcelis signs $30M fab tool management contract for chipmakers' US sites

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Axcelis Technologies said it has signed a five-year $30M contract with "one of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers" to support its implant, cleaning, and thermal processing equipment at multiple fabs in the US.


LED industry shifting production to 6-inch wafers

Tue, 10 Oct 2012

Driven by market demand, the semiconductor industry is progressing toward consensus on building-block standards for automating LED production on 6-in wafers, explains Paula Doe in an article for SST sister magazine LEDs Magazine.


Tezzaron takes over SVTC's Austin fab amid layoff reports

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Tezzaron Semiconductor is taking over SVTC Technologies' wafer fab in Austin, TX, amid reports that the semiconductor/MEMS development organization is cutting back activities in Austin and in California.


Laser spike anneal for photoresists outperforms hotplate bake

Mon, 10 Oct 2012

Researchers at Cornell have developed a new laser-based method for ultra-fast anneal of thin photoresist films. The research, sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), has shown that the new anneal outperforms state-of-art hotplate bake for both 193nm and EUV lithography applications.


Molybdenum sulfide: the new graphene?

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Researchers have begun to investigate a new 2D material—molybdenum sulfide (MoS)—which has similar characteristics but offers something graphene doesn’t: a wide energy bandgap, enabling transistors and circuits to be built from it directly.


On-board heaters can self-heal flash memories

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At the upcoming International Electron Device Meeting, Macronix researchers will describe how they built flash memories that could heal themselves by means of tiny onboard heaters that provide thermal annealing just at the spots where it is needed.


Everspin to unveil highest-density ST-MRAM

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

In an invited paper at the International Electron Devices Meeting, researchers from Everspin Technologies will describe how they built the largest functional ST-MRAM circuit ever built, a 64-Mb device with good electrical characteristics.


Better than FinFETs: Hybrid-Channel SOI

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December, a team led by IBM will report on the world’s first high-performance hybrid-channel ETSOI CMOS device.The researchers built a ring oscillator circuit to benchmark performance that worked even better than FinFETs.


Why IC market growth will expand despite economic and technology challenges

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Even with the persistent troubles in global economics and various technology hurdles in advanced semiconductor manufacturing, IC market growth will continue to improve -- and the key is a shift away from what's been driving the market dynamics, explains IC Insights.


China's IMR orders Aixtron system for carbon nanotube, graphene research

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

The Institute of Metal Research (IMR) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has ordered a new Aixtron tool to support its research in carbon nanotubes and graphene technologies.


Semi-Gas uncrates gas mixture automation system

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

Semi-Gas Systems is now offering an automatic gas sampling system that eliminates operator touch time while certifying cylinders of blended gas mixtures.


Brooks Automation laying off 10% of workforce

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

The semiconductor equipment maker is battening down the hatches to reduce costs and improve profitability in the face of near-term macroeconomic conditions.


LFoundry to invest EUR 25 million in R&D

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

LFoundry says it will invest a total of €25 million in R&D and innovative projects over the next three years, thanks to " the materialization of several large-scale projects."


IBM demos high-performance CMOS on flexible plastic substrates

Tue, 9 Sep 2012

At IEDM, IBM researchers will demonstrate high-performance state-of-the-art CMOS circuits —including SRAM memory and ring oscillators—on a flexible plastic substrate.


NanoYield: new design for yield software released

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc. unveiled NanoYield, yield prediction and optimization software for memory, logic, analog and digital circuit design.


EV Group sells first ZoneBOND tech for compound semi work

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

EV Group says it has received an order for its EVG850 temporary bonding/debonding systems from a leading maker of compound semiconductor-based components, what it says is the first use of its ZoneBOND technology in this area.


Sumitomo Chemical joins Holst Center for OLED materials research

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

Sumitomo Chemical has joined the Holst Center's shared research program on printed organic lighting and signage, to contribute to research into multilayer solution processes for high-efficiency organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).


TSMC's schedule for 450mm mass production -- and lithography is the key

Wed, 9 Sep 2012

During sessions at this month's SEMICON Taiwan, execs from TEL, Lam Research, Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor revealed the latest developments in 450mm technology.


TriQuint to boost GaN power amplifiers for DARPA

Mon, 9 Sep 2012

TriQuint Semiconductor says it has received a $2.7M contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to triple the power handling performance of gallium nitride (GaN) circuits.


Chip demand still sliding, hopes for soft 3Q landing and recovery

Fri, 9 Sep 2012

Demand for chip tools fell again in August and is off by -30% from its peak in early summer, fulfilling fears that the second half of 2012 will be sluggish for chipmaking investments, according to the latest data from SEMI.


TSMC integrates Ge on Si in p-type FinFETs

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), foundry TSMC will describe a heterogeneous epitaxial growth process which for the first time enables Ge to be directly grown on Si.


Horizontal channels key to ultra-small 3D NAND

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

The first working 3D NAND flash memory at sub-40nm feature sizes will be described by Macronix researchers at this year’s International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM).


RRAM synapses mimic the brain

Thu, 9 Sep 2012

At this year’s IEDM, a team led by Korea’s Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology will detail a high-speed pattern-recognition system comprising CMOS “neurons” and an array of resistive-RAM (RRAM)-based “synapses,” which demonstrated STDP, a brain-like function.


North American semiconductor equipment industry posts May 2013 book-to-bill ratio

Fri, 6 Jun 2013

A book-to-bill of 1.08 means that $108 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.


EPIC publishes European photonics database

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, has published a public database of more than 5000 company entries, an interactive map, and a report on the photonics ecosystem in Europe.


Global semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending to decline in 2013, says Gartner

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Outlook for semiconductor equipment market improves, but remains soft in the short term.


SEMATECH names William R. Rozich chairman of the board

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Rozich, who previously was a member of the company’s board, succeeds Michael R. Polcari, who served as chairman since November 2009.


Semiconductor inventory falls in Q1 as outlook for electronics demand rises

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Total inventory held by semiconductor suppliers declined significantly in the first quarter as excess stockpiles created during the global economic malaise of 2012 were cleared away, done in anticipation of a resurgence in consumer demand for electronic products expected by the second half of 2013.


TowerJazz to service infrared markets

Wed, 6 Jun 2013

Markets predicted by Maxtech International to reach >$5B by 2015.


DRAM market grows up

Wed, 6 Jun 2013

Industry’s newfound maturity yields growth amid adversity.


Producing cheaper and more flexible multiple thin crystalline silicon wafers

Wed, 6 Jun 2013

A team of researchers has found a way to make the manufacture of crystalline silicon materials faster and more affordable.


UMC joins IBM chip alliance for 10nm process development

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

IBM and United Microelectronics Corporation, a global semiconductor foundry, today announced that UMC will join the IBM Technology Development Alliances as a participant in the group's development of 10nm CMOS process technology.


EVG and Dynaloy develop single-wafer cleaning solution

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Single-wafer cleaning solution is suitable for 3D-IC/TSV, advanced packaging, MEMS and compound semiconductor applications.


Alchimer to collaborate with imec on advanced nano-interconnect technologies

Tue, 6 Jun 2013

In an industry where finer features are driving market needs, current deposition processes are no longer sufficient to address challenges like interconnect dimensions below 16/14nm or high aspect ratio TSVs (>8) without experiencing defects, voids, or low reliability.


Freescale appoints Krishnan Balasubramanian to board of directors

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

Mr. Balasubramanian (known as Bala) brings more than 37 years experience in the semiconductor industry to his new role on Freescale's board of directors.


eMemory and UMC expand non-volatile memory cooperation to advanced 28nm process

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

The agreement will broaden the foundry's specialty process portfolio that already includes a range of eMemory eNVM IP solutions from 0.18um and below.


450mm – It’s bigger than you think

Thu, 6 Jun 2013

Much has been said of the 450mm transition.  But the description of this inflection is something of a misnomer.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES unveils plans to accelerate adoption of 20nm-LPM and 14nm-XM FinFET processes

Fri, 5 May 2013

At next week's 50th Design Automation Conference in Austin, Texas, GLOBALFOUNDRIES will unveil a comprehensive set of certified design flows to support its most advanced manufacturing processes.


Test Vision 2020 at SEMICON West to address emerging test strategies, technologies and challenges

Fri, 5 May 2013

Critical trends and developments in the technologies, methodologies, and applications challenges in semiconductor test will be presented at the 6th annual IEEE Test Vision 2020 Workshop held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2013, on July 10-11 at the San Francisco Marriot Marquis Hotel.


Precision is key to scaling below 14nm

Mon, 6 Jun 2013

In advance of the 2013 SEMICON West TechXPOTs on lithography and nonplanar transistors beyond 20nm, SEMI asked some of the speakers and industry experts to comment on the challenges they wanted to highlight. Many of the inputs focused on the need for precision in the processes used to form transistors, as well as how EDA can contribute to mitigating variability.


Fab equipment spending: 23% growth for 2014

Tue, 6 Jun 2013

Fab equipment spending will grow two percent year-over-year  (US$ 32.5 billion) for 2013 and about 23 to 27 percent in 2014 ($41 billion) according to the May edition of the SEMI World Fab Forecast.


Learning the secrets of design for yield

Tue, 6 Jun 2013

Dr. Zhihong Liu, Executive Chairman of ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc., says that design-for-yield (DFY) considerations are more important than ever. And yet, we as an industry may not fully understand device modeling and its impact on DFY results.


Element Six acquires assets of Group4Labs

Wed, 5 May 2013

Element Six today announced it has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Group4 Labs, Inc. (Group4), a semiconductor wafer materials company that manufactured gallium nitride (GaN) on-diamond semiconductor technology for RF and high-power devices.


Extending optical lithography; outlook for DSA

Mon, 5 May 2013

This year’s SEMICON West front-end processing TechXPOTs on lithography and transistors below 20nm will provide critical updates on how technologists are coping with the next scaling challenges.


Samsung announces industry-first 45nm embedded flash logic process development

Fri, 5 May 2013

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the industry’s first 45nm embedded flash logic process development called eFlash. Samsung successfully implemented the new process into the smart card test chip, which means that this process technology fulfills the stringent quality requirements of the security solution market and can be successfully deployed on a commercial scale.


SMIC deploys NanoYield High-Sigma for 28nm process development

Thu, 5 May 2013

ProPlus Design Solutions, Inc. announced today that Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation has deployed ProPlus' NanoYield High-Sigma (HS) within its advanced technology development flow.


EU announces achievements of three-year power microelectronics program

Thu, 5 May 2013

LAST POWER, the European Union-sponsored program aimed at developing a cost-effective and reliable technology for power electronics, today announced its three-year program achievements.


Critical updates on EUV, 3D transistors and 450mm manufacturing at SEMICON West 2013

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

The critical processes and technologies necessary to continue Moore’s Law are currently more uncertain than ever before in the history of advanced semiconductor manufacturing.


SAMCO to relocate and expand Silicon Valley office

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

SAMCO Inc, head quartered in Kyoto, Japan, has expanded its OPTO Films Research Laboratory in California’s Silicon Valley in order to strengthen its research structure and after-sale process support.


MOSIS collaborates with imec, Tyndall and ePIXfab on silicon photonics

Thu, 5 May 2013

MOSIS, a provider of low-cost prototyping and small volume production services for custom ICs, has teamed up with imec, Ireland's Tyndall National Institute and ePIXfab, the European Silicon Photonics support center providing low-cost prototyping services for photonic ICs.


New method joins gallium nitride and diamond for better thermal management

Wed, 5 May 2013

DARPA's Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) effort recently demonstrated the first-ever GaN-on-diamond high electron mobility transistor (HEMT).


Strategic approach to R&D is goal at National Photonics Initiative Event

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

More than 100 representatives from government and the photonics industry convened in Washington, D.C., on February 28 to identify focus areas for a national photonics initiative (NPI), engaging academia, industry, and government in a collaboration to address barriers to continued U.S. leadership in photonics.


'Key' EUV milestone, DSA progress, more reported at SPIE Advanced Lithography

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Over 2,000 industry professionals attended last week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography, where important progress reports were revealed on extreme ultraviolet (EUV), lithography, directed self-assembly (DSA), metrology, and related topics. The event ran February 24-28 in San Jose, California.


STMicroelectronics makes analog 130nm H9A CMOS process available through CMP

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Semiconductor technology leaders ST and CMP help universities, research labs and companies prototype next generation of Systems-on-Chip.


Aptina and LFoundry to partner on CMOS image sensor manufacturing

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

LFoundry to manufacture wafers for Aptina following LFoundry’s purchase of Micron’s Avezzano, Italy semiconductor fabrication facility.


Car infotainment semiconductor market hits speed bump in 2013

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Following a healthy expansion in 2012, the growth of the global automotive semiconductor market will decelerate slightly this year because of a slowdown in the aftermarket and portable navigation device (PND) segments.


Diodes Incorporated closes acquisition of BCD Semiconductor

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Diodes Incorporated today announced that it has completed its acquisition of BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Limited in an all cash deal, valued at approximately $151 million.


North American Semiconductor Industry: Continuing with high levels of investments

Thu, 5 May 2013

While investments and capital spending in Asia-Pacific garner much of the attention regarding semiconductor manufacturing, spending on equipment and materials in North America has totaled more than $100 billion over the past decade as leading device manufacturers expand capacity and invest in new facilities.


Top industrial electronics semiconductor suppliers suffer declining revenue in 2012

Thu, 5 May 2013

The eight leading suppliers of industrial electronics suffered revenue declines in 2012, reflecting weak conditions for the beleaguered market.


A new way to discover and monitor defects

Thu, 5 May 2013

In the world of optical defect inspection, finding on defect on a 300mm wafer can be like trying to find a single coin on the island of Taiwan. Now imagine being able to find that coin in just an hour, along with any other coins that look exactly like it.


First quarter 2013 reports slight decrease in silicon wafer shipments

Thu, 5 May 2013

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments decreased during the first quarter 2013 when compared to fourth quarter 2012 area shipments, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.


Second phase of Nanoelectronics Research Initiative to focus on post-CMOS electronics

Wed, 5 May 2013

SRC and NIST will provide a combined $5 million in annual funding for three multi-university research centers tasked with demonstrating non-conventional, low-energy technologies that outperform current technologies on critical applications in 10 years and beyond.


Intel launches low-power, high-performance microarchitecture

Tue, 5 May 2013

Intel Corporation today took the wraps off its brand new, low-power, high-performance microarchitecture named Silvermont.


LFoundry completes acquisition of Micron’s facility in Avezzano

Mon, 5 May 2013

LFoundry confirmed the signature of the final agreement regarding the acquisition of Avezzano (Italy) manufacturing facility.


IDC predicts semiconductor market to experience 3-4% revenue growth in 2013

Wed, 5 May 2013

IDC expects the semiconductor market to return to growth in 2013 with revenues forecast to increase by 3.5 percent this year.


Eleven companies move up in Q1’13 top 20 semi supplier ranking

Tue, 5 May 2013

Qualcomm, TSMC, and SK Hynix each register greater than 20 percent year-over-year growth.


Axcelis launches Purion XE high energy implanter

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. today announced the introduction of the Purion XE next generation single wafer high energy implanter, the second tool in its expanding family of Purion ion implanters. 


Spansion to acquire microcontroller and analog business from Fujitsu

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

Spansion Inc. and Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited today announced they have executed a definitive agreement for Spansion to acquire the Microcontroller and Analog Business of Fujitsu Semiconductor for approximately $110 million, plus approximately $65 million for inventory.


Semiconductor industry to recognize Philip Yeo and Lee Kok Choy at SEMICON Singapore 2013

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

SEMI today announced that Philip Yeo, chairman of SPRING Singapore, and Lee Kok Choy, country manager of Micron Technology Inc. Singapore, have been voted by the SEMI Singapore Regional Advisory Board as recipients of two prestigious awards recognizing their contributions to the development and success of the Southeast Asian semiconductor industry.


Cadence and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to improve DFM signoff for 20 and 14nm nodes

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced today that GLOBALFOUNDRIES has collaborated with Cadence to provide pattern classification data for manufacturing processes of 20 and 14 nanometers.


Morgan Advanced Materials joins SEMATECH to develop process solutions

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Morgan Advanced Materials has joined SEMATECH’s International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), a program designed to improve semiconductor equipment manufacturing productivity, yield, and cost.


Infineon and GLOBALFOUNDRIES announce collaboration for 40nm embedded flash process

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Infineon Technologies and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc. today announced a joint technology development and production agreement for 40nm embedded flash (eFlash) process technology.


Global semiconductor industry to witness a CAGR of 4.3% over next five years

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Global macroeconomic developments and technological advances, personal computers, and memory markets are expected to drive demand over the forecast period, Research and Markets predicts in their report, “Global Semiconductor Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis.”


Hitachi launches brand-new GaN-template product

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Hitachi Cable, Ltd. announced today that it has developed a new mass-production technology for GaN-templates, in which a high-quality gallium nitride (GaN) single-crystal thin film is grown on a sapphire substrate.


Natcore announces advancements and new applications in black silicon

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Natcore Technology Inc. announced major strides in advancing its black silicon solar cells to commercial levels of efficiency and, as part of its development process, has discovered that its technology could finally provide a low-cost selective emitter application.


Samsung mass producing high-performance NAND Flash memory using 10nm-class process technology

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Samsung has begun mass producing a 128-gigabit (Gb), 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) NAND memory chip using 10 nanometer (nm)-class process technology this month. This chip will enable high-density memory solutions such as embedded NAND storage and solid state drives (SSDs).


ESI acquires Semiconductor Systems business of GSI Group

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

 Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. today announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Semiconductor Systems business of GSI Group, Inc., a supplier of precision photonics, laser-based solutions and precision motion devices to the medical, industrial, scientific, and electronics markets


AMEC develops process technology for dry etching at 20nm

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) said today that it has developed a Single-Station Chamber Advanced Dielectric Etcher (SSC AD-RIE) capable of processing the most rigorous semiconductor applications.


Global semiconductor sales outpace last year through Q1 of 2013

Tue, 5 May 2013

Sales in March 2013 were up slightly compared to February 2013 and March 2012.


Chip Memory Technologies Inc. reveals unique embedded NV memory solution

Tue, 5 May 2013

Chip Memory Technology Inc. (CMT), a new embedded memory technology developer, has emerged from stealth mode to reveal company details and its latest product.


HELIOS develops supply chain for integrating photonics with CMOS circuit

Tue, 5 May 2013

The €8.5 million European Commission project developed a complete design and fabrication supply chain for integrating a photonic layer with a CMOS circuit, using microelectronics fabrication processes.


Studying 1/f noise

Mon, 5 May 2013

1/f noise is an important characteristic for various semiconductor devices, such as MOSFETs, BJTs, JFETs, Diode, and IC resistors. Not only does it directly impact the circuit performance of modern ICs, but it has been used also as an important technique to characterize the manufacturing process quality.


IQE and II-VI Inc. launch 150mm GaN HEMT epi wafers on SiC substrates

Mon, 5 May 2013

IQE plc announces the launch of gallium nitride-based, high electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) epitaxial wafers on 150mm diameter semi-insulating silicon carbide (SiC) substrates.


Bluetooth chip shipments to nearly double by 2017

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

The market for Bluetooth semiconductors is expected to boom by nearly 100 percent from 2011 to 2017, with the majority of the growth driven by demand for wireless combination integrated circuits (ICs) and mobile system-on-chip (MSoC) devices with integrated wireless connectivity that are used in mobile devices like smartphones and media tablets.


Reinventing Intel

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

The semiconductor chip giant revealed plans to branch out beyond PCs. Will it work?


Freescale Semiconductor to open 10 sales offices in China in 2013

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

In order to meet the rapidly growing business demands in the Chinese market and further expand the mass market in that region, Freescale Semiconductor announced today that the company plans to open ten new sales offices covering key areas across the mainland area.


University of Cambridge installs AIXTRON MOCVD reactor for GaN-on-Si wafers

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

AIXTRON SE today announced that the University of Cambridge has successfully commissioned another multi-wafer Close Coupled Showerhead (CCS) MOCVD reactor at its new facility at the Department of Material Science and Metallurgy. The CCS 6x2-inch system will be configured to handle single 6-inch (150mm) wafers (1x6-inch).


IRPS 2013: New insight into erratic bits

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

Error correction code and redundant addresses are both techniques well-known in memories as a way of optimizing yield. But new data from the University of Ferrara shows that these common techniques may be overused. By classifying erratic bits more carefully, it’s possible to use less ECC and up to 35 percent less redundancy.


IRPS 2013: Oxygen interstitials can impact RRAM retention time

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

The ability of a resistive RAM device to maintain its resistance state, otherwise known as retention time, can be impacted by the electrode materials used.


IRPS 2013: Discrete trapping and detrapping seen in flash memories

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

New flash memory chips are replacing the floating gate with thin layers of material that "trap the charge." The charge trap is a sandwich of materials such as silicon-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (SONOS), metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (MONOS) and tantalum-aluminum oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (TANOS), all of which are substantially smaller than the floating gate.


IRPS 2013: Breakdown voltage dependent on polarity

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

At the International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), being held April 14-18, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa in Monterey, CA, imec will present new research focused on the stress induced breakdown between the tungsten trench local interconnects (M1, M2) and metal gate in a 28nm CMOS technology. Imec’s Thomas Kauerauf will present a paper titled “Reliability of MOL local interconnects.”


IRPS 2013: High-k oxides pose new reliability challenges

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

New finFETs feature high-k dielectrics, which are better than conventional silicon nitride dielectrics in that they can be thinner, yet still enable good control of the transistor’s channel region from the gate.


IRPS 2013: Self-heating to accelerate aging in FinFETs

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

It’s well-known that transistors generate heat when they’re operating, and that can have a significant impact on the chip’s reliability and longterm longevity. A small increase of 10°C–15°C in the junction temperature may result in ∼ 2× reduction in the lifespan of the device.


IRPS 2013: NBTI worsens with FinFET scaling

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

FinFETs offer several advantages compared to traditional planar transistors, but it’s not yet clear what kind of new reliability problems might arise as FinFETs are scaled to smaller dimensions.


Semiconductor R&D: A state of transition

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Several years ago when the challenges to 450mm wafer processing, EUV development and novel transistor designs were first being discussed, SEMI commissioned a study that predicted the industry could face an R&D funding gap that could exceed $9 billion if current technology and economic trends continue.


Cracking the potential of the glass wafer market

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Over the last few years, glass has gained considerable interest from the semiconductor industry due to its very attractive electrical, physical and chemical properties, as well as its prospects for a relevant and cost-efficient solution. The application scope of glass substrates in the semiconductor field is broad and highly diversified.


Ultra-low power processor operates at near-threshold voltage

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

At this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2013), imec and Holst Centre presented an ultra-low power processor that operates reliably at near-threshold voltages.


STMicroelectronics 28nm FD-SOI technology hits 3GHz operating speed

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

STMicroelectronics announced today another milestone in its testing of its 28nm FD-SOI Technology Platform.


2013: 450mm is the next big opportunity

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

In semiconductor manufacturing, 450mm is the next big opportunity. Issues of economic scale and complexity will force fab designers, OEMs and process integrators to investigate all open avenues in the search for solutions to the huge challenges that accompany 450mm.


2013: Continued strength in 200mm

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

80 percent of the devices used for portable and mobile applications are currently manufactured on 200mm or smaller wafers. How this plays out going forward could change who the dominant players will be.


2013: Facing unprecedented precision engineering challenges

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

Unprecedented precision engineering will be needed to manufacture chips features measured in nanometers.  At these dimensions every atom counts and controlling variability is vital to meet performance and productivity targets.


2013: Thriving in the transition to 450mm

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

The development of innovative technologies that solve the critical issues for the transition and adoption of 450-mm manufacturing will be the defining factor for whether a company merely survives or thrives.


2013: Multiple inflection points provide opportunity to extend benefits of Moore’s Law

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

While solutions are available to extend Moore’s Law, these solutions come at considerable increases in cost and complexity. As it has in the past, this industry will find more innovative solutions to overcome the challenges of inflection.


2013: Building the internet of things with MEMS and 3D advances

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

It is becoming increasingly clear that new MEMS and 3D high-volume, low-cost manufacturing technologies will accelerate a radical change to society’s cyber skyline.


2013: Fab Equipment Spending Shrinks Back to Flat

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

The SEMI Consensus Forecast and the SEMI World Fab Forecast, with data collected from two different methodologies, point to the same conclusion: 0% growth for 2013.


Global market for MEMS microphone to more than double in five years

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

The global market for MEMS microphones has reached approximately $422 million in 2012. The market is predicted to increase to $865 million in 2017.


MEMS devices shape medical industry, microsystem devices to reach $6.6 billion in 2018

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices are shaping the competitive landscape in the global medical device industry.


Silicon wafer revenues decline in 2012

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Worldwide silicon wafer revenues declined by 12 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its year-end analysis of the silicon wafer industry.


Econometric Forecast: Semiconductor growth should recover by 2014

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

In the second of two installments, Linx Consulting reports a steady growth in semiconductor production, as released in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.


Mitsubishi develops SiC ingot slicing technology

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced this week that is has developed a prototype to improve productivity of SiC slice processing for semiconductor wafers.


SEMI China releases Top Ten list of packaging and assembling facilities

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

Although many are small companies manufacturing low-pin count devices, all of the world’s “Top 10” OSAT, Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test, players have one or more assembly and testing facilities in China.


Econometric Forecast: Regional developments to affect growth of semiconductor industry

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

In the first of two installments, we examine the global issues facing the semiconductor industry, as released by Linx Consulting in The Econometric Semiconductor Forecast.


Econometric forecasting service predicts 6% growth in semiconductor wafers in 2013

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

A new econometric semiconductor industry forecast predicts semiconductor wafer area production to grow slightly less than 6% in 2013, according to Linx Consulting.


LED technology and market challenges addressed in Taiwan

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

To help the Taiwan LED industry tackle the increasing challenges, an in-depth analysis of LED global market opportunities and technology breakthroughs were recently provided at the 2013 LED Market and Outlook seminar held by SEMI Taiwan.


Dow launches CMP polishing pads from IKONIC platform

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Dow Electronic Materials launched the first pads from its new IKONIC 2000 and IKONIC 3000 polishing pad series.


ISMI to partner with Araca

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

SEMATECH announced today that Araca Inc., a leading provider of products and services for chemical mechanical planarization research and development, and the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) are partnering to deliver CMP processing and productivity solutions to help chip manufacturers increase yields, reduce equipment downtime and lower consumables costs.


Semiconductor R&D spending rises 7% despite weak market

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Spending on research and development by semiconductor companies grew 7% in 2012 to a record-high $53.0 billion, even though the semiconductor market declined 1% to $317.6 billion.


New research to improve efficiency, fabrication of optoelectronics

Fri, 2 Feb 2013

Scientists at RTI International are advancing the state of science in electronic devices for optical systems by using superlattice structures to optimize the performance of germanium optical detectors on silicon chips.


GSA adds three members to board of directors

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) announced the appointment of three new members to the GSA Board of Directors.


SEMI honors JC Kim with SEMI Sales and Marketing Excellence Award

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

SEMI announced that Joung Cho (JC) Kim, chairman, Edwards Korea Limited, is the recipient of the 14th annual SEMI Sales and Marketing Excellence Award.


SEMATECH and Cabot Microelectronics to collaborate

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

Cabot will collaborate with SEMATECH to develop advanced solutions for emerging CMP applications.


ISS 2013: Semiconductor leaders see massive industry transformation

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

The rise in mobile computing, changes to the fabless-foundry model, uncertainties in technical innovation, and global macroeconomic trends are becoming the dominant forces in 2013 and beyond, according to industry leaders speaking at this week's SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS).


GlobalFoundries adding R&D facility to NY fab campus

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

GlobalFoundries says it plans to build a $2 billion "Technology Development Center" R&D facility at its Fab 8 campus in Saratoga County, NY, for semiconductor technology development and manufacturing:  EUV lithography photomasks to new interconnect and packaging technologies enabling 3D chip stacking, "and everything in between."


SEMI approves first HB-LED standards

Wed, 1 Jan 2013

SEMI's HB-LED Standards Committee has approved its first standard, specifying sapphire wafers used in making high-brightness light-emitting diode (HB-LED) devices.


Cymer hires AMAT roadmap exec to lead EUV development

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

Klaus Schuegraf, former exec at Applied Materials responsible for the company's semiconductor products technology roadmap, will now lead Cymer's EUV engineering and development programs.


2013: Advanced chemistry moves center stage

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

We are in an age where chemistry is center stage in the race to advance Moore’s Law and More Than Moore.


IDC: Semiconductor revenues will grow 4.9% in 2013

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

The International Data Corporation is forecasting that semiconductor revenues worldwide will improve by 4.9% to $319 billion in 2013 and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% from 2011-2016.


2013: Healthy revenue growth, but capex likely flat

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

Based on current indications, capital spending would seem to be flat in 2013.  However, Semico predicts healthy revenue growth this year, which may encourage more spending, particularly in the second half of the year.  This may bring total capex for 2013 into the positive range.


2013: An economic outlook for the global IC market

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

Predictions for 2013 show several notable trends: overall silicon area growth for 2013 should average approximately 6%; the first quarter and the second half are likely to show slower growth than the second quarter; and the modest growth forecast for 2013 is predominantly demand driven.


2013: The New New York

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

New York represents Exhibit A of a new way of thinking; a true 21st century model for technology, workforce and economic development.


Opinion: Managing process variations

Tue, 1 Jan 2013

Dr. Zhihong Liu, Executive Chairman, ProPlus Design Solutions, blogs about dealing with increased random variations and layout-dependent effects.


Process Watch: Exploring the dark side

Fri, 1 Jan 2013

A particle as small as three microns in diameter, attached to the back side of the wafer—the dark side, if you will—can cause yield-limiting defects on the front side of the wafer during patterning of a critical layer.


Samsung grabs No.3 foundry spot on smartphone dominance

Thu, 1 Jan 2013

In the ranks of top foundries, there's a new Number Three in town: Samsung, which climbed up the ranks again in 2012 thanks to its ubiquity in smart phone technology, according to updated rankings by IC Insights.


Five IC suppliers to hold one-third of 300mm wafer capacity in 2013

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Samsung tops list; IC foundries expected to show biggest capacity gains through 2017.


Production process doubles speed and efficiency of flexible electronics

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Stretched-out clothing might not be a great practice for laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacture, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a processor's performance.


DRS Technologies and Cypress Semiconductor reach agreement to manufacture uncooled detectors

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

DRS Technologies, Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) today announced that DRS will transfer its Microbolometer technology for uncooled infrared detectors to Cypress for high-volume manufacturing.


GaN Systems expands with new UK location

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

New marketing and technical support center opened in Reading, UK.


Qualcomm processor first to use TSMC’s 28 HPM advanced process technology

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Snapdragon 800 processor on 28nm HPM process delivers high performance and low power for mobile devices.


Molecular Imprints’ advanced lithography platform uses Xaar printheads to pattern 450mm wafers

Tue, 2 Feb 2013

Molecular Imprints, Inc. (MII), a developer of advanced semiconductor lithography, has announced the delivery of an advanced lithography platform which uses Xaar 1001 inkjet printheads to pattern 450mm silicon wafer substrates.


Peregrine Semiconductor to license its UltraCMOS design to Murata

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation, a fabless provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), yesterday announced plans to collaborate with Murata Manufacturing Company on a multisource arrangement for RF switches and other components based on Peregrine’s proprietary UltraCMOS technology


Samsung issues apology for fatal acid spill at its Korean semiconductor plant

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Samsung Vice-President Kwon Oh-hyun released a statement today, apologizing for the fatal hydrofluoric acid spill that left one worker dead and four others injured.


Deposition Sciences increases photolithography patterning capacity

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

New 200 mm diameter wafer enhances photolithography capability.


Coherent introduces highest power ultrafast laser for materials processing

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Coherent, Inc. has expanded its family of industrial ultrafast lasers with the new Talisker 1000 series. This new series of high power picosecond lasers is designed for high-throughput, precision materials processing applications in the semiconductor, solar (photovoltaics), medical devices, consumer electronics and automotive industries.


Semiconductor sales rose in January

Mon, 3 Mar 2013

Worldwide sales of semiconductors were $24.05 billion the month of January, up 3.8% from January 2012 and down 2.8% from December 2012, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).


Intel leads unexpectedly large decline in semiconductor market inventory

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

After reaching a worrisome high in the third quarter of 2012, global semiconductor inventories held by chip suppliers fell at a surprisingly fast rate in the fourth quarter, led by dramatic reductions for market leader Intel Corp.


Cadence to acquire Tensilica

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. today announced plans to aquire Tensilica, Inc. for approximately $380 million in cash. Tensilica had approximately $30 million of cash as of December 31, 2012.


India's efforts to appeal to semiconductor manufacturers

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

This week, India’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram offered incentives to chip makers to set up headquarters in India, in an effort to encourage local electronics manufacturing. However, the response from the industry has been less than positive. Many believe that is it is a good start, but far from sufficient.


A single European semiconductor strategy is on its way

Thu, 2 Feb 2013

STM, Imec, CEA-LETI, ASML, Soitec and EU representatives discussed directions at ISS Europe 2013 in Italy.


New Product: Mentor Graphics launches cell characterization and analysis platform

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Mentor Graphics Corp. today announced availability of the Kronos Cell Characterization and Analysis platform. The Kronos platform quickly produces accurate performance models for standard cells, I/Os, and complex cells within an advanced, integrated environment.


Altera to build FPGAs on Intel’s 14nm tri-gate technology

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Intel announced Monday a major move to expand its foundry business. Altera Corporation and Intel Corporation have entered into an agreement for the future manufacture of Altera FPGAs on Intel's 14nm tri-gate transistor technology.


World’s first GaN-based high power converter to be demonstrated at APEC 2013

Wed, 2 Feb 2013

Transphorm Inc. today announced at the 2013 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit that its novel 600V Gallium Nitride (GaN) module has enabled the world’s first GaN-based high power converter. Transphorm will demonstrate the product built with its customer-partner Yaskawa Electric, Japan at the upcoming APEC 2013 industry conference.


AGC and nMode launch subsidiary to develop advanced packaging technology

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. and nMode Solutions Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, have invested $2.1 million to co-found a subsidiary business, Triton Micro Technologies , to develop via-fill technology for interposers, enabling next-generation semiconductor packaging solutions using ultra-thin glass.


MRAM: Disruptive technology for storage applications

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

Everyone wants faster access to stored data, and the issue is becoming critical with Big Data and cloud initiatives. With the speed of DRAM and the non-volatility of storage, Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) encourages a new way of thinking about storage applications. Storage is associated with longer latencies, but with MRAM storage can have similar latencies to memory. These capabilities and others make MRAM a catalyst for new thinking about how we design storage applications.


SRC, UCLA and ERC utilize atomic layer etch analysis to accelerate development of green chemistries

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today announced development of a modeling process designed to simulate atomic-level etching with chemicals that are effective alternatives to widely used perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases.


Blog: Dimensional scaling and the SRAM bit-cell

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Zvi Or-Bach, President & CEO of MonolithIC 3D Inc. and Benjamin S. Louie of Zeno Semiconductor blog about dimensional scaling as it relates to EUV and future per transistor device cost.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES partners with ASML for chip tape-outs

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, announced a major milestone today in its partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The companies are collaborating to deliver high-volume computational lithography capabilities for 28 nm and 20 nm tapeouts, while also accelerating the development of future nodes, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.


Critical process technologies and fab productivity addressed at ASMC 2013

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and academia to collaborate on real-world issues at SEMI event.


InnoLas Semiconductor on course for 450mm

Wed, 3 Mar 2013

Wafers with a diameter of 450mm enable the micro-chip industry an increase in yield of up to 80%. This leads to an enormous increase in productivity. In order to control the product quality, these wafers receive a specific marking from the manufacturer.


SEMATECH and Intermolecular partner to accelerate EUV lithography

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

In an effort that will accelerate commercialization of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology and the development of next-generation transistors, SEMATECH announced today that Intermolecular, Inc. has joined SEMATECH’s Lithography and Front End Processes (FEP) programs.


Implementation of next-generation device technology to be discussed at The ConFab 2013

Fri, 4 Apr 2013

Solid State Technology is excited to announce that Mark Thirsk, managing partner at Linx Consulting, will be discussing the cost and technology needed to implement next-generation device technology at The ConFab 2013. Thirsk has over 20 years of experience in the chemical industry, working with a variety of materials and processes utilized in wafer fabrication.


ARM and Cadence to partner to implement 64-bit processor on TSMC 16nm FinFET process

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Fulfilling the promise of performance and power scaling at 16nm, ARM and Cadence today announced details behind their collaboration to implement the first ARM Cortex-A57 processor on TSMC's 16nm FinFET manufacturing process.


AIXTRON leads workpackage production in Graphene Flagship project

Thu, 4 Apr 2013

AIXTRON SE today announced that it is participating as a key partner in the recently announced European Union (EU) Future Emerging Technology (FET) flagship project “Graphene.”


Ferrotec Temescal introduces electron beam metallization system

Wed, 4 Apr 2013

The Temescal Division of Ferrotec Corporation today announced the Temescal UEFC-5700, a ultra-high efficiency electron beam metallization system for lift-off compound semiconductor applications.


Kotura establishes fabless semiconductor model

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

Kotura inks fab agreement; announces relationships with Mindspeed and BinOptics.


MV launches multi-trap vacuum pump inlet for 300mm wafer fabrication process

Tue, 3 Mar 2013

MV Products has announced that their high-capacity, modular vacuum pump inlet-exhaust traps can be stacked for semiconductor wafer fabrication processes which produce a lot of heavy particulates.


OneChip announces partnerships and plans to expand into the DCI and PON markets

Fri, 3 Mar 2013

OneChip Photonics this week revealed strategic, outsourcing plans to expand into new markets, with announcements of newly-established relationships with semiconductor foundry GCS and wafer supplier IQE. Both announcements related to OneChip’s bigger, strategic plan to expand its services into the high-volume DCI market.


Imec to offer fully integrated silicon photonics platform in a multi-project wafer service

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Imec announced today the launch of its fully integrated silicon photonics platform through a cost-sharing Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) service via ePIXfab.


Nanoplas introduces a new class of dry-etching technology

Thu, 3 Mar 2013

Nanoplas, a global supplier of plasma processing equipment to the semiconductor industry, today announced a new dry-etch process offering virtually unlimited etch selectivity for removing dielectric films on microprocessors and memories at high throughput.


SEMATECH executive joins Intermolecular to head semiconductor group

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

Intermolecular, Inc. today announced that Dr. Raj Jammy has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of the semiconductor group.


"Veeco MOCVD chosen for CEA-Leti"

Tue, 4 Apr 2013

ARM and TSMC today announced the first tape-out of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor on FinFET process technology.  The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products.


Global semiconductor sales remain ahead of 2012 pace in February

Mon, 4 Apr 2013

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $23.25 billion for the month of February 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent from February 2012 when sales were $22.93 billion. Effective government policies needed to spur stronger growth.


IEDM preview: IM Flash details 25nm NAND

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Intel and Micron researchers will reveal the key process advances and electrical results behind their multilevel cell (MLC), 64Gb NAND flash memory technology at the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December.


Analysts' take: Intel's $8B push to 22nm stays in the US

Tue, 10 Oct 2010

Analysts break down Intel's $6B-$8B pledge to build and expand its US facilities to accommodate 22nm process technologies: what sites get new tools (and who gets the old ones), and why the new R&D fab's name isn't logical.


ISMI packs up, heads to UAlbany NanoCollege

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

The International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative Inc. (ISMI) will relocate its headquarters and operations to CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex beginning in January 2011. It is expected to create more than 100 jobs in NY.


Silicon-shipments-grew-in-Q3-2010

Wed, 11 Nov 2010

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during the third quarter 2010 when compared to second quarter 2010 area shipments according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.


ON-Semi-expanding-8-wafer-fab-in-US

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

ON Semiconductor (ONNN) plans to install another $15.7 million worth of production equipment in its 8" Pocatello, Idaho, wafer manufacturing facility during the next 6 months. This investment is in addition to the company's announcement in June of an $11 million equipment expansion.


TSMC approves $1.6B for new fabs, upgrades

Tue, 5 May 2010

Chip foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has greenlighted investments in fab infrastructure, including a new 300mm gigafab -- but there may not be any immediate capex adjustment for it, and that may be a good thing.


Combinatorial tooling for cost-effective, efficient ALD

Thu, 5 May 2010

Researchers from Intermolecular describe an atomic-layer deposition (ALD) process development chamber that allows multiple site-isolated depositions on different quadrants of a 300mm wafer, with data from a case study of ZrO2 film development.


SEMATECH outlines maskless issues, proposes consortium

Mon, 5 May 2010

Among key takeaways from SEMATECH's Litho Forum last week in NYC was a proposal to create a consortium to support multibeam mask writing efforts, similar to what's being done for EUV.


Improving 22nm design space with source/design optimization

Tue, 5 May 2010

Execs from Texas Instruments and Luminescent Technologies describe a "source/design optimization" technique that blends source/mask optimization (SMO) techniques with design rules, and realizes significant improvements in overall die area.


SEMI: Wafer shipments retook lost ground in 2H10

Tue, 2 Feb 2010

After two months of punishing declines, worldwide silicon wafer shipments rebounded through most of 2010, though in terms of sales there's still a lot of ground to make up, according to new numbers from SEMI.


SMIC shuffles execs, confirms investor talks

Wed, 2 Feb 2010

Confirming rumors, Chinese flagship foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) says it has appointed several new top execs, and that it is in talks with an unidentified investor for a financial infusion.


IITC Day 3: Sub-30nm SoG gapfill, 22nm airgaps...and enforcing Zafiropoulo's Law

Tue, 6 Jun 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury concludes his observations from this year's IEEE International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) meeting near San Francisco. From Day 3: Intel's airgaps for 32-22nm, Si nanowires, more on 3D bonding and TSV schemes, electromigration in Au nano-junctions -- and enforcing "Zafiropoulo's Law."


Analysts' take: Samsung incites "foundry wars" with 32nm HKMG volley

Mon, 6 Jun 2010

Samsung's announcement that it has completed testing of its 32nm high-k/metal gate architecture, ramping to volume possibly by year's end -- and following quickly with a 28nm version -- has the industry buzzing about a possible reshaping of leading-edge semiconductor foundry manufacturing.


CMP-R-and-D-enhanced-with-Araca-Entrepix-partnership

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Targeting CMP consumables suppliers, commercial device manufacturers, and academic R&D organizations, the agreement enables customers to leverage the combined strengths of both companies with in-depth analysis and fundamental research for virtually any aspect of CMP on any material.


Maxim-shipping-analog-chips-built-on-300mm-wafers

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq:MXIM) qualified and shipped production analog product built on 300mm wafers. This gives Maxim a significant technology edge in the analog/mixed-signal market.


Rigaku-EUV-lithography-optical-components-push

Wed, 11 Nov 2010

Rigaku Innovative Technologies announced further expansion into the optics market for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. RIT plans to continue supporting the industry by supplying Osmic Coatings, a line of multilayer coated optics that are essential to EUVL.


TSMC-anneal-for-gate-last-HKMG-IEDM-preview

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

TSMC anneal for gate-last HKMG process: IEDM previewLaura Peters, contributing editor, discusses TSMC's HfZrO/TiN stack, fabricated by a novel multi-deposition, multi-anneal process. TSMC will present the results at the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM, San Francisco, CA, December 6-8, 2010) with researchers from the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).


AMAT-conductor-etch-system-debut

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Applied Materials (AMAT) speaks about its new conductor etch system -- the Centris AdvantEdge Mesa Etch -- released at SEMICON Japan this week. The company sees the gap in the lithography roadmap is an etch opportunity. Thorsten Lill, VP Etch Business Group, at Applied, told ElectroIQ that new steps in advanced transistors, double-patterning, and advanced packaging are driving growth in the conductor etch market (~$1.6B market in 2010).


Planar fully depleted SOI: the technological solution against variability

Mon, 11 Nov 2010
FDSOI technology exhibits outstanding variability results, thanks to the use of an undoped channel, and to the good control of silicon film thickness already reached today on commercial SOI wafers. F. Andrieu, O. Weber, J. Mazurier, O. Faynot, CEA-Leti, Grenoble, France

SICAS: Utilization slips, but still high

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

Semiconductor manufacturing seems to have slipped a bit in 3Q10, according to the latest data from SICAS, but utilization rates remain extremely high. And foundries continue to sizzle.


450mm wafers: More at stake than just a new wafer size

Fri, 6 Jun 2010

The ongoing debate over the next wafer-size transition to 450mm, with discussions about pros and cons in costs and technology gains, misses the point -- it's the message we send about the semiconductor industry's mindset and future, argues Semico's Joanne Itow.


Demand for chip tools, wafers still strong

Mon, 5 May 2010

New data from North America and Japan points to still growing demand for suppliers of semiconductor makers.


ConFab video: Consensus, collab are key to industry progress

Thu, 5 May 2010

SEMATECH's Dan Armbrust underscores the need to determine up-front what areas are truly important to keep pushing scaling and cost-effectiveness in the semiconductor industry.


Increasing productivity of metal ALD through introduction of cleaning and sensing technology

Mon, 1 Jan 2010

A two-step plasma cleaning process proves to be a fast and effective method of maintaining a high uptime and high productivity for ALD of Ti- and Ta-based electrode materials, reports Aviza Technology and Pivotal Systems.


Analyst: Why TSMC will stay tops in 40nm

Mon, 4 Apr 2010

Updating outlooks for foundry rivals TSMC and UMC, FBR Research analyst Mehdi Hosseini suggests that business will stay brisk through year's end -- and that the leading-edge horizon is clear of trouble for the top foundry.


Chip tool demand still climbing through end of '09

Mon, 1 Jan 2010

Demand for semiconductor capital equipment continued to increase in the final month of 2009, and with the key book-to-bill ratio now six straight months above parity suggests growth still lies ahead, according to the latest industry data.


X-Fab adds Semprius' chip printing to foundry lineup

Wed, 1 Jan 2010

X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG and semiconductor printing startup Semprius have agreed to a partnership for turnkey silicon wafer fabrication, under which X-Fab will invest $1.5M in the company and become its designated foundry.


Playing the field: Qualcomm embraces GlobalFoundries, reups with TSMC

Fri, 1 Jan 2010

Fabless giant Qualcomm has made two deals to reserve leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing capacity: one with longtime partner TSMC, and the other with upstart GlobalFoundries.


Novellus launches SOLA xT UVTP system for sub-45nm HVM

Mon, 1 Jan 2010

Execs from Novellus Systems describe how the company's new Sola xT ultraviolet thermal processing system addresses high-volume manufacturing of advanced logic devices at 45nm and below -- and how it potentially stacks up in wafer-to-wafer performance vs. competitors' offerings.


ASM's PowerFill epi enables power management devices

Fri, 1 Jan 2010

ASM exec Shawn Thomas explains to SST how the company's new PowerFill process, which enables void-free filling of deep trenches with doped, epitaxial silicon, addresses needs for smaller die sizes and on-state resistance of power management devices.


Veeco eyes high-volume HB-LED gains with new GaN MOCVD tool

Tue, 1 Jan 2010

Veeco exec Jim Jenson explains the workings of the company's new MOCVD tool targeting high-volume high-brightness LED manufacturing, a market expected to triple in the next four years to $15B.


ISMI and IMEC summarize 450mm semiconductor equipment transition activities

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

In two exclusive interviews, Lode Lauwers, senior director of business development at IMEC, and Tom Jefferson, ISMI 450mm program manager, speak with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, in advance of the SEMICON Europa 450mm session.


GaAs, epitaxial foundry services added at RFMD

Tue, 10 Oct 2010

RFMD added its GaAs technology to its foundry services portfolio and will begin providing a full suite of GaAs pHEMT technologies. RFMD also expanded its Foundry Services to deliver multiple molecular beam epitaxial (MBE) platforms, epitaxial characterization and epitaxial development structures.


Mattson Suprema photoresist strip systems ordered for FEOL and BEOL logic fab

Wed, 10 Oct 2010

Mattson Suprema photoresist strip systems ordered for FEOL and BEOL logic fabMattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSN), advanced wafer fab process equipment supplier, received orders for multiple Suprema photoresist strip systems from a new Asian customer. The Supremas will be used in both front-end-of-line (FEOL) and back-end-of-line (BEOL) applications for advanced logic device production.


Camtek enters front-end macro wafer inspection with 2 orders

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: CAMT) received two orders for its, new automatic optical inspection (AOI) system for the front-end semiconductor industry, the Gannet. Front-End Macro Inspection is a new market for Camtek.


MRS Day 4: TSVs and CMOS+MEMS, wafer bonding, CNT interfaces, ALD for rare-earth HK, graphene redux

Mon, 4 Apr 2010

Highlights from Day 4 of the 2010 MRS Spring meeting, reported by Techcet's Michael A. Fury: TSVs and flexible interconnects for 3D CMOS/MEMS; 300mm BCB wafer bonding; carbon nanotube interfaces for interconnects and vias; phase-change memory devices; interfaces during ALD of rare earth-based high-k dielectrics; and graphene's use in on-chip interconnects and transparent conductor electrodes.


Keithley's latest system goes for ultra-fast I-V solution

Fri, 2 Feb 2010

Keithley exec Lee Stauffer explains how adding ultra-fast voltage waveform generation and current/voltage measurement capabilities to the company's Model 4200-SCS semiconductor characterization system benefits a range of applications, from flash memory to CMOS and MEMS.


KLA-Tencor brings stochastic modeling to virtual tool for EUV, DPL

Mon, 2 Feb 2010

Sanjay Kapasi from KLA-Tencor tells SST how the latest-generation PROLITH virtual lithography tool, PROLITH X3.1, takes aim at the skyrocketing R&D expenses being incurred at the 1X and 2Xnm nodes, by leveraging simulations rather than printed test wafers.


Tokyo-Electron-Tanaka-Kikinzoku-Kogyo-recycle-discarded-CVD-ruthenium-precursors

Wed, 11 Nov 2010

Tokyo Electron Limited and Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. have developed a sucessful recycling process for ruthenium precursors (CVD-ruthenium material) used in next-generation semiconductor miniaturization technology.


LEDs-ramp-MOCVD-reaps-benefit-Gartner-forecast

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

MOCVD equipment and the LED market: Gartner forecast through 2020According to Dean Freeman, research VP at Gartner, the LED market will see ~11% growth in 2010, and ~35% growth in 2011. Reaping the benefits of the accelerating interest in LEDs is the MOCVD equipment market.


Atomic layer deposition goes mainstream in 22nm logic technologies

Mon, 11 Nov 2010
Cost-of-ownership (COO) will be a main driver for ALD equipment selection in cost-sensitive markets; and in foundry or other logic applications, equipment choice is more a mix between COO, turn-around time and process performance considerations. M. Verghese, ASM, Phoenix, AZ USA; J. W. Maes, ASM, Leuven, Belgium; N. Kobayashi, ASM, Tokyo, Japan

Northeastern Surface Prep 2010: III-V cleaning, CMP revolutions, low-k film adsorption, LED surfaces

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues his observations from the 7th International Surface Cleaning and Preparation Workshop in Boston. Key takeaways included GaAs heterojunctions, CMP evolutions & revolutions, preventing water adsorption in low-k films, glass surface prep for LEDs, and membrane filters to remove ionic contaminants.


CMP-retaining-rings from Willbe use molded Victrex PEEK design

Tue, 11 Nov 2010

cmp retaining ringWillbe S&T selected VICTREX PEEK polymer as the material in its chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) retaining rings. Willbe S&T’s insert molded CMP ring provides better performance, longer life and reduced cost compared to traditional two-piece bonded type CMP retaining rings made with stainless steel and polyphenylene sulfide.


optimized-cylinder-materials-for-hydrogen-bromide-for-silicon-etch

Mon, 11 Nov 2010

Minimize silicon trench etch process variations with optimized cylinder materials for hydrogen bromide deliveryHBr with consistently low water vapor levels is critical to prevent delivery system corrosion and device performance issues during trench etch for CMOS fabrication. Jianlong Yao et al, Matheson, present the effect of cylinder material on delivered moisture concentration in gas phase HBr. Polished AISI Cr-Mo steel, Nickel-lined AISI Cr-Mo steel, and 316L stainless steel cylinders show markedly different results.


CD-SEM-metrology-tool-from-Advantest debuts for next-gen photomasks

Fri, 11 Nov 2010

Advantest Corporation released a SEM-based critical dimension (CD) measurement system for next-generation photomasks and patterned media. The E3630 is fully compatible with Advantest’s existing E3610/E3620 CD-SEM measurement systems and software, and boasts 30% improved linewidth repeatability.


DCG-Systems-P3X-Cobra-circuit-edit-FIB-system

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

DCG Systems announced the P3X Cobra FIB circuit edit system for complex edit challenges, even at advanced 22 nm device process technologies. The P3X Cobra delivers ion beam performance from 2keV to 30keV beam energies.


Ion-implant-debut-VSEA-sub30nm-semiconductor-fab

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

The VIISta Trident high-current ion implanter from Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: VSEA) enables high-performance, low-leakage devices while improving productivity at the sub30nm wafer fab node.


Ion implantation: Device process optimization for Nwell implant on CMOS 13μm

Mon, 10 Oct 2010

Ion implantation: Device process optimization for Nwell implant on CMOS 13umOver the years, undesirable process effects related to ion implantation have become well known: the like channeling effect, for example, and how to minimize it for 25μm and 13μm mature technology. Patrick Demarest, Altis Semiconductor, describes how a stable process can emerge in data mining analysis for low final test yield, and provides definitions for incidence, tilt and twist angles, and channeling effects.


Cost-effective advanced copper metallization using ECPR

Fri, 10 Oct 2010
Electrochemical pattern replication enables fine pitch, >2:1 aspect ratio plating of near vertical sidewall copper metal features without advanced lithography; its uniformity will prove to be very attractive for both front-end of line and back-end of line metallization processes. M. Thompson, P. Möller, M Fredenberg, D. Hays, W. Van den Hoek, D. Carl, Replisaurus, Kista, Sweden

Northeastern Surface Prep 2010: EUV masks, CMP, solar cell texturing, nano-chopsticks

Fri, 10 Oct 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports from the 7th International Surface Cleaning and Preparation Workshop put on by Northeastern and Hanyang universities in Boston, with early talks involving various themes: EUV mask cleaning and chemical mechanical planarization (CMP), crystalline silicon solar cell texturing, and even nano-chopsticks.


Production metrology of advanced metallization structures using XRR and WA-XRD

Fri, 10 Oct 2010
A new interconnect metrology technique enables the monitoring of the thickness and the density of the copper and barrier layers while also obtaining valuable microstructure information in terms of phase, grain-size, and texture. Asaf Kay, Alex Tokar, Jordan Valley Semiconductors, Ltd., Migdal Ha'Emek, Israel; Matthew Wormington, Jordan Valley Semiconductors, Ltd., Austin, TX USA

IEDM Reflections, Day 2: SRO for 11nm multigate CMOS, memory updates

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

Michael A. Fury continues with observations from IEDM 2010, looking at 2nd-day papers on a 90nm CMOS image sensor; an 11nm planar multi-gate CMOS design with self-assembled gates; SiC/GaN power electronics for auto systems; an update on future memory technologies; and a transparent photosensor array with triple oxide TFTs as both switches and sensor elements.


IEDM Reflections, Day 1: 2Xnm NAND, 3D integration, graphene FETs, biosensors

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports in-depth from sessions at IEDM 2010, looking at papers on NAND flash using airgaps, a lock-and-key method for 3D integration, RF performance of graphene FETs, and FET-built DNA biosensors.


Soitec and Sumitomo Electric collaborate on engineered GaN substrates

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

Soitec and Sumitomo Electric Industries are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates. The alliance will draw on Sumitomo Electric’s GaN wafer manufacturing technology and Soitec’s Smart Cut layer transfer technology.


2nm-nano-channels-promise-better-Li-ion-batteries-fuel-cells-biomed-membranes

Thu, 12 Dec 2010

nanochannelsResearchers with the U.S. DOE's Berkeley Lab have been able to fabricate nanochannels that are only 2nm in size, using standard semiconductor manufacturing processes. These channels function differently than their larger counterparts.


Tegal-expands-ProNova-ICP-silicon-DRIE-reactor-family

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

Tegal Corporation (Nasdaq: TGAL) is launching a new member of its ProNova family of high-density inductively coupled plasma (ICP) reactors for the company’s DRIE series wafer processing products. The ProNova2 is targeted for fast-growing 200mm MEMS and 3D IC applications.


Thin wafer handling: Analysis of wafer-support tooling for stencil-print coating of thinned wafers

Mon, 9 Sep 2010

Jeff Schake, et al, DEK Printing Machines, discuss the flatness characteristics of available wafer pallets, and use them in an experiment with thinned wafers in automated printing. With thin wafers, and the requirement for low coating thickness, the wafer-support tooling surface metrology should have an appreciable impact on coating thickness control.Jeff Schake, et al, DEK Printing Machines, discuss the flatness characteristics of available wafer pallets, and use them in an experiment with thinned wafers in automated printing. With thin wafers, and the requirement for low coating thickness, the wafer-support tooling surface metrology should have an appreciable impact on coating thickness control.


What Intel's soft 3Q means: For INTC, peers, customers

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Intel's lowered 3Q outlook was at least expected, if not overdue, according to analysts and market watchers, who break down the news and what it means for consumer technology markets and equipment/materials suppliers.


Production metrology of advanced LED structures using high-resolution X-ray diffraction

Thu, 7 Jul 2010

The latest advances in HRXRD technology to allow true in-line monitoring, are described. Paul Ryan, et al, Jordan Valley Semiconductors UK Ltd.


Avoid throwing darts at a black hole by using diagnosis-driven yield analysis

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
Layout-aware scan diagnosis combined with dedicated statistical analysis is an effective diagnosis-driven yield analysis flow. Geir Eide, Mentor Graphics Corp.

McPherson intros vacuum UV spectrometer with Pt-coated gratings

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

McPherson’s vacuum ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer, Model 234/302, is now available with improved efficiency over a wide wavelength range. New platinum-coated gratings suit use at windowless wavelengths, shorter than 120nm (>10eV).


Yield metrology looking at systematic failure mechanisms: Synopsis

Thu, 7 Jul 2010

In this video from SEMICON West 2010, Sagar Kekare, Synopsis, presents ideas from his paper on rapid root cause analysis and process change validation using design-centric volume diagnostics.


Automated gap-measurement method improves thin-film production

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

There is often a direct relationship between PECVD chambers failing first-pass film checks and the gapping method used to examine the gap between a heater and gas showerhead. Craig Ramsey from CyberOptics Semiconductor describes an automated gap measurement method used in a 300mm fab's thin-film production that uses a wireless gapping device.


Imec and ASML demonstrate potential of 193nm immersion lithography with freeform illumination

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

Imec and ASML collaborated to qualify ASML’s Tachyon Source Mask Optimization and programmable illuminator system FlexRay, proving its potential with the demonstration of a 22nm SRAM memory cell. In October 2010, the ASML XT:1900i lithography scanner at imec will be equipped with FlexRay, enabling imec to explore the ultimate frontiers of immersion lithography.


Comparative study of advanced boron-based ULE doping

Mon, 3 Mar 2010
B2H6 PLAD and B18H22 molecular implants demonstrate the best Rs-xj and abruptness characteristics, while beam-line BF2 implants as well as cluster B implants show worse Rs-xj characteristics.Shu Qin, Y. Jeff Hu, Allen McTeer, Micron Technology, Inc., Boise, ID USA

Tegal offloads legacy etch/PVD lines, forging ahead with DRIE

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Amid efforts to keep afloat as the industry tides recover, Tegal Corp. has sold off much of its technology portfolio to the OEM Group, and is poised to forge on with DRIE and certain deposition technologies.


SPIE Roundup: EUV/EBMI demo, 11nm NIL, ASML's EUV roadmap, the skinny on DOE...

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Several discussions and presentations at last week's SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference deserve special note -- from work with e-beam EUV mask inspection, to nanoimprint achievements (11nm!), an EUV tool platform roadmap, mask productivity and cost issues at 22nm, and more on SMO and tunable DOEs.


Pyrolysis-electrochemical sensor for monitoring carbonyl sulfide levels in ambient air

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
A pyrolyzer-electrochemical cell-based sensor can detect COS (as H2S) from tens of ppm up to 100ppm. Dan Chase, et al, Matheson Tri-Gas Inc.

III-V MOSFETs: beyond silicon technology

Mon, 3 Mar 2010
Results so far are highly encouraging for III-V MOSFETs to be used for ultra high speed, and ultra low power applications. Richard J.W. Hill, Jeff Huang, Joel Barnett, Paul Kirsch, Raj Jammy, SEMATECH, Austin TX USA

TSMC begins "phase 1" for LED aspirations

Fri, 3 Mar 2010

TSMC has officially broken ground for its new LED lighting R&D center and fab in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park, part of its multibillion-dollar initiative to establish a foothold in higher-growth markets outside of core IC fabrication.


Analyst: Massive profits, but modest recovery

Mon, 3 Mar 2010

The semiconductor industry is at its most profitable point now than any other time in the past decade thanks to industrywide efforts to aggressively manage costs and capacity -- but wild optimism about surging growth forgets the truth that this recovery only resets to levels from three years ago, according to iSuppli.


LED boom based on lighting expected to lead to "third cycle" in the market

Fri, 3 Mar 2010

The light-emitting diode (LED) market has gone through two cycles of major growth, but an even bigger "third cycle" based on super-efficient lighting looms ahead, reports SST's Bob Haavind from a recent SEMI breakfast at Teradyne near Boston on March 10. And the wide range of problems to be tackled will make it an attractive target for those now in the semiconductor processing markets.


Reports: LCD sector takes brunt of Taiwan quake

Tue, 3 Mar 2010

Last week's 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan caused some emergency evacuations and shutdowns among the island's electronics manufacturing sector, with the biggest impact so far seeming to be in the LCD manufacturing sector.


SEMICON West, Day 1: CMP, slurries, metrology, thermal, zombies, observations

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

Techcet's Michael Fury reports from Day 1 of SEMICON West, from keynotes to CMP to thermal characterization, and the continued use of “zombie” semiconductor manufacturing technologies.


ASMC: Inside yield enhancement & methodologies

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

Gary Green, co-chair of the yield enhancement/methodologies sessions at this week’s Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (colocated with SEMICON West), reviews key themes discussed, including techniques aimed at faster root cause analysis, new methods in analyzing contact failures using e-beam and TEM tools, and increasing test coverage while reducing the number of test wafers.


Chip makers adopt ASML Holistic Lithography

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

ASML Holding NV (ASML) announced broad customer adoption of holistic lithography products that optimize semiconductor scanner performance and provide a faster start to chip production. All of ASML’s leading-edge scanners are now sold with one or more holistic lithography components.


Etch pushes limits of physics and chemistry

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
Richard A. Gottscho, Lam Research Corp.,

Improving etch performance using in situ gas flow monitoring and control

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
Improve etch equipment performance through in situ gas flow monitoring and control. Mukund Venkatesh, et al, Pivotal Systems; Kevin Boyd, IBM.

Synchronized plasma pulsing behind Applied’s AdvantEdge Mesa etch tool

Mon, 7 Jul 2010

Applied Materials etch VP Thorsten Lill explains how the company’s AdvantEdge Mesa etch tool, debuting at this year’s SEMICON West, uses synchronizing plasma pulsing to tackle problems inherent with advanced conductor etch.


Real-time CMP monitoring tracks LPCs

Mon, 7 Jul 2010

 

With continued device geometry and new process steps comes increasing use and variety of CMP steps, and an increasing need to learn more about (and ultimately manage/eliminate) particles in the slurry that can wafer defects and yield losses. Enter Vantage Technology, which is debuting a new slurry particle measurement technology, SlurryScope (patented in the US and internationally), to provide undiluted real-time measurement of industry-standard production slurries.


Milara debuts wafer handling line

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

The Diamond series atmospheric robots use ultra low inertia, high-response brushless servomotors coupled with zero-backlash Harmonic Drive gears to achieve greatly enhanced dexterity and precision.


Holistic substrate inspection for defects at the 32nm node and beyond

Thu, 7 Jul 2010
A holistic strategy can help to find and correct process-induced defects. Philippe Gastaldo, Altatech Semiconductor S.A.

SEMICON West Exhibits Preview

Mon, 7 Jul 2010

Following are some of the highlights of the SEMICON West exhibit halls, open July 13-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Products on display include TSV technology, ALD systems, vacuum and wafer transport tools, and more for semiconductor and package manufacturing.


Quartz dips to 7-year low, will double by 2013

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

In addition to market analysis, recent IP activity and supply chain issues,  “Quartz for Semicon-ductor Applications, A Critical Materials Report 2010,” includes profiles and updates for base material and crucible suppliers and an update on 450mm preparedness. The rate of implementation of 450mm wafer fabrication will impact the near-term prospects for the quartz industry.


Photos from the Applied Materials tour at SEMICON West

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

While we were not allowed to snap photos of the proprietary processes inside Applied Materials, Solid State Technology editor in chief Pete Singer put together these photos with information from the Applied Materials tour. Highlights include a solar-panel roof on the parking area, and discussion of AMAT's new products.


450mm report: Standards, AMHS, platforms getting ready

Thu, 7 Jul 2010

Tom Jefferson, ISMI's 450mm program manager, gives SST an exclusive rundown of ISMI's closed-door update on 450mm progress at SEMICON West.


Contamination control today with Entegris

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

AMC concerns have changed over time: what were chip makers and exposure tool OEMs concerned about 10 years ago and now, with 248nm, 193nm, and 192 immersion processes? In this video interview, Jürgen M Lobert, Ph.D., Entegris, discusses AMC tools and process protection in micro lithograhy.


CHAD adapts wafer handlers to LED sapphire wafer sizes

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

CHAD Industries developed wafer-handling capabilities for Sapphire wafers used in the LED market.


Editors' take: TSMC raises capex, but slowdown imminent?

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

TSMC beat estimates with its 2Q10 results, but analysts are taking a more cautious stance amid worries of inventories on the rise and capacity additions slowing down.


SEMICON West wrap with JC Kim

Fri, 7 Jul 2010

SEMICON West 2010 wrapped this week in San Francisco. This article includes JC Kim, SEMI Board of Directors Chair, discussing the show and the semiconductor industry future. We also have POVs from the show floor by the ElectroIQ.com bloggers.


Entegris signs 300mm wafer carrier patent license with 3S Korea

Wed, 7 Jul 2010

Entegris entered into a worldwide patent license agreement with 3S Korea, covering a suite of Entegris patents for 300mm front opening shipping box (FOSB) products used to transport silicon wafers for semiconductor manufacturing.


SEMI: Materials bounce back to records, but slowing in 2010

Tue, 7 Jul 2010

Unit shipments of key semiconductor materials are already back to record levels just a year after the most punishing period in the industry's history, but the growth will slow in 2011 for several reasons, according to the latest forecast data presented at SEMICON West.


Leading-edge demand spurs foundry sales spike -- but not capex

Mon, 7 Jul 2010

Renewed demand for consumer oriented electronics products requiring (generally speaking) more advanced semiconductor devices has caused iSuppli to upwardly adjust its two-month-old revenue forecast for pure-play semiconductor foundries.


Semiconductor inventories: Two takes on the industry and both seem happy

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

The figure shows iSuppli’s forecast of semiconductor inventory value -- both in dollar terms and in DOI -- starting from the first quarter of 2008 up to the second quarter of 2010.Chip suppliers are reporting rising inventory, but the swelling stockpiles do not represent a cause for concern at present, with demand on the rise in coming months, according to iSuppli Corp. Inventory levels are now more appropriately aligned with end-market demand, which was necessary given the level of under-shipment across many end-markets since 2HCY09, adds Doug Freedman, Gleacher & Company.


SEMI: Si wafer shipments are up in Q2 2010

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

New quarterly total area shipments are 40% greater than second quarter 2009 shipments and are at their highest levels ever.


ON Semi wafer fab gets $15.78m expansion: Belgium 150mm fab will grow 40%

Fri, 9 Sep 2010

ON Semiconductor's 6" (150mm) wafer manufacturing facility in Oudenaarde, Belgium specializes in application specific high-voltage technologies for the automotive and industrial industry, and integrated and discrete standard products for a wide range of market segments.


150+ fab projects lead to strong 2010, 2011

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

The World Fab Forecast released at the end of August indicates a 133% increase in equipment spending for front-end fabs this year and about 18% growth in 2011. The data reveals that for both 2010 and 2011, over 150 fab projects will contribute an estimated $83 billion in spending.


SEMICON Europa lithography session preview with speakers

Mon, 9 Sep 2010

In a series of podcasts, 3 of the presenters at the SEMICON Europa Lithography session speak with senior technical editor Debra Vogler. Interviewees include consultant Wolfgang Arden, Rolf Seltmann of Globalfoundries, and IMEC's Roel Gronheid.


The ConFab welcomes new Advisory Board members, SEMI as sponsor

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

The ConFab, an invitation-only global conference and networking event for semiconductor industry executives, announces the appointment of five new advisory board members for 2011. The ConFab also welcomes the industry association SEMI, which has agreed for the first time to sponsor The ConFab in 2011.


13-fabless-IC-suppliers-in-2010-1b-sales-club-says-IC-Insights

Wed, 12 Dec 2010

There are 13 fabless IC companies expected to register more than $1.0 billion in sales in 2010, up from 10 companies in 2009 and 8 in 2008. These 13 suppliers are forecast to have a combined $41.4 billion in sales and represent about 70% of the $59.6 billion worth of total fabless company IC sales expected in 2010.


Semiconductor-CMP-pad-maker-NexPlanar-opening-OR-site

Mon, 12 Dec 2010

NexPlanar will open a new manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, by the end of 2010 for increased production of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) pads used in semiconductor manufacturing. The company is moving into an 18,000 square foot facility from a smaller location in the same town.


Dai Nippon, SEMATECH semiconductor lithography printing collaboration will to develop advanced processes at UAlbany NanoCollege

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

Under the agreement, a team of mask cleaning experts from Dai Nippon will work with experts from SEMATECH’s Mask Clean program at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex to improve the cleaning yield on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography patterned, non-patterned substrates and nanoimprint lithography (NIL) templates.


CAMP CMP, Day 3: CMP fangs, dual-purpose slurry injector, "true CMP" HB-LED wafer polishing; karaoke time!

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury continues his observations from this year's International Symposium on CMP at Clarkson U. in New York. Highlights from Day 3: Horrifying CMP "fangs," dissolved gases in megasonics, a dual-purpose slurry injector, the usefulness of CMP levelers, CVD Co as a Cu barrier, HB-LED sapphire wafer polishing, and a CMP Broadway moment.


CAMP CMP, Day 2: Porosity on demand, CMP whack-a-mole, end-of-line acronym soup

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury offers his observations from this year's International Symposium on CMP at Clarkson U. in New York. Highlights from Day 2: Creating "porosity on demand;" a CMP Rubik's Cube vs. Whack-A-Mole; the evolution of CMP process control; and a missing manufacturing acronym.


CAMP CMP: CMP's FEOL future, "dark art" defect work, mysterious Cu dendrites

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury offers his observations from this year's International Symposium on CMP at Clarkson U. in New York. Highlights from Day 1: The latest uses of CMP in device integration; SOI wafer bonding; pad surface texture and slurry flow; Cu dendrites in 45nm interconnect patterns; and using microfluidics to measure CMP slurry particle concentration.


The rule of three for CMP

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
Michael A. Fury, Techcet Group, LLC, Del Mar, CA

SEMI's updated forecast: 2010 stronger, 2011 weaker, 2012 mixed

Tue, 12 Dec 2010

As 2010 shapes up as a record year for semiconductor equipment spending, so the following two years will be a slow fall back to Earth with low single-digit overall growth, according to SEMI's updated forecasts -- though there are some interesting trends within the numbers.


What's inside Applied Materials' flowable CVD tool?

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

Applied execs played coy about the "unique" technology behind their new Eterna FCVD tool, which targets a $400M market (and twice that in a couple of years), but analysis of what was said offers some insights into how it works.


AMAT Eterna FCVD goes beyond SOD with bottoms up approach to C-free gap-fill: Interview

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

Applied Materials (AMAT) Eterna flow CVD for semiconductor fab.Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) today released Eterna, a new flowable CVD (FCVD) technology. Ajay Bhatnagar, director, global product management in the Gap Fill Dielectric Division, explains in-depth how it differs from conventional CVD. The technology is run on AMAT's Producer Eterna FCVD system. He also explains how it is being applied to new device architectures such as DRAM vertical transistors, NAND vertical bit stacks, and FinFETs.


OLEDs see manufacturing tech, consumer response ripen

Tue, 8 Aug 2010

OLED versus LCD demand. Courtesy of DisplaySearchIn a podcast interview, Paul Semenza, SVP of Analyst Services at DisplaySearch, explains how a maturing OLED manufacturing capability is contributing to the surge in interest, as is consumer response to products that use OLEDs. One challenge, however, is scaling up vapor deposition, and solutions are being developed. 


MOCVD, CVD, diffusion, epi added to GF flow controller roster

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

GF Series Brooks InstrumentBrooks Instrument, provider of advanced flow measurement, control and level solutions, released product enhancements to the GF Series ultra-high purity mass flow controllers. Brooks has increased the range of flow rates available on the GF Series from the current 3 sccm to 30 slpm, to a new full-scale flow rate of 55 slpm. Along with a normally open valve option, this enables use in Epi, diffusion, batch CVD, and MOCVD.


Improving COO of vacuum for PV and semiconductor manufacturing

Fri, 8 Aug 2010

In this video interview, Matthew Taylor, Edwards, addresses the solar and semiconductor markets. How can vacuum pumps be less expensive to operate? How can equipment providers improve service to maintain the pumps over a longer life?


Fab metrology tool for non-critical layers enables future-proofing: Podcast with KLA-Tencor

Thu, 8 Aug 2010

Tom Gubiotti, product marketing manager at KLA-Tencor, discusses the design decisions that drove the company’s new film metrology tool -- the Aleris 8330 -- targeted for non-critical films at 32nm and below. Among the drivers -- especially for memory manufacturers -- is the need for high-throughput, low cost-of-ownership tools that are capable of recipe sharing around the fab, so-called, “future proofing.”Tom Gubiotti, product marketing manager at KLA-Tencor, discusses the design decisions that drove the company’s new film metrology tool -- the Aleris 8330 -- targeted for non-critical films at 32nm and below. Among the drivers -- especially for memory manufacturers -- is the need for high-throughput, low cost-of-ownership tools that are capable of recipe sharing around the fab, so-called, “future proofing.”


Video: Wafer bevel inspection and other defectivity points

Wed, 8 Aug 2010

Jennifer Braggin, Entegris, chaired a session at ASMC on defect inspection. In this video, she summarizes the key points: new processes and materials add new detection challenges, and analysis from the lab is now moving into the fab. Wafer-edge inspection is highlighted.


AMAT findings on virtual metrology

Mon, 8 Aug 2010

James Moyne, Applied Materials, highlights a new technology: virtual metrology. Virtual metrology, on which Moyne presented at ASMC/SEMICON, enables tighter semi fab control using line data analysis. The summarized data is synched with real metrology data. Virtual metrology is now adaptive.


Overlay error components in double-patterning lithography

Sun, 8 Aug 2010
Wafer selection at the beginning of a process could help minimize the effects of shape changes during the wafer processing that may affect overlay error. Venkat R. Nagaswami, et al, KLA-Tencor Corp., Milpitas, CA

NCCAVS CMPUG: Trends and technologies for CMP in hard-disk drives

Fri, 9 Sep 2010

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports from SEMI's NCCAVS CMP Users Group meeting in San Jose, CA. Highlights included a market growth overview, and talks ranging from market growth to consumables challenges to new technologies for chromatography, noncontact probe, 3D topography, polishing, and HDD substrate slurry.


Low-k dielectric family introduced by SBA Materials

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

The IC community has been searching for a manufacturable low-k dielectric which could scale to below K = 2.0, says Dr. Phil Garrou. Microindent photos of uLK 124, released by SBA Materials show a clean ductile indent. SBA reports that their uLK materials can be integrated into existing fab lines using equipment and process flows already in place.The IC community has been searching for a manufacturable low-k dielectric which could scale to below K = 2.0, says Dr. Phil Garrou. Microindent photos of uLK 124, released by SBA Materials show a clean ductile indent. SBA reports that their uLK materials can be integrated into existing fab lines using equipment and process flows already in place.


Simple wet cleaning improvements can meet new silicon surface preparation criteria

Tue, 9 Sep 2010

Robert Pagliaro, RP Innovative Engineering Solutions, demonstrates that simple but effective enhancements to wet clean steps can help achieve more stringent surface preparation and reduce complexity, cost of ownership (COO), and environmental concerns associated with existing methods. Contamination left or caused by cleaning and drying steps can adversely affect wafer yields.Robert Pagliaro, RP Innovative Engineering Solutions, demonstrates that simple but effective enhancements to wet clean steps can help achieve more stringent surface preparation and reduce complexity, cost of ownership (COO), and environmental concerns associated with existing methods. Contamination left or caused by cleaning and drying steps can adversely affect wafer yields.


Keithley semiconductor and package test software update

Wed, 9 Sep 2010

Keithley Instruments ACS Basic test and measurement softwareKeithley Instruments Inc. (NYSE:KEI) updated its ACS Basic Edition Semiconductor Parametric Test Software for semiconductor test and measurement applications. ACS Basic Edition Version 1.2 performs characterization of component or discrete (packaged) semiconductor devices.


LVx voltage imaging and probing tech debuts, gains 10 orders

Fri, 9 Sep 2010

DCG Systems sees strong adoption in the design debug and failure analysis market for the LVx capabilities, which include continuous wave laser voltage probing (CW-LVP) and laser voltage imaging (LVI) through a combination of hardware and software.


A day at Albany CNSE: Leading-edge techs, innovation vs. efficiency

Tue, 10 Oct 2010

A daylong series of presentations, facility tour, and one-on-one discussions at a recent SEMI-hosted seminar at the U. of Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) spurred intense discussion about the state of leading-edge chipmaking technologies, including 3D ICs and new device structures, and why Wall Street and roadmaps are hampering true technology innovation.


CHAD-front-end wafer-handling-software-meets-SEMI-E95

Fri, 12 Dec 2010

CHAD Industries has launched WaferWare, a new software front end for its WaferMate family of automated wafer handling systems. The new WaferWare release was driven to provide a flexible software platform for automated wafer handling and to meet the SEMI E95-1101 specification.


Silicon wafer shipments ride out Japan disaster

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

While silicon semiconductor wafer growth was nearly flat year-over-year -- up 1% in Q2 2011 over Q2 2010 -- the unbroken supply chain is impressive in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan.


Silicon carbide fab parts benefit from restocking, increased adoption

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Silicon carbide parts for semiconductor applications rose sharply in 2010, up 38% year-over-year to $200 million, according to Techcet. SiC fell 5% shy of the 2008 peak, and will see continued growth.


TI on analog IC platforms, fab expansions

Fri, 7 Jul 2011

Ricky Jackson, Texas Instruments (TI), discusses analog IC developments, and how analog and digital semiconductors are pursuing Moore's Law and More than Moore in different ways. He also touches on TI's new fab capacity.


SEMICON West 2011: New product roundup

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

SEMICON West may not be the big-iron displayfest it once was, but there are still plenty of new product introductions to go around. Here's just a brief rundown of some of the ones we tracked from this year's show.


Translucent demos LED growth via one-step epitaxy with rare earth oxides on Si

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

Translucent demonstrated its Mirrored Si technology on a 100mm-diameter wafer that exhibits high reflectivity using a lattice-matched REO material grown on a Si substrate, capped by a GaN layer that can support further nitride epitaxy for LED structure growth.


How EVG accomplished the 1st 450mm printed wafer; HVM expected 2015-2017

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

SEMATECH announced a 450mm imprinted wafer, accomplished by EV Group (EVG). Markus Wimplinger, EVG, described the timeline for the 450mm effort and how the company decided to make a strategic move.


450mm update: Participation rising, patterning defined, “low risk” determined

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

Updates from ISMI's 450mm industry briefing at SEMICON West reveal intensifying participation and development underway for most required capabilities, and evaluations showing "low risk" for factory integration.


Major IC makers are on 450mm wafers, says ISMI

Thu, 5 May 2011

Since the beginning of 2011, the supply chain has been secure and ready to make the wafer size transition from 300mm to 450mm, says Tom Jefferson, 450mm program manager, ISMI, in this video interview at The ConFab 2011.


Key takeaways from AMAT's 3Q: "Uphill" 2011 goals, memory comeback, solar concern

Tue, 5 May 2011

Building "cumulative headwinds" -- inflation, consumer skepticism, energy costs, and Japan recovery -- are causing semiconductors and display manufacturers to push out near-term orders, according to Applied Materials execs laying out their 2Q11 books and future projections. They also describe who's spending and who's not, why solar equipment is a concern, and what are three keys for bridging the 450mm wafer-size transition.


Imec ITF: 2011 is "the year for EUV to prove its readiness"

Wed, 5 May 2011

In an SST-exclusive series of blogs, imec reports from its International Technology Forum this week in Brussels. Geert Vandenberghe talks about how EUV lithography is at a readiness crossroads, but he feels "fairly secure" about its current capabilities.


Connecting investments to industry trends

Tue, 5 May 2011

Bob Krakauer, CFO of GlobalFoundries, summarized industry trends in manufacturing and end-applications, a changing foundry landscape, and his company's own long-term investments in semiconductor manufacturing, in his Confab presentation.


Combinatorial method can do for wafer processing tools what it has done for semiconductor materials

Tue, 5 May 2011

Mike Besnard, ATMI, speaks about evolving the high-productivity combinatorial research method to vet wafer processing tools for the ramp to high-volume, not just to screen semiconductor materials. He caught up with ElectroIQ.com at The ConFab.


Photoresist market snapshot for semiconductor fab

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Photoresist revenues will grow at about 5% for the next several years, says Techcet Group. Consolidation is long overdue among resist suppliers, and EUV may be the last straw. For materials, supply is abundant.


Quantum transistor promises easier fab than Intel's 3D transistor

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Avto Metals' Avto Quantum Transistor (AQT) modulates electrical signals via a tunneling electron either constructively or destructively interfering with electrons' wave function in a gate material. Avto credits a "unique surface geometry" for the transistor's properties.


Metrology of epitaxial thin-films by advanced HRXRD and XRR

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
Using complementary metrology techniques, the authors determined the thickness, composition and relaxation of SiGe and Si:C layers. Paul Ryan, et al., Jordan Valley Semiconductors, Durham, UK

High-productivity materials development for post-via etch residue removers

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
Utilizing a high-productivity combinatorial technique, the best formulation and process window for post-via etch residue removers was determined. Rekha Rajaram, et al., Intermolecular Inc.; Barry Chen, et al.,ATMI, Inc., Danbury, CT and Round Rock, TX

FSI wins wafer clean tooling orders from FEOL and BEOL customers

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

FSI International Inc. (Nasdaq:FSII), surface conditioning equipment supplier, won orders for multiple ORION single wafer cleaning systems. A memory maker will use the ORION in wet photoresist strip and etch and a foundry will use it for backend-of-line (BEOL) processes, like cleaning film stacks.


Design-dependent semiconductor wafer monitoring developed between UCLA, SRC

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Semiconductor Research Corporation and UCLA researchers developed design-dependent process monitoring for semiconductor wafer manufacturing. They expect the method to save 15% of semiconductor fab costs and boost productivity, potentially increasing per-chip profits by 12%. The yield improvement could equal that of a technology node, said one researcher.


Centralized automation control increases performance and reduces costs

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
The capabilities of advanced motion controllers enable OEMs to achieve high-performance requirements. Cameron Sheikholeslami, ACS Motion Control, Eden Prairie, MN

Applied Materials adds tungsten film planarization to CMP tool

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Applied Materials (AMAT) unveiled the extension of its Reflexion GT chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) system to include planarization of tungsten films. Sidney Huey, director, CMP product manager, CMP Division, Silicon Systems Group at Applied Materials, discusses the tool and the technology.


450mm wafer transition needs collaboration and standards

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
As the global supply chain deals with wafer size transition, pre-competitive collaboration will continue to be the best path towards economic efficiency and industry rationality, and Standards play a major role. Jonathan Davis, SEMI, San Jose, CA.

CMP metrics improved by undiluted slurry data

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Figure 3. Ceria delivery monitor >120hrs. (SlurryScope data of undiluted extended run measurements of slurry LPC). SOURCE: Vantage TechnologyThe requirement for CMP slurry to perform consistently during the wafer polishing process has resulted in a push on the part of IC manufacturers to improve slurry metrics. Marty Mason, Vantage Technology Corp., explains how on-wafer slurry conditions can differ from slurry measurements, and new advances to rectify measurements.


IBM builds IC with graphene transistor

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

IBM researchers built an integrated circuit (IC) fabricated from wafer-scale graphene on SiC, integrating a graphene transistor with other electronics circuits.


AMEC reactive ion etch tool enables sub-28nm nodes

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

AMEC launched its Primo 300mm very-high-frequency advanced decoupled reactive ion etch tool for sub-28nm. AMEC's Ben Lee describes the tool's mini-batch cluster architecture, and the physics that makes it work.


EVG tool bonds 450mm SOI semiconductor wafers

Mon, 7 Jul 2011

EV Group (EVG) released a wafer bonding system for 450mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers: EVG850SOI/450-mm. EVG's Paul Lindner discusses the tool, and challenges of 450mm and SOI.


450mm transition: 4 changes you must know

Sun, 7 Jul 2011

Bill Shaner, VP and GM, Microenvironments Division, Entegris, discusses key changes in the semiconductor manufacturing industry's move from 300 to 450mm wafers: Wafer fragility, wafer sag, increased weight, and higher capital investment.


Plasma tool from Nordson MARCH handles 5 wafer sizes

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

Nordson MARCH introduced the FlexTRAK-WF low-cost, cassette-based automated plasma treatment system that handles five wafer sizes with minimal hardware change-over.


2011 Best of West award finalists announced

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

Solid State Technology and SEMI today announced the finalists for the 2011

Avantor, SACHEM selective etch chemisty doubles as wafer cleaner

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

Avantor Performance Materials will launch the first in its new J.T.Baker SLCT Series of selective etch surface treatment chemistries, SLCT 128 sigma etchant, at SEMICON West. The product results from a partnership with etch specialist SACHEM.


Applied heats up RTP for 2Xnm with backside wafer heating

Fri, 7 Jul 2011

Applied Materials' new Vantage Vulcan RTP tool switches the heating to the backside of the wafer, to improve heat distribution and uniformity, widen the temperature range, and shorten residence times -- all of which are important as process technologies shrink to and below the 2Xnm generation, the company says.


Semiconductor sputtering targets headed for 2012 market peak

Fri, 7 Jul 2011

The semiconductor sputtering target market is outgrowing semiconductor fab equipment as a whole, with double-digit growth through 2013. The skyrocketing price of tantalum is a major factor, but not the only one, says Techcet Group.


Semiconductor gases bounce back, wet chemicals on their way

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Semiconductor wet chemicals saw 13% growth year-over-year in 2010, while the electronics fab gasses market grew 16%, according to 2 new reports from Techcet Group.


Semiconductor industry investing over $40 billion annually, says SEMI

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

The semiconductor industry will invest about $44 billion in production equipment globally in 2011, which industry organization SEMI calls a "record sum."


DuPont perfluoroelastomer parts won't erode in wafer processing

Wed, 6 Jun 2011
DuPont Performance Polymers (DuPont) will introduce DuPont Kalrez 9300 and 9500 perfluoroelastomer parts for semiconductor wafer processing at Semicon West.

AMAT RTP heats wafer backside for better temp uniformity

Wed, 6 Jun 2011

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) launched the Applied Vantage Vulcan rapid thermal processing (RTP) system for wafer annealing. Backside heating with AMAT's honeycomb lamp reduces "hot spots," enabling 20nm transistor designs.


Semiconductor inventory surplus mitigates fab losses in Japan disaster, for now

Thu, 6 Jun 2011

Average days of inventory for semiconductor suppliers. SOURCE: IHS iSuppli, May 2011.Sharon Stiefel, IHS iSuppli, reports that a cushion in the semiconductor supply chain helped balance out off-line fabs in Japan following the Sendai-area earthquake and tsunami. As fabs ramp back up, or products are transferred to lines in other facilities, Q2 should avoid component shortages as well. But will the disaster be the end of just-in-time inventory management?


Reports: Intel investigating explosion, fire in solvent room

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

What is being called an "explosion" and/or "flash fire" at one of Intel's Chandler, AZ fabs injured eight people earlier this week (June 7), according to multiple reports.


Supply? Tight. Demand? High. Bill McClean forecasts a good year for ICs

Tue, 5 May 2011

Bill McClean, IC Insights, explains that demand is good for the IC industry, thanks to smartphones and tablets. Supply, on the other hand, is relatively tight. IC Insights is forecasting 10% growth for the semiconductor market in 2011. The video was recorded at The ConFab 2011 in Las Vegas.


CEA-Leti Annual Review: IDMs' top 3 challenges

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

At CEA-Leti's Annual Review, STMicroelectronics CTO Jean-Marc Chery reviewed the challenges facing IDM companies focused on SoC markets, and the three primary challenges for IDMs: FinFETs, EUV lithography, and 450mm.


CEA-Leti Annual Review: The heart of Europe's semiconductor industry challenges

Tue, 6 Jun 2011

At CEA-Leti's Annual Review, Leti CEO Laurent Malier noted how the important role that research and technology organizations should play in strengthening industry in Europe, and how their roles differ from groups in other regions.


Semiconductor industry executives: Can't miss events at SEMICON West

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

To maintain profitability and growth in the next 10 years, semiconductor executives must understand and successfully execute lab-to-fab transitions of new technologies. 2 SEMICON West sessions aim to tackle these issues.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES' new leadership

Fri, 6 Jun 2011

The board of directors of GLOBALFOUNDRIES appointed new leadership to run GlobalFoundries, the company's first CEO change since its inception.


Cymer talks EUV, TCZ, light source monitoring upgrade

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

Nigel Farrar, Cymer, provides a status report on EUV lithography source technology, extensions to ArF lithography, the laser crystallization process from the company's TCZ display equipment product division, and Cymer's newest DUV source product the OnPulse Plus data monitoring system.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES uses Intermolecular combinatorial method to improve wafer fab

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will use Intermolecular's High Productivity Combinatorial technology on research and development of its next-generation and mature semiconductor manufacturing lines.


Thermal wafer processing for Ni(Pt)Si contacts beyond 45nm

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

The formation of advanced thin nickel-silicide films poses major challenges as devices integration moves beyond the 45nm technology node. X. Pages et al, Renesas Electronics, explain how optimized low-temperature rapid thermal processing (RTP) annealing schemes address this issue.


Suss joins imec's EUV mask integrity work

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

Suss Microtec and imec are expanding a research collaboration in mask cleaning to develop an in-fab approach to EUV lithography mask integrity, aiming to develop a sophisticated approach to preserving mask integrity prior to exposure.


Green wafer fab chemistries that work

Wed, 7 Jul 2011

ATMI's SVP/CTO, Larry Dubois shares the 3 guidelines ATMI keeps in mind when designing eco materials for semiconductor wafer fab, and gives an update on the materials supplier's LED fab products.


Wall Street view: Top takeaways from SEMICON West

Tue, 7 Jul 2011

A trio of analysts who participated in SEMICON West's Bulls/Bears panel have some top-takeaways list for the industry: why WFE spending is slow, why it's only a short pause, and which will comes first, EUV or 450mm.


First Semiconductor Fab for Central and South America Gains Design Approval

Thu, 7 Jul 2011

A four-month fab design verification project was approved for CEITEC S.A., for what is said to be the first semi conductor manufacturing facility to be built in Central and South America. CEITEC S.A. is a Brazilian company that produces application-specific standard products (ASSPs) for RFID, wireless communication and digital multimedia. The design verification project was overseen by Lotus Technical Services, one of five operational divisions of the LotusWorks based in Sligo, Ireland.



UMC debuts 200mm Al BEOL fab process

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) launched the A+ technology platform, a specialized 0.11

Strained silicon and HKMG take the stage at 22nm

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Mohith Verghese, ASM America, covers the gate stack changes expected when 22nm semiconductors ramp in volume production. Topics include high-k gate dielectrics, strained silicon including nMOS strain, and the importance of conformal deposition wafer processing technology.


IEST cleanroom apparel doc update includes measurement guide

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

The updated "Garment System Considerations for Cleanrooms and Other Controlled Environments" document includes new sections on measuring footwear, frocks and other garments, as well as a new subsection for tracking system use, such as RFID chips and barcodes.


At 22nm, the focus is first order effects

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Regardless of transistor architecture, the impact of process variability on device and circuit performance has emerged as a significant concern at 22nm. Effects that until recently were negligible or could be mitigated with improved wafer manufacturing control are now first-order effects, says Howard Ko, Synopsys, who outlines the main culprits.


Jenoptik to expand semiconductor production facility to meet high-power diode laser demand

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Jenoptik plans to expand its Berlin-Adlershof semiconductor production facility to meet rapidly increasing demand, particularly from Asia, for high-power diode lasers.


Survey: Chip execs sour on 2012 industry growth

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

Semiconductor execs are much less confident about the coming year's business prospects than they were leading into 2011, according to KPMG's annual survey.


Copper interconnects: Process integration of iALD TaN

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

Novellus authors investigated the film characteristics and process integration of TaN produced using iALD. High-density TaN with low resistivity and excellent conformality is demonstrated. With the adoption of Cu metallization, metal barriers such as TaN are needed to enhance the adhesion of metal to the dielectric and prevent the diffusion of Cu through the dielectric.


Semiconductor fab equipment spending forecast, 2011 wrap-up

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

SEMI projects that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will reach $41.8  billion in 2011, decline in 2012, and rebound again in 2013. Front-end equipment experienced an increase in sales this year, while back-end tools saw a decrease.


ASM demonstrates ALD, hafnium high-k metal gate at 14nm

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

ASM International N.V. created a new 14nm high-k gate dielectric process that achieved less than 6angstroms equivalent oxide thickness, while maintaining gate leakage below 1A/cm2.


Crossing Automation FOUP buffer improves wafer movement and storage

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Crossing Automation Inc., semiconductor fab automation product provider, introduced the Dynamic Access Recirculating Transport and Storage (DARTS) FOUP buffer to improve wafer movement and storage.


EVG doubles process module space in XT Frame platform

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

EV Group (EVG), wafer bonding and lithography equipment supplier, introduced the XT Frame equipment platform for better process throughput and tool functionality. The platform will be used for all high-volume manufacturing tool offerings.


Innolas wins 450mm wafer handling order

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Innolas Semiconductor GmbH, wafer sorting and laser marking system maker, received its first contract for a 450mm wafer handling system.


ULVAC CVD-Co, -Ni system suits 3D gate, MEMS fab

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

ULVAC Inc. developed the ENTRONTM-EX2 W300 CVD-Ni/CVD-Co system for CVD-Ni and CVD-Co silicidation of 3D semiconductor gates and MEMS. The system is a response to a semiconductor industry transition from PVD to CVD in advanced 3D gate structure film step coverage, ULVAC reports.


Dainippon Screen single-wafer clean tool boasts 800 WPH

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. has developed a scrubber-type SS-3200 single wafer cleaning system with up to 800 wafers per hour capacity and highly stable processing.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES names CFO from ATIC

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Under new CEO Ajit Monocha's realignment plan, GLOBALFOUNDRIES named new CFO, CTO, and customer engineering and quality leaders. The CTO position is a new one at the semiconductor foundry. The moves are meant to separate technology strategy from technology development.


Nvidia's ConFab keynote will portray "the virtual IDM"

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Dr. John Chen, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia, and Thomas Jefferson, ISMI's 450mm project manager, are among the updated speaking roster of ConFab 2012, which will address the economics of semiconductor manufacturing and associated industries (LEDs, MEMS, displays).


Applied Materials' Onyx treatment restores lost carbon, strengthens film structure

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Applied Materials released a new film treatment, Applied Producer Onyx, that reduces the power consumption in semiconductor chips while increasing mechanical strength. The product targets the challenges associated with 3D packaging applications and technologies.


Diamond films no longer in the rough with AKHAN Technologies launch

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

AKHAN Technologies has developed a shallow n-type diamond material over silicon that has characteristics such as a shallow ionization energy, high carrier mobility, and no graphitic phases. Adam Khan, president of AKHAN Technologies, says that the bottleneck in development of diamond films has always been the fabrication of n-type diamond.


ICPT 2011: Familiar CMP themes expand to new apps, interactions

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Paul Feeney, director of process technology at Axus and ITRS co-leader for planarization topics, reports from the International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology in Korea. Technical themes continue to address main areas (STI, ULK) but also explore new applications (e.g. TSVs), non-uniformity, and interaction between all the CMP process components.


Plan for 450mm whether an early adopter or not

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

Even if you don't plan on being a 450mm wafer size early adopter, should your planned upgrades handle the layout, utilities, vibration, and cleanroom criteria suitable for a 450mm semiconductor manufacturing environment? Yes, says Terry Behrens, or else be prepared to pay more.


Chip fab tool book-to-bill holds steady for North American makers

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

"The recent period

Intermolecular (IMI) prices IPO

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Intermolecular Inc. (Nasdaq:IMI) priced its initial public offering of 9,650,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $10.00 per share.


Advanced logic maker orders MTSN photoresist strip systems

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSN) received orders for multiple SUPREMA photoresist strip systems from a leading semiconductor manufacturer.


LRCX-NVLS blockbuster combo: Why everyone's so positive

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

We scan the industry-watcher landscape to gauge reactions to the proposed Lam Research-Novellus combination: technology and customer synergies, valuation questions, and possible M&A aftershocks.


North American chip fab tool book-to-bill up in November

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $973.3 million in orders in November 2011, $1.17 billion in billings, and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.83, according to the November Book-to-Bill Report from SEMI.


Lam Research acquiring Novellus in all-stock deal

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ:LRCX) will acquire Novellus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS), in an all-stock deal worth $3.3 billion. In addition, Lam Research announced a $1.6 billion stock repurchase program.


Worldwide semiconductor equipment bookings decline in Q3

Tue, 12 Dec 2011

SEMI reports worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment bookings fell 38% year-over-year in Q3 2011; billings dropped 5% for the same quarter.


SEMICON West 2012: Submit an abstract today

Mon, 12 Dec 2011

SEMI is looking for presenters for technical sessions and other opportunities at SEMICON West 2012, July 10-12 in San Francisco, CA.


SMIC, Elpida settle 200mm wafer claims

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

SMIC entered into a settlement agreement with Elpida Memory Inc. to settle all pending arbitration claims and counterclaims relating to the parties' Amended and Restated 200mm Wafer Products Business Agreement.


ASM brings Fraunhofer into ALD and CVD process dev

Fri, 12 Dec 2011

Fraunhofer CNT and semiconductor fab equipment supplier ASM International NV will collaborate under a Joint Development Agreement on various new projects over the next 5 years, including CVD and ALD process development.


Wacker Chemie trims silicon wafer production with Siltronic Hikari plant closure

Thu, 12 Dec 2011

Siltronic, Wacker Chemie AG

Frontend process, materials firms get high marks from TSMC

Wed, 12 Dec 2011

A number of big-name frontend equipment firms highlight TSMC's annual supplier awards in 2011, as the foundry expands its list of top suppliers.


The Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality

Sat, 1 Jan 2011
2010 was perhaps the best year ever for the semiconductor industry, a nice rebound from the worst year ever. 2011 will likely be a year when the semiconductor industry returns to "normal", with more moderate, single-digit growth. Cyclicality is expected to continue. Here's what leading industry analysts are saying about the year ahead.

ASMC 2011: EUV, image sensors, and a capital perspective

Thu, 5 May 2011

The last day of this week's SEMI/IEEE Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC) featured talks on EUV readiness and hurdles, CMOS image sensors' increasing complexity, embedded memory failure analysis to improve yields, and a coming shift from chip technology efficiency back to innovation.


KLAC: Yields are key to low costs, in traditional chips and emerging LEDs

Tue, 5 May 2011

High performance and low power consumption are expected of today's chips and LEDs. Today's chip makers still expect to keep their costs down. The key to making this work, says Brian Trafas, KLAC, is yield optimization. Trafas, speaking at The ConFab 2011 in Las Vegas, touches on tool supplier/user collaborations as well.


SEMI: Tool demand inches up in April

Mon, 5 May 2011

Demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment continues to inch up, with demand staying relatively steady as prior sales flush out the supply chain, according to data from SEMI.


ASMC 2011: Approaching device scaling, manufacturing challenges with partnerships

Wed, 5 May 2011

Another eventful (but still rainy) day at this week's SEMI/IEEE Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (May 16-18) offered two highlights sharing a theme: how partnerships can address challenges in device scaling and manufacturing.


450mm gaining momentum in the supply chain

Wed, 5 May 2011

Thomas Jefferson, ISMI 450mm program manager, presented results to date on the consortium's progress in ushering in the next wafer transition, and how industry participants are doing their part to keep momentum going.


Wafer fab roadmap below 10nm: imec at The ConFab

Thu, 5 May 2011

An Steegen, imec, shares how imec is helping enable Moore's Law's continuation to <10nm. Moore's Law through 19nm could be lithography-enabled, Steegen says, but past that point we need to rely on materials, such as high-k, and new device architectures. She also provides an update on imec's EUV progress.


2012 and onward for semiconductor fab managers at The ConFab

Mon, 5 May 2011

Bill Tobey, ConFab advisory board member and president of ACT InternationalBill Tobey, ConFab advisory board member and president of ACT International, discusses the role of fab managers in today's chip manufacturing environment. After the 2008 financial fallout, and 3 years of recovery, 2012 and onward present challenges and opportunities for research and development, collaboration, etc.


Wafer analysis system is "point and shoot" Nanotronics technology

Fri, 5 May 2011

Nanotronics Imaging LLC launched the nSPEC semiconductor analysis system with proprietary software and hardware for rapid and detailed analysis of wafer defects. Complete system automation with cassette-to-cassette loading of 2-8" wafers is available.


Update from Japan: Big aftershocks slow fab recoveries

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami: new aftershocks have pushed back fab recovery efforts, some early estimates of lost productivity, preparing for summertime blackouts, and more tips for traveling to and around Japan.


ACS drive module enhances wafer handling, inspection

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

ACS Motion Control developed an EtherCAT slave Universal Drive Module that directly drives one or two axes. The product suits use in wafer handling robots and positioning stages and optical wafer inspection as well as FPD inspection machines, custom robotics, and medical CT Scanning machines.


The Impact of Japan's Triple Disaster

Fri, 4 Apr 2011
Peter Singer, Editor-in-Chief

Surface preparation for 2011 and beyond

Fri, 4 Apr 2011
Surface clean engineers must discover new methods to realize contamination and surface termination requirements at each step of the manufacturing process, while simultaneously considering the impact to health, cost and the environment. Joel Barnett, SEMATECH, Austin, TX, USA

Random yield loss during wafer cleaning

Fri, 4 Apr 2011
The Cleaning studies of silicon wafers in DI water in both conventional wet-bath and a single-wafer cleaning tool clearly show that pumping methods have a strong influence on process performance. R. Prasanna Venkatesh, Jung-Soo Lim, Jin-Goo Part, Hanyany University, Ansan, Korea

Electrografting fills high-aspect ratio TSV

Fri, 4 Apr 2011

Alchimer's Erik Smith explains the molecular growth and building method of electrografting, and how electrolytic and electroless electrografting can grow isolation liners, fill through silicon vias (TSVs), and save money in the process.


Tsunami disaster to boost 2011 worldwide semiconductor revenue

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Figure. Revised and previous quarterly 2011 semiconductor forecasts (Millions of U.S. Dollars). SOURCE: IHS iSuppli April 2011.Supply disruptions and potential shortages following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan have uplifted semiconductor prices, especially in the memory sector. This means increased semiconductor revenues in 2011, says IHS iSuppli.


Verity Instruments spectrograph features improved line-shape uniformity

Fri, 5 May 2011

The SD1024FL spectrograph replaces Verity Instruments' SD1024DL with improved line-shape uniformity, resolution, and noise equivalent power, as well as a second-order blocking addition.


Nano-porous dielectrics and copper barriers for 28nm and below

Sun, 5 May 2011
Copper barrier solutions exist that ensure electrical and reliability performance even as device scaling continues. Harry Whitesell, Eric Hollar, Kang Sub Yim, Li-Qun Xia, Thamos Nowak, Applied Materials, Santa Clara, CA USA

Silicon semiconductor wafer shipments edged up from Q1 2010 to Q1 2011

Wed, 5 May 2011

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments decreased slightly during the first quarter 2011 when compared to fourth quarter 2010 area shipments, and were marginally higher than first quarter 2010, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group.


Update from Japan: Energy policy under review, fabs recovery upset

Tue, 5 May 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami: Japan's reviewing its energy policy to deemphasize nuclear power, and updates on recovery efforts at Renesas, Toshiba, and Tohoku U.


Gap measurement tech from Novellus' Peter Wolters benefits from sensor, algorithm advances

Tue, 5 May 2011

Figure 3. Gap profile control on the GBIR measurement.Novellus Systems (NASDAQ: NVLS) subsidiary Peter Wolters GmbH introduced innovative gap measurement technology for double-side silicon prime wafer polishing. New high-resolution sensors and software algorithms increase control of wafer quality, as well as throughput for the AC2000-P3 system.


Nano and advanced materials R&D at Clarkson U

Mon, 5 May 2011

Clarkson researchers videosPeter Singer recently toured the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) at Clarkson University. The following video interviews with researchers and professors cover particle transport, chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP), cleanroom technologies, and bright nano particles, among other topics.


Leading-edge processes, MEMS, Japan turnaround driving 2011 wafer demand

Fri, 5 May 2011

Total wafer demand will increase 11.2% to 185.3M wafers (200mm equivalent), with a number of factors driving growth above average rates, according to a recent Semico Research report.


The 10 chipmaker "powers" that suppliers need to know

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

A new "power" rankings list of chipmakers reiterates how 300mm chipmaking capacity is being concentrated to a select group of players -- i.e., the ones that equipment and materials suppliers will need to focus on for future business.


Carl-Zeiss-photomask-registration-correction-system-RegC-debuts

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Carl Zeiss RegCCarl Zeiss introduced a new production tool aimed to improve registration and overlay of advanced photomasks. RegC is based on ZEISS femtosecond-laser technology. RegC enables correction on high-end photomasks for remaining registration errors after the pattern generation process. Current results show registration improvements over 50% in advanced lithography.


Renesas sells fab to TELEFUNKEN Semiconductors for >$50M

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Renesas Electronics America will sell its semiconductor wafer fabrication facility in Roseville, CA, to TELEFUNKEN Semiconductors International LLC. TELEFUNKEN will use the 200mm, 8" line at the Roseville factory to manufacture its own analog/mixed-signal, HV products, Renesas products, and jobs for strategic foundry partners.


3D IC is only solution for scaling "up," says MonolithIC 3D exec

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Transfer on top of processed wafer and replace gates (<400°C)Zvi Or-Bach, MonolithIC 3D, describes the TSV-beating monolithic IC fab process, and argues for scaling "up" rather than down. Or-Bach compares the costs of further semiconductor scaling to advanced packaging.


Manufacture-HB-LEDs-with-holistic-defect-analysis

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Advanced defect source analysis (DSA). KLARITY LED provides defect source analysis including interactive wafer maps and images.Defect source analysis (DSA) and spatial signature analysis (SSA) go beyond process control to determine where in the process defects are introduced, which defects are common from one process step to the next, how defects propagate throughout the production line, and defect signatures and causes. John Robinson, KLA-Tencor, offers examples of defects and how these can be missed or mis-identified, wasting wafers and time.


Analysts' take: Intel's four trigate transistor triumphs

Thu, 5 May 2011

As a follow-up Intel's announcement of a new 22nm trigate transistor structure, we polled and tracked multiple industry watchers for their thoughts on the technology. Their key takeaways: Intel reasserts its manufacturing prowess, and could be setting up for plays in mobile and foundry.


IXYS engages with GMCH to fab power semiconductors

Thu, 5 May 2011

 IXYS Corporation (NASDAQ:IXYS) and General Motors Components Holdings (GMCH) entered into an agreement for the fabrication of power semiconductor wafers at the Kokomo, IN plant.


AMAT buying VSEA, extends WFE, solar inroads

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Applied Materials said it will acquire Varian Semi in a $4.9B deal. VSEA stockholders have now approved the buy.


ASM plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (ALD) ordered for HVM, new app

Thu, 4 Apr 2011

ASM International N.V. (NASDAQ: ASMI) received multiple system orders for its plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) reactor from a leading memory customer in Asia. The company also qualified a new PEALD oxide application with a memory manufacturer for the 2X nm node.


Crossing Automation wins 300mm Spartan sorter orders

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Crossing Automation received both new and follow-on orders for multiple 300mm Spartan Sorters. The orders were received from a single foundry customer and the systems will be installed in two of its leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing facilities for use in volume production.


Update from Japan: Renesas, SEH rebuild; TEPCO's power problems; travel tips

Thu, 4 Apr 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami: Updates on upcoming summertime electricity demand, Renesas and SEH restarting operations, and more travel tips to Japan.


Update from Japan: TEPCO's nuclear recovery roadmap, semiconductor materials shortage concerns

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami: Updates on efforts to control the nuclear crisis, efforts to shift to "summertime" schedules to manage energy usage, and evidence of shortages in key materials for semiconductor manufacturing (H2O2 and silicon).


Rudolph's new F30 advanced macro inspection module wins foundry, MEMS orders

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Rudolph's F30 module The F30 module offers improved throughput over the entire sensitivity range. Two European fabs, a leading Asian foundry, a leading MEMS producer, and a process equipment manufacturer that is developing an integrated inspection solution have ordered the Rudolph system.


Secondary semiconductor equipment market is complex, and growing

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

At 13% of the total equipment spending for semiconductor manufacturing, secondary equipment and services are gaining importance at both 300 and 200mm fabs. SEMI and Semico announce results of their Secondary Semiconductor Equipment Market Study.


AMAT touch panel fab system enables simultaneous film stack processing

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Applied AKT-Aristo Twin system for manufacturing touch-enabled displaysApplied Materials Inc. (AMAT) launched the Applied AKT-Aristo Twin system for manufacturing touch-enabled displays. Featuring two independent processing tracks on a single system, the AKT-Aristo Twin enables simultaneous fabrication of two different film stacks.


The ConFab 2011 Keynotes to Address Disaster in Japan

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Two keynote talks at The ConFab 2011 will address the impact of the ongoing disaster in Japan, including the state of Japan’s semiconductor manufacturing operations and the impact of lost production on the supply chain. Keenan Evans, the Senior Vice President for Quality, Reliability & EHS for ON Semiconductor, will give the keynote on the first day of the conference, May 16th. Bill McClean, President of IC Insights, will give the keynote on the second day, May 17th.


TI acquires NSM: Picking apart the deal

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Analysts break down Texas Instruments' proposed acquisition of National Semiconductor: Key factors, where both companies benefit, whether TI is overpaying, and if more analog M&A is imminent.


TowerJazz-to-buy-Micron-fab-in-Japan

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

TowerJazz is looking to buy Micron Technology's semiconductor fab in Nishiwaki City, Hyogo, Japan. The proposed purchase would nearly double TowerJazz's current internal manufacturing capacity, increasing production by 60,000 wafers per month, and set up a supply agreement between the companies.


Live from Japan: Nuclear crisis looms, chip firms map recovery

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori continues his reporting on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami, with updates on the nuclear crisis, advice on traveling to Japan, and the current status of facilities and production struggles.


Tool demand still high, amid a backend-frontend breakup

Mon, 4 Apr 2011

As SEMI's numbers for semiconductor manufacturing equipment climbed again in March, one slice of the data suggests that the backend-as-leading-cyclical-indicator wisdom we've been taught to follow may not be valid this time around.


Brooks Automation sells Celestica its contract mfg biz, looks beyond semiconductor frontend markets

Thu, 4 Apr 2011

Brooks Automation Inc. (Nasdaq:BRKS) will sell its contract manufacturing business to Celestica Inc. for approximately $80 million in cash. Cash generated from this transaction will fund initiatives that leverage its existing technology capabilities, particularly into market sectors other than wafer frontend semiconductor capital equipment.


Semiconductor wafer handling benefits from precision movement of Aerotech AVS1000

Thu, 4 Apr 2011

Aerotech's AVS1000 series stages Aerotech's AVS1000 series stages suit applications that require positioning of large or heavy loads over very small incremental movements in elevation above a horizontal plane. A low profile and precise motion capability make these stages a fit for semiconductor manufacturing and inspection.


Kilopass begins NVM new product rollout with Itera, fabbed in 40nm logic CMOS

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Kilopass Technology Inc., semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) provider, unveiled Itera, an embedded multi-time programmable (MTP) NVM in 40nm.


BSE acquires secondary semiconductor equipment assets

Wed, 4 Apr 2011

Boston Semi Equipment acquired the assets of Asia Tech Corporation, launching BSE Tech LLC. BSE Tech will deliver pre-owned front end semiconductor manufacturing equipment and spare parts, technical capabilities and financial solutions from a larger facility, with added cleanroom space.


Picosun launches plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition source, records global sales

Tue, 4 Apr 2011

Picosun Oy has launched production of plasma enhanced ALD (PEALD) systems based on a highly advanced ion-free remote plasma source, Picoplasma. Various excited species such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen radicals with zero charge can be generated to broaden the range of ALD process chemistries.


LED volume ramps motivate GT Solar's new sapphire growth system with larger boule growth

Tue, 5 May 2011

GT Solar International Inc. (NASDAQ:SOLR) introduced the ASF100 advanced sapphire growth system, which produces larger 100kg sapphire boules in the standard furnace chamber. Larger sapphire boules can enable lower costs for LED chips.


Varian, Novellus tie for chip tool supplier rankings

Tue, 5 May 2011

Varian, Novellus, and Disco prove that customer service really does matter, in VLSI Research's latest annual customer satisfaction survey of large and small chipmaking equipment suppliers.


LEDs are fundamentally semiconductors, running up against fab and packaging issues, says Philips Lumileds

Thu, 5 May 2011

LED manufacturing processes lack the level of automation seen in the semi chip fab industry. Wafer size transitions are occuring rapidly, and thicknesses also vary. The forefront of LED fab, much like chip fab, is wafer level packaging, cluster tools for automation, and advanced substrate materials. Iain Black, Philips Lumileds, presents an overview of LED fabrication, device architectures, and markets for the end products.


ASMC in review: Keynotes and key papers

Mon, 5 May 2011

Gary Green, co-chair of the interactive poster session at last week's Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC), reviews key themes discussed, including the need for collaboration across several fields, as well as technical topics from metrics for defect sampling to lithography patterning for 32nm and below.


Tighter chip densities tease out litho, metrology weaknesses, says Intel

Thu, 5 May 2011

Janice Golda, Intel, co-led a session at The ConFab 2011 on continued device scaling. EUV infrastructure will be a major topic, as well as transistor challenges. While lithography difficulties exist at tighter device densities, Golda reminds us that metrology obstacles must also be tackled.


Silicon Valley upstate: NY's semiconductor manufacturing ambitions

Mon, 5 May 2011

Silicon Valley's NY cousin, Mohawk Valley, is attracting investment with university-industry collaborations on leading edge semiconductor manufacturing. Mark Reynolds, Marcy Nanocenter and Mohawk Valley Edge and David Rooney, Center for Economic Growth, speak with Debra Vogler at The ConFab 2011.


Materials forecast for 22nm devices

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Weimin Li, ATMI, looks at changes in the materials side of wafer fab that might occur in 2011, especially for advanced DRAM devices. For every evolutionary change or radical new method, cost and performance considerations are high. This is an online exclusive essay in SST's Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality series.


Flat 2011 wafer fab equipment capex, but look to 193i stepper to step out

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

Semiconductor capital equipment, 4Q10: strength through 2013, then retrenchment. Source: Gartner.Wafer fab capex in 2011 is expected to stick around 2010 levels. But don't despair of growth, says Dean Freeman of Gartner. For one thing, cutting-edge wafer fab equipment will be hot. On top of that, 2011 will be a brief respite, with a strong 2012/2013 waiting in the wings.


Toppan, IBM focus 14nm photomask JV on ArF immersion lithography

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. extended a joint development agreement with IBM for leading-edge photomask process, covering the 14nm technology node for logic devices. Toppan and IBM will focus their joint development efforts on ArF immersion lithography for the 14nm node.


22nm brings maskmakers, end users closer

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

The conditions and challenges at the 22nm technology node are becoming clear: double patterning, source-mask optimization are becomign pervasive, EUV is on the doorstep, and they will all have significant impact on mask manufacturers, writes Franklin Kalk from Toppan Photomasks.


CyberOptics Semiconductors vibration monitoring software

Fri, 1 Jan 2011

CyberOptics Semiconductors updated its wafer vibration monitoring softwareCyberOptics Semiconductors updated its wafer vibration monitoring software, offering new capabilities for data analysis and third-party data interfaces. CyberOptics’ AVS 2.0 vibration monitoring software provides engineers with the data needed to predict equipment failures related to vibration during semiconductor fabrication to improve process yield and cycle times.


Backside wafer particle reduction using ionization in PVD

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

Ionizers used in PVD wafer processingIonizers can improve wafer back- and frontside particle performance in PVD processing tools by removing surface charges that hold electrostatically adhered particles. Controlling charges results in higher yields for chip manufacturers and improved tool performance. Viraj Pandit and Emery Kuo, Novellus Systems and Cheryl Avery, ION Systems show that the INOVA PVD system’s good particle performance (with good quality wafers) is made more robust with an ionizer installation (with marginal quality wafers).


Below 22nm, spacers get unconventional

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

IEDM Spacer discussionSpacers are considered "conventional materials," and thus an odd topic for the cutting-edge IEDM. ASM CTO Ivo Raaijmakers points out that semiconductor fab below 22nm will require different processes for spacers: atomic layer deposition (ALD) and plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD).


Low-resistance wiring and 2Xnm void-free fill with CVD ruthenium liner and direct seed copper

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

Direct seed copper for semiconductor fabricationJonathan Rullan et al compare resistance from chemical vapor deposited (CVD) ruthenium liners and direct seed (DS) copper used with advanced Electrofill processes to conventional methods, using different annealing temps and simulated back-end-of-line (BEOL) thermal stress builds. 2X nm trenches were shown to have complete gap fill, eliminating the need for conventional PVD Cu seed.


Keys to CMP and cleans in 2011

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Robert L. Rhoades, Entrepix, examines the ever-shrinking contamination particle size, and the switch from immersion cleans to single-wafer systems. Custom solutions and new materials at the 22nm wafer fab will mean custom CMP and clean formulations -- if possible, tunable by the user. This is an online exclusive essay in SST's Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality series.


Addressing defectivity will require new surface-engineering processes at 22nm

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Gilles Baujon, CEO of Nanoplas, explains how the industry's migration toward the 32nm and 22nm nodes will require development of new process integration schemes, device structures, new materials assemblies -- and thus innovative surface-engineering solutions.


Global standards semiconductor-grade O-rings: SEMI Standards task force

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

To help the global semiconductor industry prepare for the 22nm node and 450mm wafers, sealing products supplier Applied Seals North America is leading a new SEMI Standards task force to develop the first substantial standards for perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) o-rings and sealing elements.


Heated vacuum-chuck increases control with thin substrate coating, says USI

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

Ultrasonic Systems, Inc. (USI) released a heated vacuum chuck option for the Prism spray coating system. The heated vacuum chuck option for Prism suits thin substrate, wafer, foil, and membrane coating applications, where it enhances control of the substrate.


KLA-Tencor debuts LED substrate epi-wafer inspection system

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

KLAC inspection system debuts for HBLED substratesKLA-Tencor (KLAC) debuted an automated inspection system for substrates and epitaxial wafers used in HBLED manufacturing. The Candela 8620 provides automated defect inspection for LED materials such as gallium nitride, sapphire, and silicon carbide, enabling enhanced quality control of both opaque and transparent substrates, faster time-to-root cause, and improved MOCVD reactor uptime and yield. Frank Burkeen, KLA-Tencor, discusses the Candela 8620 inspection system.


Silicon nanophotonics could answer data needs if manufacturing requirements are met

Fri, 1 Jan 2011

The amount of data that will need to be moved in the not-too-distant future motivates research into a better way to connect devices, said Intel Fellow and director of the Photonics Lab at Intel Labs, Mario Paniccia, at SEMI’s Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS). Paniccia discusses the manufacturing requirements for silicon photonics, including optical testers.


Failure analysis challenges at 22nm turnkey FA tools

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

Paul Kirby, FEI, provides insights on the shift to complex 3D device structures and complex interconnect methods such as TSV. In the future, 3D analysis techniques could play increasingly important roles, he says. In advanced packaging, failure analysis is more critical because multi-die stacks can fail due to one bad die. This is an online exclusive essay in SST's Forecast for 2011: Back to Reality series.


McClean gives positive outlook for 2011, expecting 4% U.S. GDP

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

McClean gives positive outlook for 2011With double-digit growth in consumption in key sectors (PCs, cell phones), strong GDP increase, wafer fab capex increases, and firm ASPs, Bill McClean, president, IC Insights, gave SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) attendees some "reasons for optimism."


High-resolution spectrometer offers tailored gratings, high-performance optics

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

McPherson spectrometerMcPherson’s high-resolution spectrometer, Model 2061, is now available for scanning and imaging applications via 2D CCD or CMOS detectors. It suits emission, luminescence, Raman (strained Silicon), and high-temperature plasma measurement with better than 0.02nm full width half maximum spectra.


What's brewing in AMEC-Lam etch IP dispute?

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

AMEC says it's won two key patent disputes with Lam Research over etch technologies. Is this merely marketplace posturing, or is there significance here?


Metrology tool debuts for B-SiGe HKMG from CAMECA

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

e EX-300 is a versatile metrology tool based on LEXES (Low-energy Electron induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry) technologyCAMECA unveiled the latest addition to its line of high-end metrology systems: the EX-300 metrology tool targeted for front-end process control of 22 nm technology nodes and beyond. e EX-300 is a versatile metrology tool based on LEXES (Low-energy Electron induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry) technology.


SEMI: Chip demand slips heading out of 2010

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

Appropriate for this blustery ski season, the clear view of semiconductor equipment demand appears to be heading down a slope, according to data from semiconductor manufacturing equipment makers.


Top foundries reduced to three

Thu, 1 Jan 2011

By the end of 2011 there may be only three leading-edge high-volume foundries -- TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung -- able and willing to push the leading edge of CMOS through the 32nm and to 22nm and beyond, says IHS iSuppli.


Real-time-gas-flow-monitoring-improves-mass-flow-controller-performance-in-wafer-fab

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Real-time gas flow monitoring improves mass flow controller performance understanding in wafer fabSanjay Yedur et al, from Pivotal Systems and J.H. Lee et al from Samsung’s R&D Equipment Engineering Team discuss the use of a real-time gas flow monitoring system that allows for in-situ flow measurements, based on a highly accurate rate of pressure drop over a known volume and temperature. Using this system, insights are gained on the run-to-run repeatability of mass flow controller (MFC) transient and steady-state flow during wafer processing.


Model-based-mask-data-prep-Solving-the-impossible-mask

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

SPIE Advanced Lithography eBeam Initiative annual meeting, circle shot imageAki Fujimura, chairman & CEO of D2S, provides an update of the eBeam Initiative roadmap. Speaking at SPIE Advanced Lithography with editor Debra Vogler, Fujimura recalls mask cost/yield and write time developments, summarizes the eBeam Initiative's meeting, and describes member Dai-Nippon Printing's impressive time results with an "impossible" mask.


Novellus-reduces-RC-delay-for-sub-28nm-dielectric-film-processing

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Novellus VECTOR ExcelNovellus Systems (NASDAQ: NVLS) debuted the VECTOR Excel for pre- and/or post-processing of dielectric films, such as diffusion barriers. New interface engineering reduces the RC delay constant without incorporating new materials into the back-end-of line (BEOL) integration scheme. 


Mattson-Technology-debuts-photoresist-dry-strip-system

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSN) introduced the SUPREMA XP5 photoresist dry strip system for high-volume production of current and future-generation logic, DRAM and flash memory devices.


Tackling the rising cost-of-test for semiconductor devices

Tue, 3 Mar 2011
Kenneth A Ramsey, Executive Vice President, MCT Worldwide, LLC, Minneapolis, MN USA

ONNN_completes_SANYO_buy

Mon, 1 Jan 2011

ON Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: ONNN) completed its acquisition of SANYO Semiconductor Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SANYO Electric, and other assets related to SANYO Electric’s semiconductor business.


450mm-TSV-EUV-transitions-SEMATECH-Armbrust

Wed, 1 Jan 2011

SEMATECH January 2011Dan Armbrust, SEMATECH, spoke about the role of collaboration in his SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium presentation. Significant technology transitions facing the semiconductor industry include lithography (introduction of EUV), interconnects (TSVs and 3D packaging), and productivity (450mm wafer manufacturing). Additionally, disruptive technology in logic and memory devices will challenge the industry.


ITRS 2010: Taking on the energy challenge

Tue, 1 Jan 2011

For the first time, the newly updated International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) overtly addresses energy consumption. Laura Peters looks at how the ITRS maps out the influence that devices can have on power consumption in various applications, and long-term goals for developing energy-efficient materials and devices.


SoftJin-enhances-defect-analysis-software

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

SoftJin NxDAT defect analysis softwareSoftJin Technologies, a provider of customized automation software for electronic design and manufacturing, enhanced NxDAT, its defect analysis software. The enhanced version of NxDAT is optimized for better speed and memory performance.


Sapphire wafer carriers debut from Meller Optics

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Meller Optics sapphire wafer carriers.Custom fabricated sapphire wafer carriers that are uniform, parallel, and impervious to solvents and etchants for thinning semiconductor materials are available from Meller Optics Inc.


Si-wafer-double-side-lapping-system-upgrades-Novellus-Peter-Wolters

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Peter Wolters lapping systemNovellus Systems subsidiary Peter Wolters GmbH introduced a new version of its microLine double side lapping system for prime silicon wafers. The AC-2100L system features independently driven inner and outer pin rings, automatic force calibration, and in-situ wafer thickness metrology.


SICAS 4Q10 data: Output lags capacity, utilization dips

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Wafer capacity rose about twice as fast as output in the 2010 calendar year-ending quarter, so utilization rates pulled back slightly -- but one sector showed surprising strength.


HBLED Manufacturing: Gearing Up

Tue, 2 Feb 2011
Peter Singer, Editor-in-Chief

3D-CT-X-ray-imaging-fills-inspection-gaps-says-Xradia

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Xradia microscope.Xradia has unveiled its latest micro computed tomography (CT) 3D X-ray imaging system, the VersaXRM. Kevin Fahey, PhD, VP of marketing at Xradia, discusses how the new platform uses geometrical magnification in tandem with an X-ray microscope.


SEMI: Chip materials topped records in 2010

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Sales of semiconductor materials rose 25% in 2010 to a new record $43.55B thanks to surging device shipments, according to final tallies from SEMI.


Live from Japan: Facilities struggling to ramp on power, supply chain disruptions

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori reports on the aftermath of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami, updating the status of facilities and the struggles to ramp production in the face of rolling blackouts (hint: overnight operations) and major holes in the supply chain.


LED-test-standards-talk-with-Poppe-MENT

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

Comprehensive LED testing. SOURCE: Mentor GraphicsAndrás Poppe, PhD, marketing manager in Mentor Graphics' MicReD division, discusses LED testing challenges, such as neglected power flux, LED cooling, and the gap between lab and real operating conditions.


Japan March 11 earthquake: Semiconductor production update

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

There are over 100 production semiconductor fab lines in 53 locations in Japan, say analyst groups IHS iSuppli and Semico. Over a week after the crippling earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, analysts consider the next business step, with power outages and aftershocks still disrupting production in areas not directly hit by the crisis.


Wafer cleaning: the next frontier in semiconductor fabrication

Tue, 2 Feb 2011
Ralph Spicer, Qcept Technologies, Atlanta, GA USA

The future of lithography

Tue, 2 Feb 2011
Semiconductor manufacturers are now relying on immersion lithography for the 32 nm node, sometimes with double- and triple-patterning approached. Work progresses on EUV as the heir apparent, but e-beam lithography could emerge as a viable alternative. We invited experts from SEMATECH, imec, Cymer , D2S and Molecular Imprints to give their perspective on next generation lithography challenges and solutions.

Veeco GaN MOCVD tool debut

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Veeco's TurboDisc MaxBright MOCVD, LED TV penetration Veeco Instruments' new TurboDisc MaxBright GaN MOCVD multi-reactor system is poised to take advantage of what the company believes is an accelerated rate of LED TV penetration. The new system targets manufacturing of HB-LEDs and is capable of single- or multi-chamber layer growth.


Taiwan DRAM consolidation take 2: Elpida pulls in Powerchip, ProMOS

Thu, 2 Feb 2011

Finally feeling the heat of price whipsaws (or withering stare of inevitability), Taiwan DRAM players seem ready to embrace tie-ups with Japan's Elpida Memory.


Wafer shipments surge in 2010, sales still catching up

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Global wafer shipments and revenues rebounded strongly in 2010, according to updated data from SEMI's Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) -- but one is at record levels while the other lags behind.


Five takeaways from TSMC's 450mm pledge

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

TSMC's Morris Chang has laid out a surprisingly bullish timeline for the foundry's 450mm wafer-size transition. Analysts weigh in on whether TSMC's goals are achievable, and what it means for the rest of the industry.


Avantor plans Taiwan materials lab with wafer fab, metrology tools in 100 cleanroom

Fri, 2 Feb 2011

Avantor Performance Materials, Inc. (formerly Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc.) plans to open an electronics applications laboratory in Taiwan in 2Q11, to conduct customer demos, perform process-of-record (POR) development, and support the company's global electronics technologies development.


CyberOptics updates WaferSense airborne particle sensor

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

CyberOptics Semiconductor WaferSense APSAfter beta testing and product analysis, CyberOptics Semiconductor has released the WaferSense Airborne Particle Sensor for wafer processing equipment. The sensor identifies particle sources in tools, moving through semiconductor process equipment and automation material handing systems to monitor airborne particles. It reports information in real-time on wafer contamination.


Xitronix wins patent case against KLA Tencor

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

Xitronix Corporation, a developer of advanced measurement systems designed to control key process steps in semiconductor manufacturing, received a final judgment invalidating KLA-Tencor Corporation patent claims against the company.


LED measurement webcast

Tue, 2 Feb 2011

On March 2, Solid State Technology and LEDs Magazine will co-host "Light and Color Measurement of Today's LED Technology," a free webcast sponsored by Konica Minolta Sensing Americas. The company's presenters will provide in-depth information on optical measurement techniques of LED technology, such as lighting, color theory, and LED structure.


3D transistor project wraps

Mon, 2 Feb 2011

Siltronic completed the SIGMADT research project, which aimed to adapt the properties of silicon wafers to the requirements of future three-dimensional transistors. To achieve higher efficiencies and lower energy consumption for future electronics densities, the transition into the third dimension for transistors is an important step, say researchers. The starting material -- the silicon wafer -- was the focus of this work.


Crossing-Automation-adds-SMIF-LPT-for-200mm-semiconductor-fabs

Fri, 3 Mar 2011

The adaptive SMIF-LPT solutions offer cost-effective upgrades of non-SMIF tools to SMIF, thereby enabling the conversion of existing 200mm facilities for semiconductor manufacturing at technology nodes below 180nm.


Mask defect-inspection-tool-software-from-Reticle Labs

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Reticle Labs RS-MiniReticle Labs released RS-Mini, an enterprise-class highly compact mask inspection defect management framework for mask and wafer fabrication plant infrastructure. It allows fabs to share inspection results, track defect trends, summarize inspection results from multiple systems, and more.


Japan infrastructure fab status after earthquake

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Live from Japan, longtime semiconductor exec Takeshi Hattori describes the situation facing semiconductor fabs -- and why power blackouts are the real problem, not earthquake or tsunami damage.


Applied-Materials-plasma-doping-tech-builds-3D-transistors

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) introduced the Applied Centura Conforma, with conformal plasma doping (CPD) targeted for 22nm and beyond logic and memory chips. The technology replaces ion beam implantation for conformal doping of complex 3D structures.


AMAT-darkfield-wafer-inspection-finds-40nm-particles-on-patterned-wafers

Thu, 3 Mar 2011

Applied DFinder darkfield inspection systemApplied Materials Inc. (AMAT) debuted the Applied DFinder darkfield inspection system, which uses deep ultraviolet (DUV) laser scanning for particle sensitivity down to 40nm on patterned wafers. The product suits inspecting the interconnect layers in 22nm and below memory and logic chips.


EVG-wins-SOI-order-from-Shenyang-Silicon-Technology

Wed, 3 Mar 2011

EV Group (EVG) received an order from new customer Shenyang Silicon Technology Co. Ltd. (SST). SST will use an EVG850LT automated production bonding system for silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.


High-k metal gate characterization using picosecond ultrasonic technology

Tue, 3 Mar 2011
Picosecond ultrasonic technology can be used during various stages of process development, integration, and volume manufacturing for monitoring the HKMG stack; this information can be used to characterize the process, and optimize deposition and CMP processes. J. Dai, P. Mukundhan, J. Chen, J. Tan, Rudolph Technologies, Flanders, NJ USA; D.B. Hsieh, T.C. Tsai, 1-United Microelectronics Corp., Tainan, Taiwan

Leveraging ion implant process characteristics to facilitate 22nm devices

Tue, 3 Mar 2011
Using implant as a precision material modification in contrast to its traditional role as a semiconductor dopant tool, provides enabling technology and new applications. James L. Kawski, Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Gloucester, MA USA

Japan earthquake impact on semiconductor community

Mon, 3 Mar 2011

Japan earthquake map with wafer fabs. Source: Objective Analysis March 2011.An earthquake of magnitude 8.9 struck March 11 off the coast of Japan's main island, Honshu. Jim Handy, Objective Analysis semiconductor market research, and other analysts share insights into Japan's semiconductor fabs and the quake's impact range. The update includes information from individual semiconductor companies in the area.


16nm-hp-EUV-blanks-inspected-with-KLAC-Teron

Fri, 3 Mar 2011

Lithography defect inspection. SOURCE: KLA-Tencor (KLAC)Among the topics covered at KLA-Tencor’s annual Lithography Users Forum was extension of KLAC's Teron 600 platform for inspection of EUV blanks at the 16nm hp node. Here, Brian Trafas speaks with Debra Vogler about process control in advanced lithography.


AMAT-inspection-Magma-yield-analysis-integration-accelerates-litho-quals-better-chip-yields

Tue, 3 Mar 2011

Excalibur Litho from Applied Materials (AMAT) and Magma Design AutomationApplied Materials integrated Magma's CAD-based navigation and yield analysis software with AMAT inspection systems; it's called Excalibur Litho and targets designs at 2xnm and below. Ankush Oberai, Magma and Erez Paran, AMAT, explain why hot spot identification and real line data for libraries will fuel better lithography processes.


Toppan Photomasks grows Shanghai site, adds more advanced capabilities

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

Toppan Photomasks will expand its Shanghai manufacturing operation serving China's semiconductor industry. Costing about $20 million, the expansion will increase photomask production significantly, and enable more advanced photomasks made with feature sizes as small as 90nm.


Fairchild Semiconductor's 200mm Mountain Top wafer fab rebounds

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Reversing its 2009 decision to close the 200mm wafer fab, Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE:FCS) will keep open its Mountain Top, PA, facility. Moutain Top makes high-voltage and automotive semiconductor products.


Semiconductor yield improvement with scan diagnosis

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

ICs manufactured at 65nm nodes and smaller introduce new design-specific and feature-sensitive failure mechanisms, with systematic yield issues even more challenging to diagnose and overcome. SMIC and Mentor Graphics cover how to use scan diagnosis for better semiconductor yields.


Applied Materials' 2011 supplier awards

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) presented five companies with awards for helping Applied meet its strategic business goals in 2011.


Boston Semi Equipment brings fab equipment leasing to Japan

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Boston Semi Equipment LLC (BSE Group) established Boston Semi K.K. in Tokyo, Japan, for customers of its flexible financing on front-end and back-end semiconductor manufacturing equipment.


TSMC approves capex bump for advanced fab tech

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

TSMC's Board of Directors approved additional capital expenditures for advanced semiconductor manufacturing technologies and more 12" wafer capacity. The company also nailed down its R&D and 2012 capex budgets.


Wireless chip maker adds Plasma-Therm etch/depo tool

Wed, 11 Nov 2011

Plasma-Therm LLC sold a multi-chamber VERSALINE etch and deposition system to a leading North American wireless compound semiconductor manufacturer.


Predicting plasma in wafer etch and deposition via quantum mechanics

Mon, 11 Nov 2011

Simulation work can play an important role in understanding fundamental plasma physics, and providing insights into process optimization and development in wafer etch and deposition. Quantemol and TEL authors discuss their simulations and observations.


Dual-beam laser spike annealing for advanced logic applications

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

Dual-beam laser spike annealing (LSA) technology allows access to new temperature-time regimes and enables new CMOS logic applications for the 28nm node and beyond. J. Hebb et al, Ultratech, explain dual-beam LSA's use in long dwell time, and low-temperature applications.


Mass flow controller from Brooks Instrument gains safer delivery

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Brooks Instrument launched a new Safe Delivery System (SDS) option for its GF120 mass flow controllers. The GF120 SDS is a low-pressure drop mass flow controller that delivers sub-atmospheric SDS gases used in implant and etch processes.


Fabricated silicon parts hit 200% growth on semiconductor, LED equipment bounceback

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Fabricated silicon parts for semiconductor and LED equipment use made up a $310 million market in 2010, according to the Techcet Group. By 2014, the market will reach $412 million.


Gallium nitride extends beyond defense products

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Gallium nitride (GaN) based devices are launching for applications in defense, wireless infrastructure, CATV, satellite and power electronics markets, according to the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service viewpoint.


Lam Research hires CEO from within

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) will transition Martin B. Anstice to CEO with the new year. Anstice has spent 10+ years with LRCX, including his roles as president and COO (current), and CFO.


Q2 semiconductor tool sales show 8% droop in bookings

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

SEMI and the SEAJ gathered semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales and shipments data from over 100 global equipment companies for their Q2 report. While shipments (billings) rose 31% over Q2 2010, sales (bookings) fell 8% YOY.


Mattson sells photoresist strip systems for 3Xnm nodes

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

Mattson Technology received multiple follow-on orders for its SUPREMA photoresist strip systems from major customers fabs in Asia, Europe and the US for volume production of advanced logic, foundry and flash memory devices for 3Xnm and below technology nodes.


SEMI revises fab capex forecast down, still record year

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

Noting caution in the markets, SEMI has revised its World Fab Forecast to a 23% year-on-year increase, down from the 31% growth forecast in May 2011. Capital expenditure will still increase to $41.1 billion in 2011.


SIA: Chip sales "holding steady," hope for 4Q11 push

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

The SIA's latest monthly numbers suggest the chip market remains stalled, though some industry watchers still hope for a seasonal growth push in 4Q11.


Semiconductor capex dragged in August 2011

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers posted $1.18 billion in orders in August 2011, which led to a book-to-bill ratio of 0.80, according to SEMI's August Book-to-Bill Report.


Chip sales, capex growth slowing, says IC Insights

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Techcet's Michael A. Fury shares some bullet-point analyses from IC Insights' Fall Forecast Seminar in Sunnyvale, CA, where the firm offered its latest take on semiconductor sales, capex, and application growth for 2011 and 2012.


CMP for hard-disk drives spotlighted at NCCAVS CMPUG

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Techcet's Michael A. Fury reports from a NCAAVS CMP user group meeting in San Jose, CA, with the overall theme of CMP for the hard-disk drive industry: market outlooks for HDDs, different requirements and challenges vs. IC manufacturing, and new technologies and applications for CMP in patterned media.


Negative 2011 semiconductor industry growth is possible, warns Gartner

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Jim Walker, VP, Research of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Emerging Technologies, at Gartner, speaks with Solid State Technology about revising Gartner

Sluggish recovery, equipment reuse: Takeaways from AMAT's 3Q11

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

Slowing foundry demand, lower utilizations and "an awful lot" of equipment reuse at 28nm, DRAM going nowhere, and debate about how long into 2011 it'll all last -- all these were top of mind among AMAT executives and industry watchers after the company released its fiscal 3Q11 (July quarter) results and commentary.


Imec performs selective CVD of GeSN

Fri, 8 Aug 2011

Imec highlights recent research on using CVD, and commercially available precursors, to grow GeSn in a manner that could be replicated on 200mm and 300mm wafer production environments.


Micronas buys X-FAB foundry business stake

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

Micronas (SIX Swiss Exchange: MASN) is acquiring a EUR10 million stake in the X-FAB Silicon Foundries Group, which is also supporting Micronas with 0.18um high-voltage CMOS process with embedded flash manufacturing.


IC market to top $300 billion in 2013

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

The IC industry, which had a phenomenal growth year in 2010, is in a cautious mode under greater macro-economic uncertainty and hesitancy. Some positive milestones are on the horizon, however, shows data within IC Insight's Mid-Year Update, such as the 200 billion IC shipment milestone in 2011, and the $300 billion mark expected in 2013.


Camtek wins patent appeal against Rudolph

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion yesterday vacating the adverse judgment against Camtek in a patent infringement case brought against it by August Technology Corp., now Rudolph Technologies Inc.


300mm wafer fab set to double within 5 years

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

Semiconductor manufacturing using 12" (300mm) wafers enables scalability for high-volume wafer fab. 300mm production will nearly double from 2010 to 2015 as IDMs and foundries recognize the value of 300mm wafers for mature products, according to IHS.


RBCN upgrages to larger sapphire wafer furnaces company-wide

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

Rubicon Technology (RBCN) completed company-wide enhancements to its proprietary crystal growth furnaces, upgrading to Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0, which produces large-diameter sapphire material with greater automation and higher yields.


MOCVD shipments stall, but restart in 2012

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

A rising LED surplus, slowed LED adoption, tighter credit in China, and other factors are converging to stall out MOCVD equipment installs in 2011. Once the LED oversupply is drained off, LED manufacturers will kickstart capacity expansions, likely in 2012, according to IMS Research.


Freescale, ATREG finally unload Scottish site

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Three years after shuttering its East Kilbride operation, Freescale sloughs off the operation to a real estate developer, though it's leasing back some of the site for R&D.


Compact workcell kits 600 wafers in cleanroom conditions

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

CHAD Industries launched the WaferMate300-2SS sorter/stocker workcell with multiple customer installations. The compact wafer buffer modules each hold 150 wafers.


Taiwan's SAS climbs wafer ranks with Japan's Covalent

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

Taiwan's Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS) is acquiring Japan's Covalent Materials' (n

KLAC debuts 20nm-node defect inspection system

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) launched the eDR-7000 electron-beam (e-beam) wafer defect review system for chip manufacturing at the 20nm device nodes and below.


Model-based mask data prep using overlapping shots for 20nm devices

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

OPC technologies use aggressive assist features with sub-80nm features on the mask to offer improved process window, and therefore yield. MB-MDP, coupled with new-generation mask-writing equipment, produces overlapping e-beam shots that result in lower shot count.


GaN-on-Si advances from Translucent and Bridgelux

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Translucent launched its Si wafer templates commerically for GaN growth, and Bridgelux set a new Lumens/W record for Gan-on-Si LEDs.


GlobalFoundries signs onto new A*STAR productivity enhancement program

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

Singapore has launched the Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre at A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. GlobalFoundries signed a 5-year Manufacturing Productivity Enhancement master plan agreement with SIMTech, working on materials recycling, wafer transport, and more.


Strong analog growth bucks semiconductor industry trend

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

Analog semiconductors will buck the trend of contraction in the overall chip industry, growing 13.8% in 2011, 8.6% in 2012, then 12.8% in 2013.


SPIE BACUS 2011: Having your cake and eating it too

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Jan Willis from the eBeam Initiative summarizes the group's annual event at SPIE BACUS 2011, with presentations on both improving wafer quality and mask write times at the 20nm node. Other presentations dealt with EUV masks and a lack of funding support.


Fab-lite business model called "sustainable," attracts converts

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

The fab-lite (or asset-lite) trend in IC industry has spread quickly and caused a good deal of debate about the future of chip making, says IC Insights in its latest research bulletin from The McClean Report. Fab-lite integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) from the US and Europe are now joined by large Japanese IC makers -- Toshiba, Renesas, Sony, and Fujitsu -- increasing utilization of third-party foundries.


How to qualify your outsource selection before you write the check

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Mark Danna, Owens Design, continues his series on the right way to outsource a project. Take these 3 steps before deciding on an outsourcing partner: Check references, consult your professional network, and do some online research.


FSI ORION single-wafer clean tool ordered for Asian foundry

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

FSI International (Nasdaq:FSII) will ship an ORION single wafer cleaning system to a leading Asian semiconductor foundry for 28nm FEOL cleaning.


Gartner: 2011 capex softer, 2012 messy

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Semiconductor equipment spending in 2011 looks to be slightly weaker than anticipated, and is looking a lot softer in 2012 across the board, according to Gartner's new semiconductor capex forecasts.


Argon increases silicon etch rate 4x

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Engineers at the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) NanoFab have developed a plasma etch/argon process that improves etch rate, mask selectivity, and the sidewall profile of silicon structures.


Applied Energy Systems building new semiconductor gas equipment plant

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Applied Energy Systems Inc. is breaking ground on its Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturing and Technology (SEMAT) Center next week. The SEMAT Center will manufacture leading edge gas source and distribution systems.


Semconductor upswing in 2012 as excesses dwindle

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Semico predicts that the semiconductor manufacturing industry is undergoing a three-quarter (Q3 2011-Q1 2012) downturn, with foundries trimming capital expenditures and OEMs holding excess inventory.


EUV lithography flare distortion correction

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography introduces new patterning distortions -- flare along with proximity effects -- that must be accurately modeled and corrected on the reticle. James Word and Christian Zuniga of Mentor Graphics discuss an all model-based approach to flare compensation.


Is PC softness dragging down Intel's 22nm plans?

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

With PC demand waning, reports indicate Intel is rethinking part of its 22nm investment plans, which would dent industrywide capex forecasts for 2012.


Picking the right outsourcing partner

Wed, 8 Aug 2011

Mark Danna, Owens Design's VP for new business development, covers the questions to ask when you’re looking for the right outsourcing partner on a particular project. This article is part of a series from Owens Design on outsourcing decisions.


SEMICON Taiwan preview: Forums span key technology, markets

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

SEMICON Taiwan (Sept. 7-9) approaches, the island's most celebrated event for microelectronics manufacturing, coorganized by SEMI and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), offers more than 60 programs and sessions and 550 exhibitors spanning the entire semiconductor value chain and related high-growth industries.


AOS goes fab-lite with 200mm wafer fab purchase

Mon, 8 Aug 2011

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor will exercise an option to acquire 200mm wafer fabrication facility assets from Integrated Device Technology, taking it from fabless to fab-lite for faster time-to-market for high-value products, along with expansion into new markets.


Stanford, UC Berkeley profs win SRC awards

Thu, 9 Sep 2011

Update: Video interviews with the award winners. Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) bestowed its Aristotle and Technical Excellence awards on teams researching TCAD IC simulation and test/validation methods on the IC fab line.


Ultratech's market/technology strategies support revenue growth

Thu, 8 Aug 2011

Scott Zafiropoulo explains Ultratech's business and positioning strategies in an interview at SEMICON West, including how the company weathers market cyclicality and prepares for a 450mm wafer-size transition.


Ultratech to expand the time/temperature space of LSA for 20nm-14nm

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

IC manufacturers are becoming more aggressive with strain engineering as they go from 28nm to more advanced nodes, explains Jeff Hebb, VP of laser product marketing at Ultratech. The company is working on a dual-beam laser-spike annealing to address requirements for 20nm and 14nm.


Nonvisual semiconductor defect metrology today, at 22nm, and below

Tue, 8 Aug 2011

Syn: Robert Newcomb from Qcept Technologies discusses non-visual defects in today's wafer fab processes, at 22nm, and in the advanced nodes below 22nm. As nodes shrink, more defects will escape optical metrology, he predicts.


Intel, GlobalFoundries, IBM, TSMC, Samsung create 450mm initiative

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

New York State has entered into agreements for $4.4 billion in investments over the next 5 years from Intel, IBM, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and Samsung to create a 450mm consortium and manufacturing center there.


Fab management, packaging, 450mm on our SEMICON Europa agenda

Tue, 9 Sep 2011

SEMICON Europa is coming up fast (Oct. 11-13), and SST (and some friends) will be reporting on-scene. Here's a summary of the presentations we're looking forward to, from the Fab Managers' Forum to conferences on test, packaging, MEMS, and hot topics including 3D ICs and 450mm.


450mm wafer sorter debuts from Crossing Automation

Mon, 9 Sep 2011

Crossing Automation Inc. launched its 450mm sorter, the Spartan 450. A leading semiconductor manufacturer has ordered the sorter, Crossing Automation reports, planning the install in Q1 2012.


Semiconductor growth cut: Echoes of 2008 recession

Fri, 9 Sep 2011

Macroeconomic factors will tug down global electronics demand in 2011, said IHS, which lowered its semiconductor revenue growth forecast for 2011. While the slowdown comes at a bad time -- pre-holiday sales season -- lessons learned in 2008 could shorten the down period significantly.


Synopsys enhances automation on volume diagnostic products

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

Synopsys enhanced its TetraMAX ATPG and Yield Explorer to improve volume diagnostics flow and speed up yield ramp for IC manufacturing. Flow in TetraMAX ATPG and Yield Explorer is automated with a new direct connection between the two products.


Vacuum gauge sensor prevents temperature drift

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

InstruTech released its Cold cathode Ionization vacuum gauge CCM501, which the company is calling its Hornet module. The CCM501 is a rugged Cold Cathode gauge based on double inverted magnetron technology. It measures pressures from 1 x 10-8 to 1 x 10-2 Torr.


SPIE BACUS: Delayed Photomask Japan 2011 in a nutshell

Wed, 9 Sep 2011

Reporting from this week's SPIE BACUS Photomask Technology conference, Franklin Kalk from Toppan Photomasks picks through the "10 best" papers that were to have been presented at Photomask Japan earlier this year.


ISMI Manufacturing Week keynote: Collaboration makes fab ramps happen

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Paul Fego from Texas Instruments, a keynote speaker at ISMI Manufacturing Week (Oct. 17-21, Austin, TX), summarizes how TI's collaborative culture can address specific semiconductor manufacturing challenges -- notably the ramps of its 300mm analog fab and assembly/test factory.


Imec, Lam Research improve wafer drying with test method

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Imec and Lam Research have developed a quantitative evaluation method for wafer drying techniques. Silicon nano-pillar test structures with high aspect ratios (up to 28) demonstrate the mechanisms of pattern collapse and sticking in the wafer drying step.


Semiconductor tool orders slide below billion-dollar mark in September

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

Awaiting "stability in the overall economic outlook," semiconductor device makers spent 40.4% less with North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment year-over-year in September 2011. The September book-to-bill ratio published by SEMI fell to 0.75.


Asian foundry selects Mattson RTP tool

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Mattson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSN) won acceptance for its Helios XP rapid thermal processing (RTP) system for process of record from a major Asian foundry.


Writing an outsourcing spec that delivers

Tue, 10 Oct 2011

Once you've chosen an outsourcing partner, focus on the details. Mark Danna of Owens Design shares how to write a project specification that is adaptable and designed to bring a project in on time and on budget.


Wafer demand isn't spread evenly around device types

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Demand for NAND devices will grow more than 20% in 2011, while DRAM demand will decline by more than 1%. Other trends? 45nm and smaller nodes are increasing market share, says Semico.


Steam + gas subsystem targets film uniformity, better wafer cleaning, and PV fab steps

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

RASIRC debuted the Steamer Turbo for specialty applications in the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries, featuring integrated gas blending control.


SEMICON Europa 2011: Hopes for 2012 growth, no room for gloom

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

ATREG's Barnett Silver reports from SEMICON Europa, where the overall mood on the show floor is optimistic yet cautious, with hope for strong growth by mid-2012. Key themes include a slowdown in 200mm demand, an elite membership for 450mm, and keen interest in MEMS.


Edwards dry pump optimized for solar, FPD, semiconductor fab

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

Edwards Limited expanded its iXH harsh process dry pump family with the iXH500H series of 500m3/h pumps optimized for flat panel display (FPD), solar, and advanced semiconductor processes requiring high gas flows and flexible pump temperature profiles.


Flat silicon wafer shipments will pick up in 2012, 2013

Wed, 10 Oct 2011

While the market has currently softened, early-2011 momentum will carry the year's semiconductor silicon sales to a higher total than 2010, said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI, noting the figures are an industry record. Growth will continue at "modest levels" through 2013.


Imec, ASML extend litho work, debut EUV sensors

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

Imec and tool vendor ASML have signed a new 5-year deal to continue collaboration on lithography technologies, both immersion and EUV, as well as associated components -- including new sensors to help calibrate lens alignment and dose.


SEMATECH ISMI roundup: Fab diagnostics, energy consumption, ESH update

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

Key themes summed up from ISMI's Manufacturing Week (Oct. 17-21) included predicting and monitoring equipment health, optimizing WIP and maintenance scheduling, reducing energy consumption at both the tool and fab-wide level, and various areas of nanomaterial health/safety concerns.


300mm wafers buck soft silicon growth trend

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

"Silicon shipments for the most recent quarter are reflecting the general hesitancy of the market,

Improved post-etch metal and oxide residue removal yields

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

Avantor Performance Materials and SSMC Inc. compare the use of a semi-aqueous post-etch ash residue remover with an industry-standard HA-based residue removal chemistry. The semi-aqueous-based product was shown to reduce COO for manufacturing of low- and high-voltage logic devices, and increase yields.


Freescale Semiconductor CEO takes SIA lead

Thu, 11 Nov 2011

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) elected Freescale Semiconductor CEO Rich Beyer as its 2012 chairman. This will be the SIA's 35th year.


ATMI pays $95M to bring SDS gas system manufacturing and sales in-house

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

ATMI has taken control of, and responsibility for, worldwide distribution of its proprietary Safe Delivery Source (SDS), gas storage and delivery system and related technologies from Matheson Tri-Gas.


450mm wafer platform from Crossing Automation offers a bridge gap solution

Tue, 11 Nov 2011

Crossing Automation Inc. introduced its Crossing Spartan 450mm Development Platform and Crossing Certon 450 Loadport. Crossing Automation's May Su discusses the product design, including single FOUP EFEM.


GlobalFoundries names CEO: Manocha keeps the job

Mon, 10 Oct 2011

GLOBALFOUNDRIES named Ajit Manocha its permanent CEO, chosen by the foundry's Board of Directors. He had served as interim CEO since June 2011.


EUV Symposium report card: EUV's past, present, and future

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

Two Wall Street analysts report their impressions from last week's EUV Symposium (Oct. 17-19 in Miami), where companies in the EUV supply chain reported their latest results and planned progress through 2012. And don't look now but there's a competition brewing in source power.


ACM Research Shanghai sells 1st 300mm megasonic clean tool

Fri, 10 Oct 2011

ACM Research Shanghai Ltd. will install its Ultra C 12" (300mm) single-wafer megasonic cleaning tool at a leading Korea-based memory manufacturer. The tool will be implemented as part of the customer

Semiconductor funding on the rise, reports GSA

Thu, 10 Oct 2011

The GSA released its September statistics for monthly, year-to-date, and year-over-year semiconductor funding, initial public offerings (IPO), and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


SICAS: Capacity comes online in 1Q08, utilization flat

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 27, 2008 - Worldwide semiconductor utilization held steady at around 90% in 1Q08, though a closer look at the numbers shows a surge of leading-edge capacity coming online at the start of the year, according to the latest quarterly statistics from Semiconductor International Capacity Statistics (SICAS).

Report: Some Japan firms see late-year chip equipment rebound

Fri, 5 May 2008
May 16, 2008 - Comments from Japanese chip equipment execs echo comments from Applied Materials earlier this week suggesting chip industry capex will be soft well into 2H08 and maybe not rebound until early 2009. Not everyone is optimistic yet, though.

Reports: China quake affects few chip firms

Wed, 5 May 2008
May 14, 2008 - Regional press reports analyzing the impact of the May 12 major earthquake in China's Sichuan province, say that most tech firms didn't suffer significant damage or losses -- with one big exception.

Report: China wooing 300mm fabs from Taiwan

Mon, 5 May 2008
May 12, 2008 - Taiwan chip assembler Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and memory firm ProMOS are being wooed by mainland Chinese officials to build a 300mm wafer fab onshore, according to the Taiwan Economic News, citing mainland press reports.

SEMI: Wafer shipments flat in 1Q08

Wed, 5 May 2008
May 7, 2008 - Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments were roughly the same in 1Q as they were in 4Q, reflecting the industry's overall conservative environment, according to data from SEMI.

Analyst: Big 4 still rule foundry roost, but Samsung moving up

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 6, 2008 - The top four foundries stayed comfortably ahead of the pack in 2007, with SMIC and Chartered still battling for third place behind TSMC and UMC, according to IC Insights. But making a big push into the top 10 is a big-name IDM with a burgeoning foundry biz of its own.

Chip heavyweights pin down 450mm date, tout "collaboration"

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 6, 2008 - Three of the world's top chipmakers -- Intel, Samsung, and TSMC -- have agreed on a due-date of 2012 to have a 450mm-wafer-capable pilot line tested and ready -- putting everyone in the semiconductor chain, from materials and equipment developers/suppliers to other chipmakers, on the clock to get 450mm technologies ready in four years.

Analyst: Metrology/inspection sector did better in 2007, but still underperformed

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 6, 2008 - The semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market grew 7.2% in 2007, according to calculations from market research firm The Information Network. Good news: That's double the ~3% growth it expected at the mid-year point. Bad news: it's still well below the 11% growth for the frontend wafer processing side of the equipment sector.

Startups hit the fast track at UK event

Fri, 5 May 2008
by Fran

SEMI: Suppliers see no net benefit in 450mm

Thu, 5 May 2008
by Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief, Solid State Technology
May 22, 2008 - For a 450mm wafer-size transition to happen, suppliers need to be convinced that their initial investments will translate into sales and won't eat into their 300mm business. But speaking at the Confab, SEMI standards VP John Ellis indicated that suppliers still think there's no benefit to them -- and he presented new data showing that the cost modeling is flawed, and that investments are better used elsewhere.

Progress amid the battle: ISMI's 450mm status report

Thu, 5 May 2008
by Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 22, 2008 - In the final ConFab 2008 session, amid the verbal volleying about whether 450mm manufacturing is needed and how would it be financed, ISMI's associate director Joe Draina reported on the progress being made in a number of areas, including the silicon wafer readiness project, wafer manufacturing infrastructure readiness, and a 450mm factory integration testbed.

True 3D needs EDA and 300mm

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - In a session discussing the economic implications of 3D ICs, Qualcomm VP Tom Gregorich noted that 3D and through-silicon vias promise better performance and potentially greater freedom for chipmakers to customize functionality -- but warned that cost of integration remains an issue, and the technology still has challenges to overcome.

Litho will get much tougher with double patterning, extensive computation

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - There's a tough road ahead for lithography, with double patterning and complex computation as well as requirements for more litho-friendly design, explained ASML's Martin van den Brink, EVP of marketing & technology, speaking at the Next Generation Lithography session at The ConFab.

Redefining fab productivity from a waste perspective

Tue, 5 May 2008
by Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief, Solid State Technology
May 20, 2008 - Taking a page out of the Toyota playbook, AMAT CTO/CMO Iddo Hadar challenged the audience at his Confab presentation to focus not on improving productivity but eliminating waste, including what he called "redistributed" waste across many semiconductor processes.

Fab facility design: When a slowdown is good

Tue, 5 May 2008
by Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
May 20, 2008 - Among the fab design trends noted by ConFab presenter Rick Whitney, COO of US operations at M+W Zander: The rapid rise in the cost of advanced processing equipment has outpaced the cost of building fabs in the last few years, though increasing facility costs are now in line with the consumer price index. And advances in cleanliness and footprints are allowing fab design rules to be a bit less stringent.

Confab keynote: Timing not right for 450mm, says AMD's Grose

Tue, 5 May 2008
by Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief, Solid State Technology
May 20, 2008 - Speaking at The ConFab in Las Vegas yesterday, AMD's Doug Grose said that the timing is not right for a transition to 450mm wafers, and suggested that the concept of the industry historically moving to a new wafer size every ten years was flawed. Given the currently bleak economic outlook and that decisions in one area can affect many others, "then what sense does it make right now to really abuse the system?"

Startups seeing the world through others' eyes

Fri, 5 May 2008
by Françoise von Trapp, contributing editor, Solid State Technology
May 16, 2008 - Born Global, held last week in Bath, UK, focused on leveraging international partnerships with industry analysts and experts from successful start-ups offering insight and advice sharing their own philosophies and paths to success. The target audience was clearly potential silicon start-ups, though venture capital recruiters and other consultants were represented among the 100+ attendees.

450mm by 2012: Between the lines of PR lingo

Tue, 5 May 2008
by James Montgomery, News Editor, Solid State Technology
May 13, 2008 - Some big chipmakers are eager to transition to 450mm wafers because of cost savings, but resistant semiconductor equipment/materials suppliers are still smarting from their 300mm investment burden and lower-than-hoped returns. After a lot of saber-rattling on both sides, a toned-down PR from Intel/Samsung/TSMC might be the first step for both sides to finally move forward with 450mm development.

Two different approaches to integrated MEMS

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Dick James, Senior Technology Advisor, Chipworks
May 12, 2008 - After the 45nm hype of the last few months, let's go to the other end of the CMOS scale and examine some interesting MEMS devices that are leading the penetration into new markets like consumer electronics -- and would not have been manufacturable without the deep etching processes that have evolved over the last few years.

Report: Tatung eyeing PV inroads

Tue, 5 May 2008
May 27, 2008 - Taiwan electronics congolomerate Tatung reportedly plans to add a high-margin photovoltaics segment to its arsenal by year's end.

TSMC announces entry into MEMS market

Mon, 5 May 2008
May 5, 2008 - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) has unveiled plans to enter the MEMS business, presenting a roadmap of the MEMS process and desires to cover trends in MEMS production at "CMOS integrated MEMS foundries," according to Nikkei Microdevices magazine.

Novellus tips strip clean tools for logic, memory

Tue, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
May 20, 2008 - Kevin Jennings, VP and GM of Novellus' surface integrity division, tells WaferNEWS about the product evolution that has led to >400wph bulk stripping and >100wph for crusty implanted wafers -- as embodied in two new variations on the company's Gamma multi-station sequential processing architecture, targeting high-volume memory and logic/foundry fabs.

Edge: the final cleaning frontier

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
May 7, 2008 - Applied Materials product manager Paul Miller tells WaferNEWS about the inner workings of the company's new Inflexion edge polishing system that uses mechanical abrasion for removing defects on the wafer edge, touting 2× faster throughput than "competing" tools and an inherently "green" process.

Economics may drive push to 3D ICs, says SEMATECH's Arkalgud

Wed, 5 May 2008
by Bob Haavind, Editorial Director, Solid State Technology
May 21, 2008 - Beyond today's stacked chips in a package may come higher performance 3D stacked ICs using through-silicon vias to interconnect layers, according to Sitaram Arkalgud, who spoke on the economic implications of 3D at the ConFab in Las Vegas.

New tool takes on flicker noise

Mon, 5 May 2008
by Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief, Solid State Technology
May 19, 2008 - Cascade Microtech says its new Edge test system measures flicker noise in ICs, seen as a barrier to lowering device operating voltages as geometries shrink. The company also is launching an initiative to integrate measurements systems to provide users with measurement accuracy assurance.

MEMS at SEMICON West: Smaller consumer die creates need for new etch, clean processes

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
by Dr. Paula Doe, Contributing Editor, Solid-State Technology
New technologies in MEMS etching is one of the hot topics at this year's SEMICON West (July 13-17, San Francisco). Growing demand for MEMS systems in consumer gear means higher volumes and price pressures, so device-makers are shrinking geometry die to cut costs -- and the finer processes needed on those smaller die may require new kinds of etching and cleaning processes.

SVTC opens solar R&D center, names first partner & customer

Wed, 6 Jun 2008
June 25, 2008 - SVTC Technologies has officially opened its Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center in San Jose, with a new solar-cell manufacturing line, solar-module certification equipment, and a major silicon-wafer solar cell customer.

Selete refines e-CMP for global interconnect

Tue, 6 Jun 2008
by Ed Korczynski, senior technical editor, Solid State Technology
Among highlights of this year's IITC was a renewed interest in novel "unit processes" for many applications. One highlight: Selete's work with Roki Techno on a hybrid electro-CMP technology to provide electrical contacts in a standard Accretech CMP tool, initially targeted at formation of global interconnects using Cu and low-k dielectrics.

Toshiba, IBM tip CMOS FET with improved direct silicon bonding

Mon, 6 Jun 2008
Toshiba and IBM say they have developed a higher-performance CMOS FET by increasing device-channel hole mobility through a modification of direct silicon bonding (DSB), a hybrid of (100) and (110) substrates, rather than new materials such as high-k and metal gates and new structures.

NIST: Good news, bad news in EUV resist sensitivity study

Fri, 6 Jun 2008
June 27, 2008 - Results presented earlier this year at a SEMATECH workshop indicate that photoresists being developed for use in EUV lithography are twice as sensitive as previously measured. But since exposure times haven't changed, that means the rest of EUV demo systems are only half as effective as they should be -- and the search is on to find out why.

SEMI: Taiwan, Korea drove 2007 chip equipment sales

Tue, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 25, 2008 - Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment increased about 5.7% in 2007, almost entirely due to a spending splurge by Taiwan firms and to a lesser extent Korea, and underpinned by extensive memory investments and the continued ramp of 300mm wafer manufacturing, according to the latest data from SEMI.

Spansion: $50M/Q savings thanks to manufacturing gains

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 19, 2008 - Spansion says it has achieved manufacturing efficiencies in its plants in the US and Japan to the extent that it expects to reduce outsourced work by ~$50M/quarter in 1H08 vs. 2H07.

SEMI: Chip tool demand ticks up in Feb.

Wed, 3 Mar 2008
Mar. 19, 2008 - Demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment continues to improve with a couple of notable bright spots, though the market is still showing softness and lower growth than a year ago, according to the latest monthly data from SEMI.

Terafab addresses mask requalification, but more's needed

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
by M. David Levenson, Editor-In-Chief, Microlithography World
Feb. 15, 2008 - An odd thing happened on the way to 65nm chip technology -- perfectly good photomasks started going bad after a few hundred wafer exposures, due to the deposition of crystal-like defects. If detected, they can be cleaned off and the $100k mask re-used. KLA-Tencor says its new suite of tools can requalify masks in the fab, avoiding yield crashes (though occasionally delaying production).

Rohm & Haas, IBM eye Cu CMP for 32nm-22nm

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 27, 2008 - Rohm & Haas Electronic Materials/CMP Technologies and IBM are adding to their collaborative plate, with a pact to develop CMP processes for integrating copper and low-k dielectrics, in order to create copper CMP consumables for 32nm and 22nm device manufacturing.

SPIE: Philips, XTREME push EUV source to 500W

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 27, 2008 - Presenting at the SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium, Philips Extreme UV and XTREME Technologies offered proof-of-principle experiment results showing their gas-discharge plasma source can be scaled to 100kHz operation frequency, which translates to a record 500W EUV source power -- more than enough to meet requirements for high-volume semiconductor manufacturing.

SPIE NEWS: HamaTech, SEMATECH tout EUV mask blank cleaning work

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 26, 2008 - HamaTech says its advanced modular processing platform, MaskTrack, has achieved "all critical SEMATECH roadmap milestones" for cleaning EUV mask blanks, with demonstrated successful removal of all particles at 30nm and greater, as well as "a number of" 10nm defects, seen as necessary for 22nm semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Updated: Nikon's double-patterning tool due by 4Q08

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 20, 2008 - Nikon Corp. says it will have an "enhanced" version of its NSR-S610C ArF immersion scanner, optimized for double-patterning lithography process, ready for customers by 4Q08, billing the upgrade as a "low-risk solution" for developing double-patterning technology for use at the 32nm node.

Rudolph, SEMATECH, Albany forge process characterization pact

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 20, 2008 - Rudolph Technologies and SEMATECH are establishing an international process characterization program to develop process, analysis, and characterization technology targeting 32nm and beyond semiconductor manufacturing. Work will be headquartered at the U. of Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Rudolph says it is the first semiconductor equipment supplier to join SEMATECH's metrology program at Albany.

IEST posts method for organic outgassing

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 15, 2008 - The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) has published a newly revised "recommended practice" addressing characterization of organic compounds outgassed from materials or components exposed to air or gases in cleanrooms and other controlled environments.

SEMATECH hits EUV blank defect target

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 11, 2008 - SEMATECH says it has demonstrated defect density of 0.04/cm2 for EUV mask blanks, with a total of 8 defects combined from substrate and multilayer, surpassing the consortium's published commercial EUV mask blank roadmap target for the end of 2007.

Backend resist clean firm seeks China patent

Fri, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 8, 2008 - Legacy Holding, a provider of wafer cleaning/strip technologies, says it has submitted a patent application for its proprietary "Organostrip" photoresist removal technology used in backend semiconductor manufacturing processes, saying that opportunities in China's IC industry make it a sweet spot for business.

ISSCC: TI discloses 45nm details

Tue, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 5, 2008 - At this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Texas Instruments is disclosing process and design information about its 45nm process-based 3.5G baseband and multimedia processor, which offers 55% better performance and uses 63% less power than the 65nm version.

SEMI: Wafer shipments rose 8% in 2007

Wed, 2 Feb 2008
Feb. 6, 2008 - Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments came in right around SEMI's revised projections in 2007, squeaking back into positive growth territory by year's end, according to the latest data from SEMI's SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG).