Foundries, IDMs will catalyze broad adoption of 3D/TSV and NIL

Paul Lindner, Executive Technology Officer, EV Group, St. Florian/Inn, Austria

The macroeconomic issues that plagued the second half of 2008 will continue to impact the semiconductor and MEMS markets in 2009, specifically in segments that are automotive and consumer-product driven. Despite the effects, companies in these markets remain committed to innovation, and in turn, are expected to continue to invest in new manufacturing technologies (e.g., 3D/TSVs and nanoimprint lithography) to bring to market novel devices. We expect to see manufacturers first apply 3D/TSV and nanoimprint lithography technologies to low hanging fruit — for example, devices that are driven by stringent form factor and performance requirements.

As the industry strives to keep pace with Moore’s Law for advanced nodes, scaling down toward the 32nm and 22nm geometries significantly impacts device yield and performance. To overcome these challenges, manufacturers will continue to look toward 3D/TSV and nanoimprint lithography techniques, specifically for the manufacture of devices designed to be failure intolerant. Examples include 3D memory, which we expect to see brought to market in 2009, and chipsets with increased functional density. These new technologies will also impact the manufacture of backside-illuminated CMOS image sensors, where meeting cost, performance and quality requirements are critical.

Paving the road to increase adoption are the signature early new technology adopters — IDMs and foundries — that are driven by mobile consumer product development. In 2009, we expect to see these adopters establishing and proving the processes, which in turn will catalyze industry-wide adoption of 3D/TSV and nanoimprint lithography through the year and into 2010.

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