Orbotech announces collaboration between SPTS and Fraunhofer on process development of wafer level packaging

Orbotech Ltd. today announced that SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech company and a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, is collaborating with Fraunhofer IZM, an international institute specializing in applied and industrial contract research, on next generation wafer level packaging of microelectronic devices.  

“To meet the technical requirements of future microelectronic products, 3D-IC architectures using through silicon vias (TSVs) are being employed to overcome scaling limits while delivering better device performance,” stated Kevin Crofton, President of SPTS Technologies and Corporate VP at Orbotech. “SPTS has over 300 DRIE modules being used for advanced packaging applications around the world. Together with Fraunhofer IZM, we aim to develop the techniques needed for cost-effective volume manufacturing of 2.5D and 3D-IC devices.”

For the joint development project, Fraunhofer IZM is using SPTS’ Rapier process module to etch a range of silicon features, such as deep cavities and tapered or vertical TSVs with high aspect ratios.  Leveraging its multi-process capability, the Rapier is also used for other 3D processes, including blanket Si etching for via reveal, post grind stress relief and general wafer thinning.  The Rapier carries SPTS’ endpoint detection (EPD) systems: Claritas for etches to stop layers and low exposed areas, and ReVia, the industry’s only in-situ EPD for via reveal etching, ensuring repeatable and accurate exposure of TSV tips from the wafer back-side, at via densities as low as 0.01 percent.  With the APM CVD chamber, Fraunhofer IZM is benefiting from SPTS’ ability to deposit PECVD SiN/SiO film stacks at <190°C with tunable stress, low electrical leakage and excellent diffusion barrier performance. Both technologies are on the single Versalis fxP platform, saving capex and valuable floor space.  The ability to run multiple process recipes inside the same system gives Fraunhofer IZM significant flexibility: a valuable resource when working with clients from diverse sectors including automotive, healthcare and industrial electronics.

Martin Wilke, the expert in plasma etching at Fraunhofer IZM, commented, “Our researchers and customers expect us to use the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The SPTS Versalis fxP system was selected for our cleanroom facility in Berlin as it combines industry leading DRIE and CVD modules on a single platform, with the option to add additional modules as our capacity demands increase. The multi-technology Versalis fxP allowed us to reduce initial capital outlay and therefore cost of ownership, within a small footprint.”

Crofton added, “Fraunhofer IZM is a leading institute with a key competence in wafer level packaging and system integration. By working with renowned R&D institutes who specialize in industry-oriented applied research, we are able to provide our customers with production ready wafer processing solutions that give them competitive advantage and lower their cost of manufacture.”

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