EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, today announced that SEMATECH, the global consortium of chipmakers, has selected EVG's fully automated 300-mm GEMINI(R) wafer bonder for enabling next-generation TSV and 3D interconnects.
This order represents the industry's first fully automated 300-mm wafer bonder to integrate all four types of wafer bonding techniques into one system: thermo compression bonding, fusion bonding, temporary bonding and chip-to-wafer bonding. The EVG system will be installed in SEMATECH's 3D R&D Center at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's (CNSE) Albany NanoTech Complex in Q4 2009.
With the rising demand for smaller, more functional and lower- power chips, 3D architecture is emerging as the clear approach for meeting leading-edge consumer device requirements. As collaboration on TSV/3D intensifies, barriers continue to be broken down thereby speeding industry-wide technology adoption among memory and CMOS manufacturers.
"SEMATECH has been involved in 3D research for several years, and we are committed to building a strong infrastructure to pave the way for volume production of TSVs," noted Sitaram Arkalgud, director of SEMATECH's 3D Interconnect Program. "Wafer and die bonding are key processes for 3D interconnects, and the EVG wafer bonding technology will provide various bonding capabilities that allow our researchers to aggressively address technical challenges in bonding next- generation TSVs, a critical requirement for successful introduction of 3D interconnects."
Paul Lindner, EVG's executive technology director, said, "SEMATECH has one of the world's most advanced R&D programs on 3D interconnect technology. This is a tremendous opportunity for EV Group to contribute to this top-level program, which includes the industry's leading experts throughout the 3D IC value chain. We've already achieved post-copper bond alignment results well in advance of our 2010 targets, and we look forward to this important collaboration with SEMATECH and seeing 3D technology continue to gain traction as the technology of choice for high-volume memory and CMOS manufacturers."
Richard Brilla, CNSE Vice President for Strategy, Alliances and Consortia, said, "The addition of EVG's wafer bonding technology will enhance both the leading-edge nanoelectronics research being conducted through the SEMATECH-CNSE partnership, and the world- class capabilities at CNSE's state-of-the-art Albany NanoTech Complex. The result will be accelerated development and commercialization of innovative technologies for the benefit of our corporate partners, as well as the global nanoelectronics industry."
Today, EVG's fully automated 300-mm GEMINI wafer bonder systems are used for high-volume wafer bonding applications for MEMS, 3D IC integration and advanced packaging, as well as compound semiconductor applications. The system purchased by SEMATECH is based on the flexible, field-proven GEMINI platform and integrates the company's SmartViewNT series announced in December 2008. Up until now, room-temperature fusion bonding and high-temperature, high-force thermo compression bonding were processed on two separate tools. This next-generation design can combine all of these bonding capabilities into one system for maximum R&D flexibility. Alternatively, it can be configured for a specific process flow to maximize productivity in a manufacturing environment.
Both Lindner and Arkalgud are panelists on the BrightSpots(SM) 3D IC Forum, a unique three-weeklong online discussion on 3D IC developments. The panel is now live and will conclude Friday, July 24, 2009. To join the discussion or find out what the experts are saying, visit www.semineedle.com/MCA3DIC. You can also follow BrightSpots activities on Twitter at #MCA3DIC.