EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, today announced it has received an order for its GEMINI fully automated wafer bonding system from Sensonor Technologies AS--a pioneer in the manufacture of MEMS sensors. The GEMINI system will be installed at Sensonor's wafer fab in Horten, Norway, where it will be used in the production of microbolometers--sensors used for thermal imaging.
According to market research firm, Yole Developpement, the microbolometer market is projected to grow in revenue from $220 million in 2010 to $380 million in 2015--a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4 percent. This growth is being fueled by demand for a variety of thermal imaging applications, such as thermal cameras for pedestrian protection systems in automobiles, night vision systems for military and security use, imaging systems to improve building construction, and process monitoring systems for a number of commercial and industrial applications. To achieve the unit cost reductions required to meet this rising demand, MEMS manufacturers need advanced process equipment and expertise that will enable them to produce microbolometers at high throughput and high yield. EVG's fully automated GEMINI wafer bonder provides an integral component in the manufacturing process to enable cost-effective production of microbolometers.
"As a leading manufacturer of MEMS sensors, it is critical that our suppliers have extensive MEMS process know-how and solutions that can support our latest product development and manufacturing efforts. This is particularly important for wafer bonding, which is an integral part of our advanced MEMS manufacturing process," stated Gjermund Kittilsland, senior manager, technology development, Sensonor. "As with the pioneering days, we've again leveraged EVG's leading-edge wafer bonding solutions and appreciate EVG's continued process support and expertise in high-vacuum bonding technology to help us in becoming a world-class supplier in thermal imagers as well."
EVG's GEMINI platform is a field-proven, production manufacturing solution for high-volume wafer bonding applications for MEMS, 3D IC integration, advanced packaging and compound semiconductor applications. The system is configured for high-vacuum low-temperature fusion bonding and high-vacuum metal bonding, which is critical for bolometer/thermal imaging device production. Unmatched heating, cooling and vacuum performance--including highly uniform heat distribution across the wafer--provides the high throughput and high bond yields needed to support current and future MEMS device manufacturing applications.
"EVG and Sensonor--two MEMS pioneers--have had a long history of working together to enable new technologies and applications. We're pleased to have the opportunity to work with them again in helping them to expand into the microbolometer market," stated Paul Lindner, EVG's executive technology director. "Microbolometer manufacturing is an exciting new market for EVG. Moreover, it provides a unique opportunity to extend our leadership in the MEMS arena with our enabling, production-worthy wafer bonding solutions."
The GEMINI's modular design offers customers a highly flexible and extendible platform that allows them to incorporate pre-processing options such as cleaning and plasma activation modules, as well as additional bond chambers to augment throughput. Additionally, this fully automated wafer bonding system integrates EVG's SmartViewNT aligner, which yields precision alignment accuracy, as well as wafer handling expertise into one wafer bonding platform. EVG has an installed base of more than 150 automated wafer bonding systems in the field.
EVG will be exhibiting at SEMICON Europa 2010, which is being held October 19-21 at the Messe Dresden in Dresden, Germany. Editors and analysts interested in learning more about the company, its latest-generation wafer bonding solutions and other recent developments are invited to visit EVG's booth #1568 (Hall 1).