Applied Materials (AMAT) To Collaborate With DISCO Corporation On Wafer Thinning Technology

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08:48:38 am on March 30, 2009

Applied Materials just announced a collaboration with DISCO Corp to develop wafer thinning processes for manufacturing through-silicon vias in 3-dimensional semiconductors. The companies will combine respective skills to develop standardized processing procedures to lower the cost, reduce the risk and increase the speed of manufacturing next-generation through-silicon via chips.

From a company press release, here’s more about the technical side of the process, what each company will bring to the collaboration, and why it is important:

Through-silicon via technology is a new method that enables higher density, lower-power devices in a smaller footprint by vertically stacking chips. To make this 3-D stack, each chip or wafer layer must be reduced in thickness by up to 90% and bonded to a temporary carrier in order to maintain structural integrity during the thermal and mechanical stresses of semiconductor processing.

Combining DISCO’s precision grinding equipment with Applied’s etch, dielectric deposition, physical vapor deposition and chemical mechanical planarization systems, the two companies expect to develop wafer thinning and post-thinning processes of wafers bonded to silicon and glass carriers. Some of the key technical requirements in developing manufacturing-worthy equipment and process solutions are wafer structural and edge integrity, handling, dimensional control, particle control, stress management and thermal profile control.

Hans Stork, group VP and chief technology officer of Applied’s Silicon Systems Group, commented on the collaboration:

“We’re pleased to work with DISCO to advance this exciting and disruptive technology. Our strategy to collaborate with DISCO and other leading equipment suppliers is an innovative way of doing business that can deliver robust solutions to mitigate our customers’ risk and lower the overall cost of device fabrication on ultra-thin substrates.”

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