It’s only Tuesday, and already, it’s been a productive week for 3D news.
Yesterday, SUSS and 3M announced an agreement in which SUSS becomes an authorized equipment supplier for 3M’s temporary bond and debond process. As such, SUSS’s 300mm wafer bonders will be configured to support 3M’s process and materials. This ties in to SUSS’s 3D strategy, which according to Wilfried Bair, general manager, Wafer Bonder Division, SUSS MicroTec, is to provide “a flexible, modular platform” configurable to customer needs. He recently explained to me that how you debond depends on the materials you bond with. Carrier wafer processes have been used in manufacturing high power devices for years, but the requirements around 3D are different, when you consider that instead of 200mm wafers, you’re potentially dealing with 300mm wafers thinned to 50µm. The fewer the steps, and lower the temperature, the better. So the advantages to the 3M process is that there’s only one carrier wafer step involved, it’s fast, clean, and can be done at room temperature.
Today, Alchimer SA, made a three-fold announcement, leading off with the news that it received its 3rd round of funding in the amount of $10M to expand customer-support programs and pursue new IP development. This is a significant achievement given the current economic climate. Additionally, the company formally welcomed Kathy Cook aboard as business development manager, who brings a solid background from previous positions at SUSS MicroTec, Applied Materials, Millipore, and ULVAC Technologies. (Incidentally Kathy, don’t let them call you “veteran” again in a press release. It makes you sound MUCH older than you are.) Alchimer also announced an agreement with Nagase Ltd., a Tokyo-based marketing firm, to help them meet the demand of the Japanese market.This news, coupled with last week’s announcement that the company had achieved an 80% reduction in cost-of-ownership for its egViaCoat processes indicates that this company is really on to something with this low-cost wet deposition alternative for TSV copper seed.
Lastly, DEK international stepped into the 3D arena, combining efforts with CHAD to incorporate DEK’s thin wafer system with CHAD’s wafer handler, thereby addressing traditional challenges associated with high-speed handling and processing of thinned wafers for emerging 3D packaging, wafer coating and ball placement processes. The companies plan to demonstrate their capabilities during SEMICON West. I look forward to learning more about this at the show.
Individually, these announcements have nothing to do with one another, but collectively, they can be used to illustrate how the industry is addressing some of the remaining critical areas of 3D integration with TSV interconnects. Insulator barrier/ seed, and wafer bonding; — particularly temporary bonding and debonding — and thin wafer handling have been pointed out as areas still needing cost-effective solutions. Looks like we’re making progress. – F.v.T.