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EV Group unveils wafer bonding system for 450mm SOI wafers

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Product Briefing Outline: EV Group has introduced the semiconductor industry's first bonding system for 450-mm-diameter wafers manufactured from silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates. The EVG850SOI/450mm was created to support and facilitate the industry transition to 450mm wafers from the current 300mm standard.

Problem:
Because IC cost per square centimeter (cost/cm2) approximately doubles each decade, however, the industry has undergone a coincident transition in wafer size every eight to 10 years – while continuing to scale feature sizes – in order to stay on the path of Moore's Law.  SOI is expected to play an enabling role in the shift to 450 mm, as it not only answers most of the scaling challenges, but it also delivers better power/performance for sub-22-nm CMOS and 3D technologies compared to similar-geometry bulk CMOS.

Solution: Wafer bonding is a crucial technique for fabricating SOI wafers, as it enables achievement of high-quality, single-crystal silicon films on one insulating layer to form SOI substrates.  The new EVG850SOI/450-mm wafer bonding system leverages EVG's strengths in wafer bonding technology to create a fully automated tool for production-level fabrication of SOI wafers.  Moreover, because chipmakers will need an interim solution to optimize productivity for existing 300mm capacity as the migration to 450 mm proceeds over the next few years, the system can serve as a bridge tool, allowing processing of both wafer sizes. The EVG850SOI/450 mm consists of two process modules: a cleaning module for cleaning and pre-conditioning of wafers before wafer bonding, and an SOI pre-bonding module.  In the pre-bonding module, the two silicon wafers are joined together either in a vacuum or in an atmospheric chamber.  

Applications:
450-mm-diameter wafers manufactured from silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates.

Platform:
The tool is equipped with state-of-the-art 450mm load ports and front opening unified pods (FOUPs).  Most of the particle and metal ion contamination tests will be performed on 300mm wafers due to the lack of 450-mm metrology systems.  The first tool in EVG's 450mm arsenal, the new bonder will serve as the key starting point for the production of 450mm SOI wafers, and can be utilized for the development of other EV Group 450-mm products, such as mask aligners and coating systems.  An extension of the system with additional modules is planned as a further step to increase wafer throughput.

Availability:
The fall 2011.

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