Posted: January 28, 2010

Cascade Microtech, Inc. and SUSS MicroTec AG Agree to Pursue Technology Alliance

(Nanowerk News) Cascade Microtech, a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures, and SUSS MicroTec AG, a leading supplier of equipment and process solutions for the semiconductor industry and related markets, announced today that they have agreed to pursue a strategic alliance to address the growing device complexities of emerging semiconductor technologies such as 3D TSV manufacturing and test.
Since the 1960s, the lithographic scaling of chips, often referred to as Moore's Law, has enabled semiconductor companies to exponentially increase chip speed, functionality and complexity while reducing cost at the same time. As companies drive transistor dimensions below 32 nm, the performance and cost improvements of chip scaling become less favorable and interconnects -- the tiny wires between transistors -- increasingly limit any performance gains. To address these interconnect bottlenecks, emerging 3D methodologies stack one or more chips or wafers to route between layers. Adoption of 3D TSV (Through-Silicon Via) is the ultimate in 3D integration providing higher performance, reduced noise, smaller device form factor, and modularity in construction at potentially lower cost.
By pursuing a strategic alliance, the two companies hope to bring innovative approaches to the 3D TSV manufacturing processes. Both companies expect to use their associations with leading research organizations such as IMEC, as well as industry partnerships, to gain insight into this cutting-edge methodology driving beyond Moore's Law. Further collaboration with device and reliability experts would allow the alliance to address the complexities and interactions of semiconductor bonding and test probing for next-generation semiconductor devices.
"SUSS MicroTec shares Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop the most advanced technologies for the continued improvement of semiconductor technologies," said Frank P. Averdung, President and CEO of SUSS MicroTec AG. "The comprehensive knowledge of the two companies will enable both companies to better address the issues inherent in 3D integration."
"Our proposed strategic alliance with SUSS MicroTec would reinforce Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop practical solutions for leading-edge technologies that increasingly rely on new structures for continued performance improvement," said F. Paul Carlson, Chairman and CEO of Cascade Microtech, Inc. "We look forward to collaborating with SUSS MicroTec on innovative ways to characterize and evaluate new design methodologies and manufacturing processes, which will benefit our common customers, as well as the industries we serve."
About Cascade Microtech, Inc.
Cascade Microtech, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions that need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to electrical data from wafers, integrated circuits (ICs), IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, biological structures, 3D TSV, LED devices and more. Cascade Microtech's leading-edge semiconductor production test products include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips.
Source: Cascade Microtech (press release)
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