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Posted: July 8, 2008
EV Group Supplies 300-mm Equipment to STMicroelectronics for the Manufacture of Image Sensors Using TSV Technology
(Nanowerk News) EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer-bonding and lithography equipment for the advanced semiconductor and packaging, MEMS, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and emerging nanotechnology markets, today announced it has received a major multi-million-euro order from STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) for its 300-mm bonding, alignment and photoresist processing tools. EVG's fully automated tools are successfully installed at ST's 300-mm through-silicon-via (TSV) pilot line in Crolles,France and used in the manufacture of CMOS imaging sensors (CIS).
Industry experts have anticipated that the first products that feature TSV technology are expected to hit the market in 2008 and will include flash memory and image sensors, similar to what ST is developing with the help of EVG's 300-mm solutions. The production of these devices by a high-volume manufacturer (HVM) like ST marks a significant validation milestone for this technology, which is still in its infancy. TSV adoption, however, continues to rapidly gain traction, given its demonstrated advantages that include higher performance, increased functionality, a smaller footprint and lower power consumption. Recognizing the potential early on, EVG has been a champion of bringing this technology to market commercialization. Key to this effort, the company is a founding member of the EMC-3D international consortium, which is chartered with developing the 3D market infrastructure by demonstrating a cost-effective, manufacturable, stackable TSV interconnection technology.
According to Gareth Bignell, Program Manager, 300mm Equipment Selection, STMicroelectronics, "ST is committed to accelerating the manufacturing of 3D TSV-based devices into high volume. As such, we're turning to trusted suppliers, like EVG, who can help us maintain our competitive edge by minimizing manufacturing risks, while increasing the speed of implementation and time to market. At the same time, we also expect nothing less than superior and comprehensive service and support so that our facility can continue to run at benchmark levels -- we expect that EVG's solid and dependable support will continue to be a significant help in this area."
"We are extremely pleased with the confidence ST, a long-standing customer of our 200-mm solutions, now also has in our leading-edge 300-mm portfolio, which is ideally suited for the burgeoning, but complex, 3D-TSV market. Yet, we believe TSV technology holds tremendous potential and we are poised and committed to being a key player in this space," said EVG's Executive Technology Director, Paul Lindner. "This milestone order from ST is testament to our ability to meet this chipmaker's rigorous demands for reliable performance, uniformity and repeatability -- backed, of course, by our unwavering 24/7 customer support," he added.
According to Lindner, a number of factors contributed to the company's recent win with ST over the competition. Specifically, EVG's new NanoSpray photoresist coating processing capabilities for steep topographies, along with its IQ Aligner's proven ability to deliver precise and reliable lithography backside alignment, are both unparalleled in the industry. This, coupled with EVG's bonder, demonstrated high uniformity at 300mm -- and the company's comprehensive service and dedicated onsite support were critical factors behind this most recent purchasing decision by ST. EVG reports that the ST order also included its EVG150 Coater and EVG150 Developer, which in conjunction with its NanoSpray technology, consistently deliver highly uniform coats with low material usage and improved repeatability.
EV Group will be exhibiting at SEMICON West, July 15-17, 2008 at the Moscone Center inSan Francisco, Calif., USA. Editors and analysts interested in learning more about the company and its complete product range for 3D interconnect and TSV are invited to visit EVG's booth #5429 (North Hall).
About EV Group (EVG)
EV Group (EVG) is a world leader in wafer-processing solutions for semiconductor, MEMS and nanotechnology applications. Through close collaboration with its global customers, the company implements its flexible manufacturing model to develop reliable, high-quality, low-cost-of-ownership systems that are easily integrated into customers' fab lines. Key products include wafer bonding, lithography/nanoimprint lithography (NIL) and metrology equipment, as well as photoresist coaters, cleaners and inspection systems.
In addition to its dominant share of the market for wafer bonders, EVG holds a leading position in NIL and lithography for advanced packaging and MEMS. Along these lines, the company co-founded the EMC-3D consortium in 2006 to create and help drive implementation of a cost-effective through-silicon via (TSV) process for major ICs and MEMS/sensors. Other target semiconductor- related markets include silicon-on-insulator (SOI), compound semiconductor and silicon-based power-device solutions.
Founded in 1980, EVG is headquartered inSt. Florian,Austria, and operates via a global customer support network, with subsidiaries inTempe, AZ;Albany, NY;Yokohama andFukuoka, Japan;Seoul, Korea and Chung-Li, Taiwan. The company's unique Triple i-approach (invent - innovate - implement) is supported by a vertical integration, allowing EVG to respond quickly to new technology developments, apply the technology to manufacturing challenges and expedite device manufacturing in high volume. More information is available at http://www.EVGroup.com.