SPTS wins Sigma® fxP PVD System Order from TowerJazz

Global specialty foundry chooses SPTS’ Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technology for advanced power device manufacturing 

NEWPORT, Wales, 6 Dec, 2010—SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a supplier of advanced capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor and related markets, today announced an order win for its Sigma® fxPTM PVD system from TowerJazz, (TSEM) in Israel, a world leading foundry for specialty wafer fabrication solutions. The Sigma® fxPTM cluster system will be primarily used for thick metal deposition in power device manufacturing, as well as providing additional production capacity for conventional conductor layers on CMOS logic products. The system is expected to be deployed in the first quarter of 2011 at TowerJazz’s facility in Migdal Haemek, Israel. 

An aluminum (Al) conductor layer is generally defined as “thick” when it exceeds 3 microns (µm), and thick layers are commonly used in the manufacture of power management devices. Depositing thick Al alloy films at high rates for extended periods is typically challenging. The chamber furniture is subject to significant thermal radiation, and when uncontrolled, very hot surfaces can outgas and contaminate the growing film resulting in ‘extrusions’ or ‘whiskers.’ These spikes of Al protrude from the surface of the film and result in yield loss. The Sigma fxP hardware is thermally managed and routinely deposits thick films from 3 µm to in excess of 10 µm without pausing – showing virtually no extrusions with deposition rates faster than 1.3 µm per minute. 

“Our selection came down to two PVD systems from different vendors; and the Sigma fxP was eventually chosen for higher throughput. Sigma fxP demonstrated its capability in preventing extrusions at high rates, translating into better throughput and lower cost of ownership for us,” said Zmira Lavie, vice president, Process Engineering R&D and general manager, Technology Optimization Process Services Business Unit at TowerJazz. “An analysis that showed a two times higher throughput, and taking into consideration the level of engineering support during demonstration phase, complete with best known method (BKM) recipes made the decision to buy the Sigma system an easy one.” 

Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president, and managing director of Single Wafer Division at SPTS added, “We are very proud to win a new application at TowerJazz, a customer whom we have worked with for many years. We understand the requirements for process systems that can enhance their products and services, so it’s important that we support that technology need with production-worthy systems.”

About the Sigma® fxPTM PVD System

The award-winning Sigma® fxPTM is a single-wafer cluster tool designed for high-volume PVD processing, offering excellent process control with high throughput. It is a highly flexible system supporting various process chamber configurations and combinations to address a large variety of specific applications. Deposition process modules are based on a standard design that enables simple technology upgrades and wafer size conversions.

Key applications for the Sigma® fxPTM include, very thick Al alloys for power device and next generation CMOS bondpads, ionized and conventional PVD for 3D-IC and wafer level packaging as well as highly uniform aluminium nitride (AlN) for RFMEMS devices.


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