i-Micronews: Q&A with Richard Barnett about SPTS's Plasma Dicing solutions, position in the industry and vision of the market

15th December, 2016: Manufacturing

Read the full article at: http://www.i-micronews.com/manufacturing/8534-plasma-dicing-die-quality-differentiator.html


Driven by rising demand for thinner wafers and stronger die, dicing technology is evolving. According to Yole Développement in its Thin Wafer Processing & Dicing Equipment Market report, the dicing equipment market reached more than US$100 million in 2015 and will double by 2020-2021.

Indeed, thin wafers are creating new challenges of significant interest in the dicing equipment industry such as die breakage, chipping, low die strength, handling issues and dicing damage...

Today, the most common dicing technology applied across memory, logic, MEMS, RFID and power devices is mechanical dicing, also known as blade dicing. However, companies are showing a growing need for thinner wafers and smaller devices in general and Yole sees a trend towards adopting alternative dicing technologies. These include stealth dicing and plasma dicing based on deep reactive ion etching technology.


Yole Développement had the opportunity to discuss with Richard Barnett, Etch Product Manager at SPTS Technologies (an Orbotech company) about their products, position in the industry and vision of the market.


Yole Développement (YD): Can you introduce SPTS/Orbotech’s product line, its history and current activity?

Richard Barnett (RB): SPTS Technologies designs, manufactures and supplies industry leading etch, PVD, CVD and inkjet process solutions to the global semiconductor and microelectronics industry. We were formed in 2009 but our history goes back more than 40 years starting with Electrotech and then Trikon Technologies, STS and Aviza Technology. In August 2014, we were acquired by Orbotech and operate as their Semiconductor Device business. 

We supply our wafer processing equipment and technologies to the world's leading semiconductor and microelectronic device manufacturers and research institutions, including the top 5 OSATS for TSV, UBM, RDL and Fan-out, 27 of the top 30 MEMS manufacturers, all 20 MEMS foundries, and many of the top 10 power and RF device manufacturers. We have dedicated local sales and customer support for our global installed base through our international offices.


YD: Which market(s) mainly drive(s) SPTS/Orbotech’s revenue today?

RB: SPTS has a diverse set of end markets, supporting Advanced Packaging, MEMS, Power, RF & LED.

This is a positive for us as everyone in our industry knows markets are cyclical, and so we can typically ride out downturns in some of our markets as the others take over.

At the moment Advanced Packaging is a big driver as the adoption of fan-out wafer level packaging (FO-WLP) ramps up and the long gestation of plasma dicing is beginning to pay dividends too. But that is not to say the other markets are not making their contributions known. Power and RF are doing well on the back of the mobile and wearables sectors and we see positive trends for both MEMS and LEDs.


YD: As one of the leading suppliers for plasma dicing, can you explain how SPTS is positioned in the Semiconductor sector?

RB: Plasma dicing fits extremely well into the volume markets that SPTS already occupies. Plasma Dicing is an exciting new application for deep reactive ion etch (DRIE), also known as the “Bosch” process, the ubiquitous process technology first developed for MEMS manufacturing and then enabling for 3D IC TSVs. SPTS is the #1 supplier of DRIE equipment to the MEMS and Advanced Packaging markets. Our corporate and product history is entwined with the development of the Bosch process and its success in driving the proliferation of MEMS and sensors into the thriving business we see today. For plasma dicing, our expertise is more than just the process know-how, it’s in the hardware and control aspects which are vital to achieving successful singulation using this technique. SPTS is uniquely placed as a vendor able to supply as near “out of the box” production proven capability to this exciting application and do so with an extensive, direct network of field support.

Go to the i-Micronews webpage to read the full article: http://www.i-micronews.com/manufacturing/8534-plasma-dicing-die-quality-differentiator.html


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