SPTS http://http://www.spts.com/ This is the feed of the latest news from SPTS. <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ Versalis fxP Multi-Technology System Selected by Mapper Lithography]]> SPTS’ Etch and PECVD Process Solutions Key to Production of E-Beam Lenses for Maskless Lithography

Newport, United Kingdom, 24 November, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech company and a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that Mapper Lithography has selected SPTS’ etch and low temperature chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems on a Versalis fxP multi-technology platform for their new fab in Moscow. Mapper will use SPTS’ deep reactive ion etch (DRIE) module to create through silicon via holes with high dimensional accuracy, a critical and essential requirement in the production of electron beam (e-beam) lenses for their groundbreaking maskless lithography technology. Mapper also selected SPTS’ plasma enhanced CVD system (PECVD) because it allows for a lower deposition temperature than competing systems, enabling a novel integration scheme.

“Mapper’s e-beam lenses are based on high precision holes through silicon wafers,” stated Dave Thomas, SPTS’ marketing director for etch products. “The Rapier DRIE PM is uniquely able to provide the required high-level of profile control, selectivity and uniformity needed for these critical features. Furthermore, Rapier achieves this at productive etch rates, ensuring the highest yields and lowest cost of ownership possible for Mapper.”

“Our maskless lithography tools utilize an innovative multiple E-beam technology with which semiconductors can be manufactured in a more cost effective fashion,” stated Denis Shamiryan, Manufacturing Director at Mapper Lithography. “It makes the traditionally used mask redundant and combines high resolution with high productivity. SPTS’DRIE solutions deliver the etch rate, etch profile and positional accuracy during the silicon etching process which are vital to our approach.”

SPTS Technologies’ Versalis fxP multi-technology cluster platform offers many benefits, including lower cost of ownership and smaller footprint. By combining DRIE and CVD on the same platform, Mapper significantly reduced their capital outlay compared to buying traditionally configured single technology systems. Additionally, Mapper is benefiting from SPTS’ single chamber multi-process capability as the same CVD module can also be used to deposit multiple film types, including silicon oxide, silicon nitride and amorphous silicon with outstanding adhesion and particle performance. With critical elements of Mapper’s product sensitive to temperature, the ability to deposit high quality films at temperatures <150ºC made it a compelling solution for this application.

 

About SPTS Technologies

SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK) company, designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

 

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@orbotech.com]]>
http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Versalis-fxP-Multi-Technology-System-Selected-by-Mapper-Lithography.aspx Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Named MEMS/Sensors Supplier of the Year at the 2014 MEMS Executive Congress US]]> MEMS & Sensors Innovation Awards (MEMSies) recognizes SPTS’ leading wafer process solutions and contributions to the MEMS Industry

Newport, United Kingdom, 21 November, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech company, and a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, was named MEMS/Sensors Supplier of the Year at the MEMS Executive Congress U.S. 2014, held in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Kevin Crofton, President – SPTS Technologies & Corporate VP – Orbotech, was voted as the runner-up in the “MEMS Executive of the Year” award category.

MEMS Supplier of the Year Award 2014Widely recognized as the leader in deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) technology, a key building block in MEMS fabrication, SPTS also offers a broad range of wafer processing equipment critical to the manufacture of MEMS devices These include low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) of SiN, low temperature plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of SiO/SiN, plasma etching of dielectrics, physical vapor deposition (PVD) of aluminum nitride, and vapor release etch processes using HF or XeF2 chemistries. As a result, SPTS’ equipment is the process tool of record at 28 of the world’s top 30 MEMS makers and the top 20 MEMS foundries worldwide.

“We are really pleased to have won this category for the second year running,” said Kevin Crofton. “Our product and technical teams work hard to push the boundaries of all these key processes which contribute to the manufacturing and commercial success of a wide variety of MEMS devices. This award is especially important as we were selected by an industry-wide vote, and it acknowledges our contribution to the MEMS industry.”

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About SPTS Technologies

SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK) company, designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

 

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@orbotech.com

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http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Named-MEMSSensors-Supplier-of-the-Year-at-the-2014-MEMS-Executive-Congress-US.aspx Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Awarded ‘Supplier of the Year – Front End Equipment’ by Infineon]]> SPTS Presented with Prestigious Award at Infineon Supplier Day

Newport, United Kingdom, 12 November, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech company, and a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced it was awarded ‘Supplier of the Year – Front End Equipment’ at this year’s Infineon Supplier Day held in Munich.

Kevin Crofton accepts Infineon Supplier Award  2014

Rated and ranked among peer companies against Infineon’s standard evaluation criteria, including feedback from operational and management staff in their fabs and R&D teams, SPTS won the prestigious award over 20+ front end equipment companies. The award was presented to Kevin Crofton, President – SPTS Technologies & Corporate VP – Orbotech, by Hans-Dirk Loewe, Senior Vice President - Front End Fab Operations at Infineon, who congratulated SPTS for winning the award and added that SPTS exemplifies what they need in a business partner.

Kevin Crofton commented, “This kind of feedback and level of customer satisfaction is the goal of everyone at SPTS, and this distinguished award is a real testament of the quality and performance of our support teams across all disciplines. This is the second time in three years that SPTS has been presented with this award by Infineon, and we are extremely proud to receive this type of recognition from such a discerning global customer.”

Infineon Technologies is the global market leader in power semiconductors, and was ranked first for the eleventh time in a row, according to a study carried out by IHS Inc, a business information provider. SPTS Technologies is a preferred supplier and partner to Infineon, and provides etch, deposition and thermal wafer processing equipment to Infineon’s Villach, Dresden, Regensburg and Kulim fabs.

 

About SPTS Technologies

SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK) company, designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

 

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@orbotech.com

 

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http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Awarded-Supplier-of-the-Year--Front-End-Equipment-by-Infineon.aspx Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ wins “Green Manufacturer” at The Insider Made in Wales Awards 2014]]> High Technology Manufacturer and Welsh Anchor Company recognized for its commitment to minimizing environment impact across its business

Newport, United Kingdom, 28 October, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has won the top prize in the “Green Manufacturer” category at the recent Insider’s Made in Wales Awards.

Presented at a glittering event in Cardiff last Thursday, the award recognizes how SPTS has implemented a number of green initiatives to ensure the company uses resources efficiently, reduces waste and minimizes the effects of its operations on the environment. Additional environmental benefits extend globally to the environmentally friendly products made using the semiconductor and microelectronic devices produced using SPTS equipment.

Mike Hewlett, vice president of operations at SPTS commented, “We are extremely proud of winning the Green Manufacturer Award, as it is a testament of the commitment by the management team and our employees to significantly reduce our carbon footprint. We have made significant investment in our building management system and installed energy-efficient gas boilers which have reduced the company’s gas consumption by 67% compared to pre-2012 levels. We have also achieved significant reductions in the electricity and water used at our factory in Newport and benefited from resultant cost savings.”

SPTS encourages its employees to recycle as much waste as possible and have been able to reduce non-recyclable waste year-on-year. SPTS participate in the UK Government’s Cyclescheme which allows employees to purchase a bicycle tax-free. Electric car charging points have also been installed for the use of employees and customers.”

In addition, SPTS’ products and technologies are used by its global customers to manufacture a wide range of energy-saving semiconductor devices, which include power management chips, LED lights, and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) which can reduce energy used or even harvest energy from external vibrations.

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About SPTS Technologies

SPTS Technologies, an Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK) company, designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. SPTS operates three manufacturing facilities in the UK and US, and operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com.

 

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@orbotech.com

 

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http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-wins-Green-Manufacturer-at-The-Insider-Made-in-Wales-Awards-2014.aspx Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[Orbotech Announces Closing of the Acquisition of SPTS Technologies]]> YAVNE, ISRAEL -- August 7, 2014 - Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK) today announced that it has successfully closed the previously-announced acquisition of SPTS Technologies Group Limited (“SPTS”), in a strategic move into the high growth areas of Advanced Packaging and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

Orbotech financed the acquisition, announced on July 7, 2014, using the proceeds of a new $300 million senior secured term loan facility and approximately $90 million cash on hand.  The total consideration was $371 million.

 “We are commencing our relationship with SPTS with great enthusiasm and anticipation” said Mr. Asher Levy, CEO of Orbotech Ltd.  “We look forward to working with the outstanding SPTS team and combining the extensive know-how and core assets of both companies in order to further enhance Orbotech’s portfolio and industry leadership.”

Orbotech and SPTS management will host a conference call on Thursday, September 4, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the SPTS acquisition and its business.  The dial-in number for the conference call is 1-888-324-6860 (Toll Free) or 1-212-547-0325.  The pass code is SPTS.  A live webcast of the conference call and replay can also be heard by accessing the investor relations section on Orbotech’s website at www.orbotech.com.

About Orbotech Ltd. 

Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK) has been at the cutting edge of the electronics industry supply chain, as an innovator of enabling technologies used in the manufacture of the world’s most sophisticated consumer and industrial products, for over 30 years.  The Company is a leading provider of yield-enhancing and production solutions, primarily for manufacturers of printed circuit boards, flat panel displays and other electronic components.  Today, virtually every electronic device is produced using Orbotech technology.  The Company also applies its core expertise and resources in other advanced technology areas, including character recognition for check and forms processing and solar photovoltaic manufacturing.  Headquartered in Israel and operating from multiple locations internationally, Orbotech’s highly talented and inter-disciplinary professionals design, manufacture, sell and service the Company’s end-to-end portfolio of solutions for the benefit of customers the world over.  For more information please see the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) at www.sec.gov. and visit the Company’s corporate website at www.orbotech.com.  The corporate website is not incorporated herein by reference and is included as an inactive textual reference only.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements relate to, among other things, future prospects, developments and business strategies and involve certain risks and uncertainties.  The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect” and “would” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, have been used in this press release to identify forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are made based on management’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events affecting Orbotech and SPTS and are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to Orbotech’s and SPTS’s operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control.  Many factors could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected including, without limitation, the completion, timing, terms and anticipated benefits of the acquisition of SPTS and the related financing transactions; the timing and impact of conversion of SPTS’s financial statements from U.K. GAAP to U.S. GAAP and the Company’s ability to switch SPTS to a U.S. GAAP reporting regime; Orbotech’s ability to effectively integrate and operate SPTS’s business following the acquisition, the timing, terms and success of any other strategic or other transaction, cyclicality in the industries in which the Company or SPTS operates, the Company’s and SPTS’s production capacity, timing and occurrence of product acceptance (the Company defines ‘bookings’ as purchase arrangements with customers that are based on mutually agreed terms which, in some cases, may still be subject to completion of written documentation and may be changed or cancelled by the customer, often without penalty), fluctuations in product mix, worldwide economic conditions generally, especially in the industries in which the Company or SPTS operate, the timing and strength of product and service offerings by the Company, SPTS and each of their competitors, changes in business or pricing strategies, changes in the prevailing political and regulatory framework in which the relevant parties operate or in economic or technological trends or conditions, including currency fluctuations, inflation and consumer confidence, on a global, regional or national basis, the level of consumer demand for sophisticated devices such as smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices, the final outcome and impact of the criminal matter and ongoing investigation in Korea, including its impact on existing or future business opportunities in Korea and elsewhere, any civil actions related to the Korean matter brought by third parties, including the Company’s customers, which may result in monetary judgments or settlements, expenses associated with the Korean matter, ongoing or increased hostilities in Israel and other risks detailed in the Company’s SEC reports, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent SEC filings.  The Company assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release to reflect new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.  SPTS’s financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.K. GAAP. U.K. GAAP differs in certain important respects from U.S. GAAP, the basis for Orbotech’s financial reporting.  Neither SPTS nor Orbotech has begun a reconciliation of SPTS’s financial statements from U.K. to U.S. GAAP and therefore cannot quantify the differences, which may be material.  Orbotech will account for the acquisition of SPTS under the purchase method of accounting, which will result in a new valuation for the assets and liabilities of SPTS.  The new basis of accounting will be based on the estimated value of the assets and liabilities on the closing date of the acquisition.  Orbotech will not be preparing any pro forma information for the acquisition and financing until the reconciliation and valuation estimates have been prepared.

 

COMPANY CONTACTS:

 

Adrian Auman

Ann Michael]]> http://www.spts.com/news/Orbotech-Announces-Closing-of-the-Acquisition-of-SPTS-Technologies.aspx Thu, 07 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT en <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ Rapier XE for Via Reveal Wins 3D InCites “Best Process” Award]]> SPTS’ blanket silicon etch recognized for potential to reduce costs for 3D-IC processing

Newport, United Kingdom, 23 July, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has won the “Best Process” Award for its blanket silicon etch process using its Rapier XE system at the 2014 3D InCites Awards held in San Francisco during SEMICON West 2014.

Dave Thomas with 3D InCites Award 2014Dave Thomas, Marketing Director at SPTS commented, “The Rapier XE significantly lowers costs and increases yields for device manufacturers utilizing through-silicon vias. Higher etch rates benefit throughput and cost of ownership – both which are very important to customers. We are very happy to have won this award, as it is recognition by independent industry judges of the benefits of our Rapier XE system.”

Launched in May 2014, the Rapier XE has been developed to improve etch rates and uniformities for blanket silicon etches on 300mm wafers for via reveal applications. Via reveal is a 2.5D/3D technology, where the back of the wafer is etched to reveal the tips of the Cu filled vias, ready for bumping. The system also allows recipe-controlled tuning of the etch profile to compensate for residual thickness non-uniformities introduced in earlier etch and grinding steps.

In addition, the Rapier XE supports SPTS’ ReViaTM, the only end-point technology that can detect the Cu tips as they emerge from the Si surface. Collaborative work with imec has shown significant savings can be realized by controllably reducing via height to ~1µm. This means that subsequent dielectric thickness and CMP removal times can be reduced, which significantly reduces costs.

The winners were chosen by a panel of technical judges, and a public online vote also carried out. Across the five categories, SPTS was the only company who won both the online poll and the judge’s award in their category.

For more details about the 3D Incites Awards and the various charities supported by the program, please go to http://www.3dincites.com/3d-incites-awards/.

Company Contact:

Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

]]> http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Rapier-XE-for-Via-Reveal-Wins-3D-InCites-Best-Process-Award.aspx Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT en <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ Kevin Crofton Elected to SEMI International Board of Directors]]> SPTS President and COO Joins Board of Global Industry Association Serving the Manufacturing Supply Chain for the Micro- and Nano-electronics Industries

Newport, United Kingdom, 14 July, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, announced that Kevin Crofton has been elected to the SEMI International Board of Directors in accordance with the association’s by-laws. Crofton’s appointment, along with three other newly elected directors, was announced by SEMI last week at the annual SEMI membership meeting held during SEMICON West 2014 exhibition in San Francisco.

Kevin Crofton, President and COO of SPTS Technologies“Electronics touch so many aspects of our lives each day – from the ways we communicate, the cars we drive, how we monitor our health and keep our families safe,” stated Kevin Crofton, president and chief operating officer at SPTS Technologies. “The companies and people SEMI represents are the innovators, technologist and manufacturers who enable these smarter, faster, more powerful and more affordable electronic products and devices. I am honoured to be elected to this position and have the opportunity to serve with my esteemed colleagues to further initiatives that will help support, define and strengthen our industry as we continue to grow and expand into new areas.”

 “We are honored to have four distinguished industry leaders joining the SEMI Board and appreciate the continued service of those that have been re-elected,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “The SEMI Board reflects the regional and market diversity of our worldwide membership. Their service, commitment and leadership are tremendous assets for our association and our industry.”

SEMI’s 20 voting directors and 11 emeritus directors represent companies from Europe, China, Japan, Korea, North America, and Taiwan, reflecting the global scope of the association’s activities. SEMI directors are elected by the general membership as voting members of the board and can serve a total of five two-year terms.

About SPTS Technologies

SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@spts.com       

About SEMI

SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and micro-electronic manufacturing supply chains. Our 1,900 member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.semi.org.

Association Contact:
Deborah Geiger/SEMI,
Tel: +1 (408) 943-7988;
Email: dgeiger@semi.org

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http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Kevin-Crofton-Elected-to-SEMI-International-Board-of-Directors.aspx Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ Sigma fxP PVD System Selected by HuaTian Technologies for 300mm Flip Chip Bumping and CMOS Image Sensor Applications]]> One of China’s Leading Semiconductor Packaging Providers Chooses SPTS PVD Solution for new 300mm Expansion

Newport, United Kingdom, 8 July, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that HuaTian Technologies (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. has selected an SPTS Sigma fxP physical vapor deposition (PVD) system for their new 300mm expansion.  HuaTian will use the Sigma to deposit under bump metallization (UBM) for their 300mm Flip Chip line and interconnects for their CMOS image sensor (CIS) packages.

“We have been seeing growing interest from specialist packaging houses in China wishing to strengthen their technology offerings, particularly as they look to bring cost-efficient 300mm capabilities on line,” stated Chris Jones, PVD marketing manager at SPTS Technologies. “Bumping is a cost-sensitive market, so customers appreciate the productivity advantages of our PVD systems.  For instance, we degas organic passivation layers at low temperatures without compromising system throughput – unlike competing systems whose long degas times result in fewer wafers per hour.”

The SPTS 300mm PVD system for bumping applications comprises wafer degas, pre-clean and PVD modules for depositing UBM layers in a Flip Chip process sequence.  Cost of ownership savings of more than 30% are achieved thanks to a unique approach to wafer degassing, a high rate pre-clean, and long life targets and chamber furniture. The same PVD modules can also be used to deposit Ti-Cu or Al alloy interconnects for redistribution layers (RDL) in CIS wafer level packaging.

Jones added, “HuaTian is an important and progressive customer who is positioning themselves for growth within the ramping Chinese market.  Their selection of our Sigma system is testament to our technical leadership and the quality of results we’ve achieved over competing systems. We look forward to working closer with HuaTian and supporting their success as they continue to expand their 300mm offerings.”

SPTS will be showcasing its range of etch, deposition and thermal equipment and technologies for advanced packaging on Booth #1317 (South Hall) at SEMICON West, 8th – 10th July, Moscone Center, San Francisco. To learn more, email enquiries@spts.com to arrange a meeting or just visit us on Booth #1317.

Company Contact:
Destanie Clarke,
Tel: +44 7951 203278,
Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

 

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http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Sigma-fxP-PVD-System-Selected-by-HuaTian.aspx Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
<![CDATA[Orbotech to Acquire SPTS Technologies to Extend Leadership in Advanced Micro Manufacturing]]>
  • A strategic move into high growth Advanced Packaging and MEMS markets
  • On a standalone basis, SPTS is expected to generate approximately $180 million of revenues in full year 2014 and a 25% EBITDA margin
  • Acquisition expected to be Non-GAAP accretive immediately and GAAP accretive in  2015
  • Conference Call to be held today at 8:30 a.m. EDT
  • Yavne, Israel – July 7, 2014 - Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK) today announced the signing of a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire SPTS Technologies Group Limited (“SPTS”), a U.K.-based leading manufacturer of etch, deposition and thermal processing equipment for the microelectronics industry, from European private equity firm Bridgepoint and others. The combined companies’ comprehensive offering is expected to enable the leading designers of consumer electronics to turn their vision of next generation devices into reality.

    SPTS offers an extensive range of manufacturing solutions which set industry standards in the high growth Advanced Packaging and MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) markets. Through this acquisition, Orbotech expects to accelerate the execution of its growth and diversification strategy, and is moving up the electronics value chain. By building on SPTS’ technological and commercial leadership position, Orbotech will be able to offer best-in-class solutions for a broad range of the most demanding micro manufacturing applications. Moreover, the combination will expand Orbotech’s presence in Europe and North America and provide SPTS with a greater reach throughout the Pacific region, particularly in China.

    “Orbotech identified Advanced Packaging as a strategic and natural extension of its business into an adjacent high growth market, where SPTS is a recognized technology leader. SPTS benefits from established, long-standing partnerships with major industry players. It is a well-known and highly respected brand with deep domain expertise in those segments in which it operates. Acquiring SPTS allows us to accelerate the expansion into Advanced Packaging, with multiple manufacturing solutions ideally suited for this growing segment”, said Mr. Asher Levy, CEO of Orbotech Ltd. “Orbotech and SPTS are complementary in many ways. By combining the extensive know-how and core assets of both companies we will continue to enhance Orbotech’s portfolio and industry leadership while focusing our efforts on driving profitable growth.”  

    Mr. Levy concluded, “We look forward to welcoming the SPTS team to Orbotech and capitalizing on the best of both companies for continued success.”

    Mr. Kevin Crofton, President and Chief Operating Officer of SPTS, stated: “This is an exceptional opportunity to bring together two proven leaders both operating at the cutting-edge of consumer electronics manufacturing. We share a common vision for our respective markets, including an uncompromising commitment to our customers. Together, we will be a powerhouse of expertise in micro manufacturing, providing a broad solution set of mission-critical capabilities to serve designers and manufacturers across the dynamic electronics industry landscape. We are excited about the opportunity to leverage Orbotech’s strong presence in the Pacific as well as its products and technologies.”

    Mr. Christopher Bell, partner at Bridgepoint, said: "Clear market leadership of high growth niches as well as the application of its technology to emerging niches in the microchip industry have made SPTS strategically attractive. With its new shareholder, the business will be well positioned to combine expertise in micro manufacturing to advance further. We wish the team continued success in the future."

    Financial Information

    Under the terms of the agreement, Orbotech will acquire SPTS for a total consideration (including repayment or assumption of debt) of approximately $370 million in cash. The acquisition and related costs are expected to be financed through a combination of cash on hand and approximately $300 million in debt financing under a new term loan facility. The acquisition and financing are expected to close during of the third quarter of 2014, each subject to certain closing conditions.

    In 2014, under U.K. GAAP and on a standalone basis for the full year, SPTS is expected to generate revenues of approximately $180 million, gross margin of approximately 48% of its revenues, and EBITDA margin of approximately 25% of its revenues. The acquisition of SPTS is expected to be accretive to Orbotech’s non-GAAP earnings immediately after closing. After closing, SPTS’ financial statements will be converted to U.S. GAAP to be consistent with Orbotech’s financial statements. 

    Based on Orbotech’s and SPTS’s financial condition as of March 31, 2014, Orbotech estimates that post closing, it will have approximately $100 million of cash and cash equivalents on an adjusted basis.

    In connection with the transaction, J.P. Morgan is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Orbotech and Jefferies and Ernst & Young are serving as financial advisors to SPTS.

    Conference Call

    Orbotech will host a conference call today, Monday, July 7, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. EDT solely to discuss the acquisition of SPTS. The dial-in number for the conference call is 1-877-917-6902 (Toll Free) or +1-517-308-9315. The pass code is ORBOTECH. A live web cast of the conference call and replay can also be heard by accessing the investor relations section on Orbotech’s website at www.orbotech.com.

     

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for Advanced Packaging, MEMS,  LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management devices. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

     

    About Orbotech

    Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK) has been at the cutting edge of the electronics industry supply chain, as an innovator of enabling technologies used in the manufacture of the world’s most sophisticated consumer and industrial products, for over 30 years. The Company is a leading provider of yield-enhancing and production solutions, primarily for manufacturers of printed circuit boards, flat panel displays and other electronic components. Today, virtually every electronic device is produced using Orbotech technology. The Company also applies its core expertise and resources in other advanced technology areas, including character recognition for check and forms processing and solar photovoltaic manufacturing. Headquartered in Israel and operating from multiple locations internationally, Orbotech’s highly talented and inter-disciplinary professionals design, manufacture, sell and service the Company’s end-to-end portfolio of solutions for the benefit of customers the world over. For more information please see the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) at www.sec.gov and visit the Company’s corporate website at Leading Semiconductor Equipment Maker and Renowned European Research Institute to Collaborate in Advanced Packaging Technologies under the Framework of Nanoelec RTI.

    Newport, United Kingdom, June 24, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a leading manufacturer of etch, deposition and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry, today announced that it has signed an agreement with CEA-Leti in Grenoble, France, to develop 3D-TSV technologies The two-year agreement enters under the framework of the Nanoelec Research Technology Institute program which is led by CEA-Leti, and covers co-development of a range of deposition processes for next-generation 3D high aspect ratio through-silicon-via (TSV) solutions. The agreement builds on the long established relationship between the partners who have already collaborated in the past, particularly on the development and optimization of an advanced MOCVD TiN barrier for high aspect ratio TSV.

    3D packaging of semiconductor devices, using TSVs to connect stacked die, is accepted as a critical technology to deliver industry performance goals without exceeding power budgets. To scale future 3D devices, new techniques will be needed to manufacture TSV’s of smaller diameter and higher aspect ratio than are used today. Under this agreement, SPTS and CEA-Leti aim to develop production worthy solutions to address these challenges.     

    Previous collaboration has resulted in a number of key advancements in the formation of TSVs using SPTS’ deep reactive ion etch (DRIE), chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD). One of the key achievements includes optimization of an advanced metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) TiN barrier for high aspect ratio TSV.“The results previously achieved keeps SPTS at the forefront of 3D-TSV development,” said Kevin Crofton, president and chief operating officer of SPTS. “In partnership with CEA-Leti, we plan now to develop technology and processes that will further extend TSV aspect ratios beyond 20:1, with a particular focus on developing an MOCVD copper process as a seed layer to replace ionized PVD.”

    “The work with SPTS and other partners will create solutions that will be transferred into industry,” said Dr. Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti and President of the Nanoelec RTI board. “Combining Leti’s integration expertise with the specific process knowledge of successful equipment manufacturers like SPTS enables innovation and allows us to create an optimised, cost-effective process flow for volume manufacturing of 3D-IC devices.”

     

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

    SPTS press contact:
    Destanie Clarke,
    Tel: +44 7951 203278,
    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com   

     

    About CEA-Leti (France)

    By creating innovation and transferring it to industry, Leti is the bridge between basic research and production of micro- and nanotechnologies that improve the lives of people around the world. Backed by its portfolio of 2,200 patents, Leti partners with large industrials, SMEs and startups to tailor advanced solutions that strengthen their competitive positions. It has launched more than 50 startups. Its 8,000m² of new-generation cleanroom space feature 200mm and 300mm wafer processing of micro and nano solutions for applications ranging from space to smart devices. Leti’s staff of more than 1,700 includes 200 assignees from partner companies. Leti is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Tokyo. Leti is heading the Nanoelec RTI program which benefits from French State aid under the “Programme Investissements d’Avenir” agreement bearing reference ANR-10-AIRT-05. For more information, visit www.leti.fr & www.irtnanoelec.fr.

    CEA-Leti press contacts:

    CEA-Leti
    +33 4 38 78 02 26
    pierre-damien.berger@cea.fr

    Agency
    +33 6 64 52 81 10
     aravier@mahoneylyle.com 

     

     

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-and-CEA-Leti-and-Nanoelec-RTI-collaborate-on-3D-TSV-Technology.aspx Tue, 24 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Silicon Etch Chosen by Leading Chinese Wafer Level Packaging]]>

    Move to 300mm Strengthens Customer’s Position in the Rapidly Growing CMOS Image Sensor Market

     Simplified Chinese translation    Traditional Chinese translation

    Newport, United Kingdom, 29 May, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that a leading Chinese wafer level packaging (WLP)  supplier to the electronics industry has selected the Omega fxP Etch System for cost-effective through silicon via (TSV) processing of 300mm wafers for CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) applications.

    "The global CMOS image sensor market continues to experience solid growth, driven by consumer demand for products such as mobile devices and autos," said Dave Thomas, etch marketing director at SPTS. “However, for customers to gain market leadership and remain competitive in a cost-sensitive industry, they must embrace new technologies, processes and wafer formats. Having achieved excellent throughput and high quality yields with our 200mm silicon etch tools, the customer chose our Omega fxP as their etch platform of choice in their move to 300mm.”

    SPTS 300mm Omega fxPThe Omega fxP 300mm etch system has the flexibility to address multiple processes for advanced packaging applications including tapered via/ trench etching as well as blanket etching for stress relief post grinding and etch overhang control.  The system also incorporates in-situ endpoint for controlling wafer-to-wafer variability and improving yields.

    Thomas concluded, “Our customers are taking a leading role in the migration to 300mm WLP, and we are very pleased to be supporting one of the first CIS suppliers in China to move to the larger wafer format.”

    SPTS will be speaking about its range of etch, deposition and thermal processing solutions for advanced packaging applications at the upcoming 12th Annual Conference on China Semiconductor Packaging, Testing & Marketing, 4th – 6th June, 2014, Chongqing Int’l Exhibition Center, Chongqing, China. To learn more, email enquiries@spts.com to arrange a meeting or request more information. 

    Company Contact:
    Destanie Clarke,
    Tel: +44 7951 203278,
    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Silicon-Etch-Chosen-by-Leading-Chinese-Wafer-Level-Packaging.aspx Thu, 29 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Presents Swansea University with £600K Gift]]>

    Leading Original Equipment Maker for the Semiconductor Industry Supports the Department of Research and Innovation with Gift of Shares in BluGlass Limited

    Newport, United Kingdom, 28 May, 2014 – SPTS Technologies UK Ltd, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced a significant gift to Swansea University, a world-class research led university, of over £600,000 worth of shares in BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG), a green Australian public company established to commercialize innovative semiconductor technology.

    “SPTS has strong ties with Swansea University, and has benefited from the knowledge exchange projects through the University’s Department of Research and Innovation (DRI),” stated William Johnson, CEO at SPTS. “The DRI which acts as the bridge between industry and academia has enabled us to extend the scope of our research beyond our existing markets and gain access to funding, which has proven invaluable to our R&D teams. This gift of shares in BluGlass is our way to pay back by ‘paying it forward’ to the University in not just the current value of the shares but the potential future value of BluGlass and the opportunities for potential collaboration between Swansea University, BluGlass and Sydney’s Macquarie University.”

    Current collaboration with Swansea University includes a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded project for the development of micro-needles for bio-medical applications. The project which includes process equipment from SPTS for the University’s clean room facility was instrumental in developing a design for manufacturing quality packaged micro-needles which are achieving a 100% success rate in initial testing.

    ”Swansea University are absolutely delighted by this gift and indeed with the highly successful and ongoing collaboration with SPTS and the University’s College of Engineering, particularly the work being done with  Dr Owen Guy, Associate Professor,” commented Dr Gerry Ronan, Head of IP at Swansea University. As a University we pride ourselves on our ability to collaborate with industry and this is an enlightened and most welcome way of strengthening such relationships.”

    Johnson added, “SPTS is at the forefront of micro-device process and manufacturing technology, and we remain committed to investing in R&D to ensure market competitiveness and industry sustainability. Our gift to Swansea University underpins our ongoing commitment to supporting the success of the Department of Research and Innovation, and we are proud to be able to support future generations of engineers and researchers at this world-class research-led institution.”

    BluGlass, which evolved out of Sydney’s Macquarie University, has developed breakthrough semiconductor technology called remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD), for the production of high efficiency devices such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) and concentrated solar cells. RPCVD has several potential advantages over current manufacturing techniques and through its low temperature deposition offers manufacturers higher performing devices and lower cost manufacturing.

    Company Contact:

    Destanie Clarke,
    Tel: +44 7951 203278,
    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Presents-Swansea-University-with-600K-Gift.aspx Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Announces the Omega® Rapier XE System for 300mm Wafer Silicon Etch Processing]]>

    Enhanced system improves productivity and yields with increased etch rate and uniformity for 300mm via reveal etch applications

    Newport, United Kingdom, 22 May, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the launch of its Rapier XE system for 300mm wafer silicon etching. The new module offers significant advantages over competing systems as well as improved etch rate over the 1st generation Rapier in applications where “blanket” etching or removing a large exposed area of silicon is required, such as via reveal processing.

    In 3D-IC applications, via reveal processing occurs after the through silicon vias (TSVs) are formed, to prepare the vias for redistribution metallization. After completion of front-side wafer processing, the wafer is temporarily bonded, face down, onto a carrier wafer. The active silicon is then ground typically to within 5-10 μm of the TSV nodes. The silicon is then dry etched in a process that ‘reveals’ the vias to a step height typically in the range 2-5µm. To maximize yield, it is critical that all vias are revealed to a uniform height, which can be extremely challenging if the incoming wafer thickness varies across a wafer or from one wafer to the next. In the 1st generation Rapier and now the new Rapier XE system, issues of wafer-to-wafer silicon thickness variation is overcome with the use of the ReVia™ endpoint system.

    SPTS' Rapier XE silicon etch systemDave Thomas, SPTS’ marketing director for etch products, explained: “While the dual-source design of our 1st generation Rapier proved useful for tailoring the cross-wafer etch profile, coupled with our in-situ ReViaTM endpoint system to deal with wafer-to-wafer non-uniformities, we saw the need to improve etch rates for more cost effective high volume production. Our engineering and R&D teams worked closely together to develop a solution that delivers a blanket silicon etch rate on 300mm wafers 3 to 4 times faster than competing dry etch systems, with a cross-wafer uniformity of ≤+/- 3%. This enhanced design is also available to existing Rapier customers as an upgrade which can be retrofitted in the field.”

    Kevin Crofton, president and COO of SPTS added, “With this new etch product, and our other processes like low temperature PECVD, we believe we offer our production customers the best throughput and process control for 300mm via reveal processing currently available on the market. We continue to be committed to helping our customers improve throughputs and device yields while reducing costs, wherever possible, to remain competitive.

    SPTS will be showcasing its range of etch, deposition and thermal processing as well as advanced packaging solutions at ECTC 2014 at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, 27-30 May, 2014. To learn more, email enquiries@spts.com to arrange a meeting or just visit us on Booth #218 in the Technology Corner.

    Company Contact:

    Destanie Clarke
    Tel: +44 7951 203278

    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Announces-the-Omega-Rapier-XE-System-for-300mm-Wafer-Silicon-Etch-Processing.aspx Thu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Wins Gold at RoSPA Awards 2014]]> Accolade recognizes company’s commitment to employee wellbeing

    Newport, United Kingdom, 16 May, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has won a Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014.

    Jon Peploe, Sue Fox, and Tony Knowles of SPTS accepting RoSPA Gold Award

    RoSPA is a safety charity that recognizes companies who have demonstrated a commitment to occupational safety and health for their employees.

    David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage the raising of occupational health and safety standards across the board. Organisations like SPTS Technologies that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems contribute to a collective raising of the bar for other organisations to aspire to, and we offer them our congratulations.”

    Dating back 58 years, the RoSPA Awards scheme is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK. It is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. The scheme not only looks at accident records, but also entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

    Tony Knowles, vice president of human resources at SPTS Technologies said, “We are honoured that RoSPA has recognized our safety commitment with our second Gold Award. We place great importance on Health and Safety (H&S) at all levels of the business, and we are very proud of the fact that we have not had a reportable incident* since 2009. This award is a testament to all our employees’ commitment to H&S best practices at work.”

    The majority of awards that RoSPA presents are non-competitive, marking achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. See www.rospa.com/awards/ for more information about the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.

    *Under the RIDDOR (reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations) system, a “reportable incident” is classed as an incident that causes significant injuries resulting in more than 7 days’ absence from work.

    Company Contact:
    Destanie Clarke
    Tel: +44 7951 203278
    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Wins-Gold-at-RoSPA-Awards-2014-.aspx Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies’ Employees Participate in Give & Gain Day 2014]]> Team of SPTS volunteers will be giving back to the community at Ringland Primary School

    Newport, United Kingdom, 13 May, 2014 – SPTS Technologies UK Ltd, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced a team of 10 employees will be volunteering in their community, giving something back as part of Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day 2014. The team of SPTS volunteers will be working with the Ringland Primary School in Newport to help improve the outside play area of the nursery/infants school with a fresh coat of paint.

    Give & Gain Day 2014 is the UK’s only national day of employee volunteering and is coordinated by Business in the Community – the business-led charity that stands for responsible business. Give & Gain Day is a celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering. Held on 16 May this year, Give & Gain Day will see 1,000 volunteers from companies across Wales working on projects that can make a real difference to people’s lives.

    “I’m delighted that SPTS Technologies is involved in Give & Gain Day this year,” said Kevin Crofton, president and chief operating officer at SPTS. “As a business that values our links with the local community, it is great to be giving something back in this way.”

    Commenting, Rosie Sweetman, Director of Business in the Community in Wales, said:

    “With 1,000 employee volunteers signed-up and ready to go, this is an amazing achievement and a real demonstration that business in Wales is a force for good in communities across the country. Give & Gain Day 2014 is going to be the best yet.”

    Give & Gain Day 2014 is coordinated by Business in the Community, the business-led charity that stands for responsible business. Give & Gain Day is sponsored nationally by Lloyds Banking Group, Society and Waitrose, in association with BT and ITV. In Wales Give & Gain Day is supported by the Welsh Government, RCT Homes and their supply chain partners, Quicksons, M. DeLacey & Sons and Jasonic.

    UPDATE: added 19th May 2014

    Images of the event and results:

    SPTS employees in front of one of the repainted walls

     One unpainted wall      SPTS' Painters hard at work     
    One of the walls prior to painting Painters hard a work
     Ringland Primary School's summer house also gets a make-over     Improvements to Ringland Primary School's windows    
    School's summer house also
    gets a make-over
    Improvements to windows

     

    - Ends -  

    Company Contact:
    Destanie Clarke,
    Tel: +44 7951 203278,
    Destanie.Clarke@spts.com

     

    About Give & Gain Day 2014

    Give & Gain Day is a celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering across the world. It will take place on 16 May 2014. Businesses across the UK are made up of hundreds of thousands of skilled, experienced and energetic staff, while community organisations social enterprises and schools are crying out for the resources and knowledge that businesses can offer. As part of Give & Gain Day 2014 hundreds of companies are giving their employees a chance to take time out of work to address what local communities need. Since 2008, over 82,000 people in 35 countries around the world have taken part in Give & Gain Day and 2014 will see the 100,000th person take part.

    About Business in the Community

    Business in the Community is a unique business-led force for good. We stand for responsible business, with our members committed to behaving responsibly and making Wales a better place to live and work. We offer our members practical support to help them transform their businesses and integrate responsible practices into their operations. We have over 850 members across the UK, including 80% of the FTSE 100. In Wales we work with over 150 companies ranging from micro-SMEs to large corporate with an operational presence in Wales.

    For more information, interviews and filming opportunities, please contact:

    David Hoare david.hoare@bitc.org.uk / 029 2078 0050 / 077 2563 8019 

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Employees-Participate-in-Give--Gain-Day-2014.aspx Tue, 13 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Named Company of the Year and Best Exporter at ESTnet Awards 2014]]>  

     

    Newport, United Kingdom, 3 Apr, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, was named Exporter and Company of the Year at the annual ESTnet Awards. The event honours prominent businesses and individuals in the Welsh electronics and high technology industry.

    The ESTnet is a network of technology enterprises, created to form strong business relationships, exchange knowledge and share ideas. Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport was at the gala dinner in the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, together with representatives of the top technology firms in Wales. SPTS were also close to a third award; Matt Hill, a test engineer who started with the company as an apprentice, reached the final three in the “young engineer of the year” category.

    ESTNet Award Winners 2014Avril Lewis, managing director of the ESTnet, the network representing electronic and software technologies businesses in Wales said: “There is a real wealth of talent in the industry in Wales and the ESTnet Awards programme further raised the profile of the sector and celebrated its key achievements. We are extremely proud of SPTS, a company that has the drive, passion and the vision to make their business a success. It’s great to unearth new innovative and enabling technologies that help represent the diversity of our industry.”

    “We are proud to be recognised by the ESTnet award judges this year,” said Kevin Crofton, president and chief operating officer. “The global microelectronics manufacturing industry is dynamic and demanding, and we have worked hard to maintain our market-leading position through constant technological innovation, while earning extraordinary customer loyalty. It was an absolute pleasure receiving the awards on behalf of our employees.”


    http://vimeo.com/93257189

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Named-Company-of-the-Year-and-Best-Exporter-at-ESTnet-Awards-2014.aspx Thu, 03 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Opens New Office in Korea]]> NEWPORT, United Kingdom, and SEOUL, Korea, 12 Feb, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets today announced the opening of a new office in Korea. The new SPTS Korea office is situated in Pangyo and will be the central base of operations for sales, field process and engineering staff. The new facility will also carry essential and critical spares inventory to support SPTS’ system installed base.

    “We are very excited to be announcing the opening of our new office,” said Rutgers Chow, vice president of field operations in Asia at SPTS. “Our sales and service teams have been working closely with Korean customers for many years, and the growing demand for our products created a need to expand our operations. We will continue to add more resources and technical expertise into the area as our installed base grows.”

    With a strong and growing customer base across Asia, SPTS has a long-established presence in the region, including offices in Taiwan, Singapore, China, Japan and Malaysia.

    Click here for Korean translation

     

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay,

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Opens-New-Office-in-Korea.aspx Wed, 12 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Promotes Kevin Crofton to President]]> NEWPORT, United Kingdom, 7 Feb, 2014 – SPTS Technologies announces that Kevin Crofton has been promoted to President along with his current position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Kevin has over 25 years of senior management experience in the industry and has been instrumental in the formation and growth of SPTS, serving as Executive VP and most recently COO.

    Kevin T. Crofton, President and Chief Operating OfficerKevin T. Crofton
    President and COO

     

    "This change is in recognition of Kevin’s contributions to SPTS since the formation of the company in 2009, and his stellar performance in managing the sales & service, product lines and factory operations”, stated William Johnson, CEO. “During his tenure as COO, SPTS has improved customer satisfaction metrics, delivered operational excellence in the factories, and gained customers and market share each year. The Board and I are pleased to confirm the new title for Kevin.” 

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay,

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Promotes-Kevin-Crofton-to-President.aspx Fri, 07 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Named Anchor Company by Welsh Government]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 21 Jan, 2014 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets has been awarded Anchor Company status by the Welsh Government. With 44 companies on the list, the Anchor Company program was designed to acknowledge prominent global businesses based across Wales.

    SPTS serves a customer base spanning Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America through its 10 global offices. It employs 500 people world-wide, with 248 employees based in the United Kingdom. In recent years, the rapid growth and expansion of the company has resulted in numerous awards, including the 2013 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, the Made in Wales Manufacturer of the Year, and the number two spot on the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.

    Kevin Crofton, EVP & COO of SPTS shows Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport one of SPTS' products
    Kevin Crofton, Executive VP and COO, explains SPTS’ technology to the Economy Minister

    “By awarding us anchor status, the Welsh government is acknowledging SPTS as one of their key employers and contributors to the economy” said Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer at SPTS Technologies. “We owe this success to the loyalty and commitment of all our employees.” 

    Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: "I congratulate SPTS on its achievements and success and I am delighted they are joining the Welsh Government’s anchor company programme which acknowledges economically and strategically important companies that we work with in Wales to create jobs, growth and wealth within the Welsh economy. On a recent visit to their facility, I saw the operational scope and complexity of the high-tech semiconductor equipment that processes silicon wafers that are eventually used for microelectronic devices in smart phones, tablets and automotive sensors. With their technology and products exported around the world, SPTS is a strong example of Welsh manufacturing excellence at its best, creating employment for highly-skilled talents within the technology sector here.”

     

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay,

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Named-Anchor-Company-by-Welsh-Government.aspx Tue, 21 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Celebrates Two More Regional Award Wins to End the Year on a High]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 18 Dec, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it had won two more awards against other leading companies in Wales and the South West. This completes a year in which the company was recognized for a variety of initiatives; from manufacturing excellence to impressive company growth over the past 3 years, culminating in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

    At the annual Insider's Made in Wales Awards held in Welsh capital Cardiff, SPTS won the coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award where the company’s achievements were described as "incredible" by the judges. Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer said, “It is a real validation of the hard work done by our employees based here in Newport. The judges recognized our focus on continuous improvement in our internal operations and in our ability to execute on customer engagements.” The company won the Technology category at the same event in 2011.

     

    Last month, SPTS was honored by EEF Future Manufacturing Awards with The South West Investing in Skills Award. This award from EEF, a UK-based manufacturers’ organization, recognizes companies that invest to build skills, develop employees and harness the talent of its workforce.  SPTS now automatically qualifies for the national finals, where they will compete against other regional winners from across the UK.  Tony Knowles, SPTS’ vice president for global human resources said: “The skills required by our workforce are highly technical and specialized, and recruitment of new staff as the company grows is an ongoing challenge. It is vital we invest in our people to stay ahead of the technology curve and developments in the market.”

    Phil Brownsord, EEF Region Director for South West said: “SPTS Technologies is a true South West business success story that highlights the role the region plays in driving the UK economy forward. By taking bold steps and investing in its people, resources and technology, they have grown their business despite the challenging economic climate. Ambitious companies such as SPTS Technologies are an asset to the South West and are very worthy of their success.”     

     

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com    

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Celebrates-Two-More-Regional-Award-Wins-to-End-the-Year-on-a-High.aspx Wed, 18 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Named Supplier of the Year at the Annual MEMS Executive Congress]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 16 Dec, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, was named MEMS Supplier of the Year at the MEMS Executive Congress U.S. 2013 held in Napa last month. Senior executives from the micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) community came together to discuss latest market and technology developments, and to learn the results of the inaugural Best in MEMS Innovation Awards.

    SPTS is a market-leader in deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) equipment and technology, a key building block in MEMS fabrication. Across the vast array of MEMS devices such as sensors, accelerometers, life science and medical products, etching is the critical process step used to define these microscopic 3-dimensional structures. Delivering the industry’s highest etch rates and fine-tilt control profiles, SPTS’ equipment is the process tool of record used by 28 out of the world’s top 30 MEMS makers

    “The fast-paced, growing, MEMS market is a key focus for SPTS, which makes this award especially meaningful for us,” said Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer for SPTS. “Our product and technical teams work tirelessly to contribute to our customers’ success. This award is a reflection of the collaborative approach that we take to serve this sector of industry.”

    “We are thrilled that SPTS Technologies won Supplier of the Year at our first ‘Best in MEMS Innovation Awards,’ which we conferred recently at MEMS Executive Congress US,” said Karen Lightman, executive director, MEMS Industry Group. “As one of the world’s leading providers of advanced wafer processing technologies for MEMS, they are an important contributor to the long-term vitality of our industry.”

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Named-Supplier-of-the-Year-at-the-Annual-MEMS-Executive-Congress.aspx Mon, 16 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[Imec and SPTS partner on advanced nanotechnology applications in BioMEMS]]> Dresden, GERMANY – October 8, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions, and imec, a world-leading nanoelectronics research center have announced a joint partnership to further advance micro- and nanosized components for BioMEMS, using SPTS’ Rapier silicon deep reactive ion etching (Si DRIE) technology.

    Micro and nanotechnologies are fast becoming key enablers in medical research, diagnosis and treatment, with rapid developments in areas like DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics. Imec, as one of the pioneers in the field, is developing the underlying heterogeneous technology and components as the backbone to these life science tools.

    One of the most important process techniques in BioMEMS manufacturing is deep silicon etching. It can be used to manufacture devices such as microfluidic channels, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chambers, mixers and filters. As a leading institute in advanced micro and nanoelectronics research, imec is currently developing lab-on-chip technology for fast SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms) detection in human DNA and a microsized detection system for circulating tumor cells in the human blood stream. The outcome of this research will be products that deliver a better quality of life for current and future generations.

    “We chose SPTS as a partner after running extensive wafer demonstrations on their tool, challenging them on the demanding structures required by our current projects,” says Deniz Sabuncuoglu Tezcan, who is leading imec’s Novel Components Integration team. “The results convinced us that the Rapier module can help us create the devices we envisage. The demos also showed that the processes will deliver the high throughputs and repeatability necessary for cost-effective volume production.”

    “We are very pleased to be working with imec, a world-renowned institute with a global reputation for developing cutting-edge technology”, said Kevin Crofton, Executive VP and COO of SPTS. “BioMEMS is one of the new frontiers of the MEMS industry and will deliver huge benefits to our health and wellbeing. We’re proud that our technology will be used to develop life-changing devices that will benefit this and future generations”.

     Deep silicon-etched structures with SPTS’ Omega c2L Rapier tool at imec

    Figure 1 - Deep silicon-etched structures with SPTS’ Omega c2L Rapier tool at imec

    ---end---

    About imec
    Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of more than 2,000 people includes more than 650 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2012, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 320 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.

    Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

    Contact:

    Hanne Degans

    External Communications Officer

    T: +32 16 28 17 69

    Mobile: +32 486 065 175

    Hanne.Degans@imec.be

    About SPTS Technologies
    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

    Contact:

    Evelyn Tay,

    Corporate Marketing Director

    Mobile: +44 7885 70 6565

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/Imec-and-SPTS-partner-on-advanced-nanotechnology-applications-in-BioMEMS.aspx Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS to Present Keynotes at SEMICON Europa 2013]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 3 Oct, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets will present two keynotes at SEMICON Europa 2013. At the 17th Fab Managers Forum, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Kevin Crofton, will present on Competitive Strategies and Tactics in a Global Industry: A European Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Perspective.   Dr. Dave Thomas, marketing director of etch products will present at the International MEMS/MST Industry Forum’s session 3 on Advances in Profile Uniformity, CD Uniformity and Tilt Control for High Aspect Ratio DRIE Processes.

    Held at the Messe Dresden in Germany from October 8-10, the annual exposition and conference serves as a platform for discussing key European semiconductor trends and issues.

    17th Fab Managers Forum Keynote Session Details

    SPTS Keynote: Competitive Strategies and Tactics in a Global Industry: A European Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Perspective

    Presenter: Kevin Crofton, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

    Date: 8 October, 2013

    Time: 09:00

    Location: Ballroom, Messe Dresden

    International MEMS/MST Industry Forum Keynote (Session 3) Details

    SPTS Keynote: Advances in Profile Uniformity, CD Uniformity and Tilt Control for High Aspect Ratio DRIE Processes.

    Presenter: Dr. Dave Thomas, Marketing Director, Etch Products

    Date: 8 October, 2013

    Time: 09:00

    Location: Garden Hall, Messe Dresden

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-to-present-keynote-at-SEMICON-Europa-2013.aspx Thu, 03 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Announce Sigma fxP PVD for 300mm Power Device Manufacturing]]> Taiwanese flag Click here for Traditional Chinese translation

    Newport, United Kingdom, and SEMICON Taiwan, 4 Sept, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the launch of its Sigma® fxP physical vapor deposition (PVD) system for 300mm power device manufacturing. Available system options include modules for frontside thick aluminum processing and backside metal deposition on ultra-thin wafers. The new system is designed to address the technical challenges customers face as they scale power PVD processes up to 300mm wafer size.

    In a discrete MOSFET power device, current passes through the silicon substrate so electrical contacts are required on both sides of the wafer. Due to the high currents involved, thick aluminum alloy layers are deposited on the frontside of the wafer (typically > 4µm rather than <1µm for mainstream silicon interconnects). However, depositing thick films puts unusually large heat loads on process chamber hardware, potentially resulting in film contamination from outgassing chamber furniture. This contamination can lead to the formation of aluminum whiskers/extrusions in the growing film that can ultimately result in device killer defects. In traditional front end fab deposition equipment, a common technique to mitigate this issue is to reduce film deposition rates with a corresponding reduction on system productivity. However, the Sigma® fxP design overcomes that challenge without compromising throughput. Sigma® fxP users routinely deposit thick Al layers at rates >1.4 µm/min without any yield destroying whiskers or extrusions.

    With frontside processing complete, wafers are thinned down to 50µm or less to reduce ‘on-state’ resistance and solder metal layers are deposited on the backside. No supporting carrier substrates are used and the ultra-thin, large area wafer will deform under the influence of uncontrolled film stresses, with miss-handling a potential consequence. The Sigma® fxP carries thin wafer handling hardware and uses film deposition stress control techniques to deliver high throughput processes with low wafer bow.

    SPTS Sigma fxP PVD systemCurrently, seven out of the top ten power device manufacturers, and all major foundries use the Sigma® fxP as the process tool of record for power PVD processing. With power device manufacturing moving to 300mm format wafers, SPTS has successfully transferred its market leading process knowledge and capability to the new platform.

    “We are pleased to offer customers a complete solution for 300 mm Power PVD processing,” said Chris Jones, product marketing manager at SPTS. “Sigma® fxP systems are in full production for frontside thick Al and thin wafer backside processing. We are prepared to support the IDMs and foundries as they make the transition from 150 and 200mm wafer formats to 300mm.” 

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Announce-Sigma-fxP-PVD-for-300-mm-Power-Device-Manufacturing.aspx Wed, 04 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Acquires XACTIX Inc. to Expand Etch Offering]]> Acquisition strengthens SPTS’ MEMS vapor release etch IP and product portfolio.

    Newport, United Kingdom, 25 June 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has acquired XACTIX, Inc., the market leading provider of xenon difluoride (XeF2)-based release etch technology. XACTIX is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Manufacturing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices such as microphones, inertial sensors and RF switches, often requires a “release etch” step to remove a sacrificial layer to allow free movement of specific parts of the mechanical structure. By adding the XACTIX product line to its HF vapor phase release offering, SPTS now supports release technologies for silicon/molybdenum/germanium and silicon oxide sacrificial layers. Both processes offer advantages over traditional wet etch solutions because they eliminate “stiction” between moving parts, which can make precision MEMS devices inoperable.

    SPTS and XACTIX jointly developed the CVE single wafer XeF2 release etch module and have shared sales/marketing channels over a number of years.

    “Bringing XACTIX’s technology and product portfolio into the SPTS family is a natural and logical step for us.” said William Johnson, president and CEO at SPTS. “This expands our product offering in MEMS release etch and adds to our MEMS toolbox.”

    SPTS CVE cluster system for XeF2 etch

    Kyle Lebouitz, CTO & Founder of XACTIX echoed these sentiments, “This evolution of the long-standing relationship between SPTS and XACTIX will expand our opportunities in the MEMS market, and provide our customers with an enlarged and comprehensive sales and support infrastructure.”

    XACTIX operations and personnel will now become part of SPTS’ Release Etch Division, also based in Pennsylvania.

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay 
    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Acquires-XACTIX-Inc-to-Expand-Etch-Offering.aspx Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Wins Rapier Etch Order from China’s GSMC]]> Specialist foundry selects SPTS for its new MEMS manufacturing line

    Newport, United Kingdom, 11 June 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has secured an order from one of China’s leading foundries, Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (GSMC). The SPTS Omega c2L Rapier etch system will be used to manufacture inertial MEMS devices in Shanghai, China.

    The Rapier system will perform a variety of DRIE processes, including the tilt sensitive features common to products such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. The system will also be configured with CLARITAS®, SPTS’ unique end point detection technology.

    “We chose SPTS after running demonstrations with several DRIE vendors. SPTS’ results were consistent with their position as the number one supplier to our industry,” said Dr. Qi Li, vice president of purchasing at GSMC. “Their deep understanding of MEMS processing will be valuable as we ramp products through our new line.”

    “We are very pleased to win this order from GSMC,” said Dr. Dave Thomas, etch marketing director at SPTS. “GSMC’s vision is to be a leader in differentiated technologies, and MEMS fits perfectly into their portfolio. China is becoming a MEMS powerhouse and we look forward to helping GSMC share in that growth.”

    According to a recent IHS report, the booming smart phone market in China is driving demand for motion sensors. With that, China’s MEMS market value is expected to hit $2.3 billion this year, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 13.4 percent.

     

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay (Evelyn.Tay@spts.com)

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Wins-Rapier-Etch-Order-from-Chinas-GSMC.aspx Tue, 11 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[Epitaxial SiC films grown on 300mm Si wafers]]> Newport, United Kingdom and Brisbane, Australia, 29 May 2013 –The Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Facility (QMF) of Griffith University and industry partner SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, have announced epitaxial growth of 3C silicon carbide (SiC) films on 300mm silicon wafers. This breakthrough is the result of over 10 years research at QMF on low temperature SiC deposition on silicon and the joint development by QMF and SPTS of a commercial reactor to extend the epitaxial growth process to commercial scale production of SiC coated silicon wafers.

    The ultimate target of the joint project is to provide a cost-effective buffer material to enable fabrication of gallium nitride (GaN) devices on silicon substrates. Fabricating GaN light emitting diodes (LEDs) and power devices on large diameter silicon wafers is viewed as a path to improve performance and reduce cost, thereby increasing commercial acceptance of these devices; however, existing buffer layers used to bridge the large thermal and lattice mismatch between silicon and GaN are costly and not completely effective for large scale production.

    A 3C-SiC film provides an effective buffer layer lattice-matched for GaN growth on silicon, as well as an impervious barrier to prevent silicon from diffusing into GaN, of particular concern for power devices. Initial estimates are that the new SiC on silicon coating process in volume production would add no more than $25-35 to the cost of a silicon wafer, substantially increasing the appeal of silicon as a substrate for LEDs and GaN power devices.

    “We believe we are the first in the world to grow 3C-SiC epitaxially on 300mm silicon wafers, which means following the same crystal structure as the silicon crystal substrate,” said Alan Iacopi, QMF Director of Operations. “The reactor development project with SPTS has allowed the QMF R&D process to be extended from small wafers up to 300mm wafers with semiconductor industry specifications; in fact, we have already achieved SiC film thickness uniformities of around 1% on 300mm wafers using the new reactor.”

    “SPTS is excited to be a partner in this project, as we see the QMF SiC technology as a potential breakthrough in reducing the cost of LEDs and improving the performance of GaN power devices,” according to William Johnson, President and CEO of SPTS. “Based on our extensive background in vertical furnace technology, the new reactor has been designed for high temperature vacuum processing of batch loads of 150mm to 300mm wafers, with process automation suitable for commercial application. There are a number of buffer and template wafer suppliers offering alternative solutions; however, we see a strong business case for device manufacturers adopting the QMF/SPTS SiC solution to optimize process and control substrate costs.”

    Added Mr Iacopi, “The Griffith University and SPTS partnership has far reaching implications in terms of demonstrating how Australian research entities (like QMF) can collaborate with international industry to advance frontier technologies and bring industrial benefit to Queensland. We have all the ingredients to develop a high tech economy in Queensland, including technically leading Universities, the Australian National Fabrication Facility infrastructure, entrepreneurial spirit, and start-up company investment support.”

     

    About Griffith University Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre

    The Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre is a science and engineering research centre based at Griffith University.  The Centre brings together researchers with expertise in materials development, sensing, microelectronic engineering and the fundamental theory of condensed matter. The Queensland Microtechnology Facility, within the QMNC, is focused on leading SiC on Si technology to commercialisation. Funded by Queensland State Government and Australia's National Fabrication Facility, it houses a large silicon wafer fabrication processing capability and enables research and development of SiC on Si material for mechanical and semiconductor devices.

    For more information please visit www.griffith.edu.au/qmnc]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/Epitaxial-SiC-films-grown-on-300mm-Si-wafers.aspx Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Ships 1000th DRIE Process Module]]> Milestone shipment extends company’s leadership in DRIE

    Newport, United Kingdom, and SEMICON Singapore, 7 May, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the company had reached a milestone in shipping its 1000th deep reactive ion etch (DRIE) module. This announcement was made at the SEMICON Singapore MEMS Forum in recognition of the country’s growing status as a hub of MEMS activity.

    SPTS Rapier DRIE moduleFundamental to DRIE is the switched Bosch process patented by Robert Bosch in 1994. SPTS was the original Bosch process licensee, shipping its first commercial system in 1995. Since that time, DRIE process capability has continuously improved to the point where etch rates in production exceed 30µm/min, aspect ratios can exceed 90:1 and device features of <50nm are achievable. Recently, DRIE is also being applied to through-silicon via (TSV) technology for 3D integration. SPTS remains the market-leading supplier of DRIE processing systems to a wide range of MEMS device manufacturers and packaging foundries.

    “This 1000th shipment is a proud moment for everyone at SPTS,” said Dr. Dave Thomas, marketing director for Etch Products at SPTS. “MEMS feature in every automobile, smartphone, tablet and gaming console on sale today. Our lives are hugely enriched by these microscopic sensors, and in the near future our healthcare will become reliant on them. For nearly 20 years, our engineers have contributed to this widespread adoption by producing more reliable, cost effective DRIE systems with the precision and control that is required for ever more sensitive and functional devices. We continue to develop our DRIE technology for future generations of MEMS and related chip-sets.”

     

    NOTE: SPTS Technologies is presenting at the upcoming SEMICON Singapore 2013 event; 8th May at the 2.5D/3D IC Forum in panel discussion, and the MEMS Forum on 9th May at 1:25 pm. Both events are held at the MBS Convention Centre.

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Ships-1000th-DRIE-Process-Module.aspx Tue, 07 May 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Wins Prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 22 Apr, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today proudly announced it had won a Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade. The award recognizes the outstanding growth of the company’s global business during the past three years. The judging panel also assessed SPTS’ relationships with employees, customers and suppliers, and its impact on the environment and society.

    The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were introduced in 1966 to acknowledge businesses with outstanding performance in three categories – International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. The awards are open to any company operating in the UK and are announced annually on 21 April, The Queen’s birthday.

    Headquartered in Newport, Wales, SPTS also manufactures in California and Pennsylvania in the United States. In addition, the company operates across 16 other countries in Europe and Asia serving customers across the globe. SPTS exports more than 90 percent of its products from the UK.

    “We are extremely honored to receive this award”, said William Johnson, President and CEO of SPTS. “On behalf of all our employees worldwide, we are grateful for this prestigious recognition.”

    “This is a testament to the continuous success we have achieved over the past few years.” said Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and COO of SPTS. “We export to many of the biggest names in the microelectronics industry, and our growth is further proof that UK developed technologies and products are competitive on a global scale.”

    About the Award

    The awards are made annually by Her Majesty The Queen, and are awarded to companies with the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Wins-Prestigious-Queens-Award-for-Enterprise-in-International-Trade.aspx Mon, 22 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Takes Number Two Spot in the Annual Profit Track 100 League Table]]> Listed as the top privately owned manufacturing company in the UK

    Newport, United Kingdom, 18 Apr, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced it was ranked number two in the annual Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 league table. This list identifies the top 100 privately owned British companies with fastest-growing profits based on the latest three years’ figures.

    The Profit Track 100 is sponsored by PwC, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and UBS Wealth Management, and is compiled by Fast Track, a research organization.

    Rob Lewis, Regional Chairman of the West region at PwC, the title sponsor of the league table for the 14th year, commented on the region’s success stories, “Britain's privately owned businesses are crucial to the economic recovery of the country. These are businesses that innovate to improve people’s lives, build vital infrastructure, and export world class products and services to faster growing parts of the world, enabling everyone in Britain to benefit from the success of other countries as well as our own. The Profit Track 100 demonstrates the successes of these businesses across a variety of sectors and serves to highlight the valuable contributions they make.”

    “Being the top privately owned manufacturing company in Britain is recognition of the hard work by our 500 global employees,” said Dr. William Johnson, president and chief executive officer of SPTS. “I am proud of the progress we’ve made since our formation in 2009.”

    Chief operating officer Kevin Crofton echoed these sentiments, “Our technology focus and the ability to respond quickly to customer needs results in strong loyalty. We owe our success to our customers, partners and employees.” SPTS is a semiconductor equipment manufacturing company based in Newport, Wales. The company also has additional manufacturing locations in California and Pennsylvania in the United States, plus sales and service offices around Europe, North America and Asia.

     

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

     

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay
    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Takes-Number-Two-Spot-in-the-Annual-Profit-Track-100-League-Table.aspx Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Ships Etch Solutions to Europe’s Leading R&D Organizations]]> R&D orders affirms SPTS versatility in leading edge etch applications

    Newport, United Kingdom, 4 Apr, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced it has received multiple orders from several of the Europe’s leading research and development (R&D) institutions, including the Delft Institute of Microsystems & Nanoelectronics (DIMES), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Institut FEMTO-ST (Franche-Comté Electronique Mécanique Thermique et Optique – Sciences et Technologies) and IEF (Institut d’Electronique Fondamentale). Each customer selected SPTS equipment for its process flexibility, extendibility, and long-term application potential.

    Dimes is a research institute within the Delft University of Technology with cleanroom facilities where submicron electronics and MEMS technologies are combined to fabricate micro systems. Applications are medical (flexible chips in catheters), nano-instrumentation (integrated microfluidic jet systems, sensors), infrastructure (integrated radars) and energy (smart lighting). The Omega i2L Rapier system will be essential for wafer-deep etches of micromechanical structures and through silicon vias with vertical or tapered sidewalls. The selection of this system was driven by the need for a reliable DRIE system, able to fulfill the stringent process requirements.

    Swiss research institute EPFL chose SPTS’s advanced physical source (APS) to focus on dielectric etching. Of particular interest is controlling sidewall quality for shallow optical waveguides in silicon nitride and also etching 40µm deep trenches into fused silica glass. The APS is characterized by a plasma density that is typically ten times higher than conventional inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) reactors, making the module well suited to etch strongly-bonded materials such as glass, and even tougher materials like silicon carbide (SiC) and sapphire.

    France-based institute IEF will use their etch system for two dissimilar silicon processes – the first application involves fabricating nano trenches 80nm wide at >5:1 aspect ratio and with super smooth sidewalls (with a roughness of <6nm), with the second, a 50µm feature at 400µm deep. IEF awarded the business to SPTS following a successful demonstration which saw its Pegasus Rapier process module perform to these rigorous requirements using a single hardware set-up.

    The French research organization Institut Femto-ST chose the Pegasus Rapier for their optics, sensor and actuator device development. During the evaluation process, SPTS satisfied stringent process specifications to win the business.

    Both Femto-ST and IEF are members of RENATECH, the French national network of large technological facilities.

    “Our customers each carried out extensive testing activities across multiple competing vendors, running demonstrations on critical applications and bench-marking technical capabilities, system functionality, and cost,” said Dr. Dave Thomas, marketing director for etch products at SPTS. “These wins demonstrate SPTS is meeting its commitment to satisfy the demanding requirements of the world’s most prolific R&D organizations. It is through this type of collaboration that new production applications will emerge”.

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Ships-Etch-Solutions-to-Europes-Leading-RD-Organizations.aspx Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Nominated for BVCA Awards]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 2 Apr, 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the company has been shortlisted for the annual Management Team Awards organized by British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA). SPTS is in the running for Large Buyout Management Team of the Year, and International Impact Management Team of the Year awards.        

    The Large Buyout Management Team of the Year award recognizes outstanding management of a company backed by a large private equity firm (>£100m deal size), while the International Impact Management Team of the Year award honours business leaders who have achieved commercial success on a global scale. Regional finalists will be announced in April, after which national winners are unveiled at an awards ceremony in July. 

    "The BVCA Management Team Awards, in partnership with Clearwater Corporate Finance, is a recognition of the achievements of British companies that are backed by private equity and venture capital. By celebrating the hard-work and dedication of management teams across the country, we are both applauding their success and illustrating the impact they and the industry have on the real economy. The awards paint a picture of an enterprising Britain with private equity and venture capital at its heart," says Tim Hames, deputy chief executive, BVCA.

    Bridgepoint, a major international private equity group, backed a management buyout of SPTS in June 2011. The company has grown rapidly by strategically investing in organic and inorganic projects that focus on emerging market sectors in the semiconductor industry. This focus on technical innovation, coupled with an emphasis on comprehensive global customer support has allowed SPTS to gain market share and deliver strong financial performance.

    About the BVCA Management Team Awards

    The BVCA Management Team Awards are a year-long process of regional and national nominations and judging established to celebrate the achievements of private equity and venture capital-backed portfolio companies. These are the only awards to recognise the positive impact of private equity and venture capital-backed companies on the British and global economies and to commend the achievements of the management teams that create, nurture and lead them. Following a series of regional heats, the national award winners will be announced in July 2013 at a black tie dinner and ceremony in London. Winners of the regional heats for seven categories will be automatically put forward for selection at the national stage.

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Nominated-for-BVCA-Awards.aspx Tue, 02 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Expands Customer Portfolio with Multi-system Order from DigitalOptics Corporation]]> Newport, United Kingdom, 16 Jan 2013 – SPTS Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the receipt of a multi-system order from DigitalOptics Corporation (DOC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tessera, for Pegasus Rapier deep silicon etch and Primaxx HF Vapor release systems. These systems will be used to manufacture MEMS-based autofocus actuators for smart phone cameras.

    Increasingly seen in high-end smart phones, DOC’s MEMS actuators are used to automatically position lens elements within cameras to provide fast, precise, and low power autofocus on the photo’s subject. Micromachined from silicon, successful production of these devices relies on the critical performance of the silicon etch module followed by the stiction-free HF vapor release of the micro-machined components. Powered by a patented dual source configuration to produce uniform plasma density across the wafer, the Pegasus Rapier DRIE module creates high aspect-ratio features with exceptional profile uniformity and low tilt – key contributors to better device yields translating into cost savings per die. The patented Primaxx® HF vapor technology utilizes a “dry” etch environment ensuring stiction free release of the lens elements.

    “Producing high-performance MEMS autofocus devices requires robust, repeatable and precise manufacturing,” said Tony Tang, PhD., GM DigitalOptics MEMS. “The Pegasus Rapier met our demanding profile uniformity and tilt goals at cost effective throughputs. These attributes are of critical importance as we commercialize our camera modules. In addition, as an existing user of the Primaxx® HF vapor system, we know it delivers the zero stiction, high yield performance we need.”

    “SPTS continues to expand the use of our systems in major MEMS market applications, with smart phone imaging devices as one key growth area,” said Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SPTS. “This order confirms SPTS’s technology leadership across all areas of MEMS manufacturing.”

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay, 
    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    About DigitalOptics Corporation

    DigitalOptics Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA), delivers innovation in imaging and optics with products and capabilities that enable expanded functionality in increasingly smaller devices. DigitalOptics Corporation's miniaturized camera module solutions provide cost-effective, high-quality camera features, including extended depth of field (EDoF), zoom, image enhancement, optical image stabilization and MEMS-based autofocus. These technologies can be applied to consumer electronic products as well as vertical markets such as, automotive, medical and security. The group also offers customized micro-optic lenses from diffractive and refractive optical elements to integrated micro-optical subassemblies. DigitalOptics Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California.

    For information call 1.408.321.6000 or go to www.doc.com .

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Expands-Customer-Portfolio-with-Multi-system-Order-from-DigitalOptics-Corporation.aspx Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS COO Kevin Crofton Named Board Chair for MEMS Industry Group Governing Council in 2013]]> NEWSBYTE — Newport, United Kingdom, 18 Oct, 2012 – SPTS Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, and MEMS Industry Group (MIG), recently announced that SPTS’ executive vice president and chief operating officer Kevin T. Crofton, will assume the role of MIG’s Governing Council Board Chair in the coming 2013 term.

    We are delighted that Kevin has agreed to take on the role of MIG’s 2013 Governing Council board chair,” said Karen Lightman, managing director, MIG. “Kevin and SPTS have been strong supporters of MIG and MEMS Executive Congress, the annual business conference and networking event for the MEMS industry. Kevin’s experience will help to shape our strategy and direction for the coming years.”

    A veteran in the semiconductor capital equipment industry, Mr. Crofton brings more than two decades of manufacturing insights to the council. “Having served on the governing council in the past year, I appreciate the opportunity to play an even more active role as Board Chair in 2013,” said Mr. Crofton. “The MIG is a tireless champion of the MEMS sector, providing a platform for the entire MEMS industry food chain to discuss challenges and opportunities and to advance the adoption of these devices throughout the world. I am honoured to be part of that process.”

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay,  

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-COO-Kevin-Crofton-Named-Board-Chair-for-MEMS-Industry-Group-Governing-Council-in-2013-.aspx Thu, 18 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Signs Joint Development Program (JDP) for 300mm 3D-IC Application with Fraunhofer IZM ASSID]]> Fraunhofer ASSID center adds PECVD capability to 300mm device stacking line

    Newport, United Kingdom , 9 October, 2012— [SEMICON Europa] SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has signed a JDP Program with ASSID from Fraunhofer-IZM to research sub-175ºC dielectric films in through silicon vias (TSV) for 3D-IC packaging. The program will use 300mm APM plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) modules installed on a Versalis® platform alongside SPTS etch chambers in the All Silicon System Integration Dresden (ASSID) centre in Dresden, Germany.

    ASSID was set up in 2010, to develop 3D integration technologies on 300mm wafers, enabling leading device manufacturers to apply 3D-IC technology in volume production. By integrating the PECVD modules with etch processes on a single wafer handler, ASSID uses the Versalis system to optimize process results and reduce capital expenditure for development and pilot production.

    The APM offers unique low temperature PECVD processes, targeting via-last TSV applications and via-reveal passivation. Dielectric layers for TSV isolation can be deposited at temperatures below 175°C to provide high sidewall coverage, low stress and proven ‘in-via’ electrical performance. For via-reveal, the APM offers high deposition rate silicon oxide and nitride films, compatible with silicon-on-glass substrates and combining excellent coverage, barrier properties and electrical isolation.

    M. Juergen Wolf, the Manager of Fraunhofer IZM-ASSID and head of division HDI&WLP /ASSID said, “SPTS has been a important partner, who contributes valuable experience and production experience for our 300mm 3D device stacking assembly line. The additional PECVD capability provided another important process step in this line.”

    Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer added, “We’re delighted to be a part of Fraunhofer’s 300mm development line. SPTS is a leader in integrated 3D-IC solutions and we expect the advanced work Fraunhofer-IZM performed on our etch and PECVD process capabilities to accelerate the adoption of 3D packaging by volume manufacturers.”

    About Delta PECVD Systems

    Delta PECVD Systems offer productive, single-wafer processes for the deposition of dielectric films on wafer sizes up to 300mm. The PECVD chamber is supported by all SPTS cluster platforms and also by the unique Versalis fxP hybrid cluster system. A single chamber design supports multiple wafer sizes. Digital control of critical hardware components gives precise and repeatable process performance across a range of applications, with a unique platen design enabling <200°C deposition temperatures. Key Delta applications include; ultra-uniform silicon nitride for GaAs RFIC capacitor, low temperature dielectrics for advanced packaging and tuned-stress films for MEMS.

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay (Evelyn.Tay@spts.com)

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Signs-JDP-with-Fraunhofer-IZM-ASSID.aspx Tue, 09 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Debuts Low-Temperature PECVD Technology for 3D-IC]]> Low temperature dielectrics with degas capability addresses two post-TSV packaging challenges

    Translation For Traditional Chinese translation, click here

    Newport, United Kingdom, 19 September 2012 – SPTS Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the availability of its low temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) solution for via-reveal passivation in 3D-IC packaging applications. Already proven in 300mm volume production fabs, the Delta fxP® PECVD system deposits dielectric layers onto bonded substrates at wafer temperatures below 200°C, with throughputs up to twice that of its competitors.

    Via reveal, or post-through silicon via (TSV) processing occurs after the TSVs are formed. Wafers are temporarily bonded, face-down to a carrier and then thinned from the back side to reveal the vias. The via tips are then passivated, typically with a combination of silicon nitride and oxide before final redistribution metallization. However, the temporary bonding adhesive introduces two challenges to the PECVD passivation step. The first challenge is to deliver the required passivation film properties at a wafer temperature below 200°C to maintain the integrity of the temporary bond. Second, the bonding adhesive will out-gas inside the PECVD vacuum chamber, disrupting the quality of the growing film. The Delta fxP cluster system provides unique solutions to these challenges. SPTS has developed a number of hardware and process innovations to deposit low leakage current/high breakdown voltage TEOS oxides and nitrides at low wafer temperature. Excellent electrical isolation combined with high step coverage and mechanical robustness is obtained at a peak deposition temperature of < 190°C. Critically, SPTS’ low temperature PECVD films are stable, with film properties staying constant over time.

    To address the adhesive out-gassing problem, the Delta fxP carries an integrated batch Multi-Wafer Degas [MWD]. Since the temperature limit of bonded wafers is low, degas times of 15 minutes is not uncommon for some adhesives meaning significant cuts in productivity if a single wafer degas is adopted. By outgassing multiple wafers at the same time in the MWD, degas times up to 1 hour can be accommodated without compromising system throughput.

    “SPTS possess a truly unique low temperature PECVD technology solution for via reveal passivation,” said Keith Buchanan, Marketing Manager for Advanced Deposition Products. “The combination of leading film properties and highest system throughput on bonded wafers addresses two of major obstacles in productionising post-TSV packaging.”

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Debuts-Low-Temperature-PECVD-Technology-for-3D-IC.aspx Wed, 19 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Leading the Way in Via Reveal Etch Solutions]]> Process flexibility and unique end-point solution improve yields for post-TSV processing

     For traditional Chinese translation, please click here

    Newport, United Kingdom AND SEMICON Taiwan, 5 Sept, 2012 – SPTS Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced its industry leading dry etch process technology for via reveal applications. Already established as the tool of record at major customer sites, the Pegasus Rapier module offers a silicon etch rate at least 2 times better than its nearest competitor, class-leading uniformities of +/- 2.5% on 300mm bonded TSV wafers, and the industry’s only via reveal endpoint system, ReViaTM.

    Via reveal, or post-TSV processing occurs after the through silicon vias (TSVs) are formed. The wafer is then temporarily bonded, face down, onto a carrier and ground typically to within 5-10 µm of the buried TSV’s. The ground Si surface is then dry etched, selectively to the TSV liner oxide, revealing the copper filled vias to a height of around 5 µm. After silicon etching, these via tips are passivated with further dielectric and then polished by chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) to expose the copper ready for RDL (redistribution layer) metallization.

    TSV wafer thickness, carrier wafer thickness, bond layer uniformity, TSV etch uniformity and back-grinding uniformity all contribute to a significant incoming total thickness variation (TTV), which can cause issues with subsequent process steps. The SPTS Pegasus Rapier module allows flexible multiple mode operation with its dual source design. In its principal mode, optimum etch depth uniformity is achieved to an edge exclusion of 3mm, preserving the TTV of ‘good’ incoming wafers. However, if required, alternative operating modes are available where the silicon can be etched with centre-fast or edge-fast profiles to rectify ‘problematic’ incoming TTV, delivering a more uniform outgoing wafer.

    Due to grind rate uncertainties, it is essential that the point at which the vias are revealed can be detected in-situ. Without endpoint, the user has to independently measure the silicon thickness above the TSVs on every wafer and adjust the etch time accordingly; adding cost, complexity and risk of yield loss in the process flow. Available only on the Pegasus Rapier, the ReVia end-point system detects the point at which the TSV tips are revealed, enabling a consistent reveal height from one wafer to the next, increasing yields and avoiding scrap. Via reveal processes on wafers with via densities <0.01% have been successfully end-pointed.

    “Etch rate, uniformity control and end-point detection all play their part in delivering the lowest cost per die and the highest yield at a point in the fabrication process where the wafers have an extremely high value,” said Dr. Dave Thomas, Marketing Director for etch products. “Our innovative dual source reactor design coupled with our competence in developing and integrating novel end-point techniques, is maintaining our leadership in this area of the Advanced Packaging market.”

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay 

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Leading-the-Way-in-Via-Reveal-Etch-Solutions.aspx Wed, 05 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Announces Multi-System Orders for C2MI]]> Multiple Etch, CVD and Thermal Processing systems procured for TSV, MEMS and Bulk Acoustic Wave Manufacturing

    Newport, United Kingdom, and San Jose, California 9 July, 2012—SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced a multi-system order of Versalis fxP (Etch/CVD), and AVP Thermal Processing systems for a wide variety of manufacturing applications at the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI) facility in Bromont, Quebec, Canada. C2MI, as a Centre of Excellence, provides a unique infrastructure to support its members in commercializing innovative concepts in packaging, complex microsystems, 3D design integration and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) developments.

    Among the C2MI members, Teledyne DALSA, a pure-play MEMS foundry leader, intends to leverage the capabilities available at the C2MI for its customers to deliver advanced MEMS manufacturing technologies, and rapidly bring them to market.

    The Versalis fxP, a cluster system that provides an integrated solution with multiple process steps, is fitted with Pegasus Rapier, APS, ICP and Isopod plasma etch modules together with an APM unit for plasma-enhanced CVD (PECVD). The system is used in multiple process steps including deep silicon etching, patterning of aluminum-based metals for interconnect, and the formation of aluminum nitride (AlN) bulk acoustic wave resonators in advanced packaging and MEMS applications.

    The AVP vertical furnaces provide a wide variety of processes specifically developed for productive, low CoO MEMS applications. At C2MI the systems will be used to deposit thick doped polysilicon, stress-controlled Silicon Nitride and TEOS-based oxide films as well as thermal oxidation processes. In addition, SPTS will collaborate with partners at C2MI on the development of next-generation thermal technology for applications in MEMS and advanced packaging.

    “By partnering with industry leaders, like SPTS, in processing MEMS and wafer level packaging wafer , we are affirming our commitment to be a Centre of Excellence in these arenas so that we could provide the most advanced technologies to our partners in an environment where collaborations can thrive,” said Normand Bourbonnais, President & CEO at C2MI.” Luc Ouellet, vice-president of Technology Development at Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor, echoed the comments from Mr. Bourbonnais by stating that “ The characteristics of SPTS AVP vertical furnaces such as wafer rotation, distributed gas injection, and pumping, as well as in-situ tube cleaning allow extremely tight control of the mechanical and electrical characteristics of strategic in-situ doped polysilicon, ISDP, and low-stress silicon nitride LS-SiN materials”. “ The integrated process modules of SPTS’ Versalis fxP cluster tool allows advanced MEMS processes with in-situ combinations of Si DRIE, deep oxide etch, etch of piezoelectric materials and deposition of ultra-conformal dielectrics in very high aspect ratio through-silicon vias (TSV)" added Mr. Ouellet.

    “C2MI and Teledyne DALSA are recognized leaders in microelectronics and MEMS research. SPTS is pleased to be selected as one of their prime manufacturing partners,” said Kevin T.Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating office at SPTS. “ We look forward to collaborating with the technologists at C2MI to advance their MEMS and packaging development activities and help to bring them to production.”

     

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

     

    About C2MI

    The MiQro Innovation Collaborative Center (C2MI) is an international reference in the fields of advanced packaging and microsystems. The C2MI is a centre of excellence for commercialization and research (CECR) whose role is to help produce market-driven prototypes in the fields of applications of the information and communication technologies, automobile, aerospace as well as environment and health to accelerate their commercialization. The establishment of C2MI was made possible by contributions from Industry Canada, the ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation du Québec, Université de Sherbrooke, industrial partners and the Town of Bromont.

    Visit www.c2mi.ca .

    Company Contact:

    Vincent Fortin

    vincent.fortin@c2mi.ca

     

    About Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor

    Located in Bromont, Quebec, Canada, Teledyne DALSA's award winning semiconductor wafer foundry has a proud history of innovation in specialties such as MEMS, CCDs, and high voltage CMOS. As a pure-play foundry, our goal is to deliver innovative foundry capabilities as a manufacturing partner to fabless and fab-lite semiconductor companies to help them succeed with their advanced MEMS or High Voltage Electrostatic Actuator designs.

    For more information, please visit www.teledynedalsa.com/semi/  .

     

     

     

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Announces-Multi-System-Orders-for-the-MiQro-Innovation-Collaborative-Centre-C2MI.aspx Wed, 25 Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Technologies Joins MEMS Consortium Led by Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME)]]> Consortium to play key role in developing next-generation MEMS manufacturing processes

    Newport, United Kingdom, and Singapore, 21 June, 2012—SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced it has become a member of the MEMS Consortium, led by the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. IME is one of Asia’s leading organizations focusing on microelectronics research and development.

    Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are one of the fastest growing technology markets and enable motion sensors, microphones, oscillators and other life-enhancing devices. IME established the consortium to spearhead research and development of these cutting-edge MEMS technologies together with the support and participation of key manufacturing companies in the supply-chain. The three focused product areas for the consortium’s work are oscillators for mobile phone timing circuits, magnetometers for compassing functions in mobile phones and energy harvesters; devices that capture energy such as wearable components to convert self-generated kinetic energy into a power resource.

    “As the leading R&D centre for MEMS, our goal is to provide significant enhancements to the MEMS ecosystem to boost MEMS manufacturing within Singapore and in the region,” said Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME. “The MEMS consortium provides a platform for researchers and key players spanning the value chain to form a strategic alliance, share knowledge and develop innovations to tap into new opportunities in the global MEMS market.”

    "SPTS Technologies is one of the original members of the MEMS manufacturing community, and we are proud to be a part of the MEMS Consortium,” said Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer, SPTS Technologies. “As process and equipment experts in the fabrication and packaging of MEMS devices, we look forward to contributing to the consortium’s success."

    About SPTS Technologies

    SPTS Technologies (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay, Corporate Marketing

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Joins-MEMS-Consortium-Led-by-Singapores-Institute-of-Microelectronics-IME.aspx Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Expands Chinese Customer Base with PVD Win]]> Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) system to be deployed in China for compound semiconductor applications

     Click here for Simplified Chinese translation

    May 15, 2012 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that its Sigma fxP PVD system had been selected by a Chinese foundry dedicated to producing RF devices on gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrates. The system will be used to deposit front and backside metal layers including integrated passives for producing monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for mobile phones, and increasing counts of GaAs-based switches and power amplifiers (PAs) appear in every handset. As a production-proven platform used by the majority of the world’s leading radio frequency IC (RFIC) device makers, the Sigma fxP system provides the critical capabilities for GaAs based RFIC fabrication.

    “SPTS is proud to be part of China’s developing compound semiconductor device manufacturing industry,” said Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer at SPTS Technologies. “We look forward to contributing to our customer’s success in their production ramp.”

    This is SPTS’ second new Chinese customer announcement in recent weeks, following previous announcement from the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT) selection of a SPTS’ Primaxx® Monarch 3 dry release system for MEMS. Chinese domestic production of such components will grow to serve the China market, the world’s largest consumer of handsets.

     

    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. Key applications for the Sigma® fxPTM include, thick Al alloys for power device and next generation CMOS bondpad, metal seeds for advanced packaging applications such as 3D-IC TSV & UBM/RDL, highly uniform aluminum nitride (AlN) for RF-MEMS devices and processes for the compound semiconductor industry.

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Expands-Chinese-Customer-Base-with-PVD-Win.aspx Tue, 15 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Installs First Vapor HF Release Etch System in China]]>  Click here for Simplified Chinese translation

     

     21 Mar 2012 – SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has commissioned its first vapor hydrogen fluoride (VHF) etch system in China. The Primaxx® Monarch 3 has been installed at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT) for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) dry release etch applications. SIMIT is a multidisciplinary institute within the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) that engages in both fundamental and applied research. The Primaxx Monarch 3 system is housed at SIMIT’s facility in Shanghai, China.

    HF vapor is a dry etchant for removing sacrificial silicon oxide in MEMS structures, providing benefits over conventional wet etching. With a patented, reduced pressure process that is capable of penetrating and releasing very small features, SPTS’ HF vapor etch technology delivers higher device yields as it prevents both stiction and attack on any exposed aluminum surface. In conventional wet-etching, stiction occurs when the released microstructure and substrate are pulled together by the surface tension of the liquid between them during drying of the etchant, and the two surfaces adhere together, damaging the device structure.

    Professor Yang Heng from SIMIT, stated, "One of the main reasons for selecting SPTS’ HF release system for our MEMS accelerometer project was its ability to release very small features without stiction; a characteristic which is not matched by conventional wet HF etch. SPTS demonstrated process expertise with stable and repeatable results within a wide process window. We also wanted to work with a vendor who could offer timely local customer support through an experienced team"

    Paul Hammond, senior director and general manager of SPTS’ Primaxx Products Division, said, "We are proud to achieve the key milestone of shipping the first Primaxx Monarch 3 system into the rapidly growing Chinese market. Our vapor HF dry etch technology is used extensively in a wide range of MEMS applications, from R&D through to high volume production. Our customers appreciate the yield and productivity advantages that come from our dry technology.”

    The Primaxx Monarch 3 system uses a 3-wafer process module to increase throughput without compromising process repeatability, providing high uptime and low cost of system ownership.

    About the SPTS Primaxx® Release Etch Technology

    SPTS is the world leader in reduced pressure, residue-free MEMS dry etch release, a critical buried oxide etch step which “releases” the moving components of challenging MEMS device designs. Combining anhydrous HF gas and alcohol vapor at reduced pressure provides a wide, stable process window that can address different oxide compositions and thicknesses while maintaining high selectivity to other common materials found in MEMS designs including aluminum. The “dry” Primaxx® process also eliminates stiction, a yield-killing phenomenon which can bind the moving components of MEMS devices when released with conventional wet processing technology.

     

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Installs-First-Vapor-HF-Release-Etch-System-in-China.aspx Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[New venture to serve the Japanese Market]]> 7 Dec 2011 - SPTS Technologies (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries today announced the launch of a new joint venture relationship with its former parent company, Sumitomo Precision Products Co, Ltd. (SPP) to jointly serve the Japanese market.
     
    SPTS designs, develops and manufactures capital equipment used to produce electronic and micro-devices for a number of high growth end-markets including micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), power management, advanced packaging, high speed RF components, and high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs). With over 500 employees across 19 countries, SPTS supplies the world’s leading micro-device manufacturers from its main manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales and San Jose, California.
     
    SPP historically supplied certain SPTS systems in Japan through its Micro Technology Division, with local manufacturing under license from SPTS and custom development and support tailored to the Japanese market. In addition, SPTS sold spare parts and other systems in Japan through its wholly owned subsidiary, SPTS K.K., with the cooperation and support of SPP.
     
    As planned from the time of the acquisition of SPTS from SPP in June 2011, a new subsidiary of SPP, SPP Technologies Co., Ltd. (SPT) has been launched with co-investment from SPTS, to combine the SPP Micro Technology business and SPTS K.K. to provide comprehensive solutions to meet the requirements of Japanese customers through the wide range of SPTS products.
     
    “We are very pleased to announce the final step in our MBO process, with the formation of a new relationship with SPP to better serve Japanese customers,” said Dr. William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “SPP has been a leader in MEMS manufacturing equipment for 30 years, and SPTS looks forward to expanding our relationship with SPP as our markets evolve and grow in the future.” SPP president, Susumu Kaminaga agreed, “From 1992 when SPP began distributing Surface Technology Systems (STS) products in Japan and subsequently acquired STS in 1995, SPP has been dedicated to providing Japanese customers with products suited to their unique requirements. The formation of the joint venture ensures the continuation and broadening of that focus by increased cooperation with SPTS.”
     
    About SPTS Technologies
    SPTS Technologies designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These markets include MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs and power management. Formerly known as SPP Process Technology Systems, the company was acquired by its management in June 2011, backed by European private equity firm Bridgepoint. Prior to the acquisition, SPTS was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precisions Products Co. Ltd., formed from the merger of Surface Technology Systems (STS) and acquired assets of Aviza Technology in 2009.
    For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com
     
    About Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd.
    Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd, headquartered in Amagasaki (Japan), have, over the past 90 years, expanded from their core field of aerospace products into such diverse areas as heat-exchangers and heat-control systems, industrial machinery employing hydraulic control, equipment for semiconductor and flat panel display production, ozone generators for protecting the environment and unique motion sensors.
    For more information about SPP, please visit www.spp.co.jp

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    http://www.spts.com/news/New-venture-to-serve-the-Japanese-Market.aspx Wed, 07 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Wins Prize at Made in Wales Awards]]> 28 Nov 2011 — SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced it had been recognized as the Technology category winner at the inaugural 2011 Made in Wales awards. Organized by media organization Wales Business Insider, the award recognizes Wales-based companies who have achieved business excellence in eight categories. When announcing the Technology winner, the judging panel stated that SPTS “impressed judges with the international reach of its product range and the way it has adapted to changing markets over the past three years.”

    “We are delighted to be named the technology winner by Insider’s Made in Wales,” said Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SPTS. “This result honors SPTS’ market-leading products that have been developed here in Newport. I am very proud to accept this on behalf of the team.”

    More than 240 employees work in SPTS’s Newport division, working across technical, manufacturing, R&D and operational departments. 

    About SPTS Technologies
    SPTS Technologies designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These markets include MEMS, advanced packaging, LEDs, high speed RF on GaAs and power management. Formerly known as SPP Process Technology Systems, the company was acquired by its management in June 2011, backed by European private equity firm Bridgepoint. Prior to the acquisition, SPTS was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precisions Products Co. Ltd., formed from the merger of Surface Technology Systems (STS) and acquired assets of Aviza Technology in 2009. For more information about SPTS Technologies, please visit www.spts.com

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Wins-Prize-at-Made-in-Wales-Awards.aspx Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Appoints Henry R. Nothhaft As Non-executive Chairman]]> 1 Nov 2011 — SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the appointment of Henry R. “Hank” Nothhaft as non-executive chairman of the board. In the role, Nothhaft will provide leadership to the Board of Directors, and assist senior management with business and corporate development strategies, plus provide end-market insights. This appointment is effective November 1, 2011.

    Nothhaft is widely recognized as an entrepreneur and industry trailblazer in high technology markets having grown several successful companies as CEO and chairman, including Danger, Inc. (later acquired by Microsoft) and Concentric Network Corporation. From 2004 to 2011, Nothhaft served as a board member and from 2008 as chairman, president and CEO of Tessera Technologies, Inc., a developer of semiconductor packaging technology. Nothhaft has served on a number of board of directors including DSC Communications, VMX Systems, Concentric Network Corporation, Ocular Networks, Vertical Networks and David Systems, and has recently been appointed to the board of directors of Openwave Systems, Inc. He also served on the telecommunications advisory board of Compaq Computer Corporation.

    “We are very pleased that Hank is joining us as non-executive chairman, said Dr. William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “Our company is on an exciting growth path following the June 2011 management acquisition, and Hank’s record of growing technology companies demonstrates a unique ability to see beyond current market needs.” Bridgepoint partner and SPTS board member Kevin Reynolds echoed these sentiments, “We believe Hank’s extensive business acumen in taking different businesses to market and making them successful further strengthens an already impressive SPTS executive team.”

    The newly-appointed chairman Nothhaft said, “I am delighted to be joining the SPTS Technologies board and am excited by the opportunity to contribute to their expansion. I’ve observed their amazing growth over the past 2 years, and am looking forward to working with a motivated and talented management team.

    An advocate for government policies that nurture innovation, small businesses and start-ups, Nothhaft has authored articles and opinion editorials, including a book titled "Great Again: Revitalizing America’s Entrepreneurial Leadership," a call to revive America’s entrepreneurial spirit. Nothhaft has an M.B.A. from the George Washington University in Information Systems Technology and a B.S. with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a former officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and a Vietnam Veteran.

    Company Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    ]]>
    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Appoints-Henry-R-Nothhaft-As-Non-executive-Chairman.aspx Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Ships 600th AVP Vertical Thermal Processing System]]> Milestone shipment to Cypress Semiconductor Corp. for Volume PSoC Production

    San Jose, Calif. — 29 September, 2011 — SPTS Technologies, a leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries today announced the shipment of its 600th Advanced Vertical Processor (AVP) vertical batch thermal processing system to Cypress Semiconductor Corp.. The system will be used for Cypress’s S8 technology platform, which supports Cypress’s TrueTouch®, PSoC® 3, PSoC 5, CapSense® and NVSRAM products. 

    Manufactured at SPTS’ Thermal Products Division in San Jose, Calif., the AVP furnace is used for a diverse range of diffusion and low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) applications in the semiconductor, power management, MEMS and compound semiconductor markets. The division maintains development capability on the common wafer sizes for all these markets, from 100 to 300mm. 

    The AVP is available in a single or dual-boat configuration, providing flexibility and a low CoO solution for all process types. In-situ clean technology enables the AVP to run LPCVD processes for up to two years between quartz change, significantly improving the system uptime and maximizing productivity. Key processes include wafer annealing from 100°C to >1,200°C and the deposition of low-temperature SiGe, thick doped polysilicon and stress-controlled SiN. 

    “SPTS is a key partner in enabling our high-performance Silicon-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (SONOS) technology,” said Shahin Sharifzadeh, executive vice president of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. “ Its expertise in thermal processing technology and commitment to customer service are invaluable in helping us to deliver our products to market.” 

    “We are very pleased to have made this milestone shipment to Cypress,” said Vivek Rao, vice president and general manager of SPTS Thermal Products Division. “ This shipment demonstrates both the success of the AVP product line and pays testament to the strong partnerships we develop with our customers.”

    Media Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Ships-600th-AVP-Vertical-Thermal-Processing-System.aspx Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Takes 900th Order for Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) Module]]> Asian Foundry to Receive Milestone Module for MEMS Production

    Newport, United Kingdom, and SEMICON Taiwan — 7 Sept, 2011 — SPTS Technologies, a leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries today announced it has received an order for its 900th DRIE process module. The module will be shipped to one of Asia’s foundries for use in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing. This milestone confirms SPTS’ market-leading position in DRIE. The company’s DRIE product is used worldwide across a variety of device production, including MEMS, Advanced Packaging, and power devices.

    DRIE is a highly anisotropic etch process used to create structures in silicon (Si), and is the cornerstone of modern MEMS production. The use of DRIE has expanded to also include applications for power (in deep trench isolation) and through-silicon-via (TSV) in advanced 3D-IC production.

    SPTS shipped its first Bosch-licensed DRIE system in 1995 through its close partnership with Robert Bosch GmbH, the inventors of the ‘Bosch process’. As a pioneer in this technology, SPTS has steadily expanded its DRIE product offerings through strategic merger and acquisition activity. In 2009, two of the industry’s leading DRIE providers, Aviza Technologies and STS, merged to form SPTS. In February 2011, SPTS further consolidated this market position by acquiring Tegal’s (formally AMMS) DRIE division, which included important intellectual property (IP) for future product development. SPTS now supports the world’s largest installed base of R&D and production DRIE systems.

    “DRIE is the foundation of the MEMS market and we have supported customers in this space from the very beginning, from the development of inductively-coupled plasma processes, followed by high power decoupled plasma sources, to our latest generation, the Pegasus Rapier system,” said Kevin Crofton, executive vice president and chief operating officer at SPTS. “The growth of the MEMS market has been enormous in the past 5 to 10 years – each of us now comes into contact with a MEMS-enabled device every day. We are proud to be part of this explosive growth, and to be one of the pioneers. We have come a long way since we sold that first system in 1995.”

     

    About Omega™ Etch Systems

    SPTS’ award-winning Omega™ etch systems are a suite of single-wafer etch process modules designed for a variety of market applications. The market leading Omega™ Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) process modules provide production-worthy process capability, with very high throughputs and exceptional tilt control for Bosch process silicon etching used in MEMS and 3D-IC/Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) manufacturing. The Omega™ Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) process modules offer a range of compound semiconductor etch processes comprising GaAs, GaN, GaP for LEDs and high frequency RF devices, and Omega APS is focussed on etching dielectric and low volatility materials, relevant to a variety of applications within MEMS, LEDs and TSV markets.

     

    Media Contact:

    Evelyn Tay

    evelyn.tay@spts.com

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Technologies-Takes-900th-Order-for-Deep-Reactive-Ion-Etch-DRIE-Module.aspx Wed, 07 Sep 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[Management and Bridgepoint Complete Acquisition of SPTS]]> Company Renamed SPTS Technologies 

    Newport, and London, United Kingdom — 2 August, 2011 — SPTS Technologies, formerly known as SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries today announced the completion of the transaction by SPTS management and Bridgepoint to acquire the company from Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd. (SPP). The deal closed with an enterprise value of nearly $200m. SPP will continue to have an association with SPTS through a minority equity stake in the company, and will cooperate with SPTS to jointly serve the Japanese market. 

    SPTS designs, develops and manufactures capital equipment used to produce electronic and micro-devices for a number of high growth end-markets including micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), power management, advanced packaging, high speed RF components, and high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs). With over 500 employees across 19 countries, SPTS supplies the world’s leading micro-device manufacturers from its main manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales and San Jose, California. 

    On 27 June 2011, SPTS and Bridgepoint announced the signing of a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the company from SPP, subject to certain regulatory filings, now completed. As mentioned in the earlier announcement, there will be no change in management, product strategy, customer focus, or mission at SPTS after the ownership change, only a minor change in name in deference to the former parent company. 

    The all-equity, debt-free transaction sets a positive example for private equity funded management buy-outs of equipment companies, with Bridgepoint known for taking a long term view on its investment portfolio. 

    “We are very pleased to announce the completion of the transaction process, and are looking forward to the next phase of the company’s growth,” said Dr. William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “Bridgepoint’s financial backing and merger and acquisition (M&A) experience will be great assets in our growth strategy for the company.” EVP & COO Kevin Crofton agreed, “Bridgepoint provides a solid foundation as we expand our operational infrastructure and we will continue our focus on best of breed customer satisfaction.”

     

    About Bridgepoint

    Bridgepoint is a European private equity firm focussing on the acquisition of companies valued up to €1 billion. With some €11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition. Although a generalist investor, Bridgepoint has developed expertise in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, media, and industrial sectors. It has offices throughout Europe in Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.

    See http://www.bridgepoint.eu/

     

    For further information:

    Evelyn Tay

    SPTS Technologies

    Tel: +65 8383 0393

    Email: evelyn.tay@spp-pts.com

     

    James Murray

    Bridgepoint

    Tel: +44 20 7432 3555 or +44 7802 259761

    Email: james.murray@bridgepoint.eu

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/Management-and-Bridgepoint-Complete-Acquisition-of-SPTS.aspx Tue, 02 Aug 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[Bridgepoint Backs Acquisition of SPTS]]> Bridgepoint Backs Acquisition of SPTS

    NEWPORT and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - June 27, 2011 - SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products ('SPP') and leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry announced today that Bridgepoint, a European private equity firm is backing a management acquisition of SPTS from SPP. 

    SPTS designs, develops and manufactures capital equipment that is used in the production of devices on semiconductor substrates. SPTS serves a number of end-markets including micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), power management, advanced packaging, high speed RF components, and light emitting diodes (LEDs) on compound semiconductor substrates. With over 500 employees in manufacturing, sales and service operations across 19 countries, SPTS serves the world's leading micro-device manufacturers through its main operations in Newport, Wales and San Jose, California. In 2010 it generated sales of $217 million and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of $58 million. 

    SPTS President and CEO William Johnson said, "The investment by Bridgepoint in SPTS signifies the next stage in our evolution as a market leader in the MEMS, compound semiconductor, advanced packaging and power markets. SPP's support in the company has been invaluable, and the Board is grateful for the success enabled by SPP." "We are constantly looking to develop our capabilities to meet future customer needs and with Bridgepoint as a new investment partner, their financial and commercial expertise will be a key pillar to our expansion." 

    "I have been closely involved in the development of SPTS following the time with STS since its acquisition made by SPP in 1995. Consequently, I am very pleased with our decision to support the management team's plans to take SPTS forward," said Susumu Kaminaga, president, SPP. "They have become important colleagues and I wish them well in their endeavours in the future. For SPP, this transaction allows us to focus on other areas of our business which offer attractive investment opportunities. However, we will continue to co-operate with SPTS, retaining a stake and working together with them through a joint venture for the Japanese market." 

    Bridgepoint believes SPTS represents an attractive opportunity to acquire a market leader in the wafer fabrication equipment sector. Chris Bell, a director at Bridgepoint, said, "SPTS has strong positions in every sector in which it operates, and a global customer base in end markets poised for long term growth. In addition, we have identified with management a number of initiatives to optimise its operational performance, including acquisitions in attractive niche markets and joint ventures, such as the BluGlass agreement."

    Under the terms of the acquisition, its former parent SPP will continue to partner the business by taking a minority stake in the new business organisation. The company name will remain as SPTS. 

    Advisers involved in this transaction include: for vendor - BDO (corporate finance), Bingham (legal); for management – Osborne Clarke (legal), Ernst & Young (corporate finance); for Bridgepoint – Ernst & Young (transaction services), Travers Smith (legal), McKinsey, Prismark and OC&C (market due diligence). The transaction is subject to standard competition clearances. 

    ABOUT Bridgepoint

    Bridgepoint is a European private equity firm focussing on the acquisition of companies valued up to €1 billion. With some €11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition. Although a generalist investor, Bridgepoint has developed expertise in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, media, and industrial sectors. It has offices throughout Europe in Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.

    Bridgepoint is currently investing a €4.8 billion fund, Bridgepoint Europe IV, which had its final closing in November 2008 and has made nine investments to date. Recent investments made by Bridgepoint include the acquisition of German specialty chemicals company CABB in March this year and of Foncia, the French leader in property management services, in June. See www.bridgepoint.eu.

    © SPTS Technologies Privacy Policy Terms of use Last modified 05/04/2012 09:04:10

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/Bridgepoint-Backs-Acquisition-of-SPTS.aspx Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS and Griffith University to Develop SiC-on-Si]]> Three-year agreement aims to commercialise SiC-on-Si as a viable semiconductor material for LED, power and MEMS devices

    San Jose, California, and Brisbane, Australia — 26 May, 2011 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor and related industries, and Griffith University in Australia today announced a joint development agreement (JDA) targeting the commercialization of Silicon Carbide (SiC) on Silicon (Si) technology. SiC on Si substrates have a wide variety of applications for the rapidly growing light-emitting diode (LED), micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and Power markets.

    SiC is an important substrate for growing the GaN films used to manufacture LEDs. The increased radiation hardness, mechanical strength and thermal properties of SiC also make it a suitable replacement for silicon in MEMS devices for harsh environments. In addition, SiC is used to create semiconductor devices for high power, high frequency applications where the electrical properties of SiC are significantly superior to common silicon. Technology created by the research team at Queensland Microtechnology Facility (QMF) at the Griffith University’s Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre (QMNC), has demonstrated the ability to grow crystalline SiC directly onto low cost silicon wafers. Through the JDA, SPTS will develop the thermal process and equipment expertise necessary to commercialize the technology.

    Three key technologies required for SiC on Si devices are SiC deposition, etch and oxidation. The QMNC has commercially orientated research into all these areas. “The JDA enables transfer of this SiC deposition process technology to device research and development activities, and provides a bridge to volume production through batch processing for up to 300mm diameter Si wafers. SPTS’s strength in thermal processing makes them an attractive partner,” said Alan Iacopi, Operations Director of QMNC. “This JDA is an important step in the commercialization of our SiC research efforts, especially with a partner with the global reach of SPTS” agreed Sima Dimitrijev, Project Leader and Deputy Director of QMNC.

    “As a market leader in providing capital equipment to the MEMS, LED and Power markets, SPTS is constantly looking at cutting-edge development opportunities. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with leading researchers at Griffith University to commercialize their SiC on Si technology,” said William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “Providing production knowledge to this collaboration and helping to develop and deliver new materials processing technology is an important business strategy. This JDA further enhances the portfolio of offerings to our served markets and will help to broaden our customer base.”

    About SPP Process Technology Systems

    SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and acquired assets of Aviza Technology. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd., and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These products are used in a variety of market segments, including R&D, data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, LEDs, and power integrated circuits for communications.

    For more information about SPTS, please visit www.spp-pts.com

    Company Contact: Evelyn Tay, + 44 7885 70 6565, Evelyn.Tay@spts.com

    About QMNC and QMF

    The Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre is a science and engineering research centre based at Griffith University focusing on micro- and nanotechnology issues integral to the development of clean and intelligent systems. The Centre brings together researchers with expertise in materials development, sensing, microelectronic engineering and microtechnology and the fundamental theory of condensed matter, across the disciplines of physics, chemistry, applied mathematics and engineering. The Queensland Microtechnology Facility, within the QMNC, is focused on leading SiC on Si technology to commercialisation. Funded by Queensland State Government and Australia's National Fabrication Facility, it houses a large silicon wafer fabrication processing capability and enables research and development of SiC on Si material for mechanical and semiconductor devices.

    For more information please visit www.griffith.edu.au/qmnc

    Company Contact: Debra Bernhardt, +61 7-3735-3921 D.Bernhardt@griffith.edu.au

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPP-Process-Technology-Systems-SPTS-and-Australias-Griffith-University-Sign-Joint-Development-Agr.aspx Thu, 26 May 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Receives Order from Packaging Specialist]]> Leading Assembly and Test Services Provider To Deploy SPTS Etch, PVD and CVD Technologies for Integrated Through Silicon Via (TSV) Process 

    Newport, United Kingdom — 26 Apr, 2011 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the micro-device and semiconductor industry today announced, that it had won a multi-system order for its Sigma PVD, Omega Etch and Delta CVD wafer processing systems from a leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) provider in the Asia-Pacific region. The systems will be used to create through silicon via (TSV) structures for 3D-IC packaging and marks a new penetration for SPTS. This win affirms SPTS’s position as one of the leading solution providers to the packaging market with a customer list that includes many of the top 10 OSAT companies such as STATS ChipPAC (http://www.spts.com/index.asp?m=185&month=6&year=2010&c=1206) and SPIL. 

    As a pioneer in TSV processing technology, SPTS’s technical expertise in three of the critical process steps, including deep silicon and complementary etches to form the via, physical vapor deposition (PVD) for metal barrier and seed liner, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to create the dielectric isolation layer, combine to produce an optimized TSV. This integrated process capability provides an accelerated path to low cost and high yield manufacturing. 

    “SPTS won this multi-system order through data sharing, on-wafer demonstration and customer references,” said Kevin Crofton, chief operating officer and managing director of the Single Wafer Division. “Our team of engineers was able to enhance and fine-tune our customer’s processes in an integrated manner leading to a positive decision for their 3D-IC line. Pure-play packaging houses rely on our TSV integration knowledge to help accelerate their time to market, with proven return on capital investment (ROI).” 

    About the Sigma® fxP [TM] PVD System

    The award-winning Sigma® fxP [TM] 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® fxP TM 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. 

    About Omega Etch Systems

    SPTS’ award-winning Omega etch systems are a suite of single-wafer etch process modules designed for a variety of market applications. The market leading Omega™ Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) process modules provide production-worthy process capability, with very high throughputs and exceptional tilt control for Bosch process silicon etching used in MEMS and 3D-IC/Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) manufacturing. The Omega Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) process modules offer a range of compound semiconductor etch processes comprising GaAs, GaN, GaP for LEDs and high frequency RF devices, and Omega APS is focussed on etching dielectric and low volatility materials, relevant to a variety of applications within MEMS, LEDs and TSV markets. 

    About Delta PECVD Systems

    Delta PECVD Systems offer productive, single-wafer processes for the deposition of dielectric films on wafer sizes up to 300mm. The PECVD chamber is supported by all SPTS cluster platforms and also by the unique Versalis fxP hybrid cluster system. A single chamber design supports multiple wafer sizes. Digital control of critical hardware components gives precise and repeatable process performance across a range of applications, with a unique platen design enabling <200°C deposition temperatures. Key Delta applications include; ultra-uniform silicon nitride for GaAs RFIC capacitor, low temperature dielectrics for advanced packaging and tuned-stress films for MEMS.

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Receives-Order-from-Packaging-Specialist.aspx Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Promotes Kevin Crofton to Chief Operating Officer]]> Semiconductor Industry Veteran Promoted to Lead Company Operations into Next Phase of Growth

     Click here for Simplified Chinese Translation

    Newport, United Kingdom - 15 March, 2011 - SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry today announced the promotion of Kevin Crofton as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mr. Crofton was serving as the company's executive vice president in charge of global customer operations and as managing director of SPTS' Single Wafer Division before his promotion to this newly created role. Mr. Crofton will continue to report to William Johnson, President and CEO, and will provide operational direction to facilitate the company's continued expansion.

    " Kevin has been instrumental in the formation and subsequent rapid growth of SPTS, especially in the expansion of our global sales and service network," said William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. " In the past 16 months, he has steered our global field operations to much success, both in gaining new customers and increasing the number of technology applications. In his new role, Kevin will continue to lead our field operations and the U.K. Single Wafer Division to further growth, while in addition, providing operational direction to the Thermal Products Division in San Jose, California."

    Mr. Crofton has a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech, and a master's degree in international business from American University, and is an 18 year veteran of the semiconductor equipment industry. Currently he resides in Newport, Wales UK, he is a keen runner and enjoys participating in marathons in the U.K. and his native U.S. His next personal challenge is running the upcoming London Marathon to be held in April 2011.

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Promotes-Kevin-Crofton-to-Chief-Operating-Officer.aspx Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Acquires DRIE Product and Technology Assets from Tegal]]> Acquisition of Tegal’s DRIE Product Line and its R&D Center in France Strengthens SPTS Development and Support Capabilities, while Expanding Technology Offerings for the DRIE Markets 

    Newport, United Kingdom, and Petaluma, California — 10 February, 2011 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the micro-device industry today announced it had completed the acquisition of the Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) and certain related assets from Tegal Corporation. In addition, the deal includes the transfer to SPTS of the capital stock and operations of Tegal France SAS, a wholly-owned Tegal subsidiary formed by Tegal’s acquisition of Alcatel Micro Machining Systems’ DRIE assets in September 2008. 

    SPTS’ acquisition will include the Tegal DRIE product line (including 200™, 110™, 3200™ and 4200™ series), along with the Compact™ and Pluto development assets, intellectual property and process know-how. SPTS will provide continued global support to existing Tegal DRIE customers, and will integrate these technologies into its SPTS’ broad range of product offerings in etch, deposition and thermal technologies which it offers to served markets worldwide.

     “We are delighted to add these world class DRIE offerings to the SPTS product line, broadening the technology solutions available to our customers worldwide”, said William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “We look forward to enhancing the support for Tegal’s global customer base through our extensive service and support system, and to continue the leading-edge development activities of the team in Annecy, France.”

    “The sale of the Tegal DRIE assets to SPTS secures our technology, team members, active joint development projects in France, and ensures continuation of our commitments to customers globally,” said Thomas Mika, president and CEO, Tegal Corporation. “This event represents another major step in Tegal’s transformation from semiconductor capital equipment supplier to its new role in providing green energy.” Tegal recently announced participation in the formation of sequel Power, a company engaged in large scale photovoltaic (PV)-based solar utilities. 

    About SPP Process Technology Systems

    SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and acquired assets of Aviza Technology. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd., and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These products are used in a variety of market segments, including R&D, data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, LEDs, and power integrated circuits for communications. For more information about SPTS, please visit www.spp-pts.com

     

    About Tegal Corporation

    Tegal is dedicated to the development and application of both proven and emerging technologies in the field of green energy. Through sequel Power, a newly-formed entity in which Tegal has a controlling voting interest, Tegal is now engaged in the promotion of solar power plant development projects worldwide, the development of self-sustaining businesses from such projects, including supporting, developing, building and operating solar photovoltaic fabrication facilities and solar farms and other non-PV based renewable energy projects. Headquartered in Petaluma, California, the company has more than 35 years of semiconductor capital equipment expertise and innovation in specialized technologies. Please visit us on the web at www.Tegal.com

     

    Company Contacts:

    SPTS

    Evelyn Tay Corporate Marketing Director

    evelyn.tay@spp-pts.com

    Tel: +65 8383-0393

     

    Tegal Corporation

    Thomas R Mika President & Chief Executive Officer

    tmika@tegal.com

    Tel: +1 707 765-5630

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Acquires-DRIE-Product-and-Technology-Assets-from-Tegal-Corporation.aspx Thu, 10 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Wins New 300mm PVD Order from CEA-Leti]]> French Research Institute To Deploy Sigma® fxPTM Physical Vapor Deposition System In Newly-Inaugurated 3D-IC Facility 

    Newport, United Kingdom — 9 February, 2011 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry today announced it has received a follow on purchase order from CEA-Leti for its Sigma® fxPTM Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) system. The 300mm system will be used for advanced Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) development at Leti’s newly-inaugurated 300mm fab extension in Grenoble, France. This system win comes on the heels of an October 2010 agreement between Leti and SPTS to collaborate on creating next-generation high aspect ratio TSVs. The new Sigma system will join SPTS’ silicon etch and dielectric deposition systems previously selected for this new line. 

    Leti’s state-of-the-art integration line features a complete suite of the equipment required for research and development on advanced 3D-IC single processes and integration. The Sigma fxP will deposit the diffusion barrier and seed metal layers prior to the final Cu electroplating via fill process. Using SPTS Advanced Hi-Fill (AHF) technology, ionized PVD deposition techniques will maximize metal coverage in the via, creating an environment for cost-effective via fill fin high aspect ratio architectures. 

    “We are working closely with SPTS on next-generation 3D-IC developments, and their metal deposition capability forms an integral part of our development process,” said Dr. Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti. “The unique integration expertise SPTS has in all three areas of deep reactive ion-etching (DRIE), dielectric deposition, and metal seed deposition is invaluable to the success of the work done by this facility and program.” 

    “SPTS is extremely excited to have been selected as the etch, dielectric and metal deposition partner in CEA-Leti’s 3D-IC development line,” said Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president, and managing director of the Single Wafer Division at SPTS. “Being one of the early developers of integrated TSV, our team is committed to ensuring the project’s success through our cumulative expertise.” 

    Commenting on the inauguration of the 3D Integration Line, Susumu Kaminaga, chairman of SPTS and president of Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP) said, “SPTS has been closely associated with TSV research and development with Leti, and we are proud to be a chosen partner for this important milestone.” 

    SPTS participated at Leti’s Inauguration Day activities in January, and presented on future TSV trends and technical requirements in advanced 3D-IC manufacturing. 

    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 RF-MEMS devices. 

    About SPTS

    SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and acquired assets of Aviza Technology. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd., and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These products are used in a variety of market segments, including R&D, data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, LEDs, and power integrated circuits for communications. For more information on SPTS, please visit www.spts.com

    About CEA-Leti

    CEA is a French research and technology public organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200mm and 300mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,500 patent families. For more information, visit www.leti.fr

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Wins-New-300mm-PVD-Order-from-CEA-Leti.aspx Wed, 09 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Acquires Primaxx Inc., Expands MEMS Footprint]]> Acquisition of Patented Hydrogen Fluoride Vapor Oxide Etch Technology Further Strengthens SPTS Leadership in MEMS Etching 

    Newport, United Kingdom, and Allentown, Pennsylvania — 3 February, 2011 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a leading manufacturer of plasma etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry today announced it had completed the transfer of ownership of Primaxx Inc. from SPTS’ parent company, Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP) to SPTS in December 2010. The transfer strengthens SPTS’ etch technology portfolio that includes deep silicon etch, dielectric etch, inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch, and now hydrogen fluoride (HF) vapor oxide etch. Primaxx is the leading provider of residue-free Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) dry etch release products, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

    Primaxx's patented HF vapor oxide etch technology uses a reduced pressure, gas phase, controlled anhydrous HF/Alcohol process to deliver residue-free "etch release" to remove the sacrificial silicon oxide layers used in MEMS manufacturing. Using HF, the sacrificial layer is etched with high selectivity relative to the structural layer. 

    “Considering the complementary products and synergies that already exist within both companies, bringing the Primaxx range of products and services into the SPTS family expands our customer offerings. It allows SPTS to provide an expanded manufacturing portfolio to our MEMS customers,” said William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “In the long-term, SPTS will also explore opportunities to provide more integrated process schemes related to HF release technologies.” 

    Paul Hammond, president and CEO of Primaxx echoed the sentiment that with the transfer of ownership, Primaxx customers now benefit from the expanded service, support and distribution infrastructure of SPTS – with one consolidated contact point. “Through our parent company, Primaxx has already been working closely with SPTS; the acquisition is a natural progression in the relationship that immediately augments Primaxx’s sales and marketing capabilities,” said Hammond. 

    The Primaxx brand is planned to remain unchanged, while current process modules will eventually be consolidated with SPTS’ production-proven fxP wafer transport and control system.

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Acquires-Primaxx-Inc-Expands-MEMS-Footprint.aspx Thu, 03 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Ships APS Etch System To Fraunhofer ISIT]]> SPTS Ships APS Etch System To Fraunhofer ISIT 

    Newport, United Kingdom — 29 Dec, 2010 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a supplier of advanced capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has shipped an APS etch system to Fraunhofer ISIT (FhG-ISIT). The system will add new process capability to ISIT’s MEMS manufacturing line to fuel next generation development of devices such as actuators, sensors and energy harvesters. 

    “We have chosen to add APS to extend our offerings to the full range of deep etch processing for all MEMS and related technologies. We are now capable of not only high-performance deep silicon etching, but also for challenging etches in hard materials, such as piezoelectric films, oxide films, glass and Pyrex,” explained Christian Schroeder the MEMS Technology Manager at FhG-ISIT. 

    Kevin T. Crofton, executive vice president, and managing director of Single Wafer Division at SPTS said, “We are pleased to strengthen our existing relationship with this important R&D customer. The APS source offers unique processing capabilities with its patent-protected source design, proving to be extremely effective for customers who work with a variety of materials that are difficult to etch using conventional Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) tools.”

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/PTS-Ship-APS-Etch-System-to-Fraunhofer-ISIT.aspx Wed, 29 Dec 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[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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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-wins-Sigma-fxP-PVD-System-Order-from-TowerJazz.aspx Mon, 06 Dec 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Opens New San Jose Facility]]> SPTS Opens New San Jose Facility At Silicon Valley Research Center 

    SPTS NEWSBYTE — November 8, 2010 — SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS) today announced the opening of its new facility in San Jose, California, serving as the home for the company’s Thermal Products Division, and sales and support headquarters for North America. The Thermal Products Division was relocated from Scotts Valley, California. 

    In October 2009, Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP) acquired assets of Aviza Technology and subsequently integrated them with Surface Technology Systems (STS) into the newly-formed SPTS. The new San Jose facility comprises a manufacturing space of approximately 28,000 square feet, with an additional 17,000 square feet in warehouse space. More than 80 employees will be serving the company’s global customer base out of the San Jose office. 

    “November marks a year since the formation of SPTS, and we are very excited to be celebrating the occasion in our brand new office,” said William Johnson, president and CEO of SPTS. “We’ve had great support from our customers in the past 12 months, and moving the North America headquarters, and the Thermal Products Division back to the heart of Silicon Valley demonstrates our commitment to serving their needs. In 2010, SPTS has experienced tremendous growth, on course to triple revenue compared to the combined pre-acquisition entities in 2009, and our goal is to continue that growth with the Thermal Products Division and the Single Wafer Division based in the United Kingdom as we leverage our market synergies.

    An opening celebrating with invited guests took place at the office grounds in the afternoon of November 8, 2010.

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Opens-New-San-Jose-Facility.aspx Tue, 09 Nov 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[CEA-Leti and SPTS Collaborate on TSV development]]> Leading Research Institute and Equipment Maker to Develop New Process Technologies for 3D-ICs 

    TOKYO, Japan, and GRENOBLE, France – Oct. 6, 2010 – CEA-Leti and SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS) today announced an agreement to develop advanced 300mm through-silicon via (TSV) 3D-IC processes at CEA-Leti’s 300mm facilities in Grenoble, France. The agreement defines their collaboration on a range of 3D TSV processes to optimize etch and deposition technologies used to create next-generation high aspect ratio TSVs. 

    The partners will research alternative hardware and processes to address the need for new methods of cost-effective via fill. In some via-middle applications, where the via is created between contact and first back end of line (BEOL) metal layer, via aspect ratios may extend beyond 10:1, and these very high aspect ratios require a new approach to current etch and deposition techniques. 

    “This agreement supports our mission of creating innovation and transferring it to industry,” said Dr. Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti. “3D-IC technology plays a key role in enabling cost-effective performance for the entire micro-electronics industry. Whether for nomadic devices, data centers, MEMs or optical devices, 3D-ICs form the basis of building cost-effective, high performance chips with multiple functionalities. Combining Leti’s advanced research and development knowledge with the technical expertise from an equipment manufacturer with proven production capabilities will cover the complete range of copper-based TSV processes.”

    “We are thrilled that this agreement brings two organizations together in an environment optimized for joint equipment and process development,” said Kevin Crofton, managing director, SPTS UK Division, and executive vice president, SPTS. “Our etch, physical vapor deposition (PVD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems are acknowledged technology leaders in the field of TSVs. Leti and SPTS understand the importance and value of creating an optimized TSV solution, and both acknowledge that it is most effective when the wafer processing technology and device experts are working together on integrated process flows.” 

    “The strong relationship between our two organizations continues with this agreement,” added Susumu Kaminaga, chairman of SPTS and president of Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP). “Building on a tradition of close collaboration, this agreement benefits the TSV community with research findings that will increase device performance on more cost-competitive packages.” 

    TSV technology is quickly gaining industry prominence as this method of 3D integration facilitates a thinner interconnect layer between stacked devices, allowing higher density interconnectivity to produce better electrical performance, all resulting in increased functionality and cost-efficiencies. 

    About CEA-Leti

    CEA is a French research and technology public organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200mm and 300mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,500 patent families.

     

    For more information about Leti, please visit www.leti.fr.

     

    About SPTS

    SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and acquired assets of Aviza Technology. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., LTD, and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These products are used in a variety of market segments, including R&D, data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, LEDs, and power integrated circuits for communications. 

    For more information on SPTS please see www.spp-pts.com

    About Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd

    Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd, headquartered in Amagasaki (Japan), have, over the past 90 years, expanded from their core field of aerospace products into such diverse areas as heat-exchangers and heat-control systems, industrial machinery employing hydraulic control, equipment for semiconductor and flat panel display production, ozone generators for protecting the environment and unique motion sensors.

    For more information about SPP, please visit www.spp.co.jp

     

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/and-SPTS-Collaborate-on-TSV-development.aspx Thu, 07 Oct 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Invests In, and Sets Up JV with BluGlass]]> 31 Aug 2010 - SPTS invests $5.2M as cornerstone investor and announces joint venture with BluGlass

    Australian green technology innovator BluGlass Limited (ASX : BLG) announced yesterday that it has entered a Joint Venture (JV) agreement with SPTS. The purpose of the JV is to complete the development and commercialisation of BluGlass' proprietary Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) technology. 

    SPTS President and Chief Executive Officer, William Johnson said today BluGlass has developed promising technology that fits well with SPTS' technical road map and product/customer base. 

    "Through this joint venture, SPTS and BluGlass intend to bring the RPCVD technology to market on field-proven production platforms, offering significant competitive advantages for customers in the rapidly expanding high brightness LED industry" Dr. Johnson said. "We are delighted to partner with BluGlass and look forward to collaborating on the commercialisation of this potentially disruptive technology" he added. 

    About BluGlass:

    BluGlass Limited is an Australian green technology company developed to commercialise a breakthrough in the Semiconductor Industry. BluGlass has invented a new process using Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) to grow semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium gallium nitride (InGaN), crucial to the production of high efficiency devices such as next generation lighting technology Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) with significant low cost potential. BluGlass, through its subsidiary, BluSolar is now exploring the process' viability in photovoltaic (solar) applications. The BluGlass process is a low temperature and low cost technology with the potential for scalability.

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Invests-In-and-Sets-Up-JV-withBluGlass.aspx Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[SPTS Ships PVD and Vertical Furnace Systems to STATS]]> eWLB manufacturing leader selects SPTS as their partner for their 300mm ramp 

    NEWPORT, Wales, June 29, 2010—SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a supplier of advanced capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has shipped a 300mm Sigma® fxPTM PVD system and a 300mm RVP300 furnace to STATS ChipPAC, a leading service provider of semiconductor packaging design, bump, probe, assembly, test and distribution solutions. 

    The Sigma® fxPTM system and RVP300 furnace are being used for embedded Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array (eWLB) processing, a ‘fan-out’ Wafer-Level Packaging (WLP) solution. STATS ChipPAC announced the introduction of 300mm eWLB technology on 13th April 2010[1] . eWLB substrates consist of silicon chips embedded in a mold compound that is sensitive to temperature and susceptible to wafer bow. SPTS’ Sigma® 300mm thin wafer handling system, combined with a novel wafer degas technology specially designed for eWLB, will enable STATS ChipPAC to keep temperature and bow under control without impacting throughput or compromising device electrical performance, while the RVP300 will increase productivity and provide better temperature control than conventional ovens. 

    “ This is an important design win for SPTS”, said Kevin T. Crofton, Executive Vice President of SPTS. “ We have already proven capability to STATS ChipPAC at 200mm and being selected to join them in their move to 300mm eWLB is an indication of the trust and confidence STATS ChipPAC has in our company and its products.” 

    “ The Sigma® fxPTM solution used in our 200mm eWLB production is a reliable system,” said Lew Hon Sang, Managing Director of STATS ChipPAC’s facilities in Singapore and Malaysia. “ The eWLB manufacturing process presented unique challenges which we were able to successfully address and establish a robust process that is now in high volume production. With the Sigma® fxP and RVP300 solutions and versatility, STATS ChipPAC also has a broad range of options available to use in the ongoing development of the eWLB technology.” 

    According to Jerome Baron and Jean-Marc Yannou from market research company Yole Développement, “ Fan-Out WLP is extending the general concept of Wafer Scale Packaging to new application categories, especially the ones with higher pin-counts and larger chip size such as wireless communication ICs. The availability of a 300mm infrastructure for eWLB is excellent news for the IC packaging industry as it will enable FO-WLP packaging technology to become even more cost competitive compared to standard wire-bond and flip-chip BGA technology. Yole expects the overall WLP market growth to top the IC package unit growth this year, with more than 9 Billion units to be shipped, and an impressive CAGR of more than 20% for the next 5 years.” 

    [1] http://www.statschippac.com/news/newscenter/2010/news04132010.aspx

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/SPTS-Ships-PVD-and-Vertical-Furnace-Systems-to-STATS.aspx Tue, 29 Jun 2010 00:00:00 GMT en
    <![CDATA[FhG-IZM Orders DSi Deep Silicon Etch System for 3D-IC TSV]]> SPTS to supply 300mm technology to new Fraunhofer ASSID center

    NEWPORT, UK, May 31, 2010—SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a supplier of advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced that it has received an order for a Pegasus DSi Deep Silicon etch system supported on the Omega fxP cluster platform, for 3D-IC through silicon via (TSV) application from Fraunhofer IZM, to be installed at All Silicon System Integration Dresden (ASSID). 

    ASSID is a brand new center which has been set up by Fraunhofer IZM Berlin to develop 3D wafer level technologies on 300mm wafers, enabling leading device manufacturers to apply 3D-IC technology in high volume production to enhance the performance, functionality and scaling requirements of their future products. The new 300mm Pegasus DSi system will be used to etch deep through silicon vias (TSV), and for wafer thinning applications.

    M. Juergen Wolf, the Coordinator and Manager of Fraunhofer IZM-ASSID explained, “Our new center has a state-of-the-art clean-room facility and SPTS, as a key cooperation partner, provides valuable experience and production-qualified equipment for our 300mm 3D device stacking assembly line. The complete line will include TSV formation, TSV post-processing on wafer frontside and backside, as well as testing and failure analysis.” 

    “We recognize the significance of IZM’s contributions to definitive TSV technology, and are honoured that Fraunhofer has decided to extend that technological leadership with SPTS,” remarked Susumu Kaminaga, Chairman of SPTS and President of Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP). 

    Kevin T. Crofton, Managing Director of the Single Wafer Division of SPTS, added, “We’re delighted that Fraunhofer IZM has selected SPTS for this important program. IZM is a long time supporter of our equipment at 200mm, and it is testament to our support and technology that they have chosen to continue that relationship at 300mm. We look forward to helping IZM develop and implement 3D-IC processes inside the new ASSID facility, and ultimately into volume manufacture.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    http://www.spts.com/news/FhG-IZM-Orders-DSi-Deep-Silicon-Etch-System-for-3D-IC-TSV-.aspx Mon, 31 May 2010 00:00:00 GMT en