In the News

SEMI Publishes Standards

SAN JOSE, Calif. — SEMI published 13 new technical standards relating to key aspects of semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing.

The standards released include:

  • SEMI D33-0703 — Measuring Method of Optical Characteristics for Backlight Unit
  • SEMI D34-0703 — Test Method for Measurement of FPD Polarizing Films
  • SEMI E122.1-0703 — Specification for SECS-II Protocol for Tester Specific Equipment Model (TSEM)
  • SEMI E123.1-0703 — Specification for SECS-II Protocol for Handler Specific Equipment (HSEM)
  • SEMI E124-0703 — Provisional Guideline for Definition and Calculation of Overall Factory Efficiency (OFR) and Other Associated Factory-level Productivity Metrics
  • SEMI E125-0703 — Provisional Specification for Equipment Self Description (ESD)
  • SEMI E126-0703 — Provisional Specification for Equipment Quality Information Parameters (EQIP)
  • SEMI E127-0703 — Specification for Integrated Measurement Module Communications: Concepts, Behavior and Services (IMMC) Table of Contents
  • SEMI E128-0703 — Specification for XML Message Structures
  • SEMI F77-0703 — Test Method for Electrochemical Critical Pitting
  • SEMI F78-0703 — Practice for Gas Tungsten Arc (GTA) Welding of Fluid Distribution Systems in Semiconductor Manufacturing Applications
  • SEMI F79-0703 — Guideline for Gas Compatibility with Silicon Used in Gas Distribution Components
  • SEMI M23.6-0703 — Specification for Round 150 mm Polished Monocrystalline Indium Phosphide Wafers (notched).

MEMS Market Gains Traction


The market for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) will experience approximately 45 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in unit volumes in the next two years, according to Ian Smith, CEO of Surface Technology Systems (STS), a plasma etch systems supplier for the manufacture of MEMS devices. The number of MEMS devices per person in the U.S. is expected to grow from less than two today to more than five by 2005.

MEMS evolution has been slow in recent times mostly because of the industry's inability to commercialize its use, since higher device cost cannot compete with existing technologies. However, MEMS have gained significant traction in the past 18 months because more foundries are offering low-volume production.

According to Marlene Bourne, senior analyst for MEMS Markets & Technologies at In-Stat/MDR, worldwide revenues of MEMS devices will grow at a CAGR of 17.1 percent between 2003 and 2007.

In addition to production challenges, the packaging of MEMS devices and systems must improve considerably from its current “primitive” state. MEMS packaging is more challenging and expensive than IC packaging because of the diversity of MEMS devices and the requirements that many of these devices be in contact with their environment. Today, packaging comprises between 30 to 80 percent of the total cost of each MEMS device. The ability of device manufacturers to package components on a wafer scale as opposed to an individual component scale has the potential to drive down cost significantly but also increases the overall application and exploitation of microelectronics systems via further miniaturization.

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Agilent and Fudan University Collaborate

PALO ALTO, Calif. and SHANGHAI — Agilent Technologies Inc. and Fudan University opened the Fudan and Agilent Joint IC Testing Education Center, a new education facility for processionals in China's growing semiconductor industry.

Thousands of semiconductor engineers are expected to benefit from the creation of the center, which is expected to provide systematic IC testing training to both new and experienced engineers. The opening of the center commemorates the 98th anniversary of Fudan University and inaugurates Fudan's School of Microelectronic Engineering (SME).

The IC testing center plans to use Agilent's semiconductor testing equipment and experience along with Fudan's academic faculty to help accelerate development of China's semiconductor manufacturing industry.

“Shanghai is now one of the most important bases for the semiconductor industry in China,” said Jiang Sixian, vice mayor of Shanghai Municipal government. “Fudan University's establishment of the School of Microelectronics in Pudong Zhangjiang High-Tech Park marks a major milestone and supports economic growth and educational advancement in China. The strategic collaboration between educational and industrial technology leaders accelerates the development of China's microelectronics industries.”

Kyzen Collaborates with NPL

NASHVILLE — Kyzen Corp. is collaborating with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) on a project investigating the flux cleaning efficiency in lead-free soldering processes.

The project's objective is to answer three key questions: Is there a problem cleaning flux residues from lead-free pastes?; Do cleaning regimes need to be changed?; and Can NPL help benchmark cleaning performance for lead-free processes? The project will investigate the cleaning of lead-free solder pastes by different cleaning equipment and chemistries, which is where Kyzen's input will be used.

In the first of two phases, the focus will determine the reflow profile that begins to affect the ability to clean. Once a suitable range of profile conditions has been established, the second phase will investigate the cleaning efficiency for the complete range of component types, cleaning regimes, two paste types and three profile conditions.

Universal, Asymtek Partner

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Universal Instruments and Asymtek announced a partnership that will place an Asymtek Millennium 2020 Dispenser in Universal's Technology Excellence Center in Suzhou, China. The machine primarily will be used for dispensing underfill material for flip chip or chip scale package (CSP) applications.

In response to rapid growth of the electronics industry in Asia, Universal has developed the excellence center. This, in combination with the company's SMT laboratory located at their headquarters in Binghamton, will provide customers global access to advanced processes and the surface mount equipment.

Both companies look forward to the partnership and feel the technology will complement the other equipment featured in Universal's excellence center.

Metrology, Inspection Grow

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. — The Metrology and Inspection (M&I) market is expected to grow 12 percent annually to reach revenues of nearly $4 billion in 2005, according to the report “Metrology, Inspection and Process Control in VLSI Manufacturing,” published by The Information Network. Total worldwide market size for M&I was $2.5 billion in 2002, and is expected to reach $2.8 billion in 2003.

“The expanded use of M&I tools is ensured with the increasing difficulties and higher production cost of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Robert N. Castellano, Ph.D., president of The Information Network. “Existing fabs continue to upgrade their monitoring capabilities by adding more units to their leading edge fabs. New 300 mm fab construction will account for about 40 percent of sales in the inspection sector.”

ASE Bumps Forward

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) completed its internal development of electroplated wafer bumping technology on 200 mm wafers and has begun a pilot run at its Kaohsiung manufacturing facility.

In the initial phase of volume production, the company is setting a monthly capacity of 10,000 pieces of 200 mm electroplated bumped wafers. Reportedly, ASE is the only semiconductor packaging services provider able to offer this integrated packaging solution, incorporating the technology within its own manufacturing facilities, i.e., from the delivery of wafers to the company, to the probing, bumping, packaging, final testing and drop shipment to the customer.

IC Foundry Company Certified to New Quality System

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) has issued the first new ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest integrated circuit (IC) foundry company.

The ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification system enables suppliers and manufacturers in the automotive supply chain to demonstrate conformity to this technical specification, in conjunction with ISO 9001:2000. It defines quality management system requirements for the design, development and production of automotive-related products.

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SAC Presents Forum at Semi-annual Meeting

By Julia Goldstein

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Semiconductor Assembly Council (SAC) presented a forum on assembly technology at their semi-annual meeting June 3-4, focusing on design for manufacturability, gold wirebond and mold encapsulation. The design for manufacturability session included Qualcomm, Flextronics, AIT, ASAT, TSMC and Artisan. Discussion concentrated on the need for standards to provide a platform that can help communication up and down the supply chain and, ultimately, save costs. Artisan said that large suppliers' specifications are commonly used as a de facto standard. Larry Mehringer of Flextronics talked about customers who provide limited product specifications yet expect the subcontractor to figure out what they need. He would like to see standards detailing what information needs to be specified to a subcontractor, as well as board-level reliability standards. Assembly processes are clearly going to have to take into account higher reflow temperatures required by lead-free solders. Flextronics' statement that components should be rated to 260∞C generated considerable discussion, with the consensus that even though lower temperature processes, such as matte tin, may be preferred, we have to design for the worst-case scenario.

Although flip chip is becoming more prevalent, wire bonding remains a critical technology, with advances driven primarily by stacked-die packaging. David Burkhard (Qualcomm) and Todd Rogers (Compass) listed surface contamination and improper clamping as the primary obstacles to perfect wire bonding. Equipment manufacturers such as K&S and ASM Pacific are improving their products to get around these challenges with software for detecting contamination on a substrate before bonding and precise control of the vertical force to handle bonding over active circuitry, overhanging stacked die and overhanging leads on quad flat no-lead (QFN) packages.



Kenneth Barry
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Kenneth Barry has been named president of Unaxis Semiconductors (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Barry brings with him more than 15 years of global semiconductor experience. Before joining Unaxis, he was president of Veeco Instruments Inc.'s Process Equipment Group.

Yamaichi Electronics USA (San Jose, Calif.) appointed Jec Sangalang as engineering manager for the company's Test & Burn-in unit. Additionally, Kazuhiro Matsuda has been named vice president of sales.

Russell Shaller
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Russell Shaller has been named division manager for W.L. Gore & Associates (Elkton, Md.) Electronic Products Div. Additionally, Joe Gallo has been appointed global sales manager for the division.

Cookson Electronics PWB Materials & Chemistry (Londonderry, N.H.) named Erik Bergum vice president of sales — Polyclad Europe. In his position, Bergum will grow the sales and direct the technical service of the company's high-performance laminates, prepregs and resin-coated foils used in the PCB and electronics packaging industries.


Milara Inc. (Medfield, Mass.) appointed Kirby and Demarest as a manufacturer's representative serving Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and the Province of British Columbia. Kirby and Demarest will represent Milara's line of stencil printers.

Dielectric Polymers Inc. (Holyoke, Mass.) launched a new corporate identity tagline that provides custom solutions for pressure-sensitive application problems.

Dynaloy Inc. (Indianapolis, Ind.) opened a direct field sales office in Taipei, Taiwan, to support growth in the customer base located in that region.

GPD Global (Grand Junction, Colo.) aligned with Altus Group, a distribution company based out of the United Kingdom. Altus Group is GPD's new sales representative for the United Kingdom and Ireland.


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