October 16, 2009 – Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) will add Applied Materials to its partners for developing 3D chip stacking technology, by placing "a full line" of Applied’s tools (etch, CMP, PVD, and PECVD) in its Advanced Stacked-System Technology and Application Consortium (Ad-STAC) lab in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Their collaboration will focus on integrating via-first, via-last, and via-reveal through-silicon via (TSV) process flows.
"Joining forces with a leading research institution such as ITRI is a very effective way to advance 3D technology and successfully integrate it into the manufacturing community," said Randhir Thakur, recently appointed SVP/GM of Applied’s Silicon Systems Group, in a statement. "By performing customers’ early stage development on a proven toolset, the transition to volume manufacturing can be made as fast and transparent as possible."
ITRI — which also recently agreed to install lithography cluster and bond cluster tools from Süss MicroTec at the Ad-STAC facilities — sees 3D IC technology gain becoming "a significant part of semiconductor development" over the next decade, and thus is positioning itself to help drive 3D integration through a pilot line in its labs, noted Sheng-fu Horng, deputy general director of ITRI’s electronics and optoelectronics research laboratories. Adding AMAT’s tools to its mix of pilot technologies will help it "offer companies from different fields, as well as research institutes, a unique environment to develop and test new technologies and products."