February 24, 2011 – PR Newswire — Novellus Systems (Nasdaq: NVLS) subsidiary Peter Wolters GmbH introduced a new version of its microLine double side lapping system for prime silicon wafers. The AC-2100L system features independently driven inner and outer pin rings, automatic force calibration, and in-situ wafer thickness metrology for closed-loop process control. The system can process up to 20 300mm wafers in one batch, while exceeding the latest wafer geometry requirements.

Figure 1. The AC 2100-L microLine double side lapping system. (PRNewsFoto/Novellus Systems, Inc.)

Double-side lapping for prime silicon wafer manufacturing offers high throughput, precise wafer geometry control, and lower cost of consumables. Independently driven inner and outer pin rings (Figure 2) enable maximum process control. Automatic force calibration compensates for weight loss of the upper lapping wheel due to typical process wear, ensuring accurate force control over the entire wheel life. Contactless gauges control the lapping wheel gap dimension, thus ensuring repeatable within batch and batch-to-batch wafer thickness throughout the lapping process. Additionally, the system can be configured with a non-contact, optical gauge developed by Peter Wolters for in-situ measurement and control of wafer thickness. This technology provides wafer manufacturers with the submicron precision (Figure 3).

Figure 2. Independent inner and out pin rings for maximum process flexibility. (PRNewsFoto/Novellus Systems, Inc.)

The AC-2100L’s new, larger lapping wheel has an outside diameter of 2100mm. The larger wheel allows the use of five carrier rings, resulting in a 20 wafer batch size. For ease of cleaning, maintenance and wheel replacement, the machine head on the AC-2100L swivels out. The operator interface (HMI) is based on the well-established AC-2000 platform.

Figure 3. Non-contact, optical gauge provides in-situ submicron control of wafer thickness (Sample size: 460 wafers). (PRNewsFoto/Novellus Systems, Inc.)

"While designed for today’s 300mm wafers, the AC-2100L can also simultaneously process up to 8 450mm wafers, thus preparing Peter Wolters’ customers for the next wafer size transition," said Kay Petersen, chief executive officer of Novellus’ Industrial Applications Group.

Peter Wolters GmbH, part of Novellus’ Industrial Applications Group, manufactures high-precision surface polishing systems for substrates made of silicon, sapphire, gallium arsenide, silicon carbide and other materials used to manufacture microelectronic, micro-optical, and micromechanical devices. For more information on Peter Wolters, visit

Novellus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVLS) is a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor industry. For more information about the AC-2100L, please visit

SOURCE Novellus Systems, Inc. Copyright 2011 PR Newswire Association LLC

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