Category Archives: Chemical Mechanical Planarization Equipment


Cabot Microelectronics Corporation (Nasdaq: CCMP), a supplier of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) polishing slurries and a growing CMP pad supplier to the semiconductor industry, announced the appointment of Thomas F. Kelly, Vice President, Corporate Development, which is effective as of September 6, 2016. Mr. Kelly rejoins Cabot Microelectronics after serving as the Director of Global Raw Materials Procurement for Celanese Corporation from 2012 through 2016, and prior to that as the Vice President of New Business Development and the Program Management Organization of Chemtura Corporation, where he was employed from 2008 until 2012. He was employed by Cabot Microelectronics from 1999 through 2008, serving in various senior business operations, product management, and supply chain assurance roles.

“I am delighted to welcome Tom Kelly back to Cabot Microelectronics, and am confident his executive expertise from various global companies in the larger engineered materials and chemicals industries will benefit our company greatly in a number of important areas,” said David H. Li, Cabot Microelectronics’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Tom knows our business, industry, customers and supply chain well, along with having developed important experience in mergers and acquisitions, business development, and corporate strategy from his more recent roles in helping to lead multi-billion dollar global businesses.”

In addition to this, the Company announced that as of September 1, 2016, Daniel J. Pike has resigned from his position as Vice President, Corporate Development, and will continue to serve the Company in a non-executive transition role until March 1, 2017. Mr. Li stated, “I would like to thank Dan for his significant contribution to the founding and growth of Cabot Microelectronics during his many years of service. All of us wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Nova Measuring Instruments, a provider of metrology solutions for advanced process control used in semiconductor manufacturing, announced today that a leading foundry recently selected Nova’s optical and X-ray metrology solutions for multiple process steps, including CMP, Etch and Deposition, for its most advanced technology nodes. The selection by this major foundry in Asia covers metrology solutions for process control in production in 10nm and 7nm technology nodes and metrology solutions for R&D process development in 5nm technology node. As part of this selection, Nova has already started to deliver integrated and stand-alone platforms during the fourth quarter of 2015 and will continue to support the ramp up for these advanced technology nodes during the coming years.

Nova’s solutions were selected due to superior metrology performance, high productivity and technology extendibility, to handle the future challenges of critical dimension (CD) and materials measurements of 3D FinFET gates in sub 10nm technology nodes. The selection was made following an intensive evaluation and includes Nova’s most advanced product suite of integrated and stand-alone metrology systems, offering unique and advanced measurement capabilities, enhanced with NovaMARS innovative modeling software. Nova’s comprehensive solution demonstrated best-in-class technology offering, combined with enhanced productivity capabilities and long term extendibility.

“This selection by the world’s leading foundry, following a comprehensive evaluation, represents a powerful vote of confidence in our metrology portfolio for the most advanced technology nodes,” stated Eitan Oppenhaim, Nova’s President and CEO. “This selection is another proof point for our industry leadership, as well as our strong position in the foundry segment, and validates our expectations for extensive growth in metrology intensity in the advanced nodes. I am gratified that we were able to demonstrate, once again, the value of our disruptive innovation, which matches aggressively to our customer’s roadmap and provides a great support for our growth plans in the coming years.”

Oppenhaim concluded, “We are reaffirming our revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of the year, representing record top-line results in 2015.”

The company revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of 2015 is $37 million to $41 million, which implies to $145.5 million to $149.5 million in annual revenues in 2015.

According to a new market research report on the “Chemical Mechanical Planarization Marketby type (Equipment & consumables), Application(IC manufacturing, MEMS & NEM, Optics and Others), Technology (Leading edge, More Than Moore’s, and Emerging), and Geography (North America, Europe, APAC and RoW) – Global Forecast to 2020”, published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.83% between 2015 and 2020, and reach $4.94 Billion by 2020.

Chemical mechanical planarization is a critical process technology step in the semiconductor wafer fabrication process. In this process step, the top surface of the wafer is polished or planarized to create a flawless flat surface that is essential to make faster and more powerful semiconductor devices with the aid of chemical slurry & mechanical movements. The CMP tool is comprised a rotating platen, slurry, pad, holding ring, brush, and pad conditioner. The mechanical element of this system applies downward pressure to a wafer surface, while the chemical reaction increases the material removal rate. The value chain of the CMP market consists of different players, including semiconductor material suppliers, CMP integrated solution providers, semiconductor wafer suppliers, semiconductor device manufacturers, slurry & pad manufacturers, technology solution providers, and CMP equipment manufacturers.

The global Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market was worth USD 3.32 Billion in 2014, and it is expected to reach USD 4.94 Billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of 6.83% from 2015 to 2020. Though the CMP market is at the mature stage, it still continues to evolve depending on the end users. The industry is being forced to adopt much innovation in process technologies and applications; as a result, different CMP processes have been evolved with technology nodes and newer applications such as MEMS, advanced packaging, and advanced substrates. The growing demand for consumer electronic products, increasing need of wafer planarization, and increasing use of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) is driving the global CMP market.

The CMP equipment market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 8.32% from 2015 to 2020. The key factors behind the high growth of the CMP equipment market is the strong growth in semiconductor equipment and capital spending. The CMP consumables market was valued at USD 2.25 Billion in 2014 and is expected to reach to USD 3.21 billion by 2020. The Applied Materials, Inc. (U.S.) and Ebara Corporation (Japan) are the major CMP equipment suppliers for different integrated device manufacturers.

This CMP consumables market is dominated by major market players such as Cabot Microelectronics Corporation (U.S.), Fujimi Incorporated (Japan), and Dow Electronic Materials (U.S.).The CMP regional market is mainly dominated by Asia-Pacific, followed by North America and Europe. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest market share of ~67% and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 7.40% during the forecast period, followed by North America. The countries in Asia-Pacific region such as Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China are investing more in semiconductor manufacturing to meet the increasing demand for consumer electronic products. This detailed market research study provides detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the global chemical mechanical planarization market. It provides a comprehensive review of major market drivers, restraints, opportunities, challenges, and key issues in the market.

By Jeff Dorsch

Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) technology has been around for a long time. In addition to the semiconductor industry, CMP has applications in data storage, polishing the rigid disks and magnetic heads of hard-disk drives.

Those interested in learning about developments in CMP for hard drives and integrated circuits would do well to attend the CMP Technical and Market Trends session on Thursday, July 16, at 11 a.m. in the TechXPOT North area of Moscone Center’s North Hall. Representatives of Intel, HGST, Entegris, TDK, and other companies will be speaking.

While 450-millimeter wafers haven’t been much in the news this year, Thursday’s session will include a presentation by the Global 450 Consortium, with speakers from the College of Nanoscale Science + Engineering (CNSE) and SEMATECH.

CNSE is part of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, N.Y., which also contains the Chemical Mechanical Planarization Center, a joint program with SEMATECH. Mitsubishi Chemical joined the program this spring.

While CMP is still used for its traditional polishing applications for interlayer dielectrics, it’s also finding employment in more advanced applications, such as bulk oxide polishing, shallow trench isolation, “stop on poly” isolation, and polishing of various dielectrics in advanced transistor designs.

CMP includes consumable products, polishing pads and slurries. Dow Chemical is the leading vendor in polishing pads, while Cabot Microelectronics dominates the CMP slurry market.

Late last month, Applied Materials and Cadence Design Systems announced that they are collaborating on optimizing the CMP process through silicon characterization and modeling for ICs with 14-nanometer features, and beyond that process node. Cadence, one of the leading vendors of electronic design automation software and services, will provide its CMP Predictor and CMP Process Optimizer tools. Applied will employ its Reflexion LK Prime CMP system.

“From our collaboration, we expect to more accurately predict gate height, dishing and erosion on each step of the CMP process, which could enable design and manufacturing teams to achieve higher yield and deliver advanced-node designs to market faster,” Derek Witty, vice president and general manager of Applied’s CMP Products Group, said in a statement.

Whatever your level of expertise in CMP, SEMICON West 2015 will help you polish up your knowledge of the field.

Entegris, Inc. today announced a new product for its VaporSorb line of airborne molecular contamination (AMC) filters. The new filter was created as an “all-in-one,” single-filter solution for capturing critical AMC in the chemical mechanical planarization process, or CMP, in semiconductor manufacturing. VaporSorb, which is a leading brand of filter used in cleanroom environments and for process tools during key steps in manufacturing, is the first such filter available for CMP process tools that protects against weak acids as well as other contaminants.

The new filter was designed specifically for CMP tools to provide balanced lifetimes for all critical AMC in a single filter which avoids the complexities of multi-filter handling. In addition, the filter retains the VaporSorb brand’s industry-leading service life to reduce both tool downtime and cost of ownership.

“Yield concerns in the CMP process, just as in the photolithography process, can be addressed by providing complete AMC protection. This means protecting against weak acids, as well as strong acids and other contaminants,” stated Entegris Product Marketing Manager for AMC Filtration Solutions, Marc Venet. “With VaporSorb CMP, we have a single solution that completely addresses AMC-induced corrosion defects in CMP processes.”

Examples of weak acids include acetic and formic acids (acetate; CH3COO and formate; HCOO) and nitrous acid (nitrite; NO2). Strong acids include HNO3, SO2, H2SO4 and HCl. These contaminants are causing concerns regarding defects and yield in CMP processes.

In July, the company launched the industry’s first “four-in-one” filter, the VaporSorb TRK for photolithography tools, to capture airborne organics, bases, strong acids and weak acids. VaporSorb filters use Entegris’ own unique mix of materials to capture airborne molecular contaminants, which are tailored to create application- and fab-specific filter solutions.