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4 October 2018

SILTECTRA prepares to launch outsourced wafering services business

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Wafering technology firm SILTECTRA GmbH of Dresden, Germany says that it will begin offering ‘outsourced wafering’ services to customers, starting in January 2019. Manufacturing will be located at the firm’s headquarters in Dresden.

The new business will provide semiconductor manufacturers and materials providers access to the firm’s COLD SPLIT wafering solution, and help industry adoption of new substrate materials. Initially, the new business will concentrate on 6-inch silicon carbide (SiC) wafers, in response to requests from manufacturers of SiC-substrates for applications like electric vehicles and 5G technology. The SiC market is expected to grow steadily between now and 2022, says the firm, with demand from customers in the US, Europe and China, and strong momentum in Japan. ILTECTRA will begin by producing 500 wafers per week, with plans to increase the volume to 2000 wafers per week by the end of 2019.

COLD SPLIT is a high-output, low-cost wafering and thinning technology for substrates like SiC and gallium arsenide (GaAs), as well as gallium nitride (GaN), sapphire and silicon. The laser-based technique employs a chemical-physical process that uses thermal stress to generate a force that splits the material with precision along the desired plane, and produces virtually no kerf loss. The “no kerf loss” capability is unique to COLD SPLIT. According to the firm, COLD SPLIT extracts more wafers per boule than conventional wafering technologies.

Photo: SILTECTRA’s ‘innovation hub’ at its Dresden headquarters.

In addition to semiconductor customers, SILTECTRA will also make the service available to materials manufacturers. Economic benefits to the customer are derived from higher output (up to 2x from the same amount of material), as well as lower capex burdens (furnaces, for instance), says the firm. The technology benefits are derived from COLD SPLIT’s inherent capabilities, which include better depth-of-focus stability for the lithography process, which is enabled by edge flatness parameters that are superior to the standard lapping process. In addition, the geometrical profile for COLD SPLIT wafers is better suited for lateral processes, especially epitaxy.

SILTECTRA says that the new ‘outsourced wafering’ business is central to the firm’s growth strategy. Its introduction follows the recent expansion of SILTECTRA’s Dresden facility and the creation of a dedicated manufacturing space. In addition, the firm invested in new process equipment, pioneered new automation techniques, hired additional technologists, and launched a pilot production line. During this time, SILTECTRA also continued to boost COLD SPLIT’s capabilities by adding enabling hardware, software and process innovations.

“Outsourced wafering services is a natural next step for SILTECTRA and we’re excited by the enthusiasm we’re hearing from semiconductor manufacturers, as well as materials providers,” says David Schneider, head of business development. “It’s a compelling service offering for substrate manufacturers seeking an affordable portal to an ultra-high-output wafering solution. Early feedback confirms that customers value the access to COLD SPLIT’s unique innovations and SILTECTRA’s process expertise, and appreciate our knowledge and experience with diverse substrate materials. We intend to meet their wafering needs with a scalable business plan, starting with one shift and adding additional shifts as demand grows.”

See related items:

SILTECTRA reports application of COLD SPLIT wafer thinning technology to GaAs

Siltectra’s new patents extend SiC process to split substrates with sub-100μm material loss

SILTECTRA validates twinned SiC wafer produced using COLD SPLIT laser-based wafer thinning technique

Tags: SILTECTRA SiC GaAs substrates

Visit: www.SILTECTRA.com

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