Process solutions that are changing semiconductor and electronics industry
We supply a wide range of semiconductor wafer processing systems and solutions for R&D, pilot and high volume production, including such technologies as inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch, deep reactive ion etch (DRIE), dry release etch using hydrofluoric acid (HF) vapor, isotropic etch of silicon using xenon difluoride (XeF2), physical vapor deposition (PVD), plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), molecular vapor deposition (MVD), etc. The core end-market applications for our solutions are microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), advanced packaging, LED manufacturing, RF-IC and power semiconductors. All these areas show high growth, and we supply to leading companies in each of these sectors.
What solutions do you offer for advanced packaging applications?
We supply etch and deposition solutions to all the leading OSAT’s, several foundries and IDM’s for their wafer level packaging schemes. We are the leading supplier of PVD systems to the fan-out wafer level packaging segment (FOWLP), a format that is growing at 80% CAGR. Another area of expertise is 3D stacking of dies using through-silicon vias (TSVs). Our industry leading DRIE systems create the broadest range of TSV types at high rates, and then we can line with Cu metal layers using our ionized PVD technology.
What technologies are in demand in the manufacturing of MEMS?
The vast majority of MEMS devices use the Bosch process, a silicon etch process that has been in production for more than 20 years. Bosch invented this process on our equipment and we were the first licensee of the process. Today, we have more than 1,100 Si etch chambers in use, that’s about 10 times more than our nearest competitor. Our Omega plasma etch systems are equipped with a patented dual plasma source that provides the highest etch rate and maximum precision, and are used to make microphones, accelerometers, gyroscopes and medical devices.
Bulk Acoustic Waves (BAW) filters are another type of MEMS device, and uses the piezoelectric properties of Aluminum Nitride (AlN) to filter RF signals inside cellphones. SPTS has over 15 years’ experience in these applications and our Sigma PVD system is the market leader in the deposition of AlN. The same material is starting to find new applications in the broader MEMS market, such as microphones and fingerprint sensors. We offer solutions for AlN deposition for both 150 mm and 200 mm wafers.
What are the challenges faced in new markets?
The main challenge for us today is to cope with the ramp in demand for our equipment, which continually pushes us to greater operational efficiencies and to deliver on customer commitments. We have an uncompromising commitment to our customers’ success which is demonstrated by the high quality of customer service we provide and acknowledged by the "Supply Excellence Awards" we have been given by our customers.
How important for SPTS is the Russian market?
The Russian market provides great potential for SPTS. Ikar-Impulse, who are our sole authorized agents for SPTS in the region, has already installed several SPTS cluster systems. They regularly hold technical seminars for Russian customers that have been very successful. I believe our comprehensive range of process solutions will help Russian enterprises to enter a new level of production capacity and product quality.
Interview: Dmitry Gudilin