EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, today announced that it is collaborating with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)--Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading high-tech R&D institutions--in the development of advanced manufacturing processes for next-generation MEMS devices.
As part of the collaboration, ITRI has purchased an EVG510 semi-automated wafer bonding system and an EVG6200 automated mask alignment system with top-bottom alignment and bond alignment options. EVG will also work closely with ITRI to develop, optimize and customize ITRI's wafer-level bonding processes for its partners and customers.
The new EVG systems will be installed at ITRI's Micro Systems Technology Center. There, they will join multiple EVG mask aligners and wafer bonders already installed and in operation at the research center for wafer-level anodic, eutectic and metal thermo compression bonding--which are critical steps in the production of MEMS devices. The EVG510 bonder will play a key role in supporting ITRI's transition to 200-mm MEMS wafer processing. ITRI also cited the high degree of flexibility of EVG's equipment, as well as the company's strong process support capabilities, as important criteria in their decision to purchase the new systems.
"At ITRI's Micro Systems Technology Center, our mission is to create innovative applications and develop interdisciplinary technologies that will drive continued growth in the MEMS industry," stated Tzong-Che Ho, Center Director of ITRI's Micro Systems Technology Center. "We are pleased to be working with EV Group--a recognized leader in MEMS manufacturing equipment and process expertise--to develop new processes that will enhance the competitive edge of our partners and customers."
According to market research firm IHS Suppli (El Segundo, Calif.), the MEMS market is set to enjoy double-digit growth from 2012 through 2014, with market revenue rising to $10.81 billion in 2014, up from $5.97 billion in 2009. Key drivers for market growth include the use of accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors and other MEMS devices for automotive and consumer mobile communications applications. Taiwan is a key hub when it comes to the production of these devices.
"ITRI has played a pivotal role in maintaining Taiwan's position as a center of innovation and excellence in the field of microelectronics," stated Dr.
Viorel Dragoi, chief scientist at EV Group. "We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with ITRI, and leveraging our industry-leading technology and process expertise to support their MEMS process development and pilot production services."
Wafer-level aligned bonding is a key enabling technology for MEMS manufacturing due to the need to protect the miniature and fragile mechanical devices as the wafer goes through the remainder of the manufacturing process. Wafer-level bonding is required to create a zero-level package in order to hermetically seal and encapsulate the device.
EVG's wafer bonding systems are designed for high-volume manufacturing with modular configurations for easy transfer of R&D processes to production.
With the highest yields for aligned wafer bonding in the industry, EVG is a long-established premier provider of wafer bonding, alignment and handling equipment to the MEMS industry, working with 29 of the world's top 30 MEMS manufacturers.