Third-Generation ICP Source Improves DRIE Productivity and Yield for MEMs And 3d IC Market Applications

Tegal Corporation, (Nasdaq: TGAL) an innovator of specialized production solutions for the fabrication of advanced MEMS, power ICs and optoelectronic devices, today launched ProNova™, the company's third-generation high-density Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) reactor for Tegal DRIE Series Wafer Processing Products. Targeted for fast-growing MEMS and 3D IC applications, delivery of the ProNova has already begun, with the first order going to a new Tegal customer in the EU (see related announcement).

Separately today, Tegal also announced the ProNova User Group, a global network of ProNova DRIE process demonstration sites in Europe, North America, and Japan. Advanced characterization work and customer process demonstrations are already being carried out in the greatly expanded process window opened by ProNova.

Tegal's new DRIE reactor arrives on the market just as the focus of MEMS foundries and MEMS device makers turns increasingly to 200mm fabrication. During the recent Extreme MEMS program at SEMICON West 2009, Yole Developpement, a leading market research firm reporting on MEMS business and technical activities, clearly identified trends in 200mm MEMS device fabrication. According to Yole, MEMS fabrication on 200mm wafers will grow more than 2.6 times over the period 2009 &ndash 2012. Drivers for 200mm MEMS growth include the significant yield and cost advantages inherent in 200mm processing, along with the added benefit of being able to perform CMOS, MEMS, and heterogeneous integration processing with advanced 200mm tool sets. A key challenge for 200mm MEMS fabrication is porting established MEMS processes onto 200mm tools and then improving on the baseline process results; for silicon DRIE, these challenges include achieving higher etch rates, tighter control of tilt angles and etch profiles across 200mm wafers, and tighter control of etch depth uniformity across 200mm wafers.

The Tegal ProNova™, Tegal's third-generation high-density ICP reactor, was developed to address each of the key market requirements identified by the 200mm MEMS community. As a result of improved ICP reactor geometry and plasma source design, ProNova, when compared to standard ICP sources, achieves superior etch depth uniformity, etch profiles, and etch tilt angles across 200mm wafers. Additionally, the larger process window created by expanding the effective operating ranges of the plasma source and diffusion chambers results in higher etching rates overall, a key enabler for DRIE tool productivity.

“The attention right now in MEMS production and 3D IC packaging is squarely on 200mm applications,” said Paul Werbaneth, Vice President of Marketing and Applications at Tegal. “ProNova, our third generation DRIE ICP source, offers significant advantages over standard ICP sources on larger diameter wafers, with the end results being better productivity and higher yields on 200mm wafers for MEMS and 3D IC customers.”

The ProNova ICP source is available immediately to ship on Tegal 110, 200, 3200, and 4200 DRIE Wafer Processing Systems. ProNova is also compatible as a retrofit with Tegal and AMMS DRIE systems already in the field, and ProNova supports SHARP &ndash Tegal's Super High Aspect Ratio Process, achieving etched feature aspect ratios of > 100:1 in production environments.

In support of the ProNova launch, Tegal is exhibiting at Micromachine/MEMS 2009, Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan from Wednesday 29 July 2009 through Friday 31 July 2009. Please look for Tegal and ProNova at the Canon Marketing Japan Booth, East Hall, Booth H-05.

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