Tegal Corporation (Nasdaq:TGAL), a leading designer and manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition systems used in the production of MEMS, power semiconductor, and optoelectronic devices, announced today that the Company received an order for an Endeavor AT PVD cluster tool from a leading manufacturer of MEMS imaging sensors. The Endeavor AT PVD system will ship in the first quarter of CY2009, and will be used by Tegal's customer to meet the critical manufacturing needs of a much-expanded recent business demand for the customer's imaging sensors.
“Throughout the entire set of equipment evaluation and process demonstration activities conducted by our customer, the Endeavor AT PVD system repeatedly returned superior film stress control results, and squarely hit the other target film properties required by our customer for their MEMS image sensor,” said Paul Werbaneth, Vice President – Marketing, Tegal Corporation. “Our customer is completely satisfied the Endeavor is ready to go from final process optimization directly into High Volume Manufacturing, and our customer is confident about HVM success, knowing they will have full process and hardware backing from Tegal's award-winning team of customer support engineers.”
The Tegal Endeavor AT system is a state-of the-art, ultra-high vacuum PVD cluster tool used in production fabs to deposit consistent, high purity films, with low to zero stress values, in an extremely clean process environment. Low stress films are widely utilized in backside metallization for power and discrete devices, under-bump metallization applications, advanced packaging, high-brightness light emitting diodes (HB-LEDs), and in creating electro-acoustic devices for FBARs and RF MEMS. The Endeavor AT has an easy-to-use GUI, SECS/GEM communication, reliable low-contact wafer handling, and flexible wafer shape and size capability, that makes it ideal for ultra-clean production environments for both front-side and back-side applications. Optional damage-free soft-etch modules, and a variety of DC, AC, and RF magnetron configurations, are available to sputter the many different dielectric and conductive films used in semiconductor, MEMS, and other electronic device production.
According to Frost & Sullivan, a prominent market research and analysis firm, the image sensor market will continue to demonstrate healthy growth in the near-term, as image sensors see increasingly ubiquitous deployment in consumer electronic, cell phone handset, medical imaging, and automotive applications. Frost & Sullivan also say that innovations in image sensor technology will expand the image sensor market beyond the conventional set of applications now in use, to include situations where very low light levels, or extended optical wavelength ranges, provide new opportunities for electronic imaging. Another firm following these topics, Strategies Unlimited, points out the automotive market alone represents opportunities for employing between five and twenty image sensors per automobile, for functions such as blind-spot viewing, lane-departure warnings, headlight dimming, “black-box” event recorders, and driver alertness monitoring. These automotive imaging sensors will join the large number of MEMS devices already found in today's automobiles.