SVTC Technologies today announced a partnership with Entrepix, Inc. to provide 300 mm chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) development and production services for customers who use the Tool Access Program (TAP) at the SVTC fab in Austin, Texas. CMP is a critical process step in semiconductor manufacturing.
“This partnership allows us to leverage each company’s individual strengths, with SVTC furnishing a state-of-the-art manufacturing environment with a full suite of process and metrology tools, and Entrepix providing a wealth of CMP engineering and operations experience,” said Dave Anderson, vice president of corporate business development at SVTC.
Under the terms of the agreement, all CMP processing, technology support and customer interface for SVTC’s 300 mm TAP program will be performed by Entrepix’ engineering team at SVTC - following the same outsourcing model Entrepix uses at its foundry in Tempe, Ariz.
“Using our CMP FastForward suite of products and services that are designed to accelerate cost savings, development cycles and time-to-revenue, we have already demonstrated the clear benefits of outsourcing the CMP process at our Tempe facility,” said Tim Tobin, chief executive officer of Entrepix. “Expanding into 300 mm CMP services by partnering with SVTC at their state-of-the-art facility allows us to deliver these same benefits to advanced leading-edge technologies.”
CMP Outsourcing on the Upswing
As internal resources shrink but cost reductions and next-generation products remain among the highest priorities for semiconductor device and materials manufacturers, the trend toward CMP outsourcing grows. In a recent CMP Market Summary and Forecast Report, market analysis firm Laredo Technologies projected that by 2010 the total market for CMP materials will be more than $1.7B, and the volume of wafer polishes for 300 mm wafers will be more than 600 million polishes. Outsourcing the complex CMP process step allows manufacturers to obtain access to expertise and process resources that otherwise would be both expensive and time-intensive to develop in-house.
Among the core CMP offerings SVTC will outsource to Entrepix on behalf of its TAP customers are: experimental planning and support, full engineering project oversight and execution, data analysis, interpretation and reporting, as well as pilot production activities. SVTC’s TAP provides manufacturers with access to more than 200 tools covering such processes as lithography, etch, chemical-mechanical polishing, cleaning, coating and metrology.
“SemiQuest has been using SVTC’s state of the art 300mm CMP Tool Access Program for development of our advanced technology 300mm CMP pad,” said Rajeev Bajaj, PhD., president of SemiQuest, a consumables supplier. “Their additional metrology and support have helped us shorten our cycles of learning and save costs. We look forward to this new partnership enabling SemiQuest to build a successful business.” SemiQuest’s product, eSQ Planarizer, was proven with SVTC's advanced 300mm CMP toolset to eliminate edge die variation effects and to significantly improve the ability to apply uniform low pressure to a wafer, reducing erosion and dielectric loss. These results pave the way to better yields for materials with k-values as low as 2.2.
“DuPont Air Products NanoMaterials has utilized SVTC’s 300mm CMP Tool Access Program as well as Entrepix’ foundry and equipment services for characterization and development of our advanced CMP slurry products,” said Ajoy Zutshi, vice president, marketing and business development for DA NanoMaterials, a leading provider of electronic polishing products. “We are excited to hear about this new agreement and the combined strengths it will provide to further enable DA NanoMaterials to bring best-in-class solutions to the market.”