News Article

SPTS Not Blue With PVD System Order From TowerJazz

Israeli firm TowerJazz has ordered the Sigma fxPTM for manufacturing advanced power devices including aluminium nitride (AlN) based components.

SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a supplier of advanced tools for the semiconductor has an order for its Sigma fxPTM Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) system from TowerJazz, (TSEM).

TSEM is based in Israel and is a leading foundry for specialty wafer fabrication solutions. The Sigma fxPTM cluster system will be primarily used for thick metal deposition in power device manufacturing, as well as providing additional production capacity for conventional conductor layers on CMOS logic products. The system is expected to be deployed in the first quarter of 2011 at TowerJazz’s facility in Migdal Haemek, Israel.

An aluminum (Al) conductor layer is generally defined as “thick" when it exceeds 3 microns, and thick layers are commonly used in the manufacture of power management devices. Depositing thick Al alloy films at high rates for extended periods is typically challenging.

The chamber furniture is subject to significant thermal radiation, and when uncontrolled, very hot surfaces can outgas and contaminate the growing film resulting in ‘extrusions’ or ‘whiskers.’ These spikes of Al protrude from the surface of the film and result in yield loss.  The Sigma fxP hardware is thermally managed and routinely deposits thick films from 3 µm to in excess of 10 µm without pausing – showing virtually no extrusions with deposition rates faster than 1.3 µm per minute.

“Our selection came down to two PVD systems from different vendors; and the Sigma fxP was eventually chosen for higher throughput.  Sigma fxP demonstrated its capability in preventing extrusions at high rates, translating into better throughput and lower cost of ownership for us," said Zmira Lavie, vice president, Process Engineering R&D and general manager, Technology Optimization Process Services Business Unit at TowerJazz. 

“An analysis that showed a two times higher throughput, and taking into consideration the level of engineering support during demonstration phase, complete with best known method (BKM) recipes made the decision to buy the Sigma system an easy one."

Kevin T. Crofton, executive VP and managing director of Single Wafer Division at SPTS added, “We are very proud to win a new application at TowerJazz, a customer whom we have worked with for many years.  We understand the requirements for process systems that can enhance their products and services, so it’s important that we support that technology need with production-worthy systems."

The award-winning Sigma fxPTM is a single-wafer cluster tool designed for high-volume PVD processing, offering excellent process control with high throughput. It is a highly flexible system supporting various process chamber configurations and combinations to address a large variety of specific applications. Deposition process modules are based on a standard design that enables simple technology upgrades and wafer size conversions. Key applications for the Sigma fxPTM include, very thick Al alloys for power device and next generation CMOS bondpads, ionized and conventional PVD for 3D-IC and wafer level packaging as well as highly uniform aluminium nitride (AlN) for RFMEMS devices.

SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and Aviza Technology.  The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd, and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets.  These products are used in a variety of market segments, including data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, and power integrated circuits for communications. 
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