Die-Singulation System features plasma-based operation.

Press Release Summary:

Utilizing energized plasma, MicroDieSingulator (MDS)-100 systems deliver singulation of semiconductor dies from 4, 6, and 8 in. wafers mounted on industry-standard tape frames. Singulation (dicing) of individual dies can be achieved with separation lines (streets) of 20 microns or less, maximizing utilization of silicon-wafer real-estate. Also, MDS technology separates dies without causing lateral damage from stress-induced cracking, overheating, or re-deposition of ablated material.

Original Press Release:

Plasma-Therm Launches Plasma-Based Die-Singulation System

MDS-100 breaks technological boundaries, surpasses existing technologies used to separate integrated-circuit dies on semiconductor wafers

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA — Plasma-Therm today announced the launch of its new MicroDieSingulator (MDS) systems. These revolutionary systems deliver plasma-based singulation of semiconductor dies from 4-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch wafers mounted on industry-standard tape frames. The announcement was made at IMAPS, the 46th International Symposium on Microelectronics, being held this week in Orlando, Florida.

By utilizing energized plasma, rather than mechanical saws or lasers to cut between dies, the MDS system allows singulation (“dicing”) of individual dies with separation lines (”streets”) of 20 microns or less — far smaller than most existing equipment can achieve.

In addition to allowing maximum utilization of valuable silicon-wafer real estate by reducing street size, Plasma-Therm’s exclusive MicroDieSingulator technology separates dies without causing lateral damage from stress-induced cracking, overheating, or re-deposition of ablated material. Scanning-electron microscope images confirm that Plasma-Therm’s MDS process produces separated dies with smooth, vertical sidewalls.

MDS systems allow integrated device manufacturers to produce more wafers per hour, as well as more individual dies per wafer. The MDS plasma process also results in dies that are less likely to be chipped during separation and are less prone to fracture during packaging.

Plasma-Therm’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Ed Ostan, said, “With its plasmabased process, MDS outperforms mechanical saws and laser cutting tools. In addition, IC designers gain the freedom to utilize thinner wafers, design smaller streets, and even create non-rectangular streets and dies.”

Thierry Lazerand, Plasma-Therm’s Director of Technical Marketing, said, “MDS-100 systems are fully equipped for high-volume production, with automated, tape-frame cassette transfer stations. By providing unmatched cut speed — equivalent to 1,500mm per second on 50-micron-thick wafers — and eliminating the damage inherent in laser and saw-based die separation, MDS-100 is changing the game for semiconductor manufacturing.”

MDS technology is backed by Plasma-Therm’s award-winning customer care and technical support services. The company has been recognized for 15 consecutive years with VLSIresearch awards for customer service, innovation, and superior products.

For more information about MDS technology and MDS-100 systems, please visit www.plasmatherm.com.

About Plasma-Therm

Established in 1974, Plasma-Therm is a U.S. manufacturer of advanced plasma processing equipment, focusing on research and development to high-volume production in specialty semiconductor markets, including solid-state lighting, power, data storage, renewable energy, MEMS, nanotechnology, photonics, and wireless communication. Plasma-Therm offers leading etching and deposition technologies and solutions for these markets. Sales and service locations throughout North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific meet the diverse needs of Plasma-Therm’s global customer base. Please visit www.plasmatherm.com for more information.

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