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Taiwan successfully developed "Advanced IC Packing Process Stepper"

National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) held "Advanced IC Packing Process Stepper Demonstration and Investment Expo" on December 16th, 2016. Instrument Technology Research Center (ITRC) of NARLabs showcased the first set of Taiwan domestic independent design and manufacture "Advanced IC Packing Process Stepper" and the project developmental milestones. ITRC anticipated combining their technology capability with semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry to drive the key components localization. It is expected that "Advanced IC Packaging Process Stepper" can be put on the industrial supply chain in the next few years to achieve the goal of independent manufacturing semiconductor equipment and key optical components to enhance Taiwan semiconductor industry competitiveness.

To achieve semiconductor packaging equipment localization

Taiwan has been leading the world in semiconductor foundry, but is relatively weak in equipment manufacturing. Currently, there is no sufficient technical ability for Taiwan to invest in R & D for semiconductor front-end processing equipment, however, advanced packaging equipment in the back-end processing will be Taiwan's great opportunity. According to Yole Developpement, French semiconductor market research and consulting company, global advanced packaging equipment demand was 120 billion NT dollars, of which Taiwan's equipment demand was about 36 billion dollars in 2015; estimated global demand for advanced packaging equipment will grow to 170 billion NT dollars, while Taiwan's equipment demand will come to 52.5 billion dollars in 2018.

In recent years, Taiwan government has been pushing the semiconductor equipment industry localization to maintain Taiwan semiconductor industry growth. Following the global trend of 3D-IC packaging technology, ITRC starts developing "Advanced IC Packaging Process Stepper" with their 40 years of experience and technology in large-aperture optical systems. The machine is wafer-exposed at equal magnification and in a step-and-repeat manner with line widths up to 2µm.

In addition to the exposure equipment used in 3D-IC processing, the technology of "Advanced IC Packaging Process Stepper" can also be used to develop exposure equipment that requires exposure projection processes such as PCBs, LEDs and LCDs.

The success of "Advanced IC Packaging Process Stepper" can not only assist domestic manufacturers to develop packaging and testing equipment for the back-end process, but also accelerate the localization of chip manufacturing equipment industry and assist domestic manufacturers to enter the international semiconductor manufacturing equipment market.

Establishment Supply Chain For Stepper Precision Optical Components

Besides the design and manufacture of "Advanced IC Packaging Process Stepper", ITRC of NARLabs also renovated the optical plant, employed high-end manpower and equipment, and conducted the intelligent production process, and established stepper precision optical design and manufacture supply chain, including optical design, manufacturing, coating and automatic optical detection technology. All the service can be provided to assist Taiwan equipment manufacturers independently produce high technical and high precision optics / optol-mechanical components of semiconductor equipment and break the limitation that key semiconductor equipment can only rely on imports. Meanwhile, with equipment manufacturing and maintenance localization, domestic semiconductor manufacturing companies can have more equipment flexibility and reduce costs.

Advanced semiconductor manufacturing and packaging equipment research and development needs a huge investment in long-term. Small domestic equipment manufacturers cannot afford, even large manufacturers need the assistance of government R & D institute to have the opportunity to build up their own technology. In the past five years, ITRC of NARLabs has been actively transforming and strengthening the link and cooperation with local industry. ITRC determined to be Taiwan technology navigator for semiconductor equipment and medical optoelectronics field. Hoping to create Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing equipment localization a turning point with ITRC's more than 40 years of world-class optical technology and vacuum technology.

The investment expo today attracted nearly a dozen of semiconductor equipment and optoelectronics industry related manufacturers to participate, including HIWAN Technology Corp., Hermes-Epitek Corp., Contrel Technology Co., Chime Ball Technology Co., Gallant Precision Machining Co., Epistar Corp., Shuz Tung Machinery Industrial Co. All witnessed and participated key milestones in Taiwan semiconductor equipment localization development.

Taiwan's first local independent design and manufacture "Advanced IC Packing Process Stepper"
TSMC Vice President, JK Lin, was invited to witness "Advanced IC Packing Process Stepper"

2017/4/6 updated