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Semiconductor Trend - Bigger Wafers

And Other Factors for Reducing Cost

Keeping up with consumer demand for the latest in electronics has a big impact on the semiconductor industry. To remain competitive, companies are under increased pressure to reduce the size of electronic devices, while lowering cost and maintaining high quality. Our customers are facing production choices to address these pressures, such as the need to increase wafer size.  That change will mean they will require larger targets, as well as improved product variability and yield. Materion understands the challenges and offers potential solutions to meet these goals.

Factors to Consider

• Wafer Size
The bigger the wafer, the more microchips it can hold. That also translates into more efficient use of process time and material, since one run might produce as many die as two or more runs. But when a wafer is enlarged, it also requires a target with a corresponding increased surface area to support it.  This need drives target manufacturers to continually improve their capabilities to produce bigger target sizes to meet the fabrication requirements for 300 and 450 mm wafers used in the semiconductor industry.  

Rainbow WaferMaterion is moving toward ever-larger targets to meet the requirements posed by bigger wafers.  To accomplish that, we have an R&D team working on new product design and a manufacturing department expanding our machining capabilities and equipment to not just meet today’s demands (300mm wafers) but also anticipate future needs (450mm wafers).  The objective is to increase the target size without sacrificing coating quality.

• Reduced Variability - Consistency
Product inconsistency can result in waste and increased expense.  To reduce variability, it is necessary to establish robust systems that control critical materials and manufacturing processes for outgoing quality.  Materion understands that providing product consistency is a key way to maximize quality and reduce costs and has implemented systems to ensure it. Materion materials, known for their high purity and uniform grain size, also contribute to consistent production outcomes.

• Improved Yields - Cleanliness
Various factors contribute to higher yields. Every step of the manufacturing process has the potential to impact the quantity and quality of product. How materials are handled and cleaned within a facility has a big impact on yield. Materion is aware of the stringent requirements of the semiconductor industry for cleanliness.  We are continually improving manufacturing cleanliness and adding more and higher level (10,000 and 1,000) clean rooms to maintain the same level as our customers’ production. In addition, we have expanded our safety capabilities to better manage the handling and packaging of larger, heavier targets. 

Other Materion Advantages

Beyond those already cited, there are other factors that can reduce costs.  Materion’s customized high purity precious metal and non-precious metal sputter targets extend the life of the target and make for a greater return on investment. Also, Materion offers the convenience of shield cleaning capabilities that provide higher metal returns and reduce the need for frequent replacement of expensive parts. Our new copper parts cleaning service makes use of proprietary technology for superior results and lower total cost of ownership of precious metals.  To discuss how Materion can help you meet the challenges of today’s evolving market, contact Jim Militello, Marketing Product Manager,