Semiconductor equipment market researcher Information Network finds advanced semiconductor package lithography growing 18.6%, 4x faster than IC lithography.
Lithography tools are used for patterning Advanced Packages such as fan-out wafer level packaging (FO-WLP), fan-in wafer level chip scale packaging (WLCSP), flip-chip and 2.5D/3D packaging that house leading edge Ics.
“The advanced package lithography sector was valued at $195 million, but is growing at four times the rate of mainstream IC lithography, 18.6% versus only 4.8%,” noted Dr. Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. “Ultratech led the $195 million advanced packaging lithography market in 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the company’s revenues grew 57.0%, but Rudolph Technologies’ revenues grew an astounding 287.7%.”
The report by Information Network details an analysis of the different types of steppers used in advanced packaging from each of the lithography suppliers listed in the chart below.
According to the report, advanced packaging lithography confronts a set of challenges that are unique to the application, meaning that an EUV or DUV mainstream lithography tool would not work. These include:
• Feature sizes range from micrometers to hundreds of micrometers and often require photoresist or dielectric layers much thicker than those found in front- end photolithography.
• The lithography system must be able to supply enough energy to activate the photosensitive material (e.g. resist, polyimide, dielectric, etc.), while maintaining focus throughout the thickness to precisely control critical dimensions (CD) and sidewall profiles.
• A wide variety of substrates are used, including silicon wafers, thinned wafers, reconstituted wafers (in which separated die are embedded in a polymer compound), glass and more.
• The substrates may exhibit several millimeters of warp, and there may also be significant die-to-die and within-die topography resulting from embedding and bumping processes.
• In addition to warp of materials, systems need to be able to manage dimensional instability due to process induced stresses.