Material Considerations for the IOT and Heterogeneous Integration, Part 2 of 2

August 06,2015

The semiconductor industry has been going through some rapid and radical metamorphoses over the past few years, as it decides the best route to address consumer-driven needs for more of most things: more data; more memory bandwidth; more performance; and lower power. Moore’s law is reaching its limits. Mobile and wireless computing, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), calls for taking other elements into consideration, such as battery size and life, security and integration of MEMS, sensors and RF devices. What does this mean for the consumable suppliers to the semiconductor industry? In this two-part interview, Dow’s Ethan Simon, Cheng Bai Xu, Jeff Calvert, George Lu and Robin Fahey collaborated to present the opportunities and challenges this poses for Dow Electronic Materials.

In Part 1 of this interview, we looked at how the transition from 2D to 3D architectures, from 3D transistors, to 3D packaging and 3D-IC processes, as well as the transition to 450-mm diameter wafers is affecting advanced semiconductor materials development. In Part 2 of this series, we take a look specifically at the new device technologies needed to enable the IoT; namely, MEMS and sensors, and how integrating disparate devices into heterogeneous architectures is impacting electronic materials suppliers.

The wearable, intelligent mobile and IoT markets are growing rapidly and bringing new opportunities to the semiconductor industry. How does this impact Dow?

The progress of the IoT market is particularly exciting to watch because it leverages well-established manufacturing technologies to bring new benefits to consumers. Our customers show increased interest in product customization and cost-of-ownership (CoO) reduction for older node processes. Dow’s application teams are working closely with customers for this purpose.  For example, in the past few years we have won significant new business by offering a highly cost-effective CMP pad and slurry combination for older node 200-mm CMP processes.  In the ‘old’ days we would have expected the value of the older nodes to decline over time. We are seeing a slower decline, and even growth, because the older processes are good enough for IoT-type applications.  

MEMS technology and application have seen rapid growth in recent years. What is your opinion on MEMS technology and the MEMS market?

The MEMS industry has become quite large. The need for MEMS-based products will grow with increased use of highly functional smartphones and wearable devices, environmental monitoring and personalized medicine. The MEMS industry uses many of Dow’s products based on our metallization, resist and planarization technologies. Dow’s electrodeposited photoresists enable many MEMS applications. There is also recent interest in a Dow CMP polishing slurry that provides a high degree of planarization over a wide range of length scales.

How does your company meet the challenges of technology development for the semiconductor industry? What innovative products and technologies did your company launch for semiconductor processes, materials, packaging, equipment and so on in 2014? What are your company's plans in these areas in 2015?

Dow spends a lot of effort developing products to solve needs at advanced nodes, such as materials to enable new integration schemes and to increase yields of smaller features. Our launch in 2014 of the IKONIC™ CMP polishing pad series is an example of new products aimed at reducing defects during the CMP process. Additional IKONIC polishing pad products will roll out during 2015. Recent commercial introductions in our advanced packaging area include the SOLDERON™ BP TS 6000 high-speed, high-uniformity tin-silver solder plating chemistry and the CYCLOTENE™ 6505 Dielectric material for flip chip and 2.5D/3D packaging applications. In 2015, we expect to introduce new packaging materials for copper pillar and TSV plating, as well as special adhesives for wafer bond/debond applications and underfilling. Additionally, we anticipate introducing a low-stress dielectric with excellent warpage control and high elongation that is specifically targeted at FOWLP and 2.5D/3D integration applications.

In 2014, we launched some new lithography products to address the reduced process window of photolithography and resulting high-volume manufacturing yield caused by the complicated topography of FinFETs. Our new bottom anti-reflective coating products, AR201 and ARC254, fill the <20nm gaps between the fins, leading to improved planarization.

At the same time, we put significant effort into reduction of CoO. In 2014, we greatly expanded the models of how our CMP products work. When our application scientists use these models, they can more quickly diagnose process issues and help our customers solve their problems more rapidly. We also continue to extend the lifetime and effectiveness of our products. In 2014, for example, we launched a highly cost-effective CMP consumable set for 200mm nonselective oxide polishing using a tailored combination of KLEBOSOL® 1730 slurry with VISIONPAD™ 5000 pad. We also address CoO issues in our advanced packaging and lithography areas. The above-mentioned SOLDERON BP TS 6000 SnAg plating chemistry is a good example, providing best-in-class performance in terms of feature and compositional uniformity to support the most demanding fine-pitch packaging design layouts at 2x the throughput of competing technologies. Our embedded barrier layer in our photoresists and top coats enables our customers to use very fast scan speed to achieve high throughput and low CoO for 193nm immersion lithography.

Conclusion

The semiconductor industry is at an inflection point of transformation that affects every sector of the supply chain. Demand on materials suppliers to meet finer feature requirements, while also addressing the needs of legacy technologies that are finding new application spaces, is sometimes daunting. At Dow, the focus is on rising to the challenge by leveraging our years of expertise to create solutions across application spaces that are flexible and tunable, so that they can serve a wide process window.

In Part 1 of this interview, we looked at how the transition from 2D to 3D architectures, from 3D transistors, to 3D packaging and 3D-IC processes, as well as the transition to 450-mm diameter wafers is affecting advanced semiconductor materials development. In Part 2 of this series, we take a look specifically at the new device technologies needed to enable the IoT; namely, MEMS and sensors, and how integrating disparate devices into heterogeneous architectures is impacting electronic materials suppliers.

The wearable, intelligent mobile and IoT markets are growing rapidly and bringing new opportunities to the semiconductor industry. How does this impact Dow?

The progress of the IoT market is particularly exciting to watch because it leverages well-established manufacturing technologies to bring new benefits to consumers. Our customers show increased interest in product customization and cost-of-ownership (CoO) reduction for older node processes. Dow’s application teams are working closely with customers for this purpose.  For example, in the past few years we have won significant new business by offering a highly cost-effective CMP pad and slurry combination for older node 200-mm CMP processes.  In the ‘old’ days we would have expected the value of the older nodes to decline over time. We are seeing a slower decline, and even growth, because the older processes are good enough for IoT-type applications.  

MEMS technology and application have seen rapid growth in recent years. What is your opinion on MEMS technology and the MEMS market?

The MEMS industry has become quite large. The need for MEMS-based products will grow with increased use of highly functional smartphones and wearable devices, environmental monitoring and personalized medicine. The MEMS industry uses many of Dow’s products based on our metallization, resist and planarization technologies. Dow’s electrodeposited photoresists enable many MEMS applications. There is also recent interest in a Dow CMP polishing slurry that provides a high degree of planarization over a wide range of length scales.

How does your company meet the challenges of technology development for the semiconductor industry? What innovative products and technologies did your company launch for semiconductor processes, materials, packaging, equipment and so on in 2014? What are your company's plans in these areas in 2015?

Dow spends a lot of effort developing products to solve needs at advanced nodes, such as materials to enable new integration schemes and to increase yields of smaller features. Our launch in 2014 of the IKONIC™ CMP polishing pad series is an example of new products aimed at reducing defects during the CMP process. Additional IKONIC polishing pad products will roll out during 2015. Recent commercial introductions in our advanced packaging area include the SOLDERON™ BP TS 6000 high-speed, high-uniformity tin-silver solder plating chemistry and the CYCLOTENE™ 6505 Dielectric material for flip chip and 2.5D/3D packaging applications. In 2015, we expect to introduce new packaging materials for copper pillar and TSV plating, as well as special adhesives for wafer bond/debond applications and underfilling. Additionally, we anticipate introducing a low-stress dielectric with excellent warpage control and high elongation that is specifically targeted at FOWLP and 2.5D/3D integration applications.

In 2014, we launched some new lithography products to address the reduced process window of photolithography and resulting high-volume manufacturing yield caused by the complicated topography of FinFETs. Our new bottom anti-reflective coating products, AR201 and ARC254, fill the <20nm gaps between the fins, leading to improved planarization.

At the same time, we put significant effort into reduction of CoO. In 2014, we greatly expanded the models of how our CMP products work. When our application scientists use these models, they can more quickly diagnose process issues and help our customers solve their problems more rapidly. We also continue to extend the lifetime and effectiveness of our products. In 2014, for example, we launched a highly cost-effective CMP consumable set for 200mm nonselective oxide polishing using a tailored combination of KLEBOSOL® 1730 slurry with VISIONPAD™ 5000 pad. We also address CoO issues in our advanced packaging and lithography areas. The above-mentioned SOLDERON BP TS 6000 SnAg plating chemistry is a good example, providing best-in-class performance in terms of feature and compositional uniformity to support the most demanding fine-pitch packaging design layouts at 2x the throughput of competing technologies. Our embedded barrier layer in our photoresists and top coats enables our customers to use very fast scan speed to achieve high throughput and low CoO for 193nm immersion lithography.

Conclusion

The semiconductor industry is at an inflection point of transformation that affects every sector of the supply chain. Demand on materials suppliers to meet finer feature requirements, while also addressing the needs of legacy technologies that are finding new application spaces, is sometimes daunting. At Dow, the focus is on rising to the challenge by leveraging our years of expertise to create solutions across application spaces that are flexible and tunable, so that they can serve a wide process window.