AES Semigas


15 December 2022

Plasma-Therm receives follow-on Japan order for Heatpulse RTP system for automotive SiC MOSFET power devices

Plasma-Therm LLC of St Petersburg, FL, USA (which makes plasma-process equipment for the semiconductor and compound semiconductor markets) has received an order from a leading Japanese device maker for multiple systems built on its newly redesigned Heatpulse rapid thermal processing (RTP) platform, launched in July at SEMICON West 2022. The Heatpulse systems will be used to manufacture silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET power devices in Japan for electric vehicles (EVs) and other automotive applications.

Plasma-Therm says that the new platform continues to garner significant interest among its global customer base to meet new processing demands and greater return on investment (ROI) — including multiple orders announced in Europe last month. The Japan-based customer selected Heatpulse RTP for its new dual-oven configuration, ability to reach temperatures over 1000°C, as well as for its all-new Cortex advanced monitoring and control software.

“Many device makers are struggling with supply chain issues impacting their ability to meet current demand for spare parts, including for legacy installed Heatpulse systems,” says Jim Garstka, VP of sales & business development. “Our strategy is to provide our customers with a solution to modernize their existing installed systems and mitigate risk associated with sourcing spare parts. This allows customers to immediately benefit from critical system upgrades to boost performance and throughput, while keeping their existing processes running smoothly in production into the next decade,” he adds.

“We are continuing to see rapid growth in specialty markets for 200mm and smaller substrates, including for the power devices for automotive applications, with 6.2% growth in Japan projected by industry analysts,” says Plasma-Therm Japan country manager Hirokuni Shibata. “With the majority of our Heatpulse legacy systems installed in Japan, we are excited to offer our customers immediate solutions to boost processing performance and ensure maximum tool uptime.”

The redesigned Heatpulse RTP platform is fully compatible with legacy AG Heatpulse 8108 and 8800 systems and existing processes. The flexible platform can accommodate multiple wafer sizes and features upgraded robotics and Plasma-Therm’s Cortex process control software. With the dual-oven configuration, the new Heatpulse delivers higher throughput per square meter in a smaller footprint, enabling customers to realize higher ROI. The direct result is optimized production yields and capacity with maximized uptime during high-volume manufacturing, says Plasma-Therm. Additionally, the new Heatpulse RTP wafer size conversion kits are implemented, eliminating complicated, time-consuming system hardware changes to help further increase ROI and save time and money during conversion.

The newly redesigned Heatpulse RTP platform processes substrates up to 200mm in diameter for a wide variety of materials, including silicon, gallium arsenide, SiC, and other compound semiconductors. Offering greater flexibility to accommodate multiple wafer sizes, the new platform features upgraded robotics and Plasma-Therm’s Cortex process control and monitoring software. The firm also offers easily implemented conversion kits to upgrade currently installed systems, eliminating complicated hardware changes and ensuring full compatibility with existing processes.

Cortex is Plasma-Therm’s core advanced process control software offering a seamless, intuitive user interface for process development, operations and maintenance across all etch, deposition, RTP and plasma-dicing product lines. The software enables increased tool reliability and optimization with the ability to develop and maintain process recipes, safe and secure maintenance, and real-time data analysis for performance fine-tuning and repeatability. Cortex also features integrated end-point detection for tighter process control utilizing laser interferometry for precise rate determination and optical emission spectrometry. All Cortex systems provide secure remote access for diagnostics and process support.

See related items:

Plasma-Therm’s Grenoble site made EMEA HQ focused on power, wireless, memory, sensor and MEMS device development

Plasma-Therm acquires OEM Group’s PVD, RTP & etch business

Tags: Plasma-Therm


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