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11 June 2007


Disco’s blade-saw and Synova’s water jet-guided laser technologies to form hybrid dicing tool

Synova of Lausanne, Switzerland and Disco Hi-Tec Europe GmbH of Munich, Germany (a subsidiary of Japan’s Disco Corp) are partnering to develop a hybrid dicing tool that combines Synova’s patented Laser MicroJet technology with Disco’s latest-generation blade-saw dicing systems.

The introduction of new materials with more complex layers in increasingly feature-dense chips thin enough to fit into ever-smaller packages has made wafers brittle and damage-prone during traditional dicing. The partnership therefore aims to provide a dicing solution for both current and next-generation ICs that cost effectively meets yield and throughput requirements.

Limited strictly to joint-development work with Disco’s blade saw, the agreement will enable both firms to pursue collaborative R&D efforts to hasten the integration of Synova’s core technology into Disco’s systems. 

Synova’s Laser MicroJet has a water jet that guides the cutting laser beam onto the wafer. The water jet also cools the material surface for optimal protection against thermal damage, as well as providing a protective layer against deposition or contamination, boosting device yields, it is claimed.

The resulting solution will enable chip manufacturers to meet dual need for higher throughput and minimal damage on wafers of any thickness, the firms claim. The first tools are scheduled for introduction in late 2007. Both firms will contribute to manufacturing the hybrid tool, and will share marketing and sales efforts.

“Driven by market demand, we've been afforded the opportunity to partner with the leader in this space to develop a new breed of dicing systems that incorporate the utmost capabilities of both companies’ industry-proven technologies,” says Synova’s CEO, Dr Bernold Richerzhagen. Disco’s market expertise and worldwide support and distribution infrastructure complement Synova’s laser technologies, processes and applications, he adds. 

“Synova’s water jet-guided approach offers a number of valuable benefits for a variety of processes,” says Karl Heinz Priewasser, executive VP of Disco Hi-Tec Europe.

The partnership enables the firms to leverage each other’s business and technology strengths, while leaving each to freely continue to market and directly sell its independent dicing systems and pursue individual technology development.

See related items:

Laser technology on target for PV applications: Synova and JPSA

Synova to license Laser MicroJet technology to end-users and equipment makers

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