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Sony, Ziptronix team up on image sensors

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:image sensors? backside illumination? oxide bonding?

Ziptronix Inc. has granted Sony Corp. license to use its ZiBond technology, an oxide bonding technology for backside illumination imaging sensors.

Ziptronix has an extensive worldwide patent portfolio covering the fundamental concepts behind economical low-temperature oxide bonding and oxide bonding with interconnect. The company was spun out from North Carolina's RTI International in October 2000 to commercialize�their wafer and die bonding (ZiBond) and bonding with interconnect (DBI) technologies.

"We believe that Ziptronix's patented oxide bonding technology enables the industry's lowest distortion for imaging systems utilizing backside illumination" said Dan Donabedian, CEO of Ziptronix Inc. "The result is that pixels can be scaled smaller, resulting in more die per wafer. Users of ZiBond technology benefit because yields are dramatically improved and production costs reduced."

"Our patented bonding technology revolutionizes how light is received in imaging sensors. This is critically important for backside illumination applications," said Donabedian. "The market for image sensing products is expected to exceed $16 billion cumulative over the next four years."

Ziptronix' patent portfolio includes 100 worldwide issued patents related to direct bond and 3D device, circuit, integration, packaging and encapsulation technologies.

The proprietary ZiBond process was a breakthrough in that using a very thin layer of dielectric facilitated direct bonding of multiple materials in previously impossible combinations, according to Ziptronix.

Since the bonding process occurs at low temperature, there are no residual stresses, which can occur with thermal or anodic bonding methods. The resulting bond strength typically exceeds the fracture strength of the bonded bulk materials.

Ziptronix' Direct Bond Interconnect technology builds off the low temperature oxide bonding technology and adds conducting metal interconnects which enables silicon to be bonded in a 3D fashion to maximize the density of signal paths between chips that are used to interconnect transistors. DBI maximizes the electrical connections between the separate components which extends bandwidth by alleviating the interconnect delays with scalable 3D routing.

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