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Rudolph buys Azores, enters back-end litho market

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:reduction stepper? packaging lithography? grid motor stage?

Rudolph Technologies has announced the acquisition of Azores Corp., a firm involved in the design, development, manufacture and support of steppers for display products. With the latest purchase, Rudolph has entered the back-end advanced packaging lithography market with the new JetStep Lithography System, a disruptive innovation featuring a 2X reduction stepper.

Rudolph's entrance into the back-end lithography market underscores the company's strategic partnerships with an expanding customer base. Advanced packaging lithography has a completely different set of manufacturing requirements than those associated with front-end lithography, and its technical challenges are not readily addressed with existing solutions, which in the back-end have consisted primarily of projection aligners and 1X steppers.

The next-generation JetStep Lithography System is a 2X reduction step-and-repeat tool, designed to give better device yields, higher throughput, and lower cost-of-ownership, while providing the basis for pursuing the challenges of a solid technical roadmap tomorrow. This technology represents a paradigm shift for the industry and provides a total lithography solution that is fully customisable to the varying technical requirements of each customer, enabling them to more effectively compete in the high-growth advanced packaging market.

Key JetStep System advantages include the largest printable field-of-view to lower cost of ownership, programmable aperture blades and large on-tool reticle library for ease of use, quick change to lower reticle cost management for high product mix operations such as OSATs, ultra large depth-of-focus along with auto focus to accommodate 3D structures in advanced packaging, very large working distance and ultra-warped wafer handling to expose the large warped wafers prevalent in today's advanced packaging process and low cost of consumables.

Advanced packaging requires emerging capabilities from steppers to accommodate the needed design changes demanded by new technologies such as TSV, eWLB, silicon and glass interposers and other advanced wafer-level packaging solutions being developed. Rudolph's total lithography solution is capable of addressing a number of these manufacturing challenges including wafer flatness, automated partial field exposures and best-in-breed resolution. In addition, with its flat panel lithography heritage, the JetStep System incorporates Azores' high-precision grid motor stage. This energy efficient, patented stage technology provides a flexible platform that can be readily scaled to changing substrate sizes and types in the advanced packaging market. It can handle both standard and reconstituted 300mm and 330mm wafers, all panel sizes and is 450mm capable.

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