News | October 3, 2018

SILTECTRA Prepares To Ramp Up Wafering Services Business

Company set to make COLD SPLIT wafering technology available to semiconductor and materials manufacturers, and speed adoption of complex substrate materials, like silicon carbide

Dresden, Germany (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - SILTECTRA GmbH, a leader in advanced wafering technology solutions and services, today announced that it will begin offering “outsourced wafering” services to customers, starting in January 2019. The new business aims to provide affordable access to the company’s breakthrough COLD SPLIT wafering solution to global semiconductor manufacturers and materials providers, and help speed the adoption of new substrate materials by the industry at large. The manufacturing initiative will be located at SILTECTRA’s headquarters in Dresden.

The first phase of the new business will concentrate on 6-inch silicon carbide (SiC) wafers. This focus responds to early requests for the new wafering service from manufacturers of SiC-substrates for applications like electric vehicles and 5G technology. The SiC market is expected to grow steadily between now and 2022, with demand from customers in the US, Europe and China, and strong momentum in Japan. SILTECTRA will begin by producing 500 wafers per week, with plans to increase the volume to 2000 wafers per week by the end of 2019.

COLD SPLIT is a high-output, low-cost wafering and thinning technology for substrates like SiC and gallium arsenide, as well as gallium nitride, sapphire and silicon. The laser-based technique employs a chemical-physical process that uses thermal stress to generate a force that splits the material with exquisite precision along the desired plane, and produces virtually no kerf loss. The “no kerf loss” capability is unique to COLD SPLIT and delivers breakthrough advantages. First, it extracts more wafers per boule than conventional wafering technologies. This drives up output. Second, it dramatically reduces consumables costs.

In addition to semiconductor customers, SILTECTRA will also make the service available to materials manufacturers who stand to gain from COLD SPLIT’s technical and economic advantages. The economic benefits are derived from higher output (up to 2X from the same amount of material), as well as lower capex burdens (furnaces, for instance). The technology benefits are derived from COLD SPLIT’s inherent capabilities, which includes better depth-of-focus stability for the lithography process which is enabled by edge flatness parameters that are superior to the standard lapping process. In addition, the geometrical profile for COLD SPLIT wafers is better suited for lateral processes, especially epitaxy.

The new “outsourced wafering” business is a central component of SILTECTRA’s growth strategy. The company began preparing earlier this year when it expanded its Dresden facility and created a dedicated manufacturing space. In addition, SILTECTRA invested in new process equipment, pioneered new automation techniques, hired additional technologists, and launched a pilot production line. During this time, SILTECTRA also continued to boost COLD SPLIT’s capabilities by adding enabling hardware, software and process innovations. The new innovations further enriched the company’s global IP portfolio which today consists of 70 patent families containing 200 patents in total.

“Outsourced wafering services is a natural next step for SILTECTRA and we’re excited by the enthusiasm we’re hearing from semiconductor manufacturers, as well as materials providers,” said the company’s Head of Business Development, David Schneider. “It’s a compelling service offering for substrate manufacturers seeking an affordable portal to an ultra-high-output wafering solution. Early feedback confirms that customers value the access to COLD SPLIT’s unique innovations and SILTECTRA’s process expertise, and appreciate our knowledge and experience with diverse substrate materials. We intend to meet their wafering needs with a scalable business plan, starting with one shift and adding additional shifts as demand grows.”

SILTECTRA provides advanced wafering technology solutions and services to global semiconductor manufacturers. The company’s proprietary COLD SPLIT solution thins wafer substrates to 50 microns and below in minutes, with virtually no material loss. With a specialized focus on advanced substrate materials like silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN) and sapphire, SILTECTRA’s laser-based technology equipment and process solution is enabling manufacturers of power electronics, RF and other IC devices with dramatic new performance and cost advantages. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Dresden, Germany, SILTECTRA is privately held and supported by a leading venture capital firm.

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