Thin Wafers, Temporary Bonding Equipment & Materials Market
Thin wafer handling will enjoy increased importance in the coming years, but as chips get thinner and
wafer diameter increases, thinning/handling procedures are required. This implies development in wafer
thinning, wafer dicing and wafer temporary bonding.
Yole Developpement's report provides a temporary wafer bonding equipment forecast which shows that
10% of the total thin wafer shipment will experience a temporary bonding step by 2017. So, while
temporary bonding equipment is still a small market today, it is expected to grow as the need for thin
wafer handling grows. In fact, we estimate the market for temporary bonding tools to be more than $250M
by 2017. Currently, shipped bonder/debonders are for Power and 3D ICs applications. However, we
believe 3D ICs will become the predominant application for temporary bonders > 2015.
Temporary bonding implies know-how in process and chemistry, and an understanding of the final
application requirements. Temporary bonding is a complex technology, requiring an interface material
(sometimes cal ed the "Magic" material) that is strong enough to withstand post-processing but which can
be easily removed afterwards. As the main concern for temporary bonding materials (wax, tape or glue) is
temperature stability, the material must be strong enough to withstand processing steps (metallization,
etching, grinding). Another issue is the choice of carrier material. Carrier lifetime depends on its capability
to withstand steps such as grinding, etc., and carrier lifetime should be at least tens of times, though this
is not yet the case today.
WHAT'S NEW COMPARED TO THE 2011 REPORT?
Compared to the 2011 installment, this report now contains:
Updated thin wafers forecast 2011-2017
By wafer size
New chapter on Power MOSFETs
Why thin wafers for power
New chapter on Photovoltaic
Why thin wafers for PV
New chapter on temporary bonding
Equipment forecast 2011-2017
Temporary chemistry forecast 2011-2017
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Published: October 2012
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However, as wafer thickness decreases to 100m and below, manufacturing challenges arise. Ultra-thin
wafers are less stable and more vulnerable to stress, and the die can be prone to breaking and warping--
not only during grinding but also during subsequent processing steps. Yole Developpement's report
describes why special thin wafer handling processes (i.e. temporary bonding) are necessary, especially
when wafers are dual-side processed or have high topographies.
This report deals not only with the thin wafers market and applications, but also with related processes,
equipment, and materials for temporary bonding.
Thin wafer shipment forecasts are analyzed, as there is definitely a growing need for thin wafers (below
100 m) for numerous applications: 3D ICs, MEMS, CMOS Image Sensors, Power Devices, LEDs, RF
Devices, Memory & Logic, Interposers and Photovoltaic. The report shows that, by 2017, the ratio of THIN
wafers vs. TOTAL number of wafers (in 300 mm eq.) will be 74%, corresponding to > 80M 12' eq. wafers.
Applications are also described in the report. The 2012 market drivers for thin wafers are 3D ICs, and
also Power Devices and CIS BSI for ultra-thin wafers. Indeed, the BSI application is the big driver for ultra
thin wafers; this application is currently booming. 2011 was a big year for 300 mm wafer bonding tools,
thanks to BSI. This application requires ultra thin layers (< 10) on 12' .
Forecasts by wafer thickness are analyzed in the report. In 2017, most of the 12' wafers wil be 200m
thick for logic application; also, most of the thinned wafers will be in the 10-99 thickness range. This
includes memory, as well as interposers and power device applications.
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