CS Mantech hits Vancouver
Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the International Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (CS Mantech) adjourns to Vancouver, BC’s Fairmont Hotel on April 24–27. The event (formerly known as GaAs Mantech) features a full slate of workshops, technical sessions, panels, standards meetings, posters, exhibits, and social events. More than 70 presentations will cover general technical themes such as manufacturing, worldwide GaN materials, thin films and dry etch, cost-reduced processing, backside processing, wide bandgap, and high-speed technologies. The plenary session on April 25 includes a presentation about MAX International Engineering Group’s industry benchmark study of the operational levels of the representative compound semiconductor fabs. The popular rump sessions return on April 26, with informal, interactive discussions on such topics as cost-effective fab operations management, flexible manufacturing that combines R&D and production under one roof, and the “best” GaN device substrate. For more information, check www.csmantech.org or www.gaasmantech.org.
Intrinsic licenses CMP process
An advanced CMP process developed at the Pennsylvania State University Electro-Optics Center with DARPA funding has been licensed by silicon carbide (SiC) wafer supplier Intrinsic Semiconductor. The process significantly reduces the selectivity associated with the elimination of materials surrounding existing scratches and other defects such as the micropipe voids that often permeate SiC. The CMP approach has also demonstrated an ability to create atomically flat surfaces for epitaxial device layers with performance superior to that obtained using current processes, the Virginia-based company said. Intrinsic previously announced that it had started converting its manufacturing line from the existing 50- and 75-mm wafer-size capabilities to 100 mm, and it is developing micropipe-defect-free SiC material for the larger substrates.
MEMS market grows
A new market research report says the global market for MEMS devices and production equipment will increase at an average annual growth rate of more than 20%. Business Communication Co.’s RGB-270R MEMS: A Roadmap to Technologies and Applications puts the 2005 market at nearly $5 billion and says it should rise to $12.5 billion by 2010. Microfluidic MEMS such as ink-jet heads represent the largest market segment, garnering 44% of the sector’s share in 2004, according to the report. The next two segments—optical MEMS and pressure sensors—grabbed 20% and 18% shares, respectively. Other segments are expected to grow faster than the current top three, however, with accelerometers, gyroscopic MEMS, and RF MEMS all projected to gain increased market shares. In terms of applications, the report shows life sciences leading the pack with more than 46% of the market, while automotive and consumer products account for 27% and 17%, respectively. For information on how to obtain the full report, check www.bccresearch.com.
UCLT scores financing
UCLT has landed both private and institutional financing. The private investors Avigdor Willenz and Manuel Alba invested in and then joined the board of the Israeli laser-based yield-enhancement tool company. On the venture side, Silicon Valley firm Lightspeed Venture Partners ponied up $8.7 million of first-round funds; Lightspeed general partners Chris Schaepe and Eric O’Brien also became members of UCLT’s board. The new capital will help accelerate development of the company’s next-generation critical dimension uniformity systems based on its proprietary Shade-in-Element technology, as well as to bolster sales and marketing efforts to UCLT’s fab and mask shop customers for its existing CD correction products.
IEST updates handbook
The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) has revised the Handbook on Air Filtration, which covers a wide range of airborne particle removal and air cleanliness applications. The updated publication includes three updated IEST recommended practices (RPs) on HEPA and ULPA filters, testing HEPA and ULPA filter media, and HEPA and ULPA filter leak tests. Four other IEST RPs—unidirectional-flow clean-air devices, testing cleanrooms, testing ULPA filters, and a glossary of terms and definitions relating to contamination control—are also featured in the handbook. For more information, check www.iest.org.
Podesser joins Unaxis
Unaxis has selected Peter Podesser to lead its wafer-processing division. Podesser succeeds Bob Kase, who retired at the end of 2005. The new division head was CEO of EV Group for five years, until his resignation in May of last year over business policy differences with EVG’s owners. Previously, he worked for Austrian technology company RHI, holding several management positions in Europe and Asia during his 10 years with the company. “Unaxis Wafer Processing has excellent technology, which is by far not at its limits, with many emerging applications coming,” Podesser commented, adding: “Our business starts and ends with our customers, so a customer-centric attitude will clearly be one of my major focuses for the entire organization.”
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