The new business aims to provide affordable access to the company’s COLD SPLIT wafering solution to 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 the company’s headquarters in Dresden.
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.
The company 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, it invested in new process equipment, pioneered new automation techniques, hired additional technologists, and launched a pilot production line.