News / 16. Mai 2018

Siltectra fortifies Market Position by adding new Patents to Global Intellectual Property Portfolio

Wafering technology innovations covered by additional patents aim to further reduce costs for manufacturers of silicon carbide-based ICs and other devices

DRESDEN, Germany, May 9, 2018SILTECTRA GmbH, a leader in advanced wafering technology solutions and services, today announced that it has fortified its market position by adding three new patents to its global portfolio of intellectual property (IP). The first patent covers new technical capabilities relating to the company’s COLD SPLIT laser process and extends the approach to non-polymer applications. The second patent secures COLD SPLIT for all substrate materials.

The third patent covers an extension of the company’s silicon carbide (SiC) process capability to split materials with sub-100-micron material loss, regardless of vendor-specific SiC crystal-growing processes. SILTECTRA’s relentless effort to drive down SiC material loss aims to help accelerate adoption of the superior substrate for power devices and other ICs. Up to now, high cost has inhibited fast adoption. Substantial cost reductions enabled by SILTECTRA’s technology could speed deployment of SiC for a broader range of applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and 5G technology.

SILTECTRA’s IP portfolio now consists of 70 patent families with 200 patents. Collectively, the patents cover every innovation associated with the company’s breakthrough laser-based wafer-thinning process.

The growth of SILTECTRA’s IP portfolio reflects the company’s steady march toward commercializing its solution. COLD SPLIT demonstrated early differentiation by thinning wafers to 100 microns and below in minutes with extreme precision and virtually no material loss. These enabling advantages drew high interest from integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) who had previously relied on grinding to thin their wafers. Grinding is a slower, less precise process that generates material loss and reduces overall yield. In contrast, COLD SPLIT is a much faster laser-based thinning approach with higher yield and strong cost-of-ownership benefits.

In a development announced earlier this year, SILTECTRA reported a breakthrough new capability for COLD SPLIT that vastly increased the value of the technology for cost-sensitive IDMs. Thanks to a novel adaptation known as “twinning”, the company demonstrated that COLD SPLIT can reclaim substrate material generated (and previously wasted) during backside grinding and create a second fully optimizable bonus wafer in the process. SILTECTRA validated the breakthrough by producing a gallium nitride (GaN) on SiC high electron-mobility power transistor (HEMT) device on a split-off (or “twinned”) wafer at its new state-of-the-art facility in Dresden. The HEMT showed results that were superior to a non- COLD-SPLIT-enabled HEMT when measured for CMP characterization, as well as GaN EPI, metal layer and gate layer outcomes.

The developments drew keen interest from IDMs, as well as substrate manufacturers, and even providers of certain process technologies.

SILTECTRA’s CEO, Dr. Harald Binder, pledged to maintain the rapid pace of innovation at the company to enable IDMs with superior wafering solutions. He noted: “Like all technology companies, SILTECTRA’s leadership and future growth depend on continually innovating to extend our capabilities and further enrich the value of our solution. Naturally, therefore, it’s a strategic priority to protect the innovations along the way so that our competitive differentiation and enabling advantages remain strong in all regions where customers are located. Our robust IP portfolio reflects this priority.”

Dr. Jan Richter, SILTECTRA’s CTO, stated: “Our R&D team is relentlessly pushing the limits of our COLD SPLIT technology to fulfill its enormous potential. The additional patents further strengthen our market position, while enabling us to drive COLD SPLIT’s material loss far below 50 microns.”


News / 27. Februar 2018

(English) SILTECTRA’S “TWINNING” BREAKTHROUGH PROMISES TO VASTLY REDUCE WAFERING COSTS FOR MANUFACTURERS OF SILICON CARBIDE-BASED IC DEVICES

DRESDEN, Germany, Feb 26, 2018 – SILTECTRA GmbH, a leader in advanced wafering technology solutions and services, today reports that it has validated a breakthrough capability for its COLD SPLIT technology. COLD SPLIT is a proven wafer-thinning technique for substrate materials like silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), silicon (Si) and sapphire. A disruptive laser-based technology, COLD SPLIT out-performs traditional grinding methods by thinning wafers to 100 microns and below in minutes, with virtually no material loss. Now, thanks to a novel adaptation known as “twinning”, SILTECTRA has demonstrated that COLD SPLIT can reclaim substrate material generated (and previously wasted) during backside grinding, and create a second fully optimizable bonus wafer in the process.

The breakthrough enriches SILTECTRA’s wafering solution and promises substantial benefits for manufacturers of SiC-based ICs like power electronics and RF devices. SILTECTRA believes that the solution’s combined advantages which include fewer process steps, potentially lower equipment costs, and ultra-efficient use of substrate material, could reduce total device production costs by as much as 30 percent.

SILTECTRA validated the process by producing a GaN on SiC high electron-mobility power transistor (HEMT) device on a split-off (or “twinned”) wafer at its new state-of-the-art facility in Dresden. The HEMT showed results that were superior to a non- Cold- Split-enabled HEMT when measured for CMP characterization, as well as GaN EPI, metal layer and gate layer outcomes.

Leading integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) are now evaluating the technology.

SILTECTRA’s CEO, Dr. Harald Binder, called “twinning” the “holy grail” on the company’s technology roadmap, and noted that the breakthrough was achieved ahead of schedule. “We were confident that we could not only produce a faster and cheaper thinning solution for substrates like SiC, but that we could double the value for customers by extending COLD SPLIT’s reach to create a twin wafer from material previously lost during backside grinding,” he said. “We’re thrilled to report the validation milestone, and excited to help leading IDMs realize new performance and cost benefits in their manufacturing operations.”

New Substrate Materials Present New Lower-Cost Manufacturing Imperatives

SiC is expected to be the go-to substrate for the production of power electronics, RF, and other devices. Devices made from SiC have a smaller form-factor than those manufactured on silicon, and can handle higher voltages and frequencies with lower power consumption. Although SiC is substantially more expensive than silicon, the market is growing fast thanks to the substrate’s inherent enabling advantages. Not surprisingly, IDMs are seeking new technologies to cut the cost of producing devices based on SiC and other costly substrates.

Until now, the traditional method to thin wafers to less than 20 percent of the original thickness was grinding, which involves the use of expensive diamond grinding wheels. While valued as a reliable solution for silicon, certain challenges make it difficult for grinding to achieve the extreme level of thinness required for SiC-based devices. Unlike silicon, which is relatively soft, SiC is an extraordinarily hard substance (second only to the hardness of a diamond), which makes cutting and grinding arduous and expensive. What’s more, grinding is not a fast process, and the cost of consumables for the grinding wheels can be substantial. Finally, grinding generates material loss, and the process lowers overall yield, which further drives up cost.

The COLD SPLIT Advantage

SILTECTRA engineered COLD SPLIT as a faster, higher-yield, lower-cost alternative to grinding for advanced substrates like SiC. The 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. The solution accomplishes the thinning task in minutes instead of an hour like traditional grinding tools, and cuts material loss by as much as 90 percent.

The “twinning” breakthrough extends COLD SPLIT’s capabilities. The adaptation provides a simple way for IDMs to avoid expensive kerf-loss when slicing ingots or boules into wafers. It effectively replaces backside grinding processes, while producing an identical wafer primed for a second device run.

SILTECTRA is qualifying the process on customers’ SiC material at its newly extended facility in Dresden, while preparing to apply the COLD SPLIT technique to additional substrate materials. The company also provides wafering and thinning services at the same location.

About SILTECTRA GmbH

SILTECTRA provides advanced wafering technology solutions and services to global semiconductor manufacturers. The company’s proprietary COLD SPLIT solution thins wafer substrates to 100 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.

SILTECTRA Contact

Johannes Froehling; email: johannes.froehling@siltectra.com.

Download Press Release 


News / 23. Februar 2018

(English) SILTECTRA expands Headquarters in Dresden

DRESDEN, Germany, Feb 19, 2018 – In a move that marks its shift to production, SILTECTRA GmbH today announced that it recently expanded its headquarters in Dresden’s Technologie Park Nord and added a state-of-the-art pilot production line to the larger 900 square meter facility. The company provides advanced wafering technology solutions and services to the global semiconductor industry.

At the heart of the pilot production line is the company’s COLD SPLIT equipment. COLD SPLIT is SILTECTRA’s laser-based wafer-thinning solution. It’s a new class of wafering technology with dramatic cost advantages for manufacturers of IC devices based on advanced substrates like silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and sapphire, as well as silicon. The advanced substrates are the ideal building blocks of power electronics, RF, and optoelectronic devices. The pilot line is already processing customers’ substrates.

The new pilot line is a central piece of SILTECTRA’S growth strategy and the timing is excellent, says the company’s CEO, Dr. Harald Binder. “With the industry steadily transitioning to advanced substrates to build devices like power electronics, there is soaring interest in new technologies that can improve performance and contain costs. We’re hearing daily from leading integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) who are eyeing advanced wafering technologies, in particular, to exact cost-reductions in their mass-production fabs. This has generated high interest in our COLD SPLIT technology. We’re very pleased now to have advanced capabilities to cater to these customers.”

SILTECTRA’S CTO, Dr. Jan Richter, added, “The pilot line gives us the critical infrastructure to accelerate our path to production and expand R&D to hit aggressive milestones on our technology roadmap. COLD SPLIT is already out-performing traditional grinding methods by thinning wafers to 100 microns and below in minutes, with virtually no material loss. Now, we’re in final-phase testing of extended capabilities that exploit the technology’s maximum potential. Results so far are very exciting. We believe that the additional innovations have the potential to deliver substantial cost savings to manufacturers of SiC-based devices.”

About SILTECTRA GmbH
SILTECTRA provides advanced wafering technology solutions and services to global semiconductor manufacturers. The company’s proprietary COLD SPLIT solution thins wafer substrates to 100 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.

SILTECTRA Contact
Johannes Froehling; Email: johannes.froehling@siltectra.com


News / 12. Januar 2018

COLD SPLIT Provides Significant Cost Advantages for SiC Substrates and Devices

SILTECTRA has developed a kerf-free wafering technique based on a spalling process that uses externally applied stresses to separate crystalline materials along crystal planes with well-defined thickness1. We use a laser-conditioning process to spall the material along a pre-defined layer with high precision. Our process leads to material losses far below 100µm per SiC-Wafer which is significantly lower than alternatives like wire sawing. Geometrical parameters like bow, warp and TTV are superior due to the micrometer precision of the laser process. This allows further reduction of wafer thickness and utilizing the SiC-material more than two times. Furthermore, COLD SPLIT can also be applied as an alternative to back-side grinding of the final device wafer, which has the potential to reclaim most of the SiC-Wafer for a second processing run providing significant cost advantages for SiC-devices.

Read the full article published in Bodo’s Power Magazin


News / 1. Dezember 2017

SILTECTRA introduces highranked advisory board, including semiconductor industry veteran Joe Bronson

SILTECTRA GmbH, a technology specialist for kerfless wafering, is pleased to introduce a new addition to it’s top-ranked advisory board. The board delivers outstanding strategic and technology expertise, supporting the new CEO Dr. Harald Binder to elevate the company to the next level of commercialization.

Semiconductor veteran Joe Bronson, who is highly acknowledged in the semiconductor industry, supports the strategy process. Joe holds many board seats with leading players in the industry in Europe, the US and China. In addition, he provides more than 40 years of semiconductor industry experience based on C-level positions at key players like AMAT, SVTC, Form Factor, etc.

Joe is a certified public accountant who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Fairfield University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.

Technology development also benefits from the long-lasting expertise of Dr. Bernhard Stapp. Bernhard was the CTO of OSRAM Opto Semiconductor prior to taking over the GM position in Business Unit Solid State Lighting at OSRAM. He held several different R&D positions at Siemens, working with optical fiber, electronic materials and the medical engineering group. He also holds a PhD in organometallic chemistry from the University of Ulm.

Johannes Froehling supports, in his role as an advisory board member, the new CEO in positioning SILTECTRA in the semiconductor market. Johannes held several strategy and business development VP positions at semiconductor market leaders like AMAT, AIXTRON and Grace Semiconductor in China. He has 15 years of semiconductor industry experience and holds an Engineering degree in Semiconductor Process Technology as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The advisory board is completed by the former CEO, Dr. Wolfram Drescher, who has developed SILTECRA’s unique technology position significantly. He continues to support the company, based on his market and technology know-how. “By establishing such a high-ranked advisory board, the owner MIG AG clearly focuses on positioning COLD SPLIT TECHNOLOGY in the semiconductor market with successful commercialization,” said Dr. Harald Binder (CEO).


News / 1. Dezember 2017

SILTECTRA develops SiC wafering process with kerf-loss far below 100μm

SILTECTRA GmbH, a technology specialist for kerfless wafering, continues to work on high volume manufacturing qualification and optimization of their unique wafering technology called COLD SPLIT.

Volume manufacturing process capability for manufacturing SiC substrates, enables the penetration of SiC for power semiconductor applications. One of the key goals of SILTECTRA’s COLD SPLIT TECHNOLOGY is to prove the material savings of up to 90% compared with conventional technologies like wire sawing. These material savings have a direct impact on the substrate cost which allocates about 50% of the total cost of a final SiC device. So far, this cost dependency has been the main bottle-neck to the successful market penetration of the SiC material.

One of the key enabling parameters is the kerf reduction. Recently, SILTECTRA has been able to establish a kerf-loss far below 100μm. The market standard is between 200 to 250μm or more for an optimized and well-established wafering technology. In order to realize this outstanding and for the industry, significant achievement, SILTECRA engineers have developed a laser process, enabling a premium homogeneity by dynamic control of the light source parameters. “With a kerf-loss of below 100μm, chip and substrate manufacturers are able to significantly increase throughput and yield as well as reduce costs, based on material savings,” said Dr. Jan Richter (CTO).

SILTECTRA is currently working on further optimization of their LASER process by building a new generation of LASER, ensuring an automated process control.

 


News / 8. Juni 2017

Wafer-Spezialist SILTECTRA bietet kostenoptimale Lösung für die Leistungshalbleiterproduktion und holt Industrieexperten Harald Binder in die Geschäftsführung

 

Dresden, 7. Juni 2017 – Die SILTECTRA GmbH, Technologiespezialist für kerf-less Wafering, hat seit dem 1. Juni 2017 einen neuen CEO. Dr. Harald Binder, ausgewiesener Experte für Anlagenbau und Halbleitertechnologie, will den nächsten Schritt der Kommerzialisierung der SILTECTRA-Technologie vorantreiben. Dabei wird er eng mit Dr. Jan Richter zusammenarbeiten, der seit 2011 als CTO den Bereich Technologie- und Prozessentwicklung verantwortet und seitdem an mehr als 25 Patenten mitgewirkt hat. Der bisherige CEO Dr. Wolfram Drescher wechselt in den Beirat und steht dem Unternehmen in dieser Funktion weiter zur Verfügung.

„Mit Harald Binder konnten wir den Branchenexperten gewinnen, den wir uns gewünscht haben. Er bringt viele Jahre Erfahrung in der strategischen Unternehmensentwicklung und Produktionsoptimierung mit. Genau diese Erfahrung brauchen wir, um den bevorstehenden Nachfrageschub bei Leistungshalbleitern für uns zu nutzen und den Herstellern kostengünstige Lösungen zu bieten“, sagt Dr. Axel Thierauf, Partner der MIG Verwaltungs AG, deren MIG-Fonds mehrheitlich an der SILTECTRA GmbH beteiligt sind.

Der promovierte Physiker Harald Binder begann seine berufliche Laufbahn 1977 bei Euratom und war danach viele Jahre bei Siemens im DRAM-Umfeld tätig. Anschließend übernahm er Managementaufgaben beim Reinraum-Anlagenbauer M+W Zander. Von 2006 bis 2008 war er CEO der centrotherm thermal solutions AG. Danach war er als Vice President und General Manager bei Applied Materials, einem der weltgrößten Hersteller von Anlagen für die Halbleiterindustrie, tätig. In den vergangenen fünf Jahren arbeitete er als selbstständiger Berater für die Halbleiterindustrie.

SILTECTRA verarbeitet hochwertiges Halbleitermaterial für die Chipindustrie ohne Materialverlust zu dünnen Scheiben, sogenannten Wafern. Das besondere Laserverfahren, mit dem SILTECTRA weltweiter Vorreiter ist, beruht auf einem chemisch-physikalischen Vorgang: Durch thermischen Stress werden Kräfte erzeugt, die das Material entlang der gewünschten Ebene spalten. Gegenüber herkömmlichen Methoden wie dem Sägen spart das Verfahren mehr als 90 Prozent der Materialverluste ein. Daher ist die SILTECTRA-Technologie besonders dort von Vorteil, wo sehr kostenintensive Halbleitermaterialien wie etwa Siliziumkarbid zum Einsatz kommen.

„Je nach Material macht der Wafer etwa fünf bis 50 Prozent der Kosten in der Chipproduktion aus. Durch unsere COLD SPLIT Technologie wird die neue Generation von Bauelementen für die Hochleistungselektronik um bis zu 15 bis 20 Prozent günstiger. Damit könnten Zukunftsanwendungen wie 5G, kabelloses Laden oder Elektromobilität schneller den Massenmarkt erobern“, sagt SILTECTRA-CEO Dr. Harald Binder.

Seit September 2016 betreibt SILTECTRA in Dresden eine Pilotanlage zum Spalten von Halbleitermaterial. Das Unternehmen entwickelt derzeit eine Systemlösung für hohe Durchsätze, die voraussichtlich im dritten Quartal 2017 im neuen produktionsfähigen SILTECTRA-Gebäude zur Verfügung stehen soll


News / 19. September 2016

Siltectra auf dem „Techcrunch Disrupt“

Vom 12. – 14. September fand dieses Jahr die Wagniskapptalmesse „Techcrunch Disrupt“ statt. Mit mehr als 5.000 Besucher und über 6 Mio. online Zuschauern gehört der „Techcrunch Disrupt“ zu den bedeutendsten Technologie Ausstellungen weltweit.

Durch einen eigenen Stand hatte Siltectra die Möglichkeit das Cold Split Verfahren den mehr als 5.000 Besuchern vorzustellen. Mit dem Siltectra Verfahren lässt sich hochwertiges Halbleitermaterial für die Chipindustrie ohne Materialverlust dünnen und zu Scheiben, so genannten Wafern, verarbeiten.
Im Gegensatz zu herkömmlichen Methoden lassen sich dadurch Materialkosten im Milliardenbereich einsparen.

Zusätzlich zum Messestand durfte Geschäftsführer Dr. Wolfram Drescher auf einer vom GTAI (Germany Trade and Invest) und Schirmherrin Iris Gleicke (Staatssekretärin BMWI) organisierten Veranstaltung, das Unternehmen Siltectra und die Cold-Split Technologie vorstellen.

disruptsf2016_466x2691


News / 20. November 2015

Siltectra ist Gewinner des Red Herring 100 Global Award 2015

„We did it! Top 100 Global Start-ups“ schrieb CEO Dr. Wolfram Drescher gegen 9 Uhr Abends Ortszeit Los Angeles, USA per Mail an sein Team, zusammen mit einem Bild, was ihn gemeinsam mit dem CEO des Red Herring Medienverlages Alex Vieux und natürlich dem Preis zeigt.

Siltectra ist Gewinner des Red Herring 2015 Top 100 Global Award, einem Preis mit dem weltweit die innovativsten und vielversprechendsten Technologie-StartUps ausgezeichnet werden.

Die Red Herring-Redaktion wählte die Gewinner mit den fortschrittlichsten Technologien und dem aussichtsreichstem Geschäftsmodell aus mehr als 1.000 Startups und über 40 Nationen.

Im April dieses Jahres wurde Siltectra bereits als eines der Red Herring 2015 Top 100 Europe ausgezeichnet. Bei der Veranstaltung in Los Angeles, USA handelte es sich um die zweite Stufe des Awards, bei der die Finalisten aus den vorherigen Gewinnern aus Asien, Europa und den USA ausgewählt wurden.

Alex Vieux (CEO Red Herring) and Wolfram Drescher (CEO Siltectra) in Los Angelos - Red Herring Award

Alex Vieux (CEO Red Herring) and Wolfram Drescher (CEO Siltectra) in Los Angeles – Red Herring Award