Imec's programmes for 3D IC semiconductor packaging boosted by presence of Dow Corning

July 09, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Dow Corning, a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, announced today that it is among the newest member organisations to join imec, the Belgian research centre for the advancement of nano-electronics.

The announcement signals expanded opportunities for both organisations to combine their expertise toward the development and broader adoption of 3D integrated circuit (IC) packaging technologies, wherein IC chips are stacked in vertical 3D architectures.

By integrating multiple chips into a single package, 3D IC technology promises to reduce form factor and power consumption, and increase bandwidth to enable more efficient inter-chip communication for next-generation microelectronics devices. Yet, before 3D IC fabrication can see broader adoption, it will require innovative advances in materials and processing technologies. One of the key challenges imec is tackling is the bonding of the device wafer to a carrier wafer, prior to wafer thinning, and the safe debonding of the thin wafer after completion of backside processing. This was Dow Corning’s goal when designing its Temporary Bonding Solution, which aims at simple processing using a bi-layer concept comprising an adhesive and release layer. The technology also enables room-temperature bonding and debonding processes based on standard manufacturing methods.

Together with imec, Dow Corning will explore its temporary bonding CMOS-compatible solution for 3D Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) semiconductor packaging. The collaboration will aim to further expand the technology’s ability to achieve simple, cost-effective bonding-debonding techniques compatible with standard manufacturing processes.

“This move is a natural and strategic step for Dow Corning and imec, as we both believe collaborative innovation is as critical to industry leadership as native expertise,” said Andrew Ho, global industry director, Advanced Semiconductor Materials at Dow Corning. “Our access to imec’s world-class resources and expertise will not only help us further refine our unique temporary bonding solution, it will allow imec to exploit that solution to advance integration of the 3D IC packaging process that they’ve been developing for years.”

“Imec’s precompetitive programs are an essential platform for industry leaders to share the risk and cost of advanced research. As one of the semiconductor industry’s most proven pioneers in advanced silicone-based solutions, Dow Corning brings valuable materials