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Electronics Production | July 15, 2008

ESI and STMicro in partnership

ESI partners with STMicroelectronics for the development of an advanced Laser Singulation Solution.
Electro Scientific Industries, Inc., provider of photonic and laser systems for micro-engineering applications, today announced receipt of a purchase order from STMicroelectronics for the Cignis laser singulation system. The formal introduction of the Cignis system was announced yesterday.

This purchase order underscores the ongoing partnership between the two companies to develop an advanced laser singulation solution. The Cignis system enables full-wafer dicing of low-K dielectrics and copper interconnects. The goal of this effort is to produce a flexible, scalable laser solution capable of addressing multiple applications, such as wafer dicing, scribing and CMOS image sensor singulation.

“As the industry moves toward thinner wafers with lower K dielectrics for advanced devices, mechanical processes are reaching their limits,” explained Gareth Bignell, program manager, 300mm Equipment Selection, STMicroelectronics. “Of the three types of wafer scribing processes available on the market, we found that mechanical saws could damage the dielectric layers while nanosecond lasers weakened the wafer’s die break strength. To overcome these issues, we experimented with picosecond lasers that unveiled an optimal solution for wafers thinner than 100 microns. As ESI is one of the most advanced companies pioneering a picosecond laser system technology, we are optimistic that our collaboration will enable us to quickly and effectively transition from 65-nm to 45-nm processing to meet our product roadmaps.”

ESI President and CEO Nick Konidaris noted, “We greatly value this partnership with STMicroelectronics, and it is a prime example of ESI’s strong customer relationships serving as the catalyst for our success. As the photonic systems leader, we are well positioned to develop the picosecond laser system that enables the strategic competitive advantages ST requires to meet its aggressive manufacturing goals. We look forward to this collaborative effort, and to enabling our global customers’ ability to move quickly toward the adoption of low-k dielectrics and thin wafers.”
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