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January 15, 2013

Advanced Packaging is a Vibrant and Exciting Market

Future Fab International, January 2013

“More than Moore” is driving developments in the back-end, with some unique dynamics in play. The objective, of course, is to enable increased density of packaged chips by focusing on three-dimensional (3D) integration. While decreases in device dimensions continue, advanced 3D packaging techniques, such as through silicon vias, eWLB, Cu Pillar bumping and WLCSP, appear likely to provide dramatic improvements in functionality and performance in the foreseeable future.

As dimensions in advanced packages shrink, the back-end is beginning to adopt many of the same tools and processes used in the front-end. Manufacturing equipment, including lithography, etch and deposition tools, is being re-configured to meet back-end application requirements. 

Rudolph is working closely with its customers to develop and enhance a wide range of process control solutions required for advanced packaging.  A number of fabs are currently investigating new uses for metrology systems in back-end applications. Ultimately, they want to implement the same kinds of sophisticated process control capabilities that have proven to be so valuable in the front-end. And we are encountering entirely new packaging processes that require innovative solutions and novel sensors to perform both inspection and basic metrology.

Industry experts forecast vigorous growth for advanced packaging in the years ahead. This is an exciting time to be a ‘back-end player’!