The process of manufacturing
integrated circuits is so complex that it could involve more than 50
different pieces of
semiconductor equipment from the time silica is used as input to
grow ultrapure ingots where wafers are taken from to the time integrated
circuits built from these wafers are shipped to the customers.
Equipment used in
semiconductor manufacturing may be classified into three categories,
namely, wafer fab, assembly, and test/back-end equipment.
Obviously, this classification follows the three major
semiconductor manufacturing processes,
i.e., wafer fab, assembly, and test.
fabrication equipment come in
various forms, most of which specialize in growing, depositing or
removing materials from a wafer. Examples of wafer fabrication
equipment are oxidation systems, epitaxial reactors, diffusion systems,
ion implantation equipment, physical vapor deposition systems, chemical
vapor deposition systems, photolithography equipment, and etching
equipment. These equipment take turns in depositing and removing
different materials on and from the wafer in specific patterns until the
circuit is completely built on the wafer.
Once the wafers
are built, assembly equipment are used to
package them into finished integrated circuits that are physically ready
for use in customer applications. Assembly equipment include wafer
backgrind systems, wafer saw equipment, die attach machines, wirebonders,
die overcoat systems, molding equipment, hermetic sealing equipment, metal
can welders, DTFS machines, branding equipment, and lead finish equipment.
Assembled devices still need to undergo testing, so that only known good
devices will be shipped to customers.
Equipment are used for this purpose. Test equipment include automatic
test equipment (ATE) or electrical testers, test handlers, tape and reel
equipment, marking equipment, burn-in ovens, retention bake ovens, uv
erase equipment, and vacuum sealers.
For more details on
semiconductor manufacturing equipment, please follow these links:
wafer fab equipment,
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