Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

     

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.

        

Wafer 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.  Test 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, assembly equipment, test equipment.

   

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