A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and United Microelectronics Corporation, a leading global semiconductor foundry, have agreed to develop Through-Silicon Via (TSV) technology for backside illuminated CMOS image sensors (CIS).
The resulting technology will substantially enhance performance, lower costs and shrink the size of multi-megapixel image sensors found in mobile applications such as smart phones, digital cameras and tablet personal computers.
Leveraging on IME’s 300mm TSV line which features advanced capabilities in TSV wafer thinning, bonding, redistribution layer (RDL) and bumping, this project will develop a TSV process for integration with the CIS device. The evolution of CIS technology is driven by the need to maintain performance for ever-shrinking pixels, and Backside Illumination (BSI) is widely anticipated to be the enabling technology to achieve exceptional performance at micron-level pixel sizes. The project targets an improvement in sensitivity for smaller pixel image sensors capable of supporting higher performance applications, including next generation high resolution digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras and digital video recorders.
“IME continues to enjoy a successful partnership with UMC and remains committed to innovation and cutting-edge technology development to help UMC quickly capture new growth opportunities,” commented Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME. “This collaboration with a world leading foundry such as UMC underscores our strategy to establish Singapore as an R&D hub for high value-added activities.”
Po Wen Yen, Senior Vice President at UMC, added, “We are delighted to expand our relationship with IME for BSI technology using TSV. IME’s capabilities and expertise in TSV integration will complement UMC’s successful efforts for via-middle and via-last TSV on standard 28nm CMOS, and will be a valuable asset to help us extend our market and technology leadership in CMOS image sensor. This partnership is further affirmation of UMC’s confidence in growing its activities in Singapore.”