Process control systems used for advanced packaging of DRAM products in Korea and China facilities; additional orders expected to meet capacity ramp. Rudolph Technologies announced that it has received orders for over $15 million of legacy and new process control systems from a memory manufacturer based in Asia. The systems will be used by a top-tier memory chip maker as they rapidly transition high-end DRAM (DDR4, DDR5) and HBM DRAM packaging from wire bonding to advanced packaging architectures.
The shift from wire bonding is needed to achieve higher data speeds, superior power distribution and thermal properties using copper pillars, micro-bumps, and through silicon vias (TSVs) for stacked chip-to-chip interconnects.
Delivery of systems will be completed by the end of the first quarter, with additional orders expected throughout 2019 as memory manufacturers transition their high-speed DRAM from wire-bonded architecture to advanced packaging.
“Rudolph began working with our customers’ R&D teams nearly ten years ago to develop 2D/3D measurements of the emerging copper bump process. That long-term customer engagement has resulted in systems and software that we believe to be the industry standard for advanced packaging metrology,” stated Cleon Chan, vice president of global field operations at Rudolph. “Stacking die using TSVs and micro-bumps for HBM DRAM packages requires precise control of the copper features that will ultimately make the electrical connections between the stacked memory chips and the logic chip in the same package. After significant development in the package and the process control methods, these devices are now beginning high-volume manufacturing, which is being driven by the data speed and capacity demands from big data servers and graphics applications. These new, non-wire bonded memory architectures are creating a very healthy demand for our back-end process control systems. This customer is also using Rudolph systems for post-saw film-frame inspection looking for package defects.”
A combination of Rudolph’s 2D/3D inspection systems and metal metrology systems provide a total process control solution to help assure that height, diameter, location and coplanarity of copper micro-bumps, pillar bumps, and TSVs are precisely controlled. After the packages are molded and separated by sawing, additional Rudolph inspection systems provide outgoing quality checks for sidewall delamination and/or hairline cracks, which are considered killer defects for advanced memory packages.