Infineon Technologies has achieved a major breakthrough in the manufacturing of power semiconductors on 300-millimeter thin wafers. In February, the company received the first customer go-aheads for products of the CoolMOS family produced by the 300-millimeter line at the Villach (Austria) site. The production process based on the new technology has completed qualification from start to finish and customers have given the go-ahead.
Infineon put its faith in this manufacturing technology very early on and continued to invest even in economically difficult times. We think and act with foresight and are now reaping the benefits: The qualification of our entire 300-millimeter line represents a veritable leap ahead of the competition, says Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. 300-millimeter thin-wafer manufacturing for power semiconductors will enable us, with the corresponding demand, to seize the opportunities that the market offers.
Infineon is the first and only company worldwide to produce power semiconductors on 300-millimeter thin wafers. Thanks to their larger diameter compared to standard 200-millimeter wafers, two-and-a-half times as many chips can be made from each one. Customers benefit from the new technology, from the ready availability, enhanced capacity and improved productivity. Power semiconductors from Infineon feature low energy loss and compact design. Although not much thicker than a sheet of paper, the chips have electrically active structures on the front and back. Thin-wafer technology is the basis for this.
The next step is for the present manufacturing concept for CoolMOS products, qualified from start to finish, with the front-end site Villach and assembly of the thin chips at the back-end site Malacca (Malaysia), to be expanded to the front-end site Dresden. Here the focus is on high-volume production in a fully automated 300-millimeter line. The basis for the processes required and the manufacturing technology is currently being developed in research projects in Dresden. The technology transfer to Dresden is running on schedule and qualification of the first CoolMOS products will be completed in March. Shortly, in Villach more power semiconductor technologies will be transferred to the 300-millimeter line and produced. The development of the next power technology generation will focus on 300 instead of 200-millimeter technology.
Our ability to innovate is the basis of our success – good ideas are turned into reality. In both Austria and in Saxony we have the necessary conditions for this: technological know-how, well-educated and highly motivated specialists and exemplary support from government policy, says Dr. Reinhard Ploss.
Last year, for the ninth time in a row, the independent research institute IMS Research (an IHS company) confirmed Infineon's market leadership in power semiconductors. These are primarily used where energy must be efficiently controlled, transmitted or transformed – for example, in servers, PCs and notebooks, in entertainment electronics and mobile telephone infrastructure, in lighting systems and wind-power and photovoltaic systems. Performance and reliability at competitive costs are required for success in these complex fields of application. Infineon has an excellent understanding of such systems and offers customized semiconductor solutions from a single source. With these solutions customers can reduce development times and put new, more powerful products on the market more quickly. 300-millimeter thin-wafer technology guarantees that in the future Infineon will continue to be able to produce sufficient quantities at competitive costs.