Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nemotek selects EV Group wafer bonding and UV nanoimprint lithography systems for capacity ramp

ST. FLORIAN, AUSTRIA: EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, announced that Morocco-based wafer-level camera manufacturer Nemotek Technologie has placed a repeat order for EVG's bonding and UV nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) systems – the EVG520IS and IQ Aligner.

Nemotek will use these systems to address its production demands for CMOS image sensors and wafer-level optics that will be deployed in wafer-level cameras for mobile applications. This order marks a significant win for EVG as it paves the way for a long-term partnership with Nemotek – and further bolsters EVG's dominant position as the preferred bonding and UV-NIL equipment provider for wafer-level camera applications.

As the size of the camera in mobile phones can be a limiting factor in mobile handset designs, there is an increasing demand for smaller camera modules that can still address the call for higher resolution and cost effectiveness. This has shifted manufacturing of both the CMOS image sensor and the micro-optics stack to the wafer level, which in turn has created new manufacturing challenges. Manufacturing these devices at the wafer level requires precision alignment and effective bonding in multiple layers of the optical stack in order to reach maximum device performance.

Known for its ability to align wafers with extremely high accuracy, EVG's IQ Aligner is the only industry-proven, high-volume manufacturing solution for wafer lens molding and stacking available today.

"Demand continues to rise for wafer-level cameras, and we are ramping up our production capabilities in order to meet our customers' needs," said Jacky Perdrigeat, CEO of Nemotek Technologie. "To support our production expansion efforts, we selected EV Group's wafer bonding and UV-NIL systems not only for their high-volume capabilities, but also for their support of our preferred wafer-level technology process. The quality of the technical results and the repeatability that we have witnessed in using the existing EVG systems in our state-of-the-art cleanroom also weighed heavily in our selection process."

Paul Lindner, executive technology director of EV Group, noted: "This opportunity to further support Nemotek's capacity needs is testament to the strength of our wafer-level solutions portfolio, which features field-proven, high-volume capabilities. It also validates our success in parlaying our long-time expertise in the manufacture of CMOS image sensors to handle the shift to wafer-level production for the overall optics market.

"We value the confidence Nemotek has placed in our wafer bonding, UV-NIL lens molding and aligned UV bonding technologies for their wafer-level camera applications, and look forward to opportunities to not only expand our relationship, but also forge collaborative ties in support of Nemotek's growth."

The EVG systems augment Nemotek's class 10 cleanroom, which already houses several EVG tools, including an EVG6200 bond aligner, a fully automated IQ Aligner UV-NIL system, an EVG520IS wafer bonder, and an EVG40NT metrology system. The two new tools will be installed in phases with the two-bond chamber EVG520IS for CMOS image sensor manufacturing, to be completed this month. The second IQ Aligner UV-NIL system for micro-lens molding, bond alignment and UV bonding of micro-optics stacks will be installed later this year.

The wafer-level camera equipment market represents another high-growth segment in which EVG has successfully established its technology process and expertise. Its dominant position in this market contributed to EVG's financial success in 2009, when the company continued to see an increase in both order intake and revenue despite the global economic recession.

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