LONDON Suss MicroTec AG (Munich Germany) has formed a business unit around its so-called C4NP wafer bumping technology agreement with IBM Corp.
C4NP is an acronym for "Controlled Collapse Chip Connect - New Process" and is an alloy-independent, low cost, fine pitch wafer bumping process. Suss is making equipment based on the C4NP intellectual property licensed from IBM, the company said.
IBM Corp. and Germany's SUSS MicroTec AG agreed to develop the lead-free flip-chip semiconductor packaging technology in Sept. 2004.
The C4NP equipment set is being designed and built within existing Suss manufacturing operations and integrated at SUSS' U.S. headquarters in Waterbury Center, Vermont. The first C4NP beta line is scheduled to be installed this year at the Hudson Valley Research Park within IBM's Microelectronic Division packaging operation.
"The industry wide need for lower cost bumping technologies and 100 percent lead-free capability has triggered our decision to form a separate business field here at Suss," said Emmett Hughlett, C4NP business manager at Suss, in a statement. "Running C4NP as a separate business field with its own dedicated teams for product development, marketing and sales as well as applications support will provide the necessary resources to quickly bring C4NP technology to our customers."
"Integrating the C4NP equipment toolset here in the U.S. is critical since we are working very closely with IBM's engineering teams. However, we see the biggest market opportunities in Asia, Japan and Europe," said Klaus Ruhmer, C4NP sales and marketing director, in the same statement. "Asia plays a leading role in semiconductor packaging; Japan and Europe leads the way to 100 percent lead-free packaging."