LONDON – Infineon Technologies AG has succeeded in making power MOSFETs on thinned 300-mm wafers and is planning to invest 250 million euro (about $340 million) to set up manufacturing in Dresden, Germany. The money will be spent over the next three years and create up to 250 jobs, Infineon (Munich, Germany) said.
Infineon has announced it has produced the first examples of power MOSFETs on thin 300-mm diameter wafers at its power development site in Villach, Austria. These chips reach the same specifications as equivalent devices on 200-mm wafers, Infineon said.
Infineon claims it is the first company to makes this transition to 300-mm wafers and this could give the company a significant commercial advantage in the market place. The large-size wafers have traditionally been reserved for digital circuits although Texas Instruments pursued a similar gambit when it moved analog IC production on to 300-mm wafers a couple of years back.
Infineon produces power MOSFETS on thin, 300-mm diameter wafers
Infineon has been pursuing thinned wafer technology for power
applications for some time. As power flows vertically in a power MOSFET
the reduced thickness lowers resistence and losses and allows heat to be
removed more effectively. The trade-off is that paper thin wafers are
fragile and extra care must be taken in transportation. Thin wafers also
allow active structures to be produced on the
back that can give chips completely new functions and fit into smaller
packages as well as using less material.
A wafer is typically
350-microns thick prior to being diced into individual chips. At the
200-mm wafer size Infineon was thinning power wafers back to 60-micron
and even 40-micron thicknesses. The technology is used for insulated
gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and high- and low-power MOSFETs for a
range of applications from automotive engine control through to power
packs and induction hobs.
Infineon set up a pilot line for 300-mm
wafer and thin wafer technology in Villach in October 2010. The team
now comprises 50 engineers and physicists.
I am not aware of any SiC or GaN 300mm wafer supply... In fact, I don't even think you can get 200mm substrates with those materials. I think you can grow SiC epi on a silicon substrate, but I doubt that is an efficient way to make power devices. I'm no expert in power, though.
If resistance is indeed lower and heat is dissipated more efficiently with same current capacity, it means the efficiency is higher. It sounds a great improvement to me. Any further information and insight?