LONDON – The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore and Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp. have agreed to develop jointly a through-silicon-via process for backside illuminated CMOS image sensors.
The resulting technology is expected to shrink the size of multi-megapixel image sensors found in mobile applications such as smart phones, digital cameras and tablet personal computers.
The collaboration will make use of IME's 300-mm TSV production line which includes capabilities in TSV wafer thinning, wafer bonding, redistribution layer (RDL) and bumping. It is targeting improved sensitivity in smaller pixel image sensors.
UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) did not indicate how quickly the collaboration would produce results or whether the process would be transferred to UMC wafer fabs.
"IME's capabilities and expertise in TSV integration will complement UMC's successful efforts for via-middle and via-last TSV on standard 28-nm CMOS and will be a valuable asset to help us extend our market and technology leadership in CMOS image sensor. This partnership is further affirmation of UMC's confidence in growing its activities in Singapore," said Po Wen Yen, senior vice president at UMC.
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