LONDON STMicroelectronics and Soitec are joining forces to develop 300mm wafer-level backside-illumination (BSI) technology for use in image sensors.
The deal includes the licensing by Soitec (Bernin, France) to ST of its 'Smart Stacking' bonding technology for the manufacturing of backside-illumination sensors on 300mm wafers.
The companies say deployment of backside illumination is an important element in achieving smaller individual pixel sizes in image sensors, while maintaining pixel sensitivity.
Soitec's technology, developed by its Tracit business unit, involves molecular bonding, and mechanical, as well as chemical thinning.
ST said it would develop its next generation of image sensors based on its advanced derivative-CMOS process technology at 65-nm and beyond at its 300mm facility in Crolles, France. The devices will be targeted at mobile consumer products.
"Partnering with Soitec will help quickly deploy the Smart Stacking technology into ST's camera products. This agreement will accelerate the development of advanced and superior cost-competitive image-sensor processes, and further confirms the Grenoble region as a world-class center of expertise for advanced CMOS imaging technologies,” said Eric Aussedat, Group Vice
President and General Manager, Imaging Division, STMicroelectronics, in a statement.