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Okmetic invests €40 million in new capabilities for C-SOI and other demanding wafers

Thursday, March 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MEMS & Sensors Industry Group
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The silicon wafer manufacturer Okmetic Oy announces a major investment to develop the technical capabilities of its Vantaa plant. The upgrade will enable the plant to manufacture C-SOI wafers and other demanding wafers. The company, which was acquired by the Chinese National Silicon Industry Group (NSIG) last year, has committed €40 million to the development of the Vantaa plant.

The investment will enable the company to take its development of silicon wafers to a new level, while the investment in wafer processing will bring additional production know-how to Okmetic's Vantaa plant. As a result, the company will be able to provide more complex and advanced wafer structures and a platform for the development of new high-performance technological applications.

In-house patterning and etching process

Okmetic's strategy is to focus on wafers requiring high technological expertise, such as the Silicon on Insulator (SOI) product family and specialized wafers in 150–200 mm diameter. The production line of the new factory building will primarily focus on processed C-SOI wafers with built-in customer-specific cavity structures. Due to the investment, the new advanced wafers will be manufactured from start to finish at Vantaa. This means that the whole manufacturing process from crystal to full service C-SOI wafers including formation of pre-etched cavities will occur in-house at the Vantaa plant.

The in-house patterning and etching creates benefits, such as faster R&D, improved quality and delivery performance and helps generate new product development.

"This is a major commitment to create new capabilities both in products and production. As a result of the investment in technology, increasingly advanced wafers for various technological applications can be manufactured centrally. The investment will strengthen Okmetic's standing as a leading wafer supplier for the sensor industry and reinforce our product supply chain," says Okmetic’s President Kai Seikku.

Close research collaboration: From design to production

Seeds for the groundbreaking Cavity SOI (C-SOI) development were first sewn in the national Tekes-funded research programs within the Finnish MEMS cluster at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in the early 2000´s, demonstrating the concept versatility and potential. Product development of Cavity SOI substrates and Through Silicon Via (TSV) continued in Eniac C3Car and EsiP programs after the mid-2000´s. Since then, the development work has continued in ENIAC projects, such Lab4MEMS II, Incite, and the Ecsel project Informed, with more advanced designs.

 “Okmetic continues close cooperation with its customers and research partners to develop even higher performance and advanced structures using C-SOI and TSV as a platform fulfilling the stringent requirements of the autonomous driving, for example”, describes Markku Tilli, Okmetic’s Senior Vice President, Research.

Construction work at the Vantaa plant will start in spring 2017. The production line of the new factory building is expected to start by the end of 2018.

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