Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., mainland China's largest and most advanced semiconductor foundry, formed center for vision, sensors and 3D integrated circuits (CVS3D). CVS3D consolidates and strengthens SMIC's R&D and manufacturing capabilities for silicon-based sensors, thru-silicon-via (TSV) technology and other middle-end wafer process (MEWP) technologies.
The semiconductor industry is rapidly adopting TSV-based 2.5D and 3DIC technology in order to further miniaturize system ICs while reducing power consumption and boosting device and system performance. Market research forecasts global TSV wafer shipments to be around 1.35 million 300mm wafers in 2013, expanding to 9.58 million 300mm wafers by 2017, representing a 63% CAGR over the next 5 years. In particular, by 2017, close to 63% of wafer demand will be for Logic 3D SiP/SoC, MEMS sensors, RF/mixed signal, and CIS-related ICs, all of which are essential for today's smartphone and mobile computing applications.
The formation of CVS3D is a strategic step in driving SMIC's technology differentiation strategy as SMIC expands its value-added technology offerings to a global customer base. One of SMIC’s customers is already in production using CVS3D's technology offerings, a few customers have multiple additional products in qualification. MEWP technology has led to significant advancements in CMOS image sensors, MEMS sensors, 3D stacked devices, and high performance TSV-based 2.5D and 3D systems-in-package (SiP).
“With the formation of SMIC's dedicated center for vision, sensors and 3DIC, SMIC is able to extend its manufacturing and R&D capabilities from CMOS front-end services to MEWP services. SMIC is ready to further strengthen our competitive position and leadership in this booming market by offering our customers the best solutions and services,” said Mike Rekuc, SMIC's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.
Over the past few years, SMIC has been developing specialty silicon process technologies such as MEMS, 3DIC, BSI and TSV to meet its customers' growing needs in addressing the mobile computing and smart device markets.
"Mobile phones, tablets, and emerging wearable devices are becoming more intelligent and are now equipped with powerful vision and sensing devices which have increased computational capability and improved energy efficiency, all at much smaller sizes. Going forward, the core concepts and fabrication methodology of 3DIC are clear drivers for advancing design, fabrication and system packaging technology of future imaging and other functional sensor devices. The emerging MEWP technology as a whole plays a very critical role in empowering new silicon device designs, wafer level integration and system packaging solutions. In sharing this enlightening vision with its partners and customers, SMIC's CVS3D is devoted to driving innovative technology to help our customers successfully realize their designs," said Shiuh-Wuu Lee, SMIC's executive vice president of technology development.